(I had this post written and scheduled before Jeremy wrote his.)
First, a throw back:
Some Protestants still believe that Roman Catholics do not read the Bible and subordinate Holy Scripture to an amorphous thing called “tradition”revelation which is not found in Scripture but has come down from the Apostles through the teachings of the church. In fact, Roman Catholicism is in the midst of an astonishing Biblical revival, which has led to one of the most tempestuous internal fights the church has had in years. Last week, at the request of Pope John, the Pontifical Biblical Commission met in secret session at the Vatican Palace and agreed to resolve the quarrel by formulating new principles to guide Catholics in the scholarly study of Scripture.
The battle, now nearly a decade old, is between the progressive majority of Catholic Biblical scholars and a cadre of Roman theologians who follow the rigidly conservative views of the Holy Office. Both sides agree that the Bible cannot err. The theologians, concerned primarily with preserving doctrine from heresy, believe that the Bible should be analyzed with reverent caution, using at most the tools of grammar and philology to yield the meaning of words. Scholars believe that more is needed: the Bible, they say, is not history in the modern sense, but a collection of books whose meaning can only be unearthed after comparing it with other literatures, using archaeological discoveries to test its facts, and attempting to discover the purpose of its writers.
That was from 1963…
And today, Michael Patton writes that Roman Catholics cannot be a Scholar and Catholic:
However, over the years I have come to believe that ”Roman Catholic scholarship” is an oxymoron. I don’t believe one can be a Roman Catholic and a scholar at the same time. Well, let me put it another way: I don’t believe one can be a true Roman Catholic and a scholar at the same time. Why? Because being a Roman Catholic militates against what makes someone a scholar in my opinion.
I find it ironic that one who is an inerrantist would state such a thing.
Anyway, his statements are not of the Catholic scholars that I know of – and Patton cannot, it seems, separate theology and scholarship. But, I would encourage you to read the statements made by Michael and understand just how far backwards we are going.