Monsignor Harry J. Byrne, JCD * * * Comment/

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Location: 3103 Arlington Avenue,, Bronx, NY 10463, United States

March 28, 2007


In his recent "Latinos and the New Immigrant Church", David Badillo reflects on differences between Northern European and Mediterranean Catholicisms: the former heavily influenced by post-Tridentine doctrinal concerns; the latter by emphasis on symbolism, ritual, celebration, and Christian exuberance. But, less concerned with orthodoxy, European missionaries evangelized through non-verbal activities, such as processions, statues, music, and drama.

These differences might call our attention to our own personal and congregational devotions, reflecting on how our religious posture reflects a dominance of one or the other influences or, better, a happy synthesis of both. Our charismatics and cursillistos would be at one end of the spectrum, our doctrinal fundamentalists at the other end. In between, there are assorted blends of the many ingredients. The Church is a big tent.

How does the Vatican strike a balance? Or does it? The Pope has a mandate to protect the deposit of faith. But how does it come off on the exuberance scale? Last March, Rome censured Jon Sobrino, SJ for "an erroneous conception... of the incarnation" by his statement that "the limited human is predicated of God but the unlimited divine is not predicated of Jesus". Hmm!Surely the lengthy document of censure accurately defines the incarnation and clarifies what Sobrino attempts.

But is there a need, too, for added emphasis on celebrating Jesus as a person with whom we
make our way? Theology may demand a microscopic study of His person and His two natures.
But a prayer and a candle before the tabernacle, a procession with torches in an Andean village, our own Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday liturgies stir the soul far more than an intellectual blackboard. "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad therein."


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April 10, 2010 at 6:36 AM  

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