Saturday, October 29, 2016
INCULTURATION--BAPTIZING NON CATHOLIC, NON CHRISTIAN, NON BELIEIVING PRACTICES AND GIVING THEM A CATHOLIC MEANING: HOW BAD CAN THAT BE?
For example, Halloween (All Hallows' Eve) is decried as the pagan Druids festival that the Catholic Church perpetuates to this day. The date of Christmas originates from pagan celebrations in the pre-Christian Roman Empire as does the date of Easter.
In all of this our Fundamentalist detractors are correct! The Catholic Church, where possible, has been willing to bring into the liturgical, spiritual and pious life the the Church pagan practices, not as such, but by transforming them, baptizing them and giving them a Catholic meaning that resonates with the culture in which they developed.
But this inculturation can go bad. Think of Santeria.
(Wikipedia)Santería is a system of beliefs that merges aspects of Yoruba mythology that were brought to the New World by enslaved Yoruba people, along with Christianity and Indigenous American traditions. The Yoruba people carried with them various religious customs, including a trance and divination system for communicating with their ancestors and deities, animal sacrifice, and sacred drumming and dance. The need to preserve their traditions and belief systems in a hostile cultural environment prompted those enslaved in Cuba, starting from as early as 1515, to merge their customs with aspects of Roman Catholicism.
This religious tradition evolved into what is now recognized as Santería. Voodoo is closely related to it and incorporates Catholic pious images and many Catholics practice it.
The greatest liturgical battle today and in the future now, with the purge of the Congregation of Worship (except, oddly enough for its Prefect) is going to be inculturation in the Catholic Mass. John Allen of Crux highlights what could be as the 1970's reappear in Rome under the current pontiff.
Going backwards to a dark part of our post Vatican II history seems ill advised to me because it caused such strife in the Church and pushed so many people out of the Church to the point today that in some places only 12 % of Catholics actually attend Mass because they see nothing worth attending.
The Liturgy celebrated poorly ( and I am not calling for an exclusive return to the EF Mass) is what has in part caused this loss of faith and move toward nothingness. I am speaking of the manner in which the Ordinary Form is celebrated in 90% or so, give or take, of parishes worldwide. It is a fiasco. However, it has more to do with corrupting the 1970 Missal and its new edition rather than the missal itself being corrupt although it could use some more tweaking to improve it.
But with that said, here is John Allen's take on a pariah of the 1970's mentality coming back like Jason of Friday the 13th when you last expect it: THE OTHER MARINI!
I’d like to suggest a new parlor game to amuse all those who enjoy reading Vatican tea leaves: Debating the greatest ecclesiastical “resurrections” under Pope Francis, i.e., figures in the Church whose careers appeared to be effectively over before March 13, 2013, and who are now back in the limelight.
The thought occurs in light of the Vatican’s announcement on Friday of new members appointed by Francis for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the top office for liturgical policy, including Italian Archbishop Piero Marini.
For anyone around during the John Paul II years, Marini is a very familiar figure, having served as the Polish pope’s Master of Liturgical Ceremonies for twenty years from 1987 to 2007.
That time overlapped with the run of Chilean Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship from 1996 to 2002, and the tensions between the two men were the stuff of Vatican legend.
While Medina was a stickler for tradition, Marini is an innovator fired by a progressive reading of the Second Vatican Council. Legendarily, he would approve flourishes during the pope’s own Masses that would never have passed muster on Medina’s watch in a local parish.
To this day, I recall being in Mexico City with John Paul II in 2002 for the canonization Mass of Juan Diego, and watching a female Mexican shaman perform a dancing purification ritual on the pontiff with a bit of shrubbery during the Mass - in effect, the witch doctor exorcised John Paul. (Marini later explained that the ritual is part of traditional Mexican religiosity, arguing there’s a time-honored thrust in Christianity to “baptize” such expressions of popular faith.)
I couldn’t help calling a guy I knew in Medina’s office, whose thundering verdict on the whole thing as he watched it unfold with mounting horror on TV was, “Marini must go!”
By 2007, it appeared just that had happened.
There was a new pope, Benedict XVI, who brought a lifetime of reflection on the liturgy to the papacy, and who was obviously moving in a different direction. Marini was appointed to run the Vatican’s office for international Eucharistic congresses, and was seen as having no real authority anymore.