Saturday, October 10, 2009

Reflections on the Synod on Africa

Currently in Rome, the Synod of Africa is being held. John Allen, of the National Catholic Reporter, has been posting daily stories on the Synod, on NCR’s website. I have been reading those stories with great interest, and encourage others to do so, because they let us know that there is a wider Church beyond our shores.

I think sometimes that American Catholics, be they conservatives or liberals; think the internal life of the Church revolves around the American Church. This Synod reminds us that there are other Catholics out there, with different priorities. John Allen has reported on the Catholic Church in Africa, Asia, and South America. He has described them as part of the “Global South.” While in some countries, especially in Africa, the Catholic communities have a more traditional view on family, sexual ethics; they have much more progressive view on social justice. They are less concerned about internal Church politics, and more concerned about how the Church is helping the poor.

If people are looking to continue the renewal of the Church that began with the Second Vatican Council, they need to be aware that Church is made up with more than Americans. If conservatives wish to preserve traditional liturgy, they need to be aware that there people in Africa who are seeking to inculturate the liturgy, so that it will speak to their peoples’ hearts. We all to need to learn more about each other, and to dialogue with each other; share with each other our dreams, our hopes, and our disappointments. We are all part of the Catholic Church; no individual Church can go it alone. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, let us learn, share, listen and love one another.

1 comment:

  1. That is so very true! Maybe because here in the U.S., with our laptops and I-phones more or less everything happens so quickly, we're constantly being bombarded with old ideas, new ideas, etc., so much so that our lives are going way too fast, we forget at times the finer things in life, like family and Our Lord! I didn't get a chance to see much of the synod or read anything about it, so it's good to be reminded that we here in the U.S. aren't the only faithful in the world. Peace.