DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     December 20, 1999     vol. 10, no. 241

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Cardinal Rivera Confirms Juan Diego's Historicity

        MEXICO CITY, DEC 17 (ZENIT).- The best evangelizer of Mexico is the Virgin of Guadalupe. This is not something of past centuries, but a daily contemporary event, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop Primate of Mexico said, when addressing the "John Paul II and Virgin of Guadalupe" International Congress, which was held in the Archdiocese of Mexico City from December 9-12.

        No theologian, pastor, religious or enlightened soul has found the formula for inculturation of the Gospel and synthesis of theology as Saint Mary of Guadalupe did in her apparition to Juan Diego, the Cardinal said. "The picture of the 'Morenita' is still imprinted on the serape and some aspects of its composition and conservation are an inexplicable challenge to human science."

        Cardinal Rivera recalled the Popes who have recognized the cult and devotion to the Mexican Virgin of Tepeyac: Gregory XIII, Benedict XIV, Leo XIII and John Paul II. "The words of the Supreme Pontiffs over the centuries on the Guadalupe Event have been spoken on the foundation of historical investigation, with fully attested scientific methodology. This was affirmed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, after studying the Spanish, Indian, and mixed historical sources, and scientifically proving and guaranteeing the correct theological interpretation of the Guadalupe message."

        Referring to the controversial statements of Fr. William Schulenburg, former Abbot of the Basilica of Guadalupe, who denies the historical existence of Juan Diego, the Indian to whom the Virgin appeared, and is opposed to his canonization, Cardinal Rivera warned that there will always be persons who deny transcendental events for man's salvation. "Over the centuries many have denied Christ's historicity or his humanity or divinity," noted the Cardinal, but God continues to use the same method of manifestation throughout history: simplicity.

        Cardinal Rivera recalled to the words of Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, during his September visit to Mexico: "I would say that in the Universal Church no one can reasonably doubt that Blessed Juan Diego has been an emissary of the Most Holy Mary in order to know her and love her, and in her, her Divine Son." ZE99121606

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December 20, 1999       volume 10, no. 241


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