A liturgical note from the just-completed African Synod. CNS reports today on a comment from Bishop Michael Mabuga Msonganzila:
Despite campaigns that have been carried out, (female genital mutilation) for so long has been taken to be part of the initiation process to maturity and to a new state of womanhood.
Bishop Msonganzila affirms that African cultures have explained the role of the adult woman in the family, clan, and society through these traditions, but he questions:
However, should that process be done through the butchering of the most sensitive part of one’s body?
Some sort of adult initiation ritual is needed, he proposes. What sort of ritual do you suppose would work in African cultures? It’s also an apt question for the West. Confirmation doesn’t really fulfill the role of a transition, unless it were to be a transition from inside the Church to out of it.