"This implies that Scripture must go hand-in-hand with the holy Tradition preserved in the ecclesiastic experience of the faith of the apostles," Archbishop Pierre said.
The development of different languages continued to separate people from a close reading of the Latin Scriptures and, the archbishop said, separated them from "having a personal encounter with the risen Lord manifested in the Bible."
"The separation produced by the Protestant Reform left a painful wound in the mystical body of Christ and as a consequence of this, the belief that a personal reading of the Bible is a typical Protestant practice grew in the common Catholic mindset," he said. "The reality manifested in our Roman Catholic Tradition, however, indicates that this common assumption is far from the truth."
Archbishop Pierre recounted developments since the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII. In the mid-20th century, Pope Pius XII opened the way for translation of Scripture to help Christians return to the sources of faith, while the Second Vatican Council opened the way to dialogue with Protestant Christians in its main document on Scripture, "Dei Verbum."
"During the decades after 'Dei Verbum,' the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church has insisted on the continued study, research, and education of Holy Scripture by the faithful people of God, establishing stronger bonds of ecumenical dialogue and relationships of unity with our brothers and sisters of different denominations," he said.
The archbishop cited the work of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, the Biblical studies in Rome's pontifical universities, and the biblical institutes throughout the Catholic world that train pastors and the laity to bring biblical truth "to those who are hungry for the nourishment of God's Word."
The nuncio praised the American Bible Society as "a providential instrument that exemplifies the ecumenical bonds built upon the treasure of the Scriptures." He welcomed its collaboration with Catholic ministries, saying its propagation of the Word of God is "a vivid expression of the love of God that unifies us with the purpose of inspiring hunger and thirst for the Scriptures."
The Bible society supported the October 2008 Synod of Bishops and has created a polyglot Bible. It has distributed Bibles to Spanish-language Catholic communities and has supported Catholic pastoral activities like the World Youth Day events in Poland and Brazil. The society also collaborated with the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
It is presently working with the U.S. bishops' conference to present the Bible as the Book of Mercy for National Bible Week Nov. 13-19.