Once more for the record, here is the latest news on the Holy See's preparation of a response to a request for clarification of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy that had been made by the October 2008 Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church. A Vatican news release dated 3 April 2013 says:
The Pontifical Biblical Commission will celebrate its annual plenary session from 8 to 12 April at the Domus Sanctae Marthae in Vatican City under the presidency of Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller. Fr. Klemens Stock, S.J., secretary general of the commission, will directing the assembly's work sessions.
During the course of the meetings, the study on the theme “Inspiration and Truth in the Bible” will be concluded. “For some years,“ reads a communique from that office, “the Commission has decided to concentrate its effort on verifying how the themes of inspiration and truth are manifested in the various books of Sacred Scripture. The aim of the reflection is to offer a positive contribution so that, in a deepened understanding of the concepts of inspiration and truth, the Word of God may be welcomed by all faithful in a way that is ever more suited to this unique gift in which God communicates himself and invites humanity to communion with him.”
Once the Pontifical Biblical Commission completes its study, which has been entitled "Inspiration and Truth of the Bible" (compare the news release, which says "in" rather than "of"), the study will be presented to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Much will depend upon whether the PBC study leads to a formal and authoritative document or a papal encyclical on the subject of biblical inspiration and inerrancy. Because the PBC is only an advisory body of biblical scholars who assist the CDF, the PBC is not a teaching organ of the Church, and its statements and publications carry no teaching authority of themselves. (This is analogous to the International Theological Commission, which, for example, issued a study on the subject of the fate of infants who die without Baptism. The study has been erroneously read as a formal renunciation of Limbo, but in fact the study carries no magisterial weight at all and is at the level merely of theological opinion.) Even unauthoritative declarations of the PBC are of interest and are useful, but they are not binding doctrinal statements unless explicitly presented as such by the pope.
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