Aparecida 57 – Clash of Cultures

In paragraph 57, the bishops at Aparecida suggest that the cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean offer antidotes to the “globalized” culture with its emphasis in individualism and consumerism.

These cultures coexist under unequal conditions alongside the so-called globalized culture. They demand recognition and offer values that constitute a response to the negative values of the culture that is imposed through the mass media: community-orientation, appreciation for the family, openness to transcendence and solidarity. These cultures are dynamic and are in ongoing interaction with each other and with the various cultural offerings.

The varied cultures of Latin America are oriented toward community, though I see everyday the growing influence of North American individualism. There is an appreciation for the family which, however, is often more in words than in everyday reality. A few years ago the diocese where I work, Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, identified family disintegration as a major challenge to evangelization. The openness to transcendence is clear, even if it is at times expressed in ways that sometimes appear more magical and superstitious. Solidarity is a part of the culture which has been handed down, but is not always seen in practice.

Here is the USCCB translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

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About John Donaghy

lay missioner with the Catholic diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, since June 2007, helping in the parish of Dulce Nombre de María.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization, Guest Writers, John Donaghy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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