Conference to explore Pope’s Verbum Domini

  • March 23, 2011
Archbishop Donald WuerlTORONTO - Catholic scholars will gather at Regis College March 31 and April 1 to discuss Pope Benedict XVI’s Verbum Domini, the results of the October 2008 General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome.

The apostolic exhortation was dedicated to the Word of God in the life and the mission of the Church.

Sponsored by Regis College and Salt + Light Television, “Word of God: Light of Love” will include keynote speakers Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., London Bishop Ronald Fabbro, Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl and Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus.

“It’s really getting us to reflect about the role of the Word of God in our Christian life and in the worship life of the community,” said Fr. Gordon Rixon, dean at Regis College, the Jesuit graduate school of theology at the University of Toronto.

Along with the keynote speakers, theologians from Regis, the faculty of theology at the University of St. Michael’s College, St. Augustine’s Seminary and Wycliffe College will participate in panel discussions, plenary sessions and workshops.

It’s expected that the room, which seats 200 people, will be at capacity.

Open to the public, the symposium has two goals, said Rixon.

“One is to have a dialogue among some leading scholars and the other is to do some popular education,” he said. “The Verbum Domini is a very important apostolic exhortation and it needs to have a chance to be disseminated and to be received.”

This apostolic exhortation is the most important document on the Bible in 45 years — since Verbum Dei, one of the documents of Vatican II, said Rixon.

“For a long time, the Scriptures were presented in Latin in the Church and this was the movement to the vernacular… And this is a continuation of that educational catechetical program.”

Rixon said the symposium provides an opportunity to recognize and receive the gift of the Word that informs our Christian life and mission.

“This is absolutely key and central to our identity, our vocation and our mission as Christians today.”

Several volumes of the Heritage Edition of the St. John’s Bible, a rare art quality facsimile of the first hand-written Bible in 500 years, will be exhibited throughout the symposium.

“One of the heritage editions was presented at the synod in 2008. There was a presentation by the Benedictines, and it just seems fitting that as we do the follow-up here in Canada that we have a heritage edition of the Bible present.”

For information or to register, see or call (416) 922-5474 ext. 238. Admission is free.

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