Category Archives: Guest Writers

Aparecida 51: Consumerism and Youth

According to UNICEF, 20% of the population in Latin America are between 15 and 24 years old, the highest proportion in the region’s history. Concern for youth is not new for the Latin American bishops. Their ground-breaking Medellin conference in … Continue reading

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Aparecida 50: The Market and Unleashing of Desires

In the past few months the world has heard much from Pope Francis on the greed of the market. We should not be surprised that his statements reflect what was written in the Aparecida document, since he was involved in … Continue reading

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Aparecida 48-49: Women

Throughout the Aparecida document the bishops will turn to questions related to women. Paragraphs 48 and 49 treat women with two different approaches. First of all, the bishops are aware of the precarious situation of women in Latin America, as … Continue reading

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Aparecida 47: Human Rights

Catholic teaching on human rights is very different from the common understanding of human rights in the United States, where rights are often seen in terms of only civil and political rights which are concentrated on giving freedom to the … Continue reading

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Aparecida 46: The New Colonization: Individualism

Imposition of alien artificial cultures is an ongoing theme: On a mass level, one may note a kind of new cultural colonization by the imposition of artificial cultures, spurning local cultures and tending to impose a uniform culture in all … Continue reading

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Finding the Trinity at Playland

When I was a little girl, my father, loved to take us to a local amusement park, Playland. This old fashioned park was shown to the world in the Tom Hanks movie, Big. I can easily recall the excitement of … Continue reading

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Aparecida 45: The Market and Science

Throughout the Aparecida document there is a continuing strong indictment of the role of the market, profitability, and functionality in determining the worth of persons and things. These are themes that we have heard recently from Pope Francis. Yet, the … Continue reading

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Aparecida 44: The Secularization of Culture

The secularization of culture has come late to Latin America. Though most of the governments claim to be secular (laico), this designation comes from nineteenth century liberalism. (Note “liberal” in this sense means “freedom from”; US liberals and conservatives are … Continue reading

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Aparecida 43: Cultural diversity, without synthesis

With paragraph 43, the bishops begin their analysis of the socio-cultural situation, specifically discussing globalization’s effect on culture. This analysis continues to paragraph 51. Accordingly, social reality, which in its contemporary thrust we describe with the word “globalization,” impacts more … Continue reading

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Aparecida 41-42: Christ and Meaning

In face of the challenges to meaning the bishops offer Christ and discipleship as the key to responding. They see Christ as the key to providing a center for a culture that they see as disintegrating. Discipleship is again connected … Continue reading

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Aparecida 40: The Ideology of Gender Reconsidered

Since I wrote earlier on paragraph 40 of the Aparecida document on the ideology of gender, I came across an essay of  Carlos Ayala Ramírez, a theologian and the director of YSUCA, the radio station of the Central American University … Continue reading

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Aparecida 40: The Challenge of Gender Ideology

The bishops continue listing the challenges to evangelization. Paragraph 40, written in 2007, seems to me to reflect the concerns of bishops in North America and Europe, more than the concerns of the faithful in Latin America. I have found … Continue reading

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Aparecida 38-39: Cultural Challenges

In paragraph 38, the bishops lay part of the blame for the erosion of the tradition of popular at the feet of mass media. Mass media offers fantasy-filled images – but they lack a unifying meaning. They merely offer more … Continue reading

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Aparecida 35-37: Challenges of Meaning and Technology

The analysis of the reality of Latin America and the Caribbean begins in paragraph 35 with a theological discussion about reductionist approaches to reality that leave out God. For the bishops, globalization and technology have implications in “the life of … Continue reading

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Aparecida 33-35: The Challenge of Globalization:

The process of discerning the signs of the times begins in paragraph 33 and continues to the end of this section, paragraph 97. In paragraph 33, the bishops specifically note that their work of the meeting is a response to … Continue reading

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