Mons. Adrien NTABONA 
(General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Burundi)

The object of this intervention is to underline the needs of inculturation, as experimented in the laboratories of the Research Centre for Inculturation and Development (CRID), founded by the Episcopal Conference of Burundi in 1991. By inculturation the CRID means the faith which penetrates the culture impregnating and healing it from the interior to generate a Christianity of integral synthesis into an entire organism, tradition and modernity, pastoral and development, incarnation and liberation.

To be done, inculturation must be seen as integrative, liberating and promoting the person and society, each time while being attentive of the three levels of culture: the level of values, the level of institutions, as well as the level of expression and apparatus.

One must begin with the family which is the first ecclesial mediation of the sacred, and must be accompanied by the Church, in the sphere of its life, through all the stages and celebrations of life: from birth to death. This process must embrace, and later implicate the priestly and religious of the base communities which must assume the traditional solidarity of good neighbourhood, liberating it from within and bringing it up to the level of the needs of endogenic development.

To accomplish this, the base communities must also have non-ordained ministers, which may, with all the necessary corrections, grasp and take into account, the ideal of the traditional conception of authority, the social integrative responsibility of yesterday's notables.

On the socio-political level, inculturation must look for incarnate prophetism, aiming for the promotion of the rights of man and justice. Democracy itself must be inculturated in the integral and liberating sense underlined above, without which it will be dysfunctional.

On the politico-economic level, inculturation must be used to grasp from within, the national and international structures of sin, which makes one African kill his neighbour without knowing why. Among these structures of sin, often animated from within by Christians as well, unfortunately, there is ethnicism which must be solemnly condemned by the African Synod as the African version of Manichaeism.

To accomplish this task of integrative inculturation, which liberates and promotes the person and society, one must look at communication not as a business of means and techniques, but as the business of culture.

Therefore, I proposed that inculturation be studied in all the chapters of the Instrumentum Laboris and that all be refounded in this sense. This acquisition of a directive will avoid, in the chapters, the danger of being too divided and giving the impression of being an assembly of detachable pieces.

Original text: French

 

 

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