Monday, April 01, 2013

Is Mexico a Christian Country? Part 3

Check out Jim Cottrill's blog post on some recent events here.

What follows is a short entry on what is an ongoing topic here...the unique distinctives of Mexican Roman Catholicism. If you didn't catch the other posts, click the links that follow.
Part 1
Part 2

Pope John Paul II and Formal Recognition
These two often competing religious systems (Roman Catholicism and were formally recognized as complementary only recently, when Pope John Paul II beatified the peasant Juan Diego in 1990, and later canonized him in 2002. Many historians, including several notable Catholic historians, were severely critical of the Pope’s decision, citing a total lack of verifiable evidence to prove that Juan Diego ever lived. Juan Diego, according to Mexican tradition and Mexican Catholic lore, saw several apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531. Initially, several different dates were given for these apparitions, dating from 1521 to 1590, but 1531 was the year eventually accepted.

Pope John Paul II would have liked to see Rome declare Mary as co-redeemer next to and equal to Christ in the work of redemption. Mary had a special and essential part in God’s redemptive work, those in favor of such a degree claim. She too was born without original sin, immaculately conceived, and she never died, but was received bodily into heaven (the assumption of Mary). All of these statements have been declared dogma by the Catholic church over the years.

I note that by this canonization, Pope Juan Paul II formally recognized Mexico’s unique strain of Catholicism. But by such a proclamation, he by no means was able to reconcile the two belief systems. They are not the same. They are not one. Martin Luther was already addressing some crucial differences between traditional, papal Catholicism and Biblical theology as Hernán Cortez was landing in Mexico’s Gulf Coast. Another reformation of sorts was about to begin in the New World, far away from the Inquisition, far away from the power of a highly organized Roman church and the military might that could provoke fear in the heart of any heretic. But the reformation that began in Mexico was not a return to a simpler, more Biblical Christianity, but rather a rush in the other direction.
Quote of the Day: The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow. Seth Godin, Tribes, p.108

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