The final document of the Amazon synod, after voting this afternoon on each individual paragraph, was passed in its entirety. A 2/3 majority was required for passage. Pray Tell offers a quick, unofficial translation from the Spanish of articles 116-119 which treats inculturation of the liturgy. (Corrections and improvements from readers are welcome.) The text is noteworthy for being carefully written and based upon the prescriptions of the Second Vatican Council and the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This document now goes to Pope Francis, who has final authority to accept or adopt any of its recommendations.
D. Rite for Native Peoples
116. The Second Vatican Council opened spaces for liturgical pluralism “for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples” (SC 38). In this sense, the liturgy must respond to culture in order to be the source and summit of the Christian life (cf. SC 10) and be experienced as linked to the sufferings and joys of the people. We must give an authentically Catholic response to the request of the Amazonian communities to adapt the liturgy by valuing their native worldview, traditions, symbols and rites that include transcendent, communitarian, and ecological dimensions. [Passed 147-22]
117. In the Catholic Church there are 23 different rites, a clear sign of a tradition which, since the earliest centuries, has sought to inculturate the contents of faith and its celebration through a language as coherent as possible with the mystery to be expressed. All these traditions have their origin in the function of the mission of the Church: “Churches of the same geographical and cultural area came to celebrate the mystery of Christ through particular expressions characterized by the culture: in the tradition of the ‘deposit of faith,’ in liturgical symbolism, in the organization of fraternal communion, in the theological understanding of the mysteries, and in various forms of holiness.” (CCC 1202; cf. also CCC 1200-1206). [Passed 140 to 27]
118. It is necessary that the Church, in its tireless labor of evangelization, work so that the process of inculturation of the faith be expressed in the most coherent ways, so that it can also be celebrated and lived according to the languages of the Amazonian peoples. It is urgent to form committees for translation and writing for biblical and liturgical texts in the unique languages of different locales, with the necessary resources, preserving the matter of the sacraments and adapting them in form, without losing sight of what is essential. In this sense it is necessary to encourage music and singing, all of which is accepted into and encouraged by the liturgy. [Passed 156 to 12]
119. The new organization of the Church in the Amazon must form a competent commission for studying and dialoguing, according to uses and customs of ancestral peoples, on the development of an Amazonian rite which expresses the Amazonian liturgical, theological, disciplinary, and spiritual patrimony, with special reference to what the Lumen Gentium affirms for Oriental churches (cf. LG 23). This would add to the rites already present in the Church, enriching the work of evangelization, the ability to express the faith in one’s own culture, and the sense of decentralization and collegiality which are able to express the catholicity of the Church. There could also be study of and proposals for how to enrich church rites with the ways in which these peoples care for their territory and relate to their waters. [Passed 140 to 29]