Seán Baptist Cardinal Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, spoke at the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of Bishops in Rome. A summary of his intervention follows:
Participants at an Inter-Church meeting in Ireland which I attended recently were invited to wash each other's feet while they listened to the account of how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper. This strong experiential ritual of 'inter-communion' in the Word took them to a new level of personal and ecclesial commitment.
The contribution of the Protestant tradition to Biblical scholarship has been immense. It may assist the healing of memory to affirm that the emphasis in the Reformation on improving access to the Scriptures was a good from which all Christians have benefited.
Preachers need adequate preparation and ongoing help for their task. It is to be hoped that exegetes, theologians and liturgists will work together to help Ministers of the Word to say what the Holy Spirit wants the Church to say to the world at this time.
Modern communications technology gives the Church wonderful possibilities to communicate its message to the ends of earth. It is to be hoped that the Synod will come up with practical proposals to enable the Church to take full advantage of this opportunity.
The Word of God is a reality imbued with the presence of God. Like the Eucharist the Word too is viaticum food for the journey of life, food for the journey of married life. Given the particular challenges which face the family in our time one of the things we could profitably learn from the Protestant tradition is the custom of having a Bible in the home and reading it often as a family.