MANILA, Sept. 27, 2012— To help raise funds for indigenous peoples, parish churches are urged to have second collection in all Masses on Oct.14, as the Catholic Church marks IP Sunday.
In a letter sent to different dioceses, the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples appealed for prayers and financial aid for their continuing work for native Filipinos.
The bishops formed the ECIP in 1975 to respond to the plight of the Filipino indigenous peoples.
To date, the agency continues to work for IPs in their efforts to secure justice for themselves, protect their ancestral domains, and preserve their cultural heritage.
With the theme “Evangelization and Inculturation,” the IP Sunday celebration is about “relating Gospel to the situation of our indigenous brethren, respectful of their cultural practices”.
In a pastoral letter, ECIP chairman and Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio Utleg stated “In modern times, Christianity wears a western face.”
He said two movements account for this: Greco-Roman cultures has shaped Christianity, while at the same time western culture has been influenced and formed by Christian values.
“However, through Inculturation ‘the Church makes Gospel incarnate in different cultures and at the same time introduces people, together with their cultures into her own community,’” said Utleg while quoting Blessed John Paul II’s encyclical letter Redemptoris missio.
Therefore, he added, if the church wants Christianity to take root among the IPs, it will have to follow the same route.
“Evangelization – the absorption of Gospel values and Inculturation – expressing these values in terms that are understandable by the indigenous peoples and respectful of their culture practices – go hand in hand,” said Utleg.
“We need to strive to have a deeper understanding of what Inculturation means in faith and culture, gather and share with one another examples of ‘inculturated worship and way of life’ that are now being practiced among our IP communities and come up with ‘models’ of inculturation that can be introduced, adapted and improved in other areas,” he said. [CBCPNews]