Folk Catholicism

(no name) ((no email))
Tue, 20 Aug 1996 14:14:26 +0900

At 09:29 96/08/16 -0500, you wrote:
> >Alright, I'll bite - what is "folk catholicism"?
> >
> >- Adrienne
> >an ex Catholic who thought she knew _all_things Catholic
> >
> >
> I'd define it as the way in which Catholicism is actually practiced
> in most of the world, as opposed to the officially sanctioned forms and
> rules. For instance, the Umbanda cult of Brazil melds Roman Catholic
> traditions with West African animism, European spiritualism, and native
> religious practices. Rather than recognizing and relying on the strict
> pantheon of Catholic saints, the spirits of whores, old slaves, indians,
> workers, housewives, &c, are incorporated, channeled, and called upon to
> answer needs. BUT, these people, like many others who practice some form of
> syncretised Catholicism, consider themselves good Catholics. Same thing
> happens with Haitian Vodoun. You've probably heard the Haitian saying,
> "Haiti is 90% Catholic, and 100% Vodoun." Unlike the fundamentalist groups
> that have moved into the circum-Caribbean, Central, and South American
> regions, there is at least some tacit approval on the part of the Catholic
> church for native practises to be allowed. The hope is, as it has been since
> Catholicism began to spread, that these practices would eventually be
> replaced. Witness the evolution of the Winter Solstice celebrations of the
> Celts into Christmas.
> Randy
> _______________
> Randal Allison, Ph.D.
> ---Never use a big word when a diminutive alternative will suffice---

In addition to Randy's examples of syncretic folk catholicism, I would
mention that outside the theological framework of Roman Church, catholic
practice includes a lot of FOLK elements. Remember "apparition" fenomenon of
virgin Mary in Lourdes (Franece), Fatima(Potugal), etc. or Andalucian Semana
Santa procession with saeta songs also Romeria (piligrimage) for the Virgen
de Rocio.

Further information in the following sources:

V.W. Turner, Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture., Columbia U. Pr.1978
W.A.Christian Jr. , Appatitions in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain,
Princeton U.Pr., 1981
M.P. Carroll, The Cult of the Virgin Mary ---Psychological Origins,
Princeton U.Pr.,1986
M.L. & S.Nolan, Christian Pilgrimage in Modern Western Europe, U.of North
Carolina Pr. 1989


Jun Ishibashi |
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