Pagan chant to the deity Olokun in the Basilica of St. Francis during Assisi III

I think the whole Assisi III thing was overblown. I watched a bit of it and read some of the interventions. Dull.

However, someone sent this by email.  In the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, for this inter-religious confab for peace an African pagan priest sang a prayer to the pagan deity of Olokun.

http://gloria.tv/?media=209137

I watched the video. Kinda cool sounding chant!

Not so cool in a church.

He didn’t kill an animal or anything like that, but I think it was a sacrilegious to have that in a church.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are surely saying. “What was so wrong about that? After all, he was just singing something he believes. You are intolerant and against diversity.  You obviously hate Vatican II. ”

On the face of it, nothing is wrong with him singing his own prayers.   I think he has a false faith, but he seems sincerely to believe it.  I hope he’ll come around, but in the meantime he can pray what it pleases him to pray.  What I don’t like was that it was in a consecrated church, a church consecrated to the one true Trinue God and in honor of St. Francis.

When something is consecrated, it should be used for sacred purposes or at least purposes that are not contrary to the Faith. Was that African holy man doing something contrary to our Faith? I can’t say for sure, because I don’t know enough about what that fellow actually sang.  I don’t understand that language.  But it sure looks like he did. My immediate impression was not good. At the very least, the choice to have that in a consecrated church shows little regard on the part of the organizers for the appearance of things. It was also wrong to be so insensitive to the Catholic sensibilities of members of our Holy Church.

I am trying to imagine what St. Francis, who as tough as nails when it came to the faith and nobody’s fool, would have said about that chant in a consecrated church.

For pity’s sake, couldn’t the organizers have learned from the mistakes made at Assisi I, back in the day?

In any event, I don’t think this is worth freaking out over.  No doubt some people will say that this was Pope Benedict’s fault, as if he made out the schedule and took that fellow up to the microphone himself.  I doubt any of the organizers intended to do anything contrary to the Catholic Faith, but I am irritated that these people seem not to be able to learn from the past.

If I were Pope, some people would putting their belongings in a box and moving to a new assignment.

Meanwhile, it might be worthwhile to review Mortalium animos.

Pagan chant to the deity Olokun in the Basilica of St. Francis during Assisi III
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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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129 Responses to Pagan chant to the deity Olokun in the Basilica of St. Francis during Assisi III

  1. wmeyer says:

    I totally agree. This is not about multi-culti feel good emotions, but about the meaning of consecration. A consecrated church is not a meeting hall, despite the way some folks may behave there. And if there were to be an open opportunity for attendants to pray to their own notion of a deity, then a meeting hall would have been a more appropriate venue.

    Just for perspective, try going into a mosque and praying the rosary.

  2. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Well, Father, the Holy Father knew full well the kinds of shenanigans at Assisi before, and he wrote a letter to a Lutheran pastor in the spring that the principles of Dominus Iesus would guide the meeting. He knew the dangers and certainly as pope had the power to make sure such stuff would be avoided. He didn’t even have to call this thing in the first place.

    Alas it was another shameful affair. More smarmy indifferentism with a bit of sacrilege sprinkled in. I suppose the silver lining is that the MSM pretty much ignored it.

    P.S. I thought it quite eccentric when Benedict suggested that the combined prayers to all the different gods in 1986 brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    I watched this on EWTN and didn’t know what he was saying, but it didn’t ruffle my feathers. I’m sure they couldn’t review and approve the speeches ahead of time. Perhaps some sort of secular public venue in Assisi would have been better? Oh well, what can you do? Overall, I thought it was pretty good.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    I have hated all the Assisi gatherings, and I have been severely criticized by fellow Catholics by calling this sacrilegious. We have just seen a great compromise here, and we have just given more syncretic power to the other religions who think they are the same as the Catholic Church. Please, Holy Father, no more Assisis. What will the SSPX say next, as well?

  5. Fr Martin Fox says:

    Father,

    I totally agree. No disrespect meant to the Holy Father, but maybe he needs to “freak out” a little on those who did this (“I said no wire hangers!”).

    Not only is this disrespectful to the sacredness of the place, and to Catholic belief, it is likewise disrespectful to the Orthodox, to other Christians who were present–who, aside from the issues that separate them from us, nonetheless are entitled not to have pagan prayer foisted upon them; and I’d say the same for any Jews present as well. Gee whiz, this is even something the Muslims could complain about!

