Celebrating ‘a gift in time of war’

Fr Levente Balazs Martos, Hungarian biblical scholar and member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, will be visiting the UK later this month to help celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of Pope Pius XII’s 1943 encyclical letter Divino Afflante Spiritu, generally considered the magna charta for biblical studies in the Catholic Church.

Pope Pius XII issued the document, which translates as ‘Inspired by the Divine Spirit’, in September 1943, as the Second World War continued to rage. It encouraged Catholic scholars to study the scriptures in their original languages and contexts, using historical, literary, and archaeological approaches.

Fr Levente will give a commemorative lecture, ‘Light in the Darkness’, sponsored by the Bishops’ Conference and Bible Society, at Heythrop College, Kensington, at 6pm on Thursday 24 May.

On Saturday 26 May from 11am until 3 pm he will lead a study day on ‘Catholics and the Bible’ at the Catholic Church of Christ the Eternal High Priest, Gidea Park, Romford. The day will also include a panel discussion when Fr Levente will be joined by Fleur Dorrell, Scripture Coordinator at the Bishops’ Conference, and Fr Adrian Graffy, parish priest of Gidea Park, and member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

Fr Adrian Graffy’s parish is now renowned for its study days: last year Director of the Vatican Observatory Br Guy Consolmagno led an event entitled ‘God and the Cosmos’. Fr Adrian has been a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission since 2014. In 2017 he was appointed as an ‘expert’ by the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education.

Referring to Fr Levente’s study day, Fr Adrian commented: “We are looking forward to hearing from a first-class scholar just how great a gift this encyclical was to the Church in a time of turmoil and war.”

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Email for Heythrop talk: http://www.heythrop.ac.uk/events/light-darkness-commemorating-75-years-divino-afflante-spiritu

Email for Gidea Park: http://www.dioceseofbrentwood.net/event/catholic-church-bible/