VATICAN CITY, OCT. 15, 2009 (Zenit.org).-
Africa's Catholic leaders are facing the challenge of inculturation by discerning which cultural values are compatible with Christianity, said the president of the Kenyan bishops' conference. Cardinal John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi, stated this Wednesday in a press conference at the conclusion of the first phase of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.
He affirmed, "We come from far away, we are far away and we are going far: this is the situation of the Church in Africa."
"If we want to be Christians, we cannot choose the values we wish to follow," the prelate stated, and thus we must discern which African values are "compatible with Christianity."
The cardinal discussed the relation between inculturation of the faith and traditional religion.The "relatio post disceptationem" [report after the debate] noted that "fear and uncertainty characterizes the life of faith in many African populations."
This fear and uncertainty cause mistrust, self-defense and aggressiveness as well as recourse to magic and occultism, or an attempt at syncretism between Christianity and traditional religion.
Bishop Manuel António Mendes dos Santos of São Tomé and Príncipe addressed the topic of the persistence of esoteric practices.
He explained: "The relation with mystery is part of African culture. From this perspective, atheism, for example, is not comprehensible for an African."
So why not entrust them to a Uniate Church?