A British-born Divine Word missiologist has told the Asian Mission Congress that the Church in the world’s most populous continent needs to overcome its peripheral local adaptation to become a "mango Church" – yellow inside and outside.
Fr John Mansford Prior, who visited Australia last month, told the Asian Mission Congress in Chiang Mai, Thailand that the Church in Asia must become totally Asian to make Christ’s message meaningful for people in the continent, UCA News says.
British-born Fr Prior has worked in Indonesia since 1973 observes that the Church in Asia remains Western with only peripheral local adaptation.
Asia has either a "banana Church," yellow on the outside and white inside, or a "coconut Church," brown on the outside and white inside, Fr Prior said.
But what the Church in Asia needs instead is a "mango Church" that is yellow outside and inside, Fr Prior added.
Mango church? Well he is almost right, Christianity is based on the mangod.
As insults go, these are delicious ones, and I am fond of all three. He does make a point: an Asian church best reaches to Asians in an Asian format. But then, I’m just a Protestant heretic, what do I know?
Oh well, pass the fruit salad.
I have just read this recent post of yours.
It is Priests like these who pose a “Grave Danger” to Catholics in Asia.
Let me explain.
In many countries in Asia, specially in South Asia — Liturgical Heresy, Sacriligeous Masses, and all kinds of nonsense is rife in “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”.
For example did you know that in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India — Heretic Priests celebrate “Hindu, Islamic and Buddhist Masses” with recitations from “Pagan Scriptures”.
This has been going on for at least 2 or 3 Decades in my opinion.
An Asian Church will only destroy the faith or whatever is left of it among the faithful.
All Kinds of “evil inculturation” has been taking place in the liturgy in many parts of Asia specially in South Asia.
I do not agree with this Priest at all.
He is out of his mind.
Thank God for Pope Benedict, I pray he puts his foot down to this rubbish that is being foisted on gullible and innocent Catholics in Asia.
If ever you get a chance, please read this awesome book “The Paganization of the Church in India by Victor J.F. Kulanday”.
It is Self- Explanatory.
Ouch! That’s quite a bad (or good) pun! 🙂
I’m sure Filipinos would be happy to know that they are not authentically Asian, seeing as how the vast majority of their nation must be white inside.
What a load.
I believe that Fr. Prior is just one of many Roman Catholic “missionary” priests who went from Europe to Asia over the last century who were “converted” to reject the “hierarchy” of the Roman Catholic Church and seek instead some sort of “pracdtical” union of elements of their faith with Asian religions, aborting their mission in the process.
Here is some of what he wrote about “Dominus Iesus” on 10 November 2000. You get some idea of what he means by “mango.”
Though peppered with welcome nuances � made necessary by the openness of the documents of the Johannine Council (1962-65) – the CDF has nevertheless returned to the heno-cultural frame of the Pius Era: Rome carries the tradition, it is left to the rest of us to translate and explain. Rome is the sole harbinger of absolute truth � all else is at best appendage, at worst error. Vatican II has been absorbed by Vatican I. Catholic truth about God is, �unique, full and complete because he who speaks and acts is the Incarnate Son of God.� (par.6). We are back to a-historical, perennial propositions apparently above and beyond any specific cultural context. Whatever truth others hold we already possess. This is the ecclesiology I learnt in primary school from un-reconstituted nuns in the 1950s. And so, perhaps we should read Dominus Iesus as the reaction of a threatened power-centre in a globalising world. In the world of trans-national conglomerates, of the World Bank and IMF, of consumerist and neo-capitalist driven globalisation, in a mono-polar world of political power, we face the stark choice of either retreating into a sectarian ghetto or growing into an ecumenical and prophetic diaspora. Dominus Iesus provides an ideology for the ghetto. Meanwhile, life and death witness by millions of believers at the coal face is opening up a future for mission.
I am concerned that Dominus Iesus closes a discourse only just beginning. I am even more concerned that the declaration is in danger of being used as an ideological grid by right-wing, extremist elements in conflict situations. The strains of �Onward Christian Soldiers� sound innocent enough in the quiet English countryside. However, when the hymn is belted out by an Apprentice Boys� March as a prelude to a riot in Northern Ireland, or by Indonesian Christians before their ethnic cleansing and religious crusade in Ambon (as earlier this year), then the language of �absolute truth� becomes not just offensive, but dangerous. What sounds innocent enough in Rome, becomes arrogantly offensive where Christians are minorities and becomes down right dangerous in places of communal violence. At best the language of Dominus Iesus justifies the maintenance of small, isolated, ineffectual, Christian ghettos scattered across Asia; at worst it reinforces arrogance, aggression and communal conflict.
Asia is challenging the rest of the world with its liberative inter-faith theological praxis, lived out and articulated in Asian categories. I can quite understand that this ecclesial praxis is threatening to western hegemony, perhaps more so than the Marxian methodology of Latin American liberation theologies. Asian theologies are alternatives not just to any current Western theology. They are slowly providing � or at least inching towards – an alternative appropriation of the entire Christian discourse which for almost two millennia has been formulated in Graeco-Latin language.
Since the Johannine Council of forty years ago, Churches in Africa and Asia have not been simply translating read-made formulations into their own languages. They have been engaged in a multi-dimensional encounter with other cultures and religions. Important elements within Asian Christian Communities have been re-rooting themselves into their local contexts while remaining open to wider regional and global context. For this process to succeed Churches need time, patience and the freedom to make mistakes. It took centuries for the West to work out key christological issues. It may well take decades and perhaps many heresies for the African and Asian Churches to discover who Christ is in their context.
Sadly, I find not the slightest indication in Dominus Iesus that inculturation is any more than a literal translation of the CDF�s version of the Graeco-Latin tradition. This is cultural arrogance. The challenge is to experience and express the Truth in more than one language, more than one culture, to allow Truth to shine forth without insisting upon a narrow cultural hegemony.
Dominus Iesus shows that the CDF is not listening to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches (cf Rev 2:11). Diocesan bishops are the successors to the apostles not Roman bureaucrats. The constitutional way for the world�s bishops to regain their episcopal authority is by means of a General Council of the Latin Church. The calling of a new Council is becoming ever more urgent. First, the new Assembly might consider finishing the work of the Johannine Council by carrying out a root and branch reform of the Roman Curia by radically decentralising the Communion of Catholic Latin Rite Churches according to the ancient principles of collegiality, subsidiarity and solidarity. Thus having ensured that the central bureaucracy will not betray the Council at a later date, the successors of the apostles could take up crucial questions that have emerged from their day-to-day care of the Churches, in the face of systemic violence and the brutalisation of cultural values. This is the crucial context for working out theological guidelines to inter-faith relations. The broad scheme of Ad gentes is already there waiting to be filled out with the experience of the past 40 years. �Missionary activity is nothing else, and nothing less, than the manifestation of God�s plan, its epiphany and realisation in the world and in history; that by which God, through mission, clearly brings to its conclusion the history of salvation.� (Ad gentes, 9). The Council need not concern itself with the practice of dialogue; genuine practical guidelines are the responsibility of those in the field, that is, of the individual Episcopal Conferences. As we enter the third millennium, so we need to return to the decentralised Church of the First Centuries.
Pray for him, and for those influenced by him.
The Divine Word order is as bad as the SJ’s. Lavander mafia through and through
Actually he’ll find out that the whole church is red inside, you just have to flay the skin off first… okay really bad joke but it’s that type of day
“Mango Church”? What, as opposed to “Bell Pepper Church”? Beautiful on the outside, empty on the inside?