Catholicism Seen as Key to Latin American Unity
Vatican Aide Says Challenge Is Preserving Tradition
ROME, MAY 4, 2007 (Zenit) - The challenge for Latin America is preserving a "great Catholic tradition," for which the upcoming episcopal conference in Brazil will be a key event, says a Vatican official.
Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour, undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, spoke with the Italian magazine Il Consulente Re about the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, to be held in Brazil this month.
Benedict XVI will inaugurate the conference in Aparecida on May 13.
The Pope has asked Carriquiry to attend the conference as an expert.
In the interview, the 63-year-old Uruguayan professor spoke about modern attempts to revitalize practices from pre-Columbian civilizations.
"The great symbols of Latin American unity are not indigenous ones because, before the arrival of the Spaniards and Portuguese, the continent was totally fragmented -- a Babel -- without the slightest awareness of itself," he said.
"The true symbols of unity are Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Christ of the Andes, the Church as the sacrament of unity among our peoples in Catholicism," he added. "The Gospel incarnated in the peoples is the deepest element of the historical-cultural originality that we call Latin America."
Carriquiry spoke of the changes facing indigenous peoples, many of whom migrate to large Latin American cities to escape poverty. He calls them "sectors which, for far too long, have been humiliated, exploited and marginalized."
"Indigenous people demand respect, dignity and access to all the benefits of education, work, cultural progress, genuine human promotion, solidarity and justice toward the most needy -- to be truly integrated within the national societies and to take part as fully entitled citizens in the building of nations," the Vatican aide pointed out.
"However," he added, "another matter altogether is trying to rekindle sorcerers, shamans, ancient indigenous cosmogonies -- the attempt of an arbitrary archaism, stemming more from ideological manipulation than from a true answer to the needs and demands of indigenous communities."
With Peter's successor
For the first time, representatives from the United States, Canada, Spain and Portugal will vote at the bishops' general conference, a change that Carriquiry called "a very favorable gesture."
"Aparecida will be a Catholic event," he said. "Indeed, the Catholic imprint is to be found particularly in the fact that the Pope himself has summoned the conference, chosen the theme and wished to personally inaugurate the symposium in Aparecida, which is to be [...] marked by a collegial impulse, in communion with Peter's successor.
"The crucial point for the bishops of Latin America is to safeguard and replicate the great Catholic tradition of our peoples.
"This tradition, Latin America's most valuable gift, the most significant wealth of its peoples, is besieged and sometimes eroded by dominating cultural factors, which are widespread by international communication powers, increasingly hostile to Catholicism."
Carriquiry said that he considers the "main challenge" not to be the growing influence of Protestantism in the subcontinent.
Rather, "it is fundamental to return to the sources of our faith, to carry out the 'getting to the essential' about which Cardinal Ratzinger wrote, in order to avoid getting caught up in secondary issues," the Vatican aide said.
He added: "In this sense, the first thing to do is to look within ourselves, at home, to see whether and in what way the event of Christ's presence is a surprising and decisive fact in the lives of people, families, communities and nations."
Culture of death
The undersecretary of the Vatican dicastery mentioned hunger, disease, misery, drug trafficking and "the unconstrained political violence of guerrilla and even of terrorist activity" as "signs of death" in Latin America.
He added: "The continent grows economically, perhaps in a 'showy' way, but the struggle against poverty and the scandal of enormous inequalities are not faced appropriately.
"In large cities, insecurity and delinquency are an everyday matter. A 'global culture' is being extended and strong pressures are exerted toward overlooking and trivializing even the abominable crimes of mass abortion, the proposal of euthanasia and genetic manipulation.
"Thank God, our democracies are holding out; but more and more autocratic deviations are arising, with the risk of gradually smothering those democratic liberties that were reconquered during the 1980s at the cost of so much suffering and sacrifice, even of human lives."
Among the issues to be dealt with in Aparecida, the undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity points out that "one idea launched by the [bishops] is that of a great 'post-Aparecida' continental evangelizing mission."
"For the moment," he said," the plan is not fully defined. It is important that the conference should truly reach the hearts of Latin Americans, and give rise to a tremendous spiritual and missionary drive."
The 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean will gather some 300 participants, including delegate bishops and special envoys. The conclusions of the conference will serve to orient the Church's pastoral action in the region for the coming years.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Catholicism, Latin American, Unity, Tradition, Brazil, Catholic, Culture, Religion
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Saturday, November 18, 2017
- Daily Reading for Monday, November 20th, 2017 HD Video
- Pope Francis calls for end of life care to acknowledge mortality
- The FBI may investigate Planned Parenthood
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 HD Video
- St. Rose Philippine Duchesne: Saint of the Day for Saturday, November ...
- Has Pope Francis violated the 8th Commandment, speaking out against ...
- The Catholic Miracle. Become part of our incredible mission HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, November 19th, 2017 HD
- Did Pope Francis blast 'perverse attitude' of climate change deniers? HD
- Scientists warn: The end of life as we know it is near HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way