So, Jillian attended her first Mass!

My "sister" Sonia kindly set up a meeting for me with a Catholic priest that does/teaches Liberation Theology.  I made up my little list of questions, and had her translate them in Spanish, just to be sure.  I
was quite nervous, because I knew this was going to be all in Spanish, and I hoped I could understand!

I waited for Sonia on the steps of the Temple of the Sun (Coricancha), which was rebuilt into a Dominican cathedral, at 7pm.  We made our way inside the church, and to my surprise, the mass was being said.  We took a bench, and I carefully watched everyone around me,
to sit, stand, and kneel at the correct times.  It was all in Spanish, and quite different than a protestant service.  There weren't that many people, but then, it was a Thursday night.  Looking up at the Jesus hanging on the wall, he almost seemed more alive, more real.  A local Cusqueñean band played along with the service, and at one point, sang a song with the chorus "Mi amigo Jesus", which for some reason struck me as funny.  Wish you had been there, Celeste!  And then the time
came for the communion, and I don't even know if I'm allowed to take it, since I haven't been baptised.  Oh well, I was quite nervous, as I got in line behind Sonia, and hoped that I wouldn't do something to
utterly embarrass myself.  When I got to the priest, I
just stuck my tongue out, received the huge wafer which tasted vaguely familiar, and returned to my seat, wondering if it was blaphemous to chew the body of Christ.  Hm.

After the service, we made our way to the priest, who was a very gentle man.  We followed him out the door of the church, down a narrow avenue/alley where floods of students passed us by.  We made our way to his home (?), to a sitting room, where he talked at quite some
length about liberation theology, which clarified things for me.

This priest certainly was liberal!  He believed that the Catholic church needs to change, to let women be priests, to allow contraception, and one other thing, which at the moment escapes me.  He actually was from Spain, and realized that these changes, especially with women, were probably unlikely.  But the basic kernel that I gleamed about this discussion, was that Liberation Theology is about trying to restructure the church in Latin America, so that the focus is on helping the poor, using the bible to support the ideas.

I felt quite grateful that my Spanish was good enough to be able to understand him (even though he did have a weird accent from Spain "ethetera" instead of "ecetera").  If I had come here with no Spanish, I
would have missed out on so much!


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