Christians living in countries where Marxist inspired revolutions have taken place must find new ways of expressing their faith if they are to avoid oppression and practical elimination, according to Fr John Bonzanino, Consolata priest now working in Ethiopia.
He says that this will probably involve deepening their own faith rather than trying to convert others.
Writing in the latest edition of Consolata Missions, the Order's magazine, Fr Bonzanino, an Italian, said: "The Gospel states that Christ's followers must meet three basic requirements -charity, poverty, service. The revolution will hardly refuse people who witness to these three evangelical requirements."
He said that in Mozambique, Ethiopia, Angola and other African countries under Marxist
governments, most Christians had had no adequate preparation or organisation to tackle the problem of how best to contribute to their countries' liberation.
Questions which they ought to consider included: How can I keep my religion without neglecting my country? What can I do to make people admit that the revolution cannot be complete and sound without the co-operation of the Christians of Our country? I-low shall I help my fellow Christians to accept the fact that, in order to survive, they cannot just withdraw from society and wait for God's help?
They should also think about ways to prepare the local Church to cope if all foreign missionaries were expelled, he said.
Ironically, the Italianbook from which the extracts were taken for the article has been withdrawn from bookshops because of possible repercussions in Ethiopia.
Lefebvre asks again
Traditionalist Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre has asked for another audience with Pope John Paul but has refused to modify his hard-line stance on the Tridentine Mass and Vatican politics as a condition of the interview.
The Archbishop will visit Rome next Wednesday after meeting Cardinal Seper of Yugoslavia, who has been appointed by the Vatican to mediate in the "Lefebvre affair".
Archbishop Lefebvre last met the Pope for an unusually long three quarters of an hour audience in November but was uncharacteristically reserved about the meeting. At a Press conference afterwards he would say only that he thought it would be possible to continue discussions.