From Our Own Correspondent Rot.
" Blessings are used on many occasions, among them being that on which the victim is blessed before the holocaust! "—said the Pope to some two hundred students of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, assembled recently in the Papal Palace at Castel Gandolfo.
The occasion was the public examination of a young Salesian priest from North Italy for a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture.
This Doctorate is the most difficult degree of ecclesiastical studies. It is so rare, that in the whole of the British Empire there is only one priest, so far as your Correspondent knows, who possesses it. He is Fr. Hugh Pope, O.P.
The Pope, as Prefect of the Congregation of Seminaries and Universities, presided at the examination, and blessed the candidate before it commenced.
After the two-hour ordeal was over, the Pope himself spoke for an hour. Important points from his talk were:
1. There is a special need of intensive investigation of the critical study of the text of Holy Writ.
In Every Diocese
2. The ideal was that there should be a Doctor in Sacred Scripture in every diocese.
3. The study of the Bible was an epostolate, indeed the culminating point of all apostolates. .. the Bible was given to mankind to be read, and the Pontifical Biblical Institute which was the centre of Biblical studies was of the greatest importance.
It was evident that the Pope enjoyed taking His place as Chancellor, and re entering the world of studies. He said afterwards: " We have always loved studies and science, and we have always thanked God for that love, but what can We be said to have done in comparison with what remains to be studied."