15 February 2020


I can see why the idea of 'inculturated'Amazonian liturgy might terrify some traditionally minded Catholics. It could be the occasion of multiple heteropraxies and even heterodoxies. It could cause division, which might be prolonged. After all, this is what happened during the "Chinese Rites" controversy. And it would be easy to suspect that Amazonian communities lack even the sophistication of Mandarin communities.

But ...

We need to be careful. If we are negative, we will be in the position of telling these worthy people that they must stick, basically, with the Novus Ordo. And this is not a prospect which I myself would consider edifying.

When a community with Zwinglian/Calvinist origins entered into communion with See of S Peter in 2011, calling themselves 'Ordinariates', the Liturgy they secured consisted of something well on the way back from S Paul VI in the direction of S Pius V. In principle, I can see no reason why an 'inculturated' Amazonian Liturgy could not be produced with and for the Amazon which would be more within Tradition than the Bugnini Rite is.

What alternatives are there? Dumping onto the Amazonians the gloomy cheerless Novus Ordo as performed in so many European parishes, depressed and depressing, attended by the sad and elderly?

Even if some misjudgements were made, I would prefer to think of the Amazonians offering the August Sacrifice with a sense of joy and wonder and reverence. Would it matter if they did one or two odd or unusual things?

It might help to stop them traipsing off after the superstitions of the Pentecostalists.

But I think an important thing would be to prevent the process from falling into the hands of those determined to promote a Christianity which is not Christian.


Anita Moore said...

What I fear about “inculturation” is the sort of “inculturation” you warned against in my favorite post of yours, about the grain, the wine and the oil. Could you re-run that?

Phil B said...

I agree with your general principal, but don't you think the way the notion of inculturation is actually used in the final document of the Amazonian Synod, not to mention the whole pachamama affair, raises serious concerns about how any future effort of inculturation led by current Church leaders would proceed?

Todd said...

Wise. Agree on all points. In fact, I trust the Amazonians more than their self-appointed "handlers".