A bishop and priest who represented the Philippine Church at the Synod for Asia have criticised Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's recent declaration say the Vatican declaration "Dominus Iesus".
    Bishop Francisco Claver of Bontoc-Lagawe told UCA News that while tendencies toward religious relativism must be corrected, the document is "too concerned" with the "what" rather than the "how" of preaching the Gospel in Asia and "seems to resuscitate" a kind of triumphalism.
    And Fr Luis Antonio Tagle, a member of the Vatican's International Theological Commission, said the declaration returns to the basics amid a lively debate on religions but must be used carefully to avoid Christian fanaticism.
    Bishop Claver said: "Among the proud religious traditions and ancient civilizations as we have in Asia, this approach is deadly."
    He added that he suspects triumphalism "is one reason for the Church's failure to get a real toehold in Asia" and is behind Asian bishops' concern with how to make Christ acceptable to Asians.
    Bishop Claver called the bulk of current theological exploration among scholars in Asia "honest efforts at bringing about a more inculturated faith." Such faith is "a must for us in Asia," he stressed.
11 Sep 00

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