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Paul VI wearing flower garlands in India

The Beginning of Inculturation
On December 4, 1964, Paul VI landed in Bombay, India. In the welcoming ceremony an innovation was made, and the Pope allowed several flower garlands to be placed over his head. The garlands are typically used at Hindu ceremonial functions.

With that symbolic act, we saw the start of the flood of adaptation of the Catholic Church to regional cultures in general, and to Buddhism and Hinduism in particular. All the Buddhist spirituality and Hindu asceticism that was later introduced into the religious life of the West - and is increasingly dominating it - can be considered as present in this first act of inculturation.
Paul VI visit to India


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted February 22, 2009

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