|The Diary Of John|
|What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy? - Gandhi|
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Finally something good for Brasil..
Church faces shaky future in Latin America
Pope Benedict on Wednesday starts his first trip to Latin America, where a Church that is home to nearly half of the world's Catholics faces an uncertain future and falling numbers.
The May 9-14 trip to Brazil, the most populous Catholic country, will also be a personal challenge to the Pope, who is still associated with crackdowns on Liberation Theology in the 1980s when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
The trip's main purpose is to make a keynote address in the city of Aparecida to open a major conference of Latin American bishops, who will discuss strategy for the Church.
As the Latin American Church looks at its future, one main question will be why it is losing tens of millions of members to protestant sects such as Evangelicals and Pentecostalists.
"The sects continue to spread in Latin America," said Professor Guzman Carriquiry, undersecretary at the Pontifical Council for Lay People and one of the few non-clerics in the Vatican to hold a senior position.
"We have already lost 30-40 million members to them. We have to ask ourselves questions about how we are announcing the gospel, how we are teaching, why are people looking for something different?" he told Reuters in an interview.
A study in the 1990s showed that as many as 8,000 Roman Catholics were leaving the Church in Latin America every day to join sects they see as more charismatic and which give them more personal attention than the highly structured Catholic Church.
"This erosion calls for a radical re-thinking of how the faith is being transmitted and received today in Latin America," said Carriquiry, who is Uruguayan.
"If we lose the Catholic tradition in Latin America, our people will lose, and all of Catholicism will lose out. The very future is at stake," he said.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Church realised "it should also have the capacity of self-criticism" and the Pope will likely discuss the defections in speeches.
Benedict is best known in Latin America for what he did as Cardinal Ratzinger, when, as head of the Vatican's doctrinal body, he disciplined a string of Latin America's Liberation Theologians.
The late Pope John Paul was convinced that, in their defence of social justice, Liberation Theologians were inspired by Marxist political analysis. He and other critics accused them of promoting a violent class struggle.
Although many in the Vatican think Liberation Theology is yesterday's problem and say the Pope will not likely dwell on the issue, it still divides the Church in Latin America and many there still see the interventions of the 1980s as open wounds.
Other issues will likely to be the Church's role in helping the poor, the crippling shortage of priests, and how it will deal with growing secularisation in a globalised world.
The Pope will also visit Sao Paolo, South America's largest city, canonise Brazil's first native-born saint, and visit a drug rehabilitation centre.
Vatican officials expect inevitable comparisons with the late Pope John Paul, who visited Latin America 18 times during his papacy of nearly 27 years and had an easy relationship with the more expressive outward culture of its people.
"In Latin America there is a devotion to the Pope as head of the Church, regardless of who he is," said Carriquiry. "There will be a great and festive welcome. We'll see how he reacts."
Finally the grasp of the Catholic church is loosening in Brasil, Here in Brasil they constantly interfere in everything that people or government try to do. anything from free condoms for people to cut down on aids and unwanted pregnancies, to trying to influence government policies. any time there is any kind of decisions to be made about the running or future of Brasil, you see these dress wearing child molesters swarming all over it, trying to stamp their control and outdated ideas on it, or sometimes to kill it all together. To be honest I was hoping that someone would take up a gun and do the world a BIG favor by dropping a bullet right between the Popes eyes, but seeing as 8,000 people a day are finally opening their eyes and seeing the damage that the churches do to their lives, encouraging dirt poor people to have lots of children they can't afford, causing them to be at risk from deadly deceases, givng out the worst advice ever, taking 10% of dirt poor peoples cash to fill their coffers and see this money used by rich, mainly white priests to buy things like new cars and big posh houses, I guess theres no real urgent need. Brasil needs to become secular and stay this way. Yeah, I'm sure people say Brasil is secular but not really, you can see the evil touch of the Churches fingers in everything then can get into. I see quite a few of my students now changing religion ot simply stopping being religious as they read for themselves in the newspapers and online websites the real truth behind the lies they were born into and raised with, some of them told me they were happy not to have to worry about being religious anymore. When I get asked about these things, it would probably be easy for me to just tell them things but usually I tell them to read the information thats out there and make up their own minds :-) After all, freedom to decide is probably the only real freedom many people have. I'll be watching this more closely to see what happens, and if you're religious, you should pray for more people to see the real truth, as for me, I'll just watch as Brasil finally throws off a different shackle of it's slavery, religious slavery, that is..
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