Father Phan Ngoc Ngon, spiritual director of the Federation of Biblical Association in Taipei, in a Biblical seminar
Embarrassed Taiwan faithful are seeking to change a commonly held opinion that Catholics only know how to recite prayers, while Protestants know the Bible well.
This is the goal of Taipei archdiocese’s
Federation of the Bible Apostolate and the Council of Lay Apostolate, who this year, will promote Bible-reading and the correct way to do so to help laypeople build their faith and Bible knowledge.
“The general public in Taiwan has the opinion that Catholics only know how to recite prayers or the Rosary. Our Bible-reading campaign intends to change that perception,” said Theresa Lee, chair of the Bible federation.
A recent Bible-reading seminar in the archdiocese attracted more than 100 Catholics from different parishes, while an island-wide seminar is scheduled for November.
Lee was born a Catholic, but left the Church in her teenage years. She said she returned to the fold when she and a friend began reading the Bible.
She said she really enjoys Bible-reading. It’s “like a gas station for humankind to fuel energy,” she said.
The seminar was to “enhance our senses to listen and feel truth, goodness and love from the Word of God,” she said.
Taking the campaign further will be the lay council’s “New Five-Ones Movement.”
Council chairperson Joseph Lee explained that the movement aims to introduce a “fourth meal” for the spiritual growth of Catholics.
The five “ones” are for people to read the Bible and pray 10 minutes each day; to read one religious book each month; to write one article for the website of one’s own parish; to join at least one lay association; and to live out one Biblical verse each month.
However, the two Church groups have a lot to do to succeed.
A federation survey last September revealed that there are 1,032 faithful in 107 Bible-reading classes in 57 churches. This means out of 38,037 Catholics in Taipei, only one out of 38 laypeople has joined a Bible-reading class.