We need to catch up with the global South
Despite lazy assumptions, the postcolonial world is a trend-setter, suggests Peter Leithart on the First Things blog. “It’s not that the ‘global South’ has caught up with the parent countries,” says Leithart.
“In important respects, the post-colonies have surged ahead.” Economically, spiritually, culturally and politically, Africa is “home to characteristically contemporary forms of life”.
Leithart argues that the post-colonial world is also a political trendsetter: “‘Living politics’ in South Africa and elsewhere inspires direct action movements in the US and Europe,” he writes. “College activists used to wear Che T-shirts. Now it’s Mandela. Both, of course, are not northerners.”
Leithart goes on: “We need to flip the world upside down to see it right side up. And that holds massive implications for how northern Christians regard our brothers and sisters in the global South. The peculiarities of African Christianity in particular – belief in miracles and healing, a ‘sacramental’ imagination, a love of biblical story and proverb, a holistic vision of the self and the Church’s mission, new configurations of Christendom – aren’t a ‘pre-modern residue’ but cutting-edge forms of late-modern Christianity.” He concludes with a hope that the Church, like Western civilisation, is “evolving towards Africa”.
How to turn your passion into prayer Author and blogger Leah Libresco Sargeant was an atheist by default until she attended college and met “practising Christians who were smart.”
In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Libresco says she was always troubled by the question: “How is it we come to know truth?”
After concluding that morality had to be transcendent, through her conversations with Catholics and Eastern Orthodox friends she “recognised the God they were talking about as the type of God I had been creeping up on without noticing it.” She was also influenced by the writings of CS Lewis, Chesterton and St Augustine, who she chose as her Confirmation saint.
Talking about her experience of prayer, she admits she often ends up thinking about her other passion while praying; maths. “I pull myself back into prayer to think about how much I like math, to think about how math is true, good and beautiful, and therefore God likes it, too.”
Why priests and the baptised wear white
Why do priests wear white albs, asks Philip Kosloski at Aleteia. The alb is the vestment worn underneath the priest’s chasuble and stems from the Latin word alba, which means white.
In the early Church the newly baptised would wear a white garmentfollowing their baptism to offer a public witness to their faith. The alb gradually became more associated with priestly vestments, reminding the priest of his baptism while also being a symbol of purity.
✣ An Italian film company is seeking to turn the VatiLeaks saga into a television series. The Leone Film Group has acquired the rights to books written by Italian investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, with a view to producing an English-language television drama. The books are based on the documents leaked by Benedict XVI’s butler detailing accounts of corruption and cronyism in the Vatican.
“The television series will take its cue from the events that led to the Vatileaks scandals,” said managing director Raffaella Leone. “The idea is to start with Merchants in the Temple, which is about a pool of experts hired by the Vatican to conduct internal investigations and audits for the Pope.”
✣ A Catholic deacon has been given a job as a hermit at a 350-year-old cliffside retreat. Stan Vanuytrecht, 58, a former artillery officer from Belgium, won a competition to live in one of central Europe’s last hermitages, beating 50 applicants. He responded to an advertisement placed by Fr Alois Moser, which asked for someone with a “connection to Christian belief” and “at peace with themselves”.
The hermit-in-residence at Saalfelden, Austria, is expected to receive visitors from April to November, ready to chat, pray, and enjoy the view.
✣The week in quotations
The main risk is … to yield to fatalism French bishops’ election statement CNS
I look very much forward to meeting the Pope Donald Trump White House press conference
Peaceful protest is not a crime. It is a right Statement from Venezuelan bishops amid unrest Catholicculture.org
You will, no doubt, recognise this sacrifice of yours as a self-giving gesture Archbishop Becciu asks Fra’ Matthew Festing to stay away from Rome during the Order of Malta election Leaked letter
✣Statistic of the week
60 Order of Malta members who will elect the new Grand Master Source: Rome Reports
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