First the Year of Faith, then the Year of Mercy, now the Catholic Biblical Federation has proposed the idea of the “Year of the Bible” to the Vatican for the 2019-2020 year. However, they were given a negative response.
FR. JAN J. STEFANÓW
General Secretary, CBF
“We received a letter from Archbishop Fisichella saying that with these changes now in the Curia, the strategies, the plans, they decided not to do the specific year anymore, because there were some complaints also from the bishops that it was an obstacle in the regular pastoral plans in the dioceses, so there will be no more 'years' convoked by the Vatican.”
Despite this 'no,' the Federation says they still plan to have a Jubilee year of their own, since 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the CBF and 2020 is the 1,600th anniversarial death of St. Jerome, who was the first translator of the Bible to Latin.
The members, with Card. Tagle as president, will also host a large pastoral congress in Rome the week after Easter 2019, to reflect on the past 50 years and see where they are going in the next.
“Biblically, every Jubilee is a time of liberation. It's a time that gives life once more. So to celebrate the 50th year since the foundation of the Federation, is already a jubilee. So we're going to blow the shofar to invite everyone.
“We see that great enthusiasm in people, especially realizing the importance of what is going to be done, what they've been involved in and the history behind this, and how connected it is with the faith. This is what we stand for.”
Connected to the Holy See through the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, the Catholic Biblical Federation is represented in 126 countries. Based on the need of each country, they organize everything from translations, to publications, formation and pastoral activities centered around the Word of God.