Priests reflect on how to accompany popular spirituality

It was within the framework of the meeting of permanent formation of the diocese of Cruz del Eje. The local bishop, Monsignor Ricardo Araya, convened and the priest Enrique Bianchi (San Nicolás) spoke.
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The priests of the Cruz del Eje diocese met on the 6th and 7th in Villa Cura Brochero, to have a day of study and reflection on how to accompany popular spirituality and assess it from a historical-cultural perspective.

The annual meeting of permanent formation of the priests took place in the “Mi Purísima” room, in the town of Cordoba. This space was convened by the Bishop of Cruz del Eje, Monsignor Hugo Ricardo Araya and organized by the animator of the formation of the clergy, Presbyter Jorge Frigerio. Several priests from the diocese and seminarians from the stage of vocational synthesis, close to being ordained deacons, participated.

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The speaker of the study day was the priest Enrique Ciro Bianchi, from the diocese of San Nicolás de los Arroyos. The priest has a degree in Dogmatic Theology from the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) and for several years has dedicated himself to the study of popular Christianity following the reflections of the priest Rafael Tello.

“In our diocese the imprint left by the first evangelization in the way of living the faith and in popular culture is very strong. Great manifestations of popular religiosity are frequent: the Virgen del Carmen, Brochero, San Roque, the Virgen de los Dolores -to mention a few-, gather crowds every year”, was highlighted to give context to the day of reflection.

“There are also experiences of a simple and silent faith, which is transmitted from generation to generation and manifests itself in gestures such as lighting a candle, touching the image of a saint or building caves in houses,” he added.

Father Bianchi stressed: “Our people experience God in the world, they know him through a connatural relationship between the creature and the Creator”, Father Enrique said. Expressions of popular spirituality are not new in our diocesan church, but it is necessary for pastors to give it a theological framework and acquire tools to understand it, accompany it and allow its transmission, because one can fall into the error of thinking that there is only one way to live the Christian faith and close off or underestimate popular forms ” .

“It is not about making a ‘romantic’ reading of popular spirituality, without a doubt it has aspects to purify, like all expressions of Christianity. But we must bear in mind that only what is mature is purified, if we can do it before time, the parable of the wheat and the tares could happen to us, ”he said.

“The Holy Spirit has been leading the Latin American people, for five centuries, along an original path of living faith, in which the Virgin Mary has a prominent place. We cannot ignore this. Christianity is not monocultural, it has many faces, and as many ways of living it as there are cultures. As a complement to the axiom ‘grace presupposes nature’, we can state ‘grace presupposes culture’. A clear example is the Virgin of Guadalupe, who takes on the mestizo face of the marginalized,” she stressed.

More information in www.diocesiscruzdeleje.org.ar and social networks.+

Priests reflect on how to accompany popular spirituality – AICA.org