    And it couldn’t come at a worse time, I think, for the dialogue with our friends in the SSPX.

    I don’t object to interfaith dialogue; I personally think interfaith prayer can only be attained, if at all, with Jews, because we share some prayers together. But this may call for the pope to kill this, or else declare the prayer part will only be among Christians; non-Christians will be welcomed to a non-prayer event at an adjacent facility.

  6. frjim4321 says:

    Fascinating!

    I found it interesting that the Ratio Tranlationis (#31) points to pre-Christian/pagan prayers as sources of the prayer forms of the Roman Rite, and particularly how the present form our outline of our Opening Prayer is very similar to prayers to the pagan Roman “dieties.”

  7. Mary Jane says:

    “Not so cool in a church.”

    100% agree. This was not good. Our churches should not be used for non-Catholic purposes.

  8. QMJ says:

    St. Francis, “who was tough as nails when it came to the faith…” It amazes me how this characteristic of St. Francis is ignored. This insult to the memory of St. Francis is just the icing on the cake.

    Quanah

  9. Fr. A.M. says:

    Were the organizers aware beforehand what this pagan priest would do ? The programme of events merely says

    – intervento di Prof. Wande Abimbola (Portavoce IFA e Religione Yoruba)

    Did other participants offer prayers and/or made speeches ? If the organizers left this to the discretion of the participants themselves, then that was a mistake. Overall I think that is was better then the last two ‘Assisis’. It could have been much worse.

  10. Tony Layne says:

    I don’t really see any point in getting wound up about it. Okay, yes, it wasn’t cool of him to pray to his deity inside our church … but in absence of information to the contrary, we should do the organizers the charity of assuming it happened without their foreknowledge and consent. But it does make for an interesting quaestio: Does the prayer of a non-Christian to a pagan deity inside a church defile it? Would the church require any cleansing or re-dedicating rites?

  11. pfreddys says:

    I am just so sick and tired of PAGAN IDOL WORSHIP!!!!
    We see it all around us, remember G. K. Chesterton said: “If people stop beliving in God, they will not believe in nothing; but, rather they will believe in anything.”

  12. Supertradmum says:

    Haven’t there been martyrs who died rather than take part in pagan ceremonies? Confusion is from the evil one, and, the details of whether anyone knew what each person was going to do is immaterial, as the chaos of inter-religious worship,is, simply, not in the Holy Spirit,but the spirit of Man.

  13. kiloran says:

    These news have been commented in many Argentinian blogsites. Mainly, readers remember I Cor. X, 20-22 -” . . . pagans offer sacrifices to demons, not to God . . . I don´t want you to enter in communion with demons . . . You can´t seat at the table of the Lord and at the one of the demons . . . “- (my horrible and hurried traslation). A Brazilian reader afirms that “this is the third opportunity a Pope denies to know Jesuschrist as the only God before a menacing world. We only have to wait the crow of the rooster”

  14. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    My first thought was “the Abomination of Desolation in the Holy Place…” – irrelevantly?

  15. bmccoy says:

    Could the church have lost it’s consecration as a result of this?

  16. Denita says:

    This is the main thing I don’t like about Assisi( the gathering, that is ). Yes, we should get along, but I don’t see any of us going into a Jewish temple, mosque, or even a Buddhist shrine and saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It’s just not done. And how can we reconcile with our Eastern friends( and Protestants) if we allow this stuff in our churches? St. Francis must be doing summersalts in his tomb.

  17. There are those who might say that Father is causing scandal by airing this. They go by the ‘let’s keep our scandalous things quiet’ rule. They think they are avoiding scandal this way…..

    There is a better way of ‘avoiding scandal’. Don’t do scandalous things!

  18. Louis OblOSB says:

    This kind of thing drives me insane. It’s why I really don’t like the Assisi gatherings at all (even though I love Assisi itself). You wan’t to allow this pagan to pray in the square, let him pray in the square. He does not need to do pagan prayers in our Father’s house :(

  19. Dr. K says:

    It’s moments like this that give justification to the claims that the Church has lost its way since Vatican II. The diversity love-fest needs to stop. Proclaiming the Gospel truth and converting unbelievers needs to be revived.

