2012-07-27   Church is too Western/European       John W

2014-02-10: Japanese bishops: Vatican mindset doesn't fit Asian church

Dec 14, 2013: The Church urgently needs to stop seeing itself as a Western export

July 2, 2013: Pope Francis is poised to make history Will Francis seek a break from the past to create a pluralistic Catholic Church that better reflects the realities of each continent by attempting to decentralize the existing structure that is yet centralized around Rome? 
How will he counter those who resist the "de-Europeanizing" process?

July 2, 2013: The Church's Eurocentric identity crisis

March 2013:  A lesson from Jesuit history

Feb 25, 2013:  Anura Guruge
US  has 70 million Catholics & 13 cardinals at conclave. Philippines has 75 million Catholics & 1 cardinal at conclave

Dec 4, 2012: Globalization's Consequences: a pluralist Church must cast off defunct Eurocentrism  Fr Mick Kelly SJ  (Ucanews)
Pluralism, cultural variety, minority status (especially in Asia), the use of languages other than Italian and the increasing recognition of democratic human rights hold great potential for a Church bogged down in a defunct European Christendom

Nov 10, 2012: Vatican owes Asian bishops an apology for bumping conference     Thomas C. Fox (NCR)
As long as Roman clerics govern with such insensitivity and disregard, as long as they act not unlike the Asian colonial masters of yesteryear, they will continue to humiliate and deplete the efforts of their fellow bishops in Asia to spread the faith.

Oct 28, 2012: Jesuit Superior General's address to Synod: 
Synod missed the boat     Full text of address

But I am afraid that we have seen mostly Western, European signs of Faith and Sanctity.
We have not entered with sufficient depth into the cultures where 
the Gospel was proclaimed in order to see that part of the Kingdom of God that was already there, rooted and active in the hearts and relationships of people. 

Oct 18, 2012:  The Birth of the World Church
Brother Seán D Sammon  FMS
During the conclave of 2005 Italian cardinals cast 19 votes, equivalent to the total number from Africa and Asia combined. But there are just 55 million Catholics in Italy while Africa and Asia are home to more than four times that number
To move from the world of European Christianity to a truly world church will require not only a careful reading of the signs of these times, but also a confrontation with issues such as racism and an assimilation that plays one culture against another

Completing the missionary task Fr Hugh McMahon
One undoubted element in this image, which it has in common with other Catholic churches in Asia and which is responsible for their limited growth, it is its foreignness – its distance from the religious thinking, experiences and approaches of the ordinary people.   

A modern missionary success story
Fr Hugh McMahon SSC

“Where we made our biggest contribution was in the second stage, by setting up new parish communities and getting Local Churches on their feet. That is what we felt we were sent to do and we had clear models to follow. It didn’t ask many questions about the sort of church we were helping to build.

“However we largely failed to initiate the final stage of convincing the local priests, sisters and laity that it was now their task to take the Western-style church we had given them and turn it into a genuine Local Church .”

The local-born leaders had also been warned in their formation against the superstitions in their culture and to stick closely to Roman practices. Before that mind-set hardened and became accepted as normal, the people needed to be reassured that God had always been present among them and it was now their task to build on that foundation


Opening prayer of January 25, Conversion of St Paul:

"God our Father, 
you taught the gospel to all the world
through the preaching of Paul your apostle..."

All the world?
How strange this sounds to people outside Europe


Former Nuncio to Japan, Archbishop del Castello:
“This, in my humble opinion, is what the Japanese bishops are asking:
 to take off the European vest, to present the heart of the message 
in a way that is purified and close to the people.”
- in this report


Fr Michael Kelly SJ in Ten steps to a healthier church:

"The Church’s leaders would do well to accept the relativity of cultures, forget the fiction of Europe as a benchmark and work with other cultures as they are rather than as Eurocentric imagination thinks them to be. 

The numbers say it all; there are three Asians, a few Africans, and a sprinkling from the Americas among the top leaders of Vatican offices even though the only places the Church is growing are in Asia and Africa


Sr Inigo Joachim SSA:
See this article which in second paragraph has these words:
"The Congregations in India, including the indigenous ones, 
still keep the Western model of formation

which is hardly suited to the present day
India and to the present type of vocations

Benedict XVI's outlook "too Western":
see this article by
Fr Ambrose Mong Ih-Ren OP
which on p.5 has these words:

"However, Ratzinger’s theology seems to lack sensitivity towards
Asian tradition with its plurality of religions and cultures because
of his Western presuppositions and philosophical terminology."


Reflection on new cardinals - none from Africa, only one from Asia
John Allen

A large element of colonialism
John W

A great time to be a missionary!
Fr Hugh McMahon SSC
The Eastern Churches (like the Syrian) were larger and showed greater diversity by presenting themselves in the languages and forms of the cultures they encountered. It was only after they were virtually wiped out by Islam that variety diminished and the predominance of the Roman Church, especially its liturgies and theologies, became a reality


Christianity Rediscovered
by Vincent Donovan C.S.Sp. who spent 17 years among the Masai people in Tanzania...where he ''cast aside all theories" and rediscovered the Gospel message
See the Amazon reviews

Donovan on p.25 of the 25th Anniversary Edition of his book mentions the influence on him of Roland Allen ....and this article by Allen's grandson shows why, with quotes like this:
If the Church bears the mark "Made in the West" too prominently stamped upon her, many will turn away from her who would not turn away from Christ 
And these 3 principles:

i) to teach the native converts to recognize their responsibility as members of the Church . . . never to do for the natives anything that they could do for themselves . . .

ii) to avoid the introduction of any foreign element unless it is absolutely essential... [otherwise] the books, the vestments, the ornaments, the design of the building, all come from a foreign land . . .the Church is the foreigners’ Church.

iii) to be always retiring from the people, to prepare the way for final retirement . . . To become indispensable to the people is really to fail . . . [Rather the missionary should] patiently watch while the Holy Spirit transforms strange forms of life into Christian forms of life unlike our own.

Donovan on p. 26 says how he was influenced by Frederic Vincent Lebbe. This short summary of Lebbe's life showed how he opposed a Western model of Christianity being imposed on China

Not to mention imposing the cumbersome new English translation
on African and Asian nations....where a lot of people's English is very basic and not able to take in obtuse ideas