Church should become “biblical community,” says bishop appointed to Bible synod


Bishop Wilhelm Emil Egger of Bolzano-Bressanone (Italy), recently named by Pope Benedict XVI as the Special Secretary for the next Synod on the Bible, said during an interview last week that the Church “should become a biblical community.”

Bishop Egger will have an important role in the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of the Bishops, which will have as its theme “The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church,” and will be held October 5-26, 2008.

In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Bishop Egger said he hoped the Synod “would help the Church to more and more become a great biblical community, composed of men and women who, under the guidance of the Magisterium, participate in prayerful reading (of Scripture) in order to be evangelized and to be evangelizers.”

Bishop Egger was born in Innsbruck (Austria) in 1940 and entered the Capuchin Franciscans in 1956.  A priest since 1965, he has been bishop of Bolzano-Bressanone in northern Italy since 1986.

In the interview he praised “the growing number of people in Church who are linked to the Word of God: catechists, religion teachers, readers in the liturgy, bible study leaders.  This is a sign of hope for the future.”

The Synod on the Word of God will be the 22nd assembly in 41 years and the 12th ordinary general assembly.  Some 3,972 synod fathers have attended the 21 synods held to date.