Cardinal Arinze: Conversion to Christ Is Liberation

Reflects on Doctrinal Congregation Statement and Africa

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 14, 2007 ( Cardinal Francis Arinze says that the proposal of faith in Christ by missionaries pays tribute to the human freedom of Africans and their ability to know and love that which is good and true.

The African prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments affirmed this today when he accompanied Cardinal William Levada in presenting a statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“The Christian missionaries found this religious context [in Africa] a providential preparation, a fertile ground to bring the Gospel, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ,” he said. The cardinal then made four observations based on the “Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization” and its application in Africa.

He said, “‘The obedience of faith,’ which is given to God who reveals, not only does not do violence to human intellect and will, but it rather ennobles them.

“In the multiplicity of languages, cultures and peoples in Africa, this challenging, difficult and delicate work of inculturation has begun. There is still a long way to go.

“The sharing of our Catholic faith with others who do not yet know Christ should be regarded as a work of love, provided that it is done with full respect for their human dignity and freedom.

“Conversion to Christianity is rightly seen as liberation.”

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