Monday, October 16, 2006

Milingo's appeal back home

Spero has a nice translation of an African journalist's thoughts on the whole Milingo affair and what Africans back home think about the Archbishop's fling with his wild side.

Is it foreseeable that many of Milingo’s followers in Africa will join “Married Priests Now!” (the archbishop’s newly-minted sect) and Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s family federation. Not likely.

It is true that Milingo impressed many people, in Africa and elsewhere, with his alleged supernatural gifts. However, for the people here, religion and the sacred is much more than that: if not, it would be little more than the services rendered by a witch doctor or faith healer – those who only the very poor and uneducated take seriously today. In matters of religion, people want to trust: a Church that they can trust, with ministers they can trust.

The experience with Milingo shows that people will not follow false prophets, at least not for very long. Also, priests are like the village elders, men who are chosen for upright conduct and clear minds; they are expected to be good examples of both.

That kind of cultural respect for the office of priest/bishop is a very positive sign. That view of the office as being sacred and a position of respect is something the West has definitely lost in a lot of ways. Martyn Drakard the journalist's thoughts are quite heartening when it comes to a continent that is known for its faith supposedly being ten miles wide and only an inch deep.

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