The Catholic Church teaches that
the first principle of
hermeneutics is the literal
meaning of the text.
(Benedict XV, September 15, 1920)
As Jerome insisted, all biblical interpretation rests
upon the literal sense ...
(Pius XII, September 30, 1943)
... discern and define that
sense of the biblical words which
is called literal ... so that
the mind of the author may be
made clear.... the exegete must
be principally concerned
with the literal sense of the Scriptures.