11 07 2007

The recent documents issued by the Vatican: one the motu proprio allowing a wider use of the Latin mass to priests who wish to do so, and two the “Responses to some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church” which reaffirms the truth, oneness, fullness of Catholic Church both have to do with tradition. A lot of a lot of news headlines put a negative slant on the documents, as if tradition and reiterating the same thing for 2000 years is bad, with examples from Google news such as “Vatican hits ‘wounded’ Christian churches.” – ABC Pope: Other Christians not true churchesBoston Globe and Latin mass a looming headache for Catholic parishesReuters India,

People come to Japan looking for the so called “real Japan” expecting tradition and history. They really want to see and experience traditional things no matter how fleeting a glance they get or unaware how recent the so called tradition is. This is not my problem since tourists from anywhere to anywhere tend to have the same idea since it is part of what draws people to a place. My problem is if the Catholic church mentions tradition it is seen by some as a bad thing. I wonder how many of these people who see Catholic tradition as something bad also see Japanese religious traditions as something bad too? From my experience this is not the case. I have encountered other foreigners here who have an anti-Catholic anti-Christian bias, however, this dislike of religion does not extend to religions found here namely Buddhism and Shinto. They would likely never say (at least I never heard them say) a statue is too old fashioned and needs a more modern style, or likewise for a Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine building. I have also never heard anyone question the morals or philosophies of the two religions, or at least not say anything bad about them the same way they do about Christianity. In fact there are seemingly a large number of foreigners who marry Japanese and want a traditional Shinto ceremony.

I could go on but I won’t for now my point is there is a double standard and I don’t like it.




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