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Maryknoll priest rips ‘Roman persecution’ of Church in Asia

September 26, 2011

Father William Grimm, a Maryknoll priest who serves as publisher of the UCA News service, is blasting the Vatican for what he calls the “Roman persecution” of the Church in Asia.

Father Grimm laments the “re-Italianization of the Catholic Church’s administration,” adding that “Rome is insisting that Catholics in Japan must use liturgical translations that are closer to Latin, but farther from Japanese, and Mediterranean gestures that mean nothing or something totally different on Pacific shores.” He explains:

In Japan, children are taught that one must give thanks three times for any favor, but that anyone who apologizes three times is insincere. How will evangelization be served when Japanese who encounter the Church’s liturgy for the first time hear meaningless words [of] the apology mea culpa (through my fault) three times?


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Sep. 27, 2011 7:01 AM ET USA

    In answer to the question raised by the good father above, I posted the following to the UCA News web page: "Is it just me, or does Fr. Grimm's collar seem out of place? One hopes he gets it right when he performs Church functions. The Chinese underground Church survived Mao's persecution by living only on the pre-1970 Mass, so why can't today's Asian Catholics figure it out? Did someone mention inadequate catechesis? It makes you wonder..."

  • Posted by: Don Vicente - Sep. 26, 2011 6:20 PM ET USA

    Responding to Defender: In my Chinese experience, amazingly enough, the few Latin Masses are mostly said by "Official" priests, not by "Underground" priests. Counter-intuitive, but there it is. (Generally, most Masses in China are said in Chinese.)

  • Posted by: rpp - Sep. 26, 2011 5:48 PM ET USA

    I lived in Japan for a very long time, I had never heard of the cultural examples this priest cited in his complaint.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 26, 2011 5:07 PM ET USA

    Converting people to Christianity is practically a UN offence, so it makes sense that Maryknoll must turn its attention to really serious problems like the terrible 'Roman persecution'of defenseless people. We all remember the horrors of the Inquisition.

  • Posted by: Defender - Sep. 26, 2011 2:46 PM ET USA

    Maryknollers and Jesuits know best in Asia (and everywhere else, for that matter - just ask them). Of course, you'd never know they were priests either because they don't like to look the part. In China, they use Latin for the Mass, so a more accurate translation for use in the vernacular is not only a good thing, but imperative - we are a universal Church, in case they have forgotten (and they need to learn that they don't run things - thank goodness).

  • Posted by: Don Vicente - Sep. 26, 2011 12:24 PM ET USA

    I wouldn't call it "persecution," but maybe "terminal insensitivity." ALL of the Japanese bishops voted to keep the Neocatechumenical Way OUT of Japan for 5 years. The Holy See over-rode their decision. I suspect that Quico Arguello, the head Neo, called in some Curial chips. What a disgrace! The Japanese Bps - successors to the Apostles -- know their people, their nation and their own needs. The Curia should read history -- Matteo Ricci,S.J.,to be precise. They are repeating a disaster.