Zenit has the draft of the final message of the African synod up. I scanned through it, but nothing on liturgy. I was following the news releases from the synod, and I have to say, I was surprised at the amount coming from the African bishops on moral pollution from the West. I’m not saying that corporations don’t export sex to sell in the Third World. Or that there are immoral aspects of Western Culture best avoided not only in Africa, but on other continents as well.
Africans would seem to have their own problems endemic to their own cultures where sexual morality is concerned. Polygamy is practiced by at least two African presidents. The Vatican has clamped down here and there on bishops perceived to have lax attitudes toward the sexual (mis)behavior of clergy. In the last decade, there were serious allegations of priests raping women religious.
My readers know I’m a doubter when it comes to moral exceptionalism, in the sense that one can identify any ideology (perhaps especially conservatism) as more moral or any broad culture (perhaps the corporate West) as more immoral that others. Far more spiritually healthy is the self-examination, comparing one’s own problems and challenges to the ideal to which God calls us. To their credit, the African bishops did identify African problems openly and concede much work is ahead on their continent. John Allen had a summary in his column last week which addresses the question of why the African Synod may be significant for Catholics on other continents, especially the US.