In the course of the first of three lectures on the Bible, delivered on the 16th inst. in St. Peter's Hall at Westminster, Fr. Cuthbert Lattey, SI, dealt with the question of Scriptural inspiration. Scripture, he said, must be inspired, though all that was inspired need not he Scripture. If the Imitation were inspired it would not be Scripture. By "inspired" was meant that God was the author of the whole thing as a book, including the furnishing of materials. The writer was the instrument. By "book" was meant a book of Scripture, i.e. in the Bible.
We should get a right idea of "verbal" inspiration, said the lecturer, It did not mean true; and so Catholics need not hold to verbal inspiration. For example, it was said that all the books of Moses were not by the same writer. But we can say that Moses may have used different secretaries, given them the ideas, which they put in their own words, and then Moses checked what was written.
Not only must a book be inspired; but it must also be revealed to be so to the Church as part of the deposit of faith. Our own pious ideas were not part of Catholic faith. There was no other way of know ing if a book was inspired. Even if the writer said so (as St. Paul may have done) it did not follow that it was so. How could we tell that the Imitation was not inspired, and that, say, Leviticus. was? We could not, ourselves, judge.
Revelation Revelation was something told us by God from outside, It was not necessary to Inspiration.
Infallibility of Church (which was threefold) meant that there could not be a for mal error in what it said or taught. In that sense there could be no formal error in inspired books, since God was their author.