Dies Domini 80: Inculturation, A Danger or Opportunity?

What are the threats to Sunday? Pope John Paul II seemed to ponder post-Christian culture.

80. There is a need for special pastoral attention to the many situations where there is a risk that the popular and cultural traditions of a region may intrude upon the celebration of Sundays and other liturgical feast-days, mingling the spirit of genuine Christian faith with elements which are foreign to it and may distort it. In such cases, catechesis and well-chosen pastoral initiatives need to clarify these situations, eliminating all that is incompatible with the Gospel of Christ. At the same time, it should not be forgotten that these traditions — and, by analogy, some recent cultural initiatives in civil society — often embody values which are not difficult to integrate with the demands of faith. It rests with the discernment of Pastors to preserve the genuine values found in the culture of a particular social context and especially in popular piety, so that liturgical celebration — above all on Sundays and holy days — does not suffer but rather may actually benefit. (Cf. Caeremoniale Episcoporum, ed. typica 1995, No. 233)

I don’t have much to say on this point. Christianity, and Roman Catholicism certainly, have treated religious culture as an entitlement. It’s not something they need to work for, or should have to put effort into making it fruitful. But that’s wrong.

The truth is that there are many appealing things to do on Sunday, and not all of them are godless, unwholesome, or contrary to the faith. Which of the various compatible traditions can be utilized? And when, for heaven’s sake, will “Pastors” permit a wider sense of creativity and imagination drive the Sunday observance? And not just the outdated, outmoded sense of obligation on which I think the author really wants to keep a strong grip.

Inculturation? Definitely an opportunity. Are we up to it?

The Vatican site has Dies Domini in its entirety.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Dies Domini, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Dies Domini 80: Inculturation, A Danger or Opportunity?

  1. Pingback: DPPL 95: Sunday | Catholic Sensibility

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