New ‘Amazon’ rites intended to ‘enhance’ liturgy

Light of truth

Proposals at the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon for indigenous – or Amazonian-rite ceremonies are meant to enhance and enrich the liturgy with cultural signs and gestures, not change what is essential for Catholics, a bishop said.

Spanish-born Bishop Rafael Escudero Lopez-Brea of Moyobamba, Peru, said Catholics are not asking for a new “liturgical rite,” but want to maintain the essential elements “received by the Lord and the apostles in the Eucharist” while introducing cultural elements.

“When we speak of this possibility, it means to introduce some symbols into the Eucharist, some rites that do not affect what is essential in the Eucharist because if not, we would ruin the sacrament and go against that revelation,” Bishop Escudero told journalists.

During that morning’s session of the Synod, several participants addressed the theme of inculturation which, according to a Vatican News summary, would “open the church to discover new paths within the rich diversity of Amazonian culture.”

At a briefing at the Vatican press office, Bishop Escudero said the idea of incorporating local traditions and cultural elements in the liturgy is not new, offering the examples of the Eastern Catholic Churches and of Latin-rite Masses in Africa.

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