Directory on Popular Religiosity Is in the Works

Aims to Avoid Abuses

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2001 ( The Vatican is preparing a document on popular religiosity to help the faithful discern which practices and customs are healthy and which ones are not.

Statues, devotions to saints, and colorful processions are among the most characteristic expressions of popular religiosity. Not all expressions are altogether Christian.

To help distinguish which is which, the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments reported during its assembly in late September that it is preparing a «Directory» on popular religiosity.

Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez, prefect of the congregation, told Vatican Radio that Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop primate of Mexico, is in charge of preparing the first draft of the text.

The assembly has added further proposals, which will be included in the text, before it is presented to John Paul II for approval.

Cardinal Medina said the text has two parts: the first «is more historical and, therefore, addresses what popular religiosity is, how it is expressed, what types of popular religious activities exist, etc.»

The second part «seeks agreement and consistency between liturgical life and popular piety,» he said. «This issue is, precisely, the heart of the matter.»

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