  20. benedetta says:

    I sort of doubt that it was completely cleared in advance, and protocol for the purpose of the occasion would dictate against doing that, as Fr. Z points out, in a place consecrated. Watching the video as a matter of fact it seems rather surreptitious the way he took out the gourd/shaker after he stepped up there. And it seems from others’ reaction on the video it was not something that was expected by others. I do not think it necessary for Christians to be set up as if praying to pagan deities in order to come together at the invitation of the Holy Father to say, as believers and non-believers, that terrorism and violence is not justified in order to further belief, ideology, religion, or for that matter, atheism.

  21. Michael Pakaluk says:

    Wouldn’t the consecration of the church nullify the pagan prayers, rather than the other way round? Does the devil enter a place which is consecrated, dedicated to a great saint, and where Our Lord is really present — and besides has holy water and lots of crucifixes?

  22. Giambattista says:

    Thanks Fr. Z. for calling this what it is: “Not so cool in a church”. Many priests “in good standing” will either try to defend this, some will ignore it and bury their heads in the sand and still others will say it was beyond the control of the organizers. Few will call it what it is – not cool.

    Given what happened at Assisi I and Assisi II, there was more than a slight chance something like this may occur. This being so, the event (if it had to be) should have been held at a secular venue to prevent this kind of scandal to the faithful.

    This is exactly the kind of crap that leads many people to conclude that there is a hermeneutic of rupture. A lot of tradition-minded people (Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and others) are going to have a field day with this one…

    Not cool, indeed!

  23. Cosmos says:

    So in summation:
    – Pagans praying to another God in a Catholic Church is just not a big deal.
    – Noone could have expected a pagan spiritual leader invited to represent his religion in a gathering of religious leaders to include a prayer in his remarks. It was completely random and came completely out of the blue.
    – The fact that the Pope was there, and this was not just some random act by some random priest doesn’t change the charachter of the event. Popes can’t be expected to know what goes on at every stop they make.
    – There is nothing to see here, move along, move along.

  24. benedetta says:

    Cosmos, Other than calling the whole thing off what would you have done as a control mechanism ahead of time to prevent that. As a practical matter would you prevent unbelievers from entering any churches ever to prevent that or just on public occasions which are televised with the Holy Father. As a practical matter I am not sure that this can be totally eradicated successfully even in less auspicious occasions. But no, it did not look like it was planned or that he had cleared it with anyone in advance and that would be because most would deem such a thing insensitive towards one’s Catholic hosts.

  25. anna 6 says:

    I appreciate Fr. Z’s unease, but don’t you think it might be better to know exactly what the man said before others begin making references to “the cock crowing”. We don’t know for sure that he was praying to a pagan god.

    DId anyone see the lame dancers in the square? Now THAT”S offensive. It was kind of amusing watching the pope squirm though. He was probably thinking, “would it have killed you to use Beethoven?”

  26. MarkJ says:

    Pope Benedict should have stood in front of everyone there and clearly proclaimed the One True Religion, and then urged them to all repent and believe the Truth, but alas, all we got was a scandalous mixture of Truth and Error promoted by the words and actions of those who participated. The world needs Absolute Truth, not watered down peace and love platitudes. In my opinion, Pope Benedict lost an incredible opportunity to make amends for the scandals of the previous Assisi meetings, and to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to a “captive audience”. Real Peace can only come from the Prince of Peace Himself and from embracing the One True Faith.

  27. Joseph says:

    I think the church has to be rededicated after this.
    Why not have all come for a dinner party or meet in a fishing resort instead of those painful Assisi gatherings?

  28. ContraMundum says:

    I don’t think there was anything good that could have come out of this meeting that could possibly make up for the sacrilege.

    I’d like to see just a bit more of the zeal and confidence that led St. Boniface to chop down the oak at Geismar.

  29. Vincenzo says:

    Happy Birthday!

  30. Katharine B. says:

    “Christ suffers in his own church…The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again…”

    Cardinal Ratzinger Good Friday, March 25

  31. BobP says:

    His garments are pretty cool too but…

  32. Maltese says:

    During his 25th anniversary celebration being Bishop of Santa Fe, archbishop Sheehan had pagan Buffalo dancers incense the altar at the Basilica Cathedral in Santa Fe, NM.

