Saturday, June 02, 2007

"We baptized them, but for many reasons, we never really evangelized them sufficiently."

That was one South American cardinal's expression of the state of affairs. Mr. John L. Allen Jr. cites Cardinal Hummes and his point of view in Mr. Allen's summary of the results of the meeting of CELAM, the Conference of Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean. The meeting was in Brazil, and Pope Benedict attended the opening.

For 19 days "162 bishops, 81 other participants, and 23 observers and theological advisors" deliberated. The meeting ended Thursday. Its results? "To some extent, it comes down to whether one is inclined to see the glass as half-full, or half-empty," Mr. Allen begins. Read his summary about the "half-full side of the ledger" as well as what others may quickly point as the other, half-empty side.
In the end, whether CELAM produced anything that could truly reinvigorate the church in Latin America, home to almost half of the Catholics in the world, will only become clear when -- and, it must be said, if -- the conference's documents are studied, digested, and translated into pastoral action.
Mr. Allen is a good guide at helping everyone begin to appreciate what needs to be pondered.

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