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Rite and Culture Print E-mail
By Joseph Ratzinger   
Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Christian faith can never be separated from the soil of sacred events, from the choice made by God, who wanted to speak to us, to become man, to die and rise again, in a particular place and at a particular time. “Always” can only come from “once for all”. The Church does not pray in some kind of mythical omni-temporality. She cannot forsake her roots. She recognizes the true utterance of God precisely in the concreteness of its history, in time and place: to these God ties us, and by these we are all tied together. The diachronic aspect, praying with the Fathers and the apostles, is part of what we mean by rite, but it also in­cludes a local aspect, extending from
Jerusalem to Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, and Constantinople. Rites are not, therefore, just the products of inculturation, how ever much they may have incorporated elements from different cultures. They are forms of the apostolic Tradition and of it’s unfolding in the great places of the Tradition. 
 
 

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