Tuesday, November 6, 2018



I make a brief summary of the History of the Church in Latin America.

It is worth remembering that the Latin American Episcopal Council was born before the Second Vatican Council, with the support of Pope Pius XII, a man open to catholicity.

At the end of the Second World War, the Christmas Message of Pius XII, had left indelible marks, within the Church, a message full of peace, and reconciliation that still reaches us today:

"The Church is an indivisible and universal whole. Supranational because it embraces with the same love all nations and all peoples (...), nowhere is it foreign. He lives and develops in all the countries of the world and all the countries of the world contribute to his life and development. In other times, the life of the Church in its visible aspect manifested its vigor preferentially in the countries of old Europe, from where it extended, like a majestic river, to what could be called the periphery of the world; today, it is presented, on the contrary, as an exchange of life and energy among all the members of the Mystical Body of Christ on Earth. "

Following the History, the Celam has its first meeting in 1954, they play a very important role, in the creation and strengthening of CELAM, personalities such as; Cardinal Antonio Samoré, former Nuncio in Colombia, Mons Manuel Larraín (Chilean Bishop of Pleasant Memory) Dom Hélder Cámara (Brazil).

The recommendations made by Pius XII to the Bishops of Latin America are clear and unforgettable when he told them:

"Not waste valuable energies, but multiply them with appropriate coordination", adopt "new methods of apostolate" and open "new paths (...)", agreeing "a concrete plan and method to implement, with solicitude and competence, all that demand the needs of the times "

At that time, the First General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate took place.

When John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council, the Bishops of Latin America were invited and attended. Our Bishops, felt strange and unknown, by culture, language and customs.

After the Council, Bishop Manuel Larraín, first President of CELAM, in dialogue with Paul VI who had been promoting the strengthening of the Council, in view of the impact of the Second Vatican Council, asked the Pope for permission to meet in what we know today as Celam-Medellín 1968. Proposal not alien to misunderstandings, because there was no lack of who said that there was danger of a great schism.

Before the IIa. Latin American Episcopal Conference, in Medellin-68, on April 21 to 27, in the town of Melgar-Colombia, had the occasion of the "First Continental Meeting of Missions in Latin America", convened by Bishop Gerardo Valencia Cano, President of the Department of Missions of CELAM.

In his inaugural address, Bishop Gerardo Valencia Cano, in a prophetic manner, and with all the pain and feeling in his pastoral and missionary charism, left us saying:

"From my first contacts with the indigenous cultures of the Vaupés I had the concern that the missionaries were forced many times to intuit or improvise our pastoral action, for lack of greater anthropological knowledge. I have had the impression that our pastoral work often fails for lack of an adequate approach. I have always longed for the day when we could face together a study and in-depth reflection of our common problems. Today can be the beginning of that new day. "

Monsignor, share in this Meeting, that something has been failing in the evangelization.

Melgar's document, with its conclusions, was not approved by Rome due to the intrigues of the Nuncio Sergio Pignedoli, who informs that what happened there, had not been "within the norms and doctrine of the Church."

Both in the Meeting of Melgar, and in Medellin-68, it was latent, to make known and to go practicing the teachings suggested in the Second Vatican Council, Gaudium Spes, Ad Gentes.

Within the Church, there has existed and there is a great concern for the evangelization of our peoples, without pretending to run over, their traditions, languages, culture and customs. Unfortunately, we still need a lot to accept that diversity is unity. It gives more importance to foreign devotions, to the defense of the saint, dogmas and norms, than, to the announcement of the Gospel, in the splendor of the project of Jesus of Nazareth.

This is how in our Movement, enlightened by the presence of the Ruah, the Holy Spirit, following the suggestions of the Catholic Church, in the Second Vatican Council, Melgar and Medellín-68 reaffirming us in the Gospel, following the project of Jesus of Nazareth , a group of Afro women, who have felt the vocational call to the female priestly ministry, ask to be accepted and ordained in our Movement, within their tradition, culture and customs, without wearing the clerical vestments preserving the rite of the Eucharist at the moment of the consecration, leaving the rest of the celebration open to the forms and modes of their culture.

It is the moment to allow all that, which in a certain way has been rejected and let it enter and expand as much as possible, making it integrate into the ALL. Let's not remain neutr @ s, it's time to define ourselves.

* Catholic Presbyter

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