Catholic teachings and the Bible

By Fr. Bill Kneemiller

Fr. Kneemiller

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been intrigued by the letters and the editorial comments on how Catholics interpret the Bible. I wanted to add a few thoughts on this subject because I’ve had the opportunity to live for a year in Iraq, the ancient biblical land of the Chaldeans. During that time I also had numerous opportunities to travel and know military chaplains of different backgrounds ranging from conservative Jews to evangelical Christians. First, I have a little story that helps me understand why, as Catholics, we do not take a Fundamentalist view of the Scriptures.
A couple of years ago, I had to travel to the U.S. Army Chaplain School in South Carolina. Near the Kentucky border, I saw a sign for the Creationist Museum. I stopped in and the first display I saw was a fossil that was a sample of the Fundamentalist view of Creation. It read: “Rock fossil, believed by Modern Science to be about four million years old, but according to The Bible, it is 5,500 years old.”

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