    The nice thing about my age and stage is that I can’t face reprisals from liberal Bishops like Sheehan; I just feel very sorry for innocent Priests under their tutelage.

  33. Johnny Domer says:

    I don’t think the problem is that the organizers “didn’t learn from the past.” The problem is that the organizers are the Sant’ Egidio crowd, who are pretty liberal in their leanings and love this ecumaniacal stuff. They’ve got a whole different agenda from the Pope.

  34. ipadre says:

    Most of our people, and some priests would think is it beautiful. However, the same people are repulsed by Latin Mass parts in the Ordinary Form. I wonder when the Extraordinary Form was last said in the Basilica!? I bet if you asked the Friars to offer the Ef, you would be given the run around. Maybe I’ll ask when I’m in Italy on my next visit!

  35. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Taking benedetta (at 5:10 p.m.) and MarkJ (at 5:35 p.m.) together, if there could not certainly have been prevention, surely (in fact) someone – whether the Holy Father or another – could immediately have ‘improvised’ and intervened and (insofar as appropriate) contravened, along the lines of “Professor Ambibola, would you please translate your words and comment briefly on them and your actions?” followed by… whatever the factual situation then called for in the way of Christian comment, correction, etc.?

    Let pomp and planning bow to content and emergent occasions…

  36. St. Rafael says:

    Another problem with all this, is that we know from scripture and Catholic teaching, that the pagan gods are usually demons. The name of a pagan deity is the name of a demon. A pagan priest chanting to a demon can open up the door to demonic infestation of the basilica. Demons can possess places and things. Some would say that there are other sacred places already in the hands of demons.

  37. kat says:

    How can anyone think one could “blow this event out of proportion”? Proportion? Can we “rate” an infinite offense against the One True Almighty God? Or is this a less-infinite, less-serious, mortal sin than another? Oh, it’s not a sin? “I am the Lord Thy God, Thou Shalt not have strange gods before me.” I really and truly do not believe God was ONLY SPEAKING to the Jews, and the Catholics after them. His laws are meant for ALL mankind.

    I’m sorry. The comments here that attribute / make this anything less than the serious evil it is just blow my mind. Does anyone read the martyrology anymore? Do you remember WHY all those martyrs in the coliseum died? And the many others all over the Roman Empire in early Christian times? Would ANY of these martyrs have stood by, or later written to a blog saying it was “uncool.”? Really?

    May God have mercy on us all. We are so imbued with a spirit of false “religious liberty” that we can’t see blasphemy when it smacks us in the face.

    How much longer will Our Lady hold back the arm of Her Son before He chastises us?

  38. jhayes says:

    MarkJ said: “Pope Benedict should have stood in front of everyone there and clearly proclaimed the One True Religion, and then urged them to all repent and believe the Truth”

    You might have that impression from Mortalium Animos of 1928, but I would start by reading Nostra Aetate of 1965 and other more recent documents before going back that far. [Be careful not to talk down to the readership here.]

    Religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts and a more developed language. Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust. Again, Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination. Likewise, other religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing “ways,” comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.(4)

    The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men.

    Nostra Aetate

    [Mortalium animos is still a document of the Church’s Magisterium. As such it must still be integrated into one’s consideration of this issue. ]

  39. jhayes says:

    MarkJ said: “Pope Benedict should have stood in front of everyone there and clearly proclaimed the One True Religion, and then urged them to all repent and believe the Truth”

    You might have that impression from Mortalium Animos of 1928, but I would start by reading Nostra Aetate> of 1965 and other more recent documents before going back that far.

    Religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts and a more developed language. Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust. Again, Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination. Likewise, other religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing “ways,” comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.(4)

    The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men.

    Nostra Aetate

  40. Jason Keener says:

    Kat,

    I agree with you that these sorts of offenses against the First Commandent are just not taken as seriously as they once were. I think it is we who have changed and not God Who must still be greatly offended, even in the year 2011, by those who choose to worship Him in ways outside of the Catholic Church that He established for our salvation. I would also venture to say that the Lord is probably not too happy with Catholics who would allow these kinds of pagan things to happen inside of a Catholic Church with the Holy Father himself present. It is hard to figure out why the Catholic Church is even involved in this sort of nonsense, but then again, not much surprises me these days.

