Vatican conference examines liturgy in Africa
Jul. 03 (CWNews.com) - At a conference this week in Kumasi, Ghana, sponsored by the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship, Catholic scholars and pastors will examine the liturgy in Africa.
In June the Congregation for Divine Worship announced plans for the July 4- 9 meeting, which will examine "the history of the liturgy in Africa, liturgical formation, the translation of liturgical texts into African languages, and liturgical inculturation."
Archbishop Malcolm Albert Ranjith Patabendige Don, the secretary of the Congregation, told the I Media news agency that the conference was prompted by the need for appropriate training in liturgical affairs. "Wehave the duty to assure ourselves that the liturgy, the treasure of the Church, is appreciated in a positive fashion by all the churches," he said.
While observing that there are some problems with the understanding of the Church's liturgy in all parts of the world, Archbishop Ranjith paid tribute to the "tradition of devotion and the simplicity of heart" that characterize the African approach. He said that this week's conference was the first in a likely series of similar events, at which Church leaders can assess the liturgical needs of their own regions.
The conference in Ghana, the first such event held outside the Vatican, will bring together Vatican officials, African consultors to the Congregation for Divine Worship, leaders of African episcopal conferences, and officials involved in liturgical affairs for the African churches. Participants will be greeted by Ghana's President John Agyekum Kufuor.
During the Synod of Bishops last October, Bishop Tharcisse Tshibangu Tshishiku of Mbujimayi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, spoke at length about the theme of "inculturation" in the liturgy in Africa. After a generation of liturgical change, he said, it is time to take stock of the situation. While it is legitimate to integrate some "new elements" into liturgical practice, he recommended a careful examination "to avoid some trends-- some minor and some more alarming-- that have been noticed here and there."