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Faith/Spirituality Forum: Proclamation of the Word

by Catherine Frakas 09 Jul 2001

Proclamation of the Word QUESTION from Shirley O'Connor on September 30, 2002 Please forgive the length of this question however I felt compelled to write. I have sent an email to the St. Joseph Foundation and received a reply this morning telling me that it might be better if they were to defer me to a St. Joseph's Foundation based in Canada. There does not seem to be an email address for same which would mean most probably delays in mailing, and I am rather impatient I guess to receive a reply. Hope you understand.
Taken from our Parish bulletin dated Sept. 22/02: 'Proclamation of the Word: Proclamation is the public reading of the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible in communities across Canada.
It is a co-operative effort by local churches and the Canadian Bible Society to raise the profile of the Bible and to encourage Canadians to explore the riches and relevance of the Scriptures.'
Starting Oct. 16/02 this proclamation will be in the Parish that I attend. My understanding is that the Bible being used will be the King James Version. I am quite upset about this as I became aware (after my conversion to Catholicism) that this Bible and the 'Catholic' Bible are different; the Protestant Bible is not 'complete'.
I can't imagine why our Archbishop would approve this, as I found out tonight (actually last evening now) is the case. My whole reason for wanting to convert to Catholicism was that I wanted 'more of Jesus' than I felt I was receiving. How can we as CATHOLICS explore the richness and relevance of the Scriptures if we are not reading ALL of the Scriptures? Several people have approached the Rector and the Archbishop regarding their concerns, however these concerns seem to be falling on deaf ears. Could you please give me references to the pertinent canonical documentation that I could present which might aid in obtaining a Catholic solution to what, in my opinion, has become an unfortunate situation. Any other advice that you may wish to offer me would be most appreciated. Thank you and may God Bless each and every one of you for what you do for the Faith. In Christ Shirley O'Connor
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on October 9, 2002 Dear Mrs. O'Connor:
I thought I had answered this question, but I do not see it on the forum so I must have been thinking about answering it but never did :) That happens to this old man a lot.
The Church restricts which version of the Bible is read at Mass. The King James is not approved for the readings of the Mass.
Outside of Mass any version can be read, but it should be one that has an imprimatur. I do not know why they would use the King James. The Revised Standard Version is a revision of the King James and IS APPROVED by the Catholic Church in its Catholic Edition of the RSV. Why are they not using that one?
But, in general, reading from the King James will not corrupt a Catholic's faith. I can even prove the Catholic doctrines using the King James.
The only concern is if they are going to read the WHOLE Bible, then leaving out the deuterocanincal books (the 7 books in the OT that Protestants ripped out of the Bible) would be a concern. Maybe they plan on using the RSV-CE for the deuterocanincal books, or maybe they have an edition of the King James Version that includes the deuterocanincal books. The original Kings James Version did have the deuterocanincal books in an appendix.
The bottom line is that since these readings are not in Mass, the archbiship has jurisdiction over that project. If he has approved the use of the King James Version for this project then there is little one can do, except....
Canon law gives you the RIGHT to address your concerns to your pastors.
I would write the Archbishop a letter and ask why he has chosen the King James Version for this project when the Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition could be used and not objected to by either Catholics or Protestants.
Explain to him your concerns that the deuterocanincal books may not be included in this project. And express your concern about want to make sure what you are hearing is the truth as the Catholic Church teaches.
Do not be emotional in this letter, but business like. Calmly express your questions and concerns.
The Archbishop may not change his mind, but at least he will know your view. Encourage others to write too.
But do not worry, even if the King James Version is read during this project, it will not harm the faith. You can always go home and re-read the passage from one of the approved Catholic Bibles.
If they do not read the deuterocanincal books, then you can read them on your own at home.
God Bless, welcome to the Church, and hang in there :)
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