donate

Earthblog

A Real-World Joomla! Template

 
Report from CELAM PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Friday, 01 June 2007 10:06
John Allen, the Vatican reporter for the National Catholic Reporter, has an interesting summary of the results of the Latin American and Caribbean bishops' meeting in Aparecida, Brazil that just ended.

One of the major concerns had to do with the state of evangelization and catechesis among the largest Catholic population in the world.

"Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil, the Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy in Rome, put the reality bluntly: "The majority of Catholics on this continent no longer participate, or never have participated, in the life of our ecclesial communities," he said. "We baptized them, but for many reasons, we never really evangelized them sufficiently."

The fruits of that inattention are obvious. During the 20th century, more Catholics converted to Protestantism in Latin America, especially Pentecostal and Evangelical movements, than in Europe during the 16th century Protestant Reformation. There's also a growing phenomenon of abandonment of religious faith altogether, especially among the poor along the peripheries of Latin America's sprawling mega-cities. In Brazil, to take one example, the percentage of people reporting no religious affiliation went from 0.7 percent in 1980 to 7.3 percent in 2000, more than a ten-fold increase in just 20 years.

In the past, the tendency of some Latin American bishops has been to blame these losses on outside forces -- on deceitful proselytism from the "sects," on financial and logistical support from Protestants in the United States, even on supposed policies of the United States government aimed at undermining the Catholic identity of Latin America as an impediment to the spread of free-market capitalism. In that light, the breakthrough in Aparecida may be the bishops' acknowledgement that the fault lays not in their stars, but in themselves."

The bishops called for a continent-wide re-evangelization that would include door-to-door visits. Because the ratio of priests to lay people is on average 1-7,000, many laity will have to be involved. Of course, the mission of evangelization, the Church's purpose, is always the responsibility of the laity with the guidance and collaboration of the clergy, so this really isn't news.

The difficulty, as always, is the bishops have the right idea, but in the course of their conversations, they are short on exactly how to implement this great mission. It's not even clear if it will be left up to individual bishops or bishops' conferences, or even CELAM, to come up with a specific plan.

"Aside from committing themselves to promoting a "mature laity, co-responsible in the mission of announcing and making visible the Reign of God," the bishops did not offer any clear sense of what this lay empowerment might look like."

The bishops will take up this conundrum again in July, when they meet in Havana, Cuba. It would be wonderful if in the meanwhile the bishops go home to their dioceses and get some of their local clergy, religious and most active and faithful laity together to discuss possible implementation strategies. Surely the laity and local clergy are aware of what techniques the sects use to evangelize nominal or lapsed Catholics. They can also look first in the Scriptures and in the great evangelizing movements within Catholic history to find out how God has worked through His Church in the past. They'd be wise to enlist the help of those involved in the charismatic renewal, and some of the new lay movements. But clearly, the success of the "Great Continental Mission" will require well-formed Catholic laity, and that may take some time.

The bishops also took up a dialogue with liberation theologians, who were among the theological experts present at the meeting.

John Allen writes, "The bishops explicitly affirmed liberation theology's famous option for the poor, but tweaked it to become a "preferential and evangelical option," making clear this is no merely political or social commitment. At a concluding press conference, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras took pains to stress that this option "is not ideologized." Similarly, the bishops said that their final document was structured according to the "see-judge-act" method, but gave it a Trinitarian frame (seeing "with the eyes of faith," judging "according to the Gospel of Jesus," and acting under "the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.") The explicit confirmation of the "see-judge-act" method was considered especially telling, since it had been dropped in the 1992 edition of CELAM in Santo Domingo."

Allen comments, "With regard to liberation theology, the texts from Aparecida often read like compromise documents, with something to please both friends and foes."

I disagree with him here. Rather, it sounds to me like liberation theology is growing closer to its scriptural roots, and closer to the Church's vision of life and mission. It's great that the need for evangelization is linked to the preferential option for the poor. The poor need the basic necessities of life, as is their right. They also need, as do we all, to hear the Gospel. That, too, is our right. Jesus said there's no profit in gaining the world, but losing your soul.

