Archbishop Laurent MONSENGWO PASINYA
(Archbishop of Kisangani, Za´re)


1. Inculturation is at the core of the revealed message. Born in a given culture, the message of salvation successively borrowed from the diverse cultures which have marked saintly history, to express itself fully and what to say about its richness which surpasses any understanding.

2. Doing this, revelation integrates culture even while surpassing it and transcends it while giving it new meaning, new capacity, new expressive potentialities, a new reference: Jesus Christ.

3. Evangelisation implies inculturation. Evangelising without inculturating, would be on the one hand a limitation of the capacity of the conversion to Christ, because culture is part of the identity and the being of the neophyte. On the other hand, such evangelisation would make our God and Father, a God who excludes people. The Church has done nothing else during its history: she has inculturated. The Relatio ante disceptationem, sin then, was perfectly correct in saying that inculturation, even in the Liturgy, is a right and not a concession. All must therefore be inculturated: theology, especially Sacramental theology, the liturgy, ecclesial law, the structures of ecclesial life.

4. It would be erroneous to present inculturation in Africa as a search or a revendication of the legitimacy of "Africanisation" in place of "Westernisation" of Christianity.

5. Inculturation is the irruption and epiphany of the Lord which provokes destabilisation.

6. In the same way as through Incarnation, the Word of God became similar to men, except sin, so the Gospel assumes all the human values, but refuses to take flesh in the structures of sin. That is to say, the more individual and collective sin abound in a human and ecclesial community, the less place there is for inculturation. Inculturation works better when it is the expression of holiness of a people truly converted to Christ. Briefly, inculturation of faith is a challenge of holiness. In consequence, the main task of the Church in Africa is to promote the blossoming of the value of the Kingdom in the society to bring forward the values of holiness. This implies most naturally evangelisation of the political world.

Original text: French



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