Dei Verbum paragraph 20
So the last short paragraph in this section I really should have included last week but . . . but I didn’t. It simply rounds out the whole section. The whole thing was a lot of writing to say that all of Scripture is important. Supreme are the Gospels, the other New Testament writings are important in that they shore up and amplify the Gospels, and the Old Testament is indispensible as it enlightens us about God’s plan which reaches fulfillment in Christ.
You might think, “Well, duh.” That may be because you are more Catholic than you think. This is not the case for everybody in the world. Have you ever gone to a Protestant service and it is obvious that the Gospel carries no different weight than another New Testament reading? I certainly have. And there are those who discount the Old Testament as . . . well . . . old. And what does one do with house guests and fish when they become old? They throw them out (or ignore them until someone else does.) This is, of course, heresy. (Throwing out the Old Testament, not throwing out fish which is a good thing.)
It is a very large Church. More than half of all Christians on the face of the earth are Catholic. (Hard to believe living the U.S. no?) We live in varying places with varying pressures. It is one thing to be a Catholic in Akron, Oh. It is another think to be a Catholic in China or Bagdad. Think of the difference between going to a truly Catholic college and one that likes to throw around the Catholic name but is normally Catholic at best. The forces of what is floating around in the culture can influence what you believe about – Scripture for example.
Realizing this, the fathers of the council put this (and other) teachings together so there would be no ambiguity. (The only problem being now one has to read them. And they throw in a bunch of flowery and thick clarifying writing, necessary I understand, which makes it time consuming to peruse - my version of all of the documents having over 1,000 pages of tiny writing.) Of course, I do not create such padding of my writing to make it appear that I have something to say.