Friday, March 07, 2014






新法王 アジアにも旋風?    上野 景文

What would that "Asian" mean? For reference, let us turn to the discussion that took place during the Asian Synod held in Rome in 1998. At the conference, many Asian participants complained that Catholicism has remained incompatible with Asian cultures, signifying a lack of inculturation. For example, the Archbishop of Osaka pointed out that Christianity nurtured in the West is characterized by an excessively paternal, black-white dualistic tendency, whereas Asians seek an all-embracing maternal deity. This comment from a Jesuit Archbishop resonates with the thoughts of a seminary student and protagonist in "Deep River," a novel by Catholic author Endo Shusaku. In the story, the student points out that (European) Catholicism is characterized by excessive clarity, logic and disregard of nature that are unfamiliar to the Japanese. However, such opinions raised by Asia in 1998 have been deliberately ignored by the Vatican to date. Pope Francis has expressed his intentions of giving priority to visiting Asia this year and the next. How he will respond to the unaddressed voices of Asian discontent is an issue that evokes infinite interest from a civilizational perspective.

Kagefumi Ueno is a civilizational essayist and former Ambassador to the Holy See..

Will Pope Francis Bring His Winds of Change to Asia?
March 5, 2014


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