Question: Why does the Catholic Church allow so many different devotions?
Answer: Many popular devotions arose in response to a particular need in the Church at a specific time in history. St. Dominic is believed to have spread devotion to the Rosary in the Middle Ages as an antidote to the Albigensian heresy, which maintained that all matter was intrinsically evil, and denied the Incarnation.
As long as a devotion "harmonizes" with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, is in some way derived from it, and lead the people to it" ("Sacred Liturgy," No. 13), it may be embraced wholeheartedly as a means of encouraging spiritual growth and communion with God.
- From Pastoral Answers to Questions About the Faith by Fr. John Patrick Bertolucci
copyright © 1999-2006, Spirituality for Today