The prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, explained during his intervention at the Synod of Bishops that priests need good theology and a safe exegetical method in order to make the Word of God known better.
In his speech published by L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Hummes recalled an anecdote about one of his colleagues, a professor and doctor in theology, who “was confused about what he had read about the resurrection of Christ in some theological and exegetical books, which cast doubt on some aspects of this fundamental dogma of our faith and disturbingly emptied it of its true content.”
Cardinal Hummes continued, “He told me about this confusion. It was the Easter Vigil. So he asked me, ‘Tomorrow is Easter. What should I tell the people in the church about the resurrection?’ and I quickly responded: ‘You should proclaim that Jesus rose from the dead and lives! Period.’ And he said to me: ‘How true that is!’ And he left happy.”
This episode, the cardinal said, “makes us think of the urgent need to give our priests and deacons good theology and a safe exegetical method. Regarding an exegetical method, Pope Benedict XVI lays out a direction in the prologue of his book, ‘Jesus of Nazareth’.”
Regarding priests and deacons, he continued, “May the Word of God be nourishment for them for personal discipleship. The Word of God is before all else the very person of Jesus Christ.” “The encounter with Christ will provide the strength necessary to bearing witness to the proclamation of the Word,” he said.