Archbishop Ranjith interview

Fr Z reports with commentary and highlights on an interview with Archbishop Ranjith. (See his post Interview with Archbp. Ranjith on the Exhortation) The interview was given to Gerard O'Connell, the special correspondent in Rome for the Union of Catholic Asian News. (The link to the interview is at the bottom of the main page and the site does not seem to have an easy way of permalinking to the particular story so it is best to get it from Fr Z's blog.)

As Father points out, the remarks on inculturation are particularly interesting. He says that Asia is deeply mystical and conscious of the value of the Sacred. Consequently, he says that the tenor of Sacramentum Caritatis is good for Asia. He goes on to say that
People in Asia are a worshipping people, with worship forms that are centuries old and not inventions of any single individual.

Adherence to rubrics in the other religious traditions in Asia is strict. Besides, their rubrics are profoundly reflective of the special role of the Sacred. Thus, the seriousness recommended by the Supreme Pontiff is very much in consonance with Asian ways of worship.
He speaks of arbitrariness and inconsistency in attempts at inculturation. One of his examples is amusing in a way but also tragic:
I once was listening to a radio talk given by a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka who ridiculed Christians for allowing local drum beating in their churches without knowing that those beats in fact were chants of praise for the Buddha. This could be just one instance of unstudied absorption of local traditions that are per se incompatible with what we celebrate.
To illustrate what he means by inconsistency, the Archbishop points out that receiving Holy Communion in the hand, while standing, is "far below levels of consideration given to the Sacred in Asia".

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