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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

An African Mass – Benedict style

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Rocco Palmo has a fascinating post on why the opening Mass of the Synod for Africa this morning was starkly different to the exuberant Zaire Rite Mass that opened the first African Synod in 1994.

The trusty John Allen reports from the Mass:

Benedict warned that Africa faces two serious threats, suggesting that the synod should carefully ponder responses to both.

The first threat, Benedict said, is a ‘practical materialism, combined with relativistic and nihilistic thought’. Those philosophical currents, he suggested, are reaching Africa from the West.

‘The so-called ‘first world’ has exported and is still exporting its toxic spiritual refuse,’ the pope said, ‘which infect the populations of other continents, especially in Africa.’

‘Colonialism is finished in a political sense,’ the pope said, ‘but it’s not completely gone away.’

The second threat Benedict identified is ‘religious fundamentalism, mixed with political and economic interests’.

You can read the full homily here and watch a video summary here. And here’s the Pope’s Angelus reflection on the Synod. You can also discuss Pope Benedict’s remarks on the BBC website.

America magazine has a good backgrounder on the Synod, as does John Allen.

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 4, 2009 at 7:20 am

Posted in Africa, Synod

Tagged with ,

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