Rorate Caeli

Aparecida Notes: A final note



The Holy See made public today the letter by which the Holy Father authorized the publication of the final document of the Aparecida Conference (the "Fifth General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Bishops", opened by Pope Benedict on May 13, 2007).

Let us recall the extremely troubling paragraph 109, which, in the final draft sent by the Bishops to Rome, was:

109. We regret a certain clericalism, certain intents to return to an ecclesiology and a spirituality prior to the Second Vatican Council, certain reductionist readings and applications of the Conciliar renewal, the absence of a sense of self-criticism, of an authentic obedience and of the evangelical exercise of authority, the moralisms which weaken the centrality of Jesus Christ, the infidelities to the doctrine, to morals and to communion, our feeble experiences of the preferential option for the poor, not a few secularizing falls in consecrated life, the discrimination of women and their frequent absence from pastoral organizations. As the Holy Father spoke in the Inaugural Speech of our Conference, "one can detect a certain weakening of Christian life in society overall and of participation in the life of the Catholic Church".

This paragraph, which has now become paragraph 100 b (Final Document in Spanish: PDF), was changed to this:

100. b) We regret both the intents to return to a kind of ecclesiology opposite to the renewal of the Second Vatican Council41, and some reduccionist readings and applications of the Conciliar renewal; we regret the absence of an authentic obedience and of an evangelical exercise of authority, the infidelities to the doctrine, to morals and to communion, our feeble experiences of the preferential option for the poor, not a few secularizing falls in consecrated life, influenced by a merely sociological, and not evangelical, anthropology. As the Holy Father spoke in the Inaugural Speech of our Conference, "one can detect a certain weakening of Christian life in society overall and of participation in the life of the Catholic Church".

The changes made by the Holy See to this previously disturbing paragraph were these:

  1. The regret for "a certain clericalism" was removed.
  2. The criticism of "intents to return to an ecclesiology and a spirituality prior [anteriores] to the Second Vatican Council" was substituted with a criticism of "intents to return to a kind of ecclesiology opposite to the renewal of the Second Vatican Council"; adding to the irony of this substitution, note 41 was added: "Benedict XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, December 22, 2005". Yes... the Latin American Bishops' criticism of pre-Conciliar "spirituality and ecclesiology" was turned against them with the help of Benedict's epoch-making speech... and became a criticism of the Bishops' own hermeneutics of rupture and discontinuity.
  3. Also removed were criticisms to "the absence of a sense of self-criticism", "the moralisms which weaken the centrality of Jesus Christ" and to "the discrimination of women and their frequent absence from pastoral organizations".
  4. This other great gem was added to the "regret" for the secularization of consecrated life: "influenced by a merely sociological, and not evangelical, anthropology". Could a more scathing rebuke of the orders and societies which have been undermining the mission of the Church in Latin America be found?

In these Petrine changes, it is possible to sense the same reprimand which the Holy Father addressed to the Bishops of Brazil in the most relevant address of his journey to Latin America (and one of the most remarkable texts of his entire pontificate) - a papal reprimand which has gone unheeded, as the silent reception of Summorum Pontificum by almost all Latin American Bishops and Episcopal Conferences has made clear once again.

Thank you, Holy Father.
_____________
Tip: Creer en México (sidebar), for readily finding the altered paragraph.

In the second picture, the new president and vice-presidents of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), elected this week in Havana, Cuba.

To read all our coverage of the Aparecida Conference, just click on the "Aparecida Notes" label below.

7 comments:

Berolinensis said...

Thank you very much, New Catholic, for posting this. When I saw the Papal approval in the Bollettino today, I knew that H.H. wouldn't have appoved the document talis qualis, but I didn't know where to look for the changes. How very deftly done by our beloved Holy Father.

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

Is the movement of Monsignor Marino into E Dei significant viz. Latin America?

This from a 30 days article in September 2003 talking about Monsignor Mario Marini.

"A “new evangelization”, of which Latin America has great need at the dawn of the third millenium, and which will certainly not be resolved by human projects and strategies." Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga.

Whether his eminence was part of the problem I do not know. I was interested in Mons. Marini's apparent knowledge and expertise.

thetimman said...

New Catholic,

First, thank you again for everything you do to keep track of vital news and provide wonderful perspective. It has been personally helpful to me in the last two years. Thank you.

Second, I have been feeling like I am living some great dream-- this Pope is such a blessing, and things are on the mend. Much is left to do, of course, but man, could you have believed this, say, ten years ago?

God bless and protect the Holy Father, and may He send us holy priests, bishops, religious and faithful.

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New Catholic,

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