Thursday, January 11, 2007

Into the jungle; Or: The boat trip up the river

Actually, I have no idea where Aparecida is in Brazil. I only know that it is somewhat isolated and in the interior aways. I keep having visions of this being a 'Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now' sort of journey...

National Catholic Register: Brazil Bound

Of the events planned, the Pope’s visit to Brazil is among the most anticipated. The main purpose of the visit is to open the fifth general conference of the Latin American bishops’ conference (CELAM) at the Marian shrine in Aparecida.

By coming to Brazil, the Holy Father will be visiting the country with the largest Catholic population in the world, but also a nation that is experiencing growing secularization. And like other Latin American countries, the number of Catholics has also been diminishing because of conversions to the evangelical and Pentecostal sects of Protestantism.

Brazil was also the focus for the liberation theology movement in the 1970s, a doctrinal error that Benedict rejected in the 1980s in his capacity as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Some analysts predict this year’s visit will give him an opportunity to provide a more authentic understanding of the Church’s preferential option for the poor, just as his recent visit to Turkey highlighted the Church’s desire for an intercultural dialogue with Muslims based on truth and charity.

The rest of the article describes documents that are coming out sometime this year (post-synod exhortation, the infamous motu proprio, etc.). There is also a brief list of trips scheduled, including another one to Germany.

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