Several bishops and Bible scholars from Asia, among others, are attending the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF), which is underway in Argentina.
The event is in the Diocese of Mar del Plata in Argentina, South America.
The April 15–21 event has the theme, "Proclaim the Word, source of life for a fragile world."
Over 200 delegates come from over 90 countries, representing various episcopal conferences worldwide, and more than one hundred institutions are affiliated with CBF.
On April 16, Bishop Gabriel Mestre of Mar del Plata presided over the opening Mass.
He welcomed all attendees to the city and the Diocese of Mar del Plata in his homily.
"We thank God because we are gathered in a synodal keynote from various parts of the world to proclaim that the Word of God is a source of life for a fragile world," the prelate said.
"Today and always, we want to proclaim the Word of God, the source of life for our fragile world. We do it these days with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary as we celebrate our 10th Plenary Assembly," he added.
"Together we renew our baptismal faith, and in a key synodal, we want to commit to our private and universal history. That’s why we say together: We believe in Christ as our peace and proclaim Him with mercy during the fragility of our world," the bishop said.
The Assembly began at a central hotel with delegates working on biblical topics.
Fr. John J. Stefanów, SVD General Secretary of the CBF, presented the recorded message of CBF President Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who greeted all present and invited them to "proclaim the word as a source of life for a fragile world."
Then began the activities of the 10th Catholic Biblical Assembly.
The 14 bishops from all continents are concelebrating in the Cathedral of Mar del Plata. Among them were seven English-speaking, five Hispanic-speaking, and two Francophones.
From Asia, bishops include Peter Abir Antonysamy (India), Francis X. Arpondratana Turn (Thailand), Indrias Rehmat (Pakistan), and Pablo Virgilio David (Philippines).
On the second day (April 17), the delegates had a different pastoral experience in the Diocese of Mar del Plata. Participants visited six apostolic regions to introduce visitors to some aspects of diocesan pastoral reality and a fraternal encounter. In each place, they shared a short talk, a moment of prayerful reflection, and the Holy Mass at the venue.
The Assembly is a valuable opportunity for specialists and scholars of the Holy Scriptures, theologians, and pastoral agents to reflect on the importance of the Word in every church activity. As the Federation looks ahead, it will continue to promote a deeper understanding of the Bible and encourage its use in pastoral life and evangelism.
On the third day (April 18), the participants analyzed the fragility of the social and natural worlds and the Catholic Church. The health contingency caused by the coronavirus has exposed human frailties. Therefore, it has been important to start an analysis of these issues to seek afterward light in the Word and effectively face humanity's new challenges.
The Assembly is seen as a place of exchange and reflection beyond regional and continental borders. It is a valuable opportunity for specialists and scholars of the Holy Scriptures, theologians, and pastoral agents, to reflect on the importance of the Word in all ecclesial activity.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.