Synod For Asia: The intervention of Most Rev. Adam Exner, OMI, Archbishop of VancouverTuesday, April 28 1998
SYNOD OF BISHOPS FOR ASIA
SUMMARY OF INTERVENTION BY MOST REVEREND ADAM EXNER, OMI
ARCHBISHOP OF VANCOUVER, BC
PHENOMENON OF GLOBALIZATION
The phenomenon of globalization, frequently mentioned in the interventions of this Synod, is the topic I wish to address particularly in so far as globalization is brought about by the migration of people from one country to another. The Archdiocese of Vancouver is a good example of a society that has become multicultural. Our parishes often have parishioners from fifty to sixty different countries. A high percentage of these are Asians.
Some Synod Fathers, as I have noted in their interventions, tend to view immigration and multiculturalism with anxiety for fear of the potential effect of multiculturalism on the culture and the cultural values of their country. While this anxiety may be warranted to a degree, I want to suggest that immigration and multiculturalism also have positive values which, in my opinion, outweigh the negative aspects.
The multicultural experience is a very rich one in that it provides for mutual enrichment and contributes greatly to the growth of better understanding, fraternity, harmony and peace among people of different racial and cultural origins. The multicultural experience does have some difficulties and challenges. Communication with each other is not always easy. It is difficult to provide services in different languages as needed. This is where we need help from foreign dioceses.
Finally, in a multicultural situation, inculturation becomes virtually impossible. In spite of the difficulties inherent in our multicultural situation, our Church is very much alive and growing. This growth is due in part to immigration and in part to a significant growth in the number of conversions. A high percentage of our converts are Asians.
Globalization and the migration of people from one country to another are not likely to cease. We have a unique opportunity to capitalize on the rich potential in multicultural existence for evangelization and the building up of the Kingdom.