Friday, March 10, 2006

Is there a Catholic equivalent of Joseph Conrad?

The Conrad question has nothing to do with this really, it just sprang to mind when I read that the letter in question was addressed to the Bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, located in a historical hotbed of Zapatista activity.

Vatican City, Mar. 09, 2006 (CNA) - Through a letter sent to the Bishop of San Cristóbal de las Casas (México), Bishop. Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, the Holy See decided to put an end to the so-called “Indigenous Church,” influent especially in southern parts of Mexico and throughout Latin America.

The letter is signed by Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Cult and the Discipline of Sacraments. He deplores the influence of the ideology of the "autoctonous church,” inherited by Bishop Arizmendi from his predecesor Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia and remarks that the new policy should supress the overreliance on the ordination of permanent deacons in this diocese.

Bishop Ruiz prevented many different movements and religious orders to be active in the diocese, and seriously discouraged religious vocations to celibate priesthood and above all, he promoted the massive ordination of permanent deacons, valuing that in little time the Church would end up accepting the practice of married priests, which according to him was better adapted to the vision of an "indigenous" or “autochthonous church.”

Read the complete article Holy See reminds its opposition to an “indigenous church” and to married priesthood in Latin America..

Having read about Bishop Ruiz before, it's good to see that good Cardinal Arinze is moving to suppress this kind of activity. One has to admit though that the bishop's efforts were rather clever. Ordaining a lot of permanent deacons (presumably married before their ordination) would be an excellent way of slowly indoctrinating the masses in the idea of a married clergy.

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