Readers Speak Out: September 12, 2021

  • September 11, 2021

Universal approach

Re: A discouraging message on Latin Mass (Charles Lewis, Aug. 1):

Reading Charles Lewis’ vitriolic article excoriating Pope Francis for his support of the regular rather than the extraordinary liturgical form of Mass was shocking because it displays a total disregard for the universality of the Church and our participation in the mystical Body of Christ.

Mr. Lewis has asserted that Pope Francis is hollowing out the Church by his refusal to sanction the Tridentine Mass. Really? Does our faith depend on church liturgy?

The real problem is that the centricity of our faith since the origin of the Roman Empire is in the hands of a coterie of European nations who have never displayed a smidgen of concern for the extensive and indiscriminate transfer of the liturgy of the Mass from the west to what was then referred to as missionary countries without regard to the culture or language.

As an immigrant from southeast Asia I remember thousands attending Latin Masses where worshippers did not understood a word that was being said — it was pure theatre but it was their faith that brought these villagers, and their faith that kept them there. It was only Vatican II that ended this surreal European domination and made the Catholic Church and its services more relevant, inclusive and universal as they should be — the basic objective of Francis’ papacy.

J.E. Sequeira,

Pointe Claire, Que.


Sinful evangelizing

Re: Church’s job remains sharing good news (Fr. Raymond de Souza, Aug. 29):

Fr. de Souza worries about limits to evangelization resulting from the western construct of what we’ll term  “noble savage,” an image going back at least to Rousseau.

His egalitarian philosophy shaped the Romantic appreciation of Indigenous peoples’ natural way of life. The Romantics use of the term “savage,” coming from the Latin salvaticus, meaning “of the woods,” was originally intended to affirm rather than deride what they admired as a balanced way of being in the world.

What we currently require is a collaborative political theology of “de-colonization” — a theological approach which joins with Indigenous peoples in evaluating the degree to which Christian forms of evangelization invite Indigenous peoples to participate in a loving relationship with our creator. A theology which recognizes the “natural” coherence of Indigenous spirituality with images of God. That reflects and learns from their stewardship of creation. A theology of de-colonization that understands that some forms of evangelization were sinful …. and calls upon the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to recognize this, and offer a formal apology to that end.

Joseph A. Fardella,

Kingston, Ont.


Start again

In his Aug. 29 article, Fr. de Souza shows that the obligation to evangelize (Mt. 28:19) is not cancelled by historical examples of bad methods.

Christ Himself was uncompromising in the content of His teaching and yet gentle, even-handed and benevolent in His personality. This is a tough act to follow. When we get it wrong, we start again.

Lise Anglin,

Toronto

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