CBF-SEA BA Link 2008 No. 27

CBF-SEA BA Link 2008 No. 27


 My dear Friends in the Word,

The Synod on the Word of God will continue until Oct. 26. Ten more days to go! For those of us who had no time to browse the internet, I copy two interventions which are of great importance for us in Asia :



H.E. Most. Rev. Arturo M. BASTES, S.V.D.,

Bishop of Sorsogon ( PHILIPPINES )

1) Biblical courses in the seminary are too intellectual, using the western method of historico-critical exegesis, which bores most seminarians. This academic approach should be complemented with methods that take into account the culture and life situation of the hearers.
2) The members of the Catholic Biblical Federation (found in 129 countries today) have developed techniques in doing biblical pastoral ministry which prove to be effective in transmitting God’s message to contemporary men and women. These creative methodologies must be inc1uded in the official curriculum of the formation programs in theological faculties and houses of formation. An example of such a method appealing to people of today is the “Bibliodrama.”

3) The urgency of developing an Asian way of reading the Bible is felt because of the tremendous challenge the Church is facing in this huge continent where millions of people feel hungry for God’s Word. There are now successful attempts to develop a biblical hermeneutics that take into account the rich culture and history of Asian peoples. There is a plan to produce an Asian Biblical Commentary that will make use of the historico-critical method of the West and a comparative cultural hermeneutics to render the profound spiritual sense of the biblical text accessible to the Asian soul. The Asian members of the CBF have also decided to establish an Asian Bible Institute, which will hopefully give the desired holistic biblical formation program.

4) This is one way of contributing to the “missio ad extra” in Asia , the majority of whose people have not yet heard of Christ. Through a gradual process of evangelization presenting Jesus of the Gospels as Teacher, Story Teller, Healer, Miracle Worker, Friend, Consoler – images that are pleasing to Asians – people of Asia may eventually be led by the Spirit to believe in Christ as the Son of God.


H.E. Most. Rev. Ignatius SUHARYO HARDJOATMODJO, Archbishop of Semarang (INDONESIA)

Asia is a continent of many religions and cultures marked by degrading poverty and underdevelopment. This is the context for the Church in Asia to reflect on the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church. FABC has been promoting evangelization always in triple dialogue with the poor,· religions and cultures. Nostra Aetate and other post-conciliar documents, have confirmed the way of dialogue as the characteristic mode of the Church (Ecclesia in Asia, 3).
Lineamenta and Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod mostly refer to Dei Verbum but they need to be complemented by Gaudium et Spes with its call for dialogue with the world. In Asia , proclamation of the Word demands dialogue and inculturation as requirements of the Word Incarnate. The Word of God has to become the Word of life for the poor of Asia.

We have to respond to the structural causes of poverty and marginalization for integral liberation in the light of the Word of God. The beatitudes of the Kingdom, especially concerning the poor in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke have to be proclaimed both for the rich challenging their self-sufficiency and for the poor as source of hope for liberation and life.

Biblical revelation stresses God’s love for the poor, namely the widow, the orphan and the stranger. God always works vindication and justice for the poor (Ps 103:6). Jesus our Lord embodied the divine compassion for the poor in his proclamation of God’s reign. God’s preferential option for the poor is the Word of life for the ignored, humiliated and the deprived. The Church must share the Word of God as the Word of hope and life for the poor of Asia .



Let us keep praying for the Synod, that it may indeed renew the face of the Church and of the whole earth.

We all have received Star’s letter about the CBF-SEA workshop next year. Please let us know your preferences so that we can concretize our plans.



 In the Lord,

yours Sr. Emma Gunanto, osu.










Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: