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Asian bishops see need for Asian music, symbols in liturgy

August 18, 2009

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The Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences concluded a plenary meeting on August 16 with a statement on the "hunger" for the Eucharist that remains in Asia. In some countries that hunger is due to the shortage of priests and the need for greater evangelization, the FABC statement said; in other countries (like China and Vietnam) the hunger is aggravated by restrictions on the freedom to worship and in some cases (such as India and Pakistan) overt violence against Christians.

In an address to the FABC assembly, Cardinal Francis Arinze, the former prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, had warned against the uncritical adoption of liturgical “idiosyncracies” in the name of "inculturation." But the group's final statement called for the inclusion of Asian music and symbolism in the liturgy, saying that this would "make our celebration create a resonance in the depths of Asia’s heart.”

The FABC encouraged the formation of small groups for prayer and Bible study, and expressed a keen interest in dialogue with other faiths.

 


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