Making it more ‘socially relevant’ in a COVID 19 world.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) today approved a new translation of Sacred Scripture. President, Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles announced the changes that are intended to be more “culturally relevant while also blunting some of the criticism of US Bishops for their flaccid responses to government edicts during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Gomez offered as an example of some of the changes a passage from the Book of Acts, Chapter 4, wherein two of the first bishops – Peter and John – were called before the Sanhedrin for preaching the about Jesus.
While they were still talking to the people the priests came up to them, accompanied by the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees. They were extremely annoyed at their teaching the people the resurrection from the dead by proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus. They arrested them, and, as it was already late, they kept them in prison till the next day.
But many of those who had listened to their message became believers; the total number of men had now risen to something like five thousand. It happened that the next day the rulers, elders and scribes held a meeting in Jerusalem with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, Jonathan, Alexander and all the members of the high-priestly families. They made the prisoners stand in the middle and began to interrogate them, ‘By what power, and by whose name have you men done this?’
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed them, ‘Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple and asking us how he was healed, you must know, all of you, and the whole people of Israel, that it is by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, and God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man stands before you cured. This is the stone which you, the builders, rejected but which has become the cornerstone. Only in him is there salvation; for of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.’
They were astonished at the fearlessness shown by Peter and John, considering that they were uneducated laymen; and they recognised them as associates of Jesus; but when they saw the man who had been cured standing by their side, they could find no answer. So they ordered them to stand outside while the Sanhedrin had a private discussion. ‘What are we going to do with these men?’ they asked. ‘It is obvious to everybody in Jerusalem that a notable miracle has been worked through them, and we cannot deny it. But to stop the whole thing spreading any further among the people, let us threaten them against ever speaking to anyone in this name again.’
So they called them in and gave them a warning on no account to make statements or to teach in the name of Jesus.
Mayors and Governors were having a festive meal while the publicans and sinners were practicing social distancing. At the dinner there was hobbing and nobbing, backslapping and laughing. The wine flowed freely as the Princes of the Vichy Church luxuriated in the esteemed positions that they had won for themselves. All agreed that the existence of a spine was greatly overrated.
While they deemed the sacramental isolation imposed on the ones to whom their sacerdotal obligations were due as ‘unfortunate’, denying themselves this celebratory interlude to their onerous vocational demands would serve no purpose.
Then the Mayors and Governors spoke with one voice to the Princes. “We have determined that libations such as these and the offering of infants on the red-hot hands of Molech are essential to the good of the people as their is a chest cold afoot. But we warn you that on no account are you to make or permit statements or to teach in the name of Jesus.”
And the bishops, full of spirits, stood and replied, “Okie dokie.”