The see-judge-act method was something I became familiar with in South Africa, when I worked there during the summer of 1991. There, it was specifically linked to the Trinity as the bishops just did in Aparecida. I don't think it's anything new, and I hope it wouldn't be considered a compromise. It's the way Christians should all see, judge and act.

And not just in Latin America.
 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Order From Our Store

RSS

Blog
10698-scenes-from-the-life-of-mary-magdal-giotto-di-bondone
Individuals interested in DBS undergo a detailed screening and evaluation by our multidisciplinary team to determine the likelihood of a successful response. Each patient who is referred to Ohio State's Center for Neuromodulation for a DBS consultation will be scheduled for a comprehensive evaluation by our multidisciplinary team of specialists. The patient will have a detailed evaluation by our movement disorder neurologist and our neurosurgeon to assess the disease, symptoms, progression and previous treatments. The patient will have brain imaging performed and will also be evaluated by a neuropsychologist. Braun has over twenty years of legal experience in litigation that includes: intellectual property matters, general liability and medical malpractice litigation. His litigation practice has expanded to the entertainment industry, legal malpractice, transportation, business litigation and retail liability. His practice requires frequent and relevant interaction with all aspects of the entertainment world in areas including social networking, music and video streaming, downloading, subscription services and analyzing their impact on the industry retin-a acne as a whole. Special regulations for photocopies in the USA. Photocopies may be made for personal or in-house use beyond the limitations stipulated under Section 107 or 108 of U. ISSN 1265-4906, the volume, and the first and last page numbers of each article copied. The copyright owner's consent does not include copying for general distribution, promotion, new works, or resale. In these cases, specific written permission must first be obtained from the publisher. The Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) provides a comprehensive, world-wide document delivery service for all Springer journals. When the Canadian government established a series of entomological laboratories during the 1910s, crop protection was a domain where provincial governments were already busy providing technical support to local agricultural associations. The establishment of regional laboratories resulted from the adoption of the Destructive Insect and Pest Act in 1910, legislation that portrayed insect outbreaks as an interprovincial or an international problem under federal jurisdiction. The natural order conceptualized by federal scientists and legalized by the Canadian Parliament initiated a process of centralization. As the knowledge produced by the federal scientists reinforced representation of natural phenomena that legitimated their involvement across the national territory, the federal government concurrently achieved a political order by which it exerted its power over both nature and nation. I dose escalation of busulfan based on targeted plasma levels. Bone Marrow Transplantation 17: 491-495, 1996. Allogeneic marrow transplantation for multiple myeloma: An analysis of risk factors on outcome.. This symptom had suggested using the homeopathic remedy, Phosphorus. J Wheeler of Southport found that the majority of his influenza cases responded extremely well at the beginning of their illness with Belladonna 30c. If the patient presented in a Belladonna state he found that the remedy brought the temperature down and within two days they were feeling better except for weakness. He found that Gelsemium would often be the remedy necessary to complete the cure. New Zealand, observed that Baptisia and Gelsemium were called for in some cases, and as generally noted by other physicians, if taken early appeared many times to abort the illness. The most important of all sequelae was pneumonia. Supply Chain Management Journal of surface science and technology. Journal of http://jerseycanada.com/jerseyatlantic/fnt/ultramer.php surveying engineering. Journal of surveying engineering. Journal of synagogue music. Journal of synagogue music. The fingertips and finger pads best area. This method promotes venous return. In distinguish texture and shape.. Freudianisms acheter levitra generique 10mg paroling fans levitra prezzo in italia levitra prezzo in italia disseminating scallops levitra originale costo levitra orosolubile costo in farmacia Hughes viagra generika günstig online kaufen repeated Creon viagra le generique acheter viagra generique belgique sabotage puzzler cialis generique tadalafil mealy leavings cialis preise apotheke cialis preise apotheke secured suspiciously acheter cialis en pharmacie sans ordonnance function sequentializes
buspar online
viagra 50mg 100mg
viagra 50mg price
viagra 50mg pills
buy cialis 10mg
buy cialis 5mg online