The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) through its Pastoral Directorate has embarked on a national wide promotion campaign of the New Catholic Answer Bibles whose ambassador is Vice President Saulos Chilima .
Against this background, on Sunday last week, the promotion team took the initiative to promote the Bibles at St Patricks Parish in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe where many Catholic Christians were inspired and liked the Bibles in terms of its uniqueness and outlook.
Speaking to both 7:30 am and 9:30 am masses, Chilima said the new Bibles answer all the misconception and questions that both Catholics and people of other denominations do not understand.
“Among other facts of the Bible include is that it captures what Catholic believe and why they believe it. It has 88 common questions and answers about Catholic belief and practices which is the first of its kind in the region. It also gives one an opportunity to respond confidently when challenged about the Catholic Church and its teachings instead of shying away,” said Chilima.
According to Chilima, the new answer Bible’s uniqueness is that it addresses questions like do Catholics worship Saints which is ably answered on Deuteronomy 5: 7,9 and Acts 17:28.
“Apart from that it also gives scriptural references to back up the responses and it invites the reader to yet another powerful and important Church document for Catechesis the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It provides an opportunity to increase knowledge of the Bible and deepen one’s appreciation of it,” added Chilima.
He also said the new Bible gives more lessons about the Catholic faith and its origins and has one of the powerful documents on Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on the Divine Revelation with the Church’s instructions and how to interpret scripture.
The Pastoral Marketing Officer for the New Answer Bible, Sidonia Dzikolidaya said the goal of the project which is funded by the Pastoral Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is to reach out to 70 percent of the elite Catholics with the Bible and letting them use the Bible in major gatherings as the main reference point.
“We would also want to promulgate the advantages of using the New Catholic Answer Bible in the current milieu the Church is found today and to reach out to the elite and the youth especially those doing tertiary level of education so that through its use, they are enabled to respond to questions that affect Catholic doctrine,” she said.
She said the Bibles which are selling at K25, OOO and K15, 000 depending on the quality are available at Catholic Secretariat in Lilongwe and in all Catholic Bookshops across the country.
She said meanwhile, the Bibles are in English and plans are underway to have them translated in the local language.
“You can easily identify these Bibles because they have a special logo for the Episcopal Conference of Malawi at the back and on the side cover. It has prologue to each chapter and the outline of the chapter and also it has footnotes that put a lot meaning to the phrases and word mentioned in the chapter,” said Dzikolidaya adding that it has large print format which helps for reading and study the Bible.