talk of "globalisation"
spite of the foreboding harbingers of Psalm 49 and the talk of the
brethren who spoke of their recent experience of a day without electricity,
power was in fact restored at the start of a new day after the previous
evening's outage due to a thunderstorm.
we celebrated the feast of St. Benedict with a Latin American Mass.
Spanish was the language of Lauds, Mass and Vespers. Argentinean
Father Pablo Condrac celebrated the Mass, and the musical rhythms
characteristic of this considerable part of the world included a
"tropical bolero"-as the musical score had it-which was
sung during Communion time. Many northern brethren seemed unaccustomed
to Caribbean rhythms.
heard a conference by Robert Schreiter, C. PP. S. about globalization,
a talk which was truly timely. Under that title he developed the
following themes: the second decade of globalization, "mixed
times," and religion and violence.
the first heading he spoke of the globalization of communications,
the economy, and culture and society. One surprising datum related
to communications is that while in the United States there are seven
hundred telephones for every one thousand persons, in Bangladesh
there are but two telephones for the same population. Economic globalization
coincides with the globalization of poverty, which claims more people
than does affluence. Exclusion from economic globalization leads
to a multicultural society, the result of the emigration of poor
peoples. In many places in the United States there are no longer
ethnic majorities, while Islam is making inroads in Europe without
any possibilities or reasons to halt its advance.
times" is the expression that in Latin America describes the
coexistence, in time and space, of pre-modernism, modernism, and
post-modernism. This can be seen in a special way in the Church:
a culture of pre-modern security typical of a certain religiosity,
the continuing of Liberation Theology, and being Christian in the
post-modern world. The pre-conciliar/post-conciliar dichotomy is
no longer valid. The Second Vatican Council is history, and this
dichotomy has disappeared. Theology ought to help us discover the
pléroma, the fullness, in the midst of a mix of fragments.
The Trinity is the mystery of the moment, the mystery of God Three-and-One.
theme of religion and violence Schreiter elaborated into the following
sub-themes: religion as pretext to justify violence; truth as it
faces hostile clamoring; religion as a shield against modernization
(religious fundamentalism); and violence considered as the very
heart of religion (e.g., sacrifice).
Schreiter's address came responses from Dominican fathers Paul Kuruvilla
of India, Albert Nolan of South African, and Maciej Zieba, Provincial
drawing on his experience of his own homeland, said that there is
no globalization of values, while the very tendency of a global
economy is toward religious violence, although perhaps cloaked in
religious motives: if there is persecution of Christianity, it is
because it defends the person over against diverse economic interests
that take no account of the person.
denounced heatedly the inhuman situation in Africa, where globalization
not merely traps so many in poverty but also increases the number
of poor, who are not responsible for their own poverty. The horizon
is brightened by initiatives such as M.A.P., a sort of compromise
of solidarity that has arisen in Africa itself. He stated that modern
rationality has not triumphed in overcoming the white man's conviction
of superiority over the black man. And finally concerning violence
and religion he said that Christianity is the religion of sacrifice,
but in which the God-Man Himself is the victim. Thus Christianity
is the finest expression of God's commitment to all the victims
of various sacrifices.
Polish Provincial focused upon the theme of "mixed times"
in order to make clear how the prophecies of the 19th century-which
had announced the death of religion at the hands of reason-had not
come to pass and that today religion is vibrant. There is a general
conviction that at the center of man is an objective truth which
must be sought, not simply "my truth" or "your truth."
To renounce objective truth so that each one may seek out his own
truth is to justify, for the more powerful, the use of violence
and the silencing of the truth. It is incumbent upon each Dominican
to discover the objective truth. Citing Servais Pinckaers, O.P.,
Zieba said one must adhere to a freedom of excellence, not a freedom
groups classified according to region there was discussion of how
globalization is lived among them. There were great ideas elegantly
expounded by the friars preachers and their observers, but no practical
conclusions were arrived at. There was felt to be no hurry, since
the chapter and reflection and dialogue had only just begun. In
any event, nothing said here should excuse those who receive these
texts by globalized media from reading them!
afternoon was given over to talk about candidates. Groups were made
according to language. First, each group, after coming to a profile
of the future Master (in no case would the desired profile have
improved Saint Dominic much), spoke of names. Later on the group
leaders exchanged the names that had surfaced. In the second afternoon
session the groups settled down to getting to know each other. And
each group decided which friars would be queried about the candidates:
his vices and virtues, his health, the languages he speaks or understands,
and what the Order might expect from him were he elected Master.
name can be revealed. Not even the observers, who were present at
the deliberations, were present during the discussion of candidates.