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Summary Points Concerning Catholic Renewal

By Expert Author: Tracy Narvaez

The radical shift that is referred to as Catholic Renewal occurred around the middle of 20th century and gave the Roman Catholic Church a different face. The change was felt in three areas. The first was how the church dealt with and treated the bible. The other area that was affected is the liturgy and how it was conducted and finally the understanding of faith and its role in Christian life was redefined. These changes meant a dramatic shift in perception both within and without.



Changes in perspective and view of the bible led to translation of the bible into local languages. The argument was that evangelism should be done in a language that is common to the masses. Instead of teaching language then using it to evangelize, the priests were supposed to learn local languages and pioneer translation. This led to local participation in exploring the scriptures since they could understand. Originally, the bible was only available in Latin and this was the order of mass.



With the changes in practice of the liturgy, the local community and faithful in general were given a more prominent role. This was in addition to celebrating mass in native language. They could serve during mass at the altar and do other things that were a preserve of priests. They included sharing sermons during community gathering. Local songs, dances and rhythms were allowed during mass.



There was a drastic and dramatic shift in the way faith was perceived. It changed from a lethargic, legalistic and formal perception into an open, free and personal. Local dioceses were given more authority over activities within their territory. An individual was given personal freedom to experience Christ. Emphasis was placed on catechism as a way of making the faithful understand and live the faith.



Another twist that accelerated the revolution was the biblical renewal ignited by the encyclical by Pius XII in 1943. It was entitled Divino Afflante Spiritu and addressed the missionaries on the language of the bible. It formed the foundation for the Second Vatican Council to push for bible translation into more languages. All translations were to be based on manuscripts from the original bible.



When locals could access scripture in native languages, access to the word of God was enhanced. People began sharing the word amongst themselves in the absence of priests and with the aid of lay missionaries. Vatican II pushed the priests to ensure greater awareness of liturgy and encourage active participation during Eucharistic celebrations. The duty was on priests to guide the faithful.



Other changes that resulted from documents and recommendations made in the intervening years led to the rise of Charismatic Renewal movement. The group was strengthened by the resolve of Second Vatican Council to encourage a personal encounter with Christ. Members would be seen praying audibly, with lifted hands and speaking in tongues. All dioceses and parishes did not embrace the movement equally. Some have expressed skepticism about their activity.



Catholic Renewal was a wave that swept across the church over several decades. It was fanned by several events and factors. It changed the way the Catholic Church was viewed internally and externally. The most significant changes were expansion of the role of lay faithful and increased independence for dioceses. Most of the change was felt in the missionary church.



Be sure to take a look at the official theology forums featuring all about Catholic evangelization. Here you will gain an insight into this subject by checking out the relevant website at http://www.wakeuplazarus.net.

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