Sunday, July 15, 2007

There is too much in their traditions to ignore

By Henry Karlson
But the question remains – what relationship can there be with Catholicism and the pre-Christian Native American practices? The question is not easy to answer, and indeed, Native Americans find themselves split over the answer; some Catholics embrace their cultural heritage, others feel they must abandon it to become a Catholic. Some non-Christians are angered when the two traditions are brought together, feeling it relatives their own faith; others believe a Catholic embrace of Native American traditions helps bring stability and order to the rather fractured society on the reservation.
But truly, for the Catholic, the answer has to be as with all cultures, a yes and no – as it was with the Greeks, as it was with the Romans, as it was with the Celts, as it was with the Germans, so it must be with the Native Americans. There is too much in their traditions to ignore, and Catholics can gain from studying them and putting them into practice. For example, we can follow Blessed Kateri and her respect for the environment; is there any surprise that her original Native American spirituality, when baptized into Christ, led her to becoming one of our patrons for ecological awareness? Posted by Henry Karlson at 5:13 AM Labels: , Comments (4)

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