  41. St. Rafael says:

    You might have that impression from Mortalium Animos of 1928, but I would start by reading Nostra Aetate of 1965 and other more recent documents before going back that far.

    Mortalium Animos is Magisterial teaching and a papal document that is part of the Ordinary Magisterium.

    Nostra Aetate is a pastoral document that is not part of the Magisterium because it contains errors, and like all the other pastoral Vatican II documents, it has zero and absolutely no infallibility or protection from error by the Holy Spirit.

  42. Don’t freak out, eh, Father? When in the history of the RCC has Peter encouraged other religionists to ‘devoutly persue their own traditions’ in the cause of ‘peace’ which our Blessed Lord explicitly said He did NOT come to bring? How can Peter encourage those that religiously deny Christ to devoutly obseve their own religions?????

  43. I concur with St. Raphael. Mortalium animos includes judgments, condemnations, and censures which do not occur anywhere in the sixteen ‘pastoral’ documents of Vatican II. Vatican II waived its duties required by the ordinary magisterium to condemn error. So much for the “medicine of mercy” (John XXIII) applied to heresy. No matter how churchmen try to nuance this, it is an enormous scandal to an already confused and tragically mal-catechized Faithful.

  44. David Homoney says:

    For a bit of brevity, is it just me or is that the Archbishop of Canterbury Gandolf the White I see in the background? Is he trying for a part as Merlin? Ugh. This whole event makes me wretch, like a drank a mouthful of rotted milk. Ad Gloriam Ecclesiae!

  45. Warren says:

    I’m a 24/7 Catholic who knows himself to be a balanced individual. I am not given to superstition. I’m not prone to imagining that demons lurk behind every rock. Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!

    That said, I find this whole Assisi event very, very unsettling. I mean, really, prayers to a pagan deity inside a Catholic basilica?! Sacrilege! There has to be a better way to host a forum for men of goodwill to witness to peace and religious freedom without exposing Catholic sanctuaries to misuse.

    The SSPX folk must be having a fit right about now. I can’t say I wouldn’t blame them.

  46. Was anyone else confused about the Holy Father’s remarks that the Church used violence in the past and that we are now ashamed of this? Ashamed of what? Is everyone free to fill in that blank? Crusades? Spanish Inquisition? 30 years War? Am I the only one offended by this condemnation of Catholics who can no longer defend themselves? What is it we are to be ashamed of – and not just in front of Christ, but in front of Jews, heretics and pagans?

  47. nemo says:

    It appeared that this event was held in the square in front of the Basilica–not in the Basilica itself. I looked at a few minutes of it on EWTN and switched to the Food Channel.

  48. St. Rafael says:

    Pope Pius VIII in the encyclical Traditi humilati nostrae:

    “And this is the lethal system of religious indifferentism, which is repudiated by the light of natural reason itself. In this light we are warned that, among many religions which disagree with one another, when one is true, that there can be no association with light and darkness. Against these repeaters of ancient errors, the people must be assured, Venerable Brethren, that the profession of the Catholic Faith is alone the true one, since the Apostle tells us that there is one Lord and one baptism. As Jerome says, the man who eats the Lamb outside of this house is profane, and the man who is not in the ark of Noah is going to perish in the deluge. Neither is there any other name apart from the Name of Jesus given to men by which we must be saved. He who believes will be saved, and he who shall not have believed will be condemned.”

  49. MarkJ says:

    @jhayes: These people need and deserve to know the full Truth. Period. And the Pope had a golden opportunity to tell them the Truth in Assisi. God does not want these people to continue in their errors. It is the Pope’s duty to proclaim the Gospel – just like St. Peter did on that first Pentecost, just like the martyrs have done through the centuries, just like we are called to do. The “Pastoral solution” proposed by Vatican II has been a source of confusion, loss of Faith and scandal, and a complete and utter failure. It has devastated the vineyard. It is time to join with the Saints and boldly proclaim our Faith in Jesus to all who will listen so that in the end they may be saved. For there is no other Name in Heaven or on Earth by which men may be saved. The Pope should be foremost at leading us in witnessing to Him who is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life.

  50. And if anything, because it was Assisi THREE and the commemoration of ‘Blessed’ John Paul II’s initiative 25 years ago, what is this but the establishment of a neoModernist ‘tradition’ that future Pontiffs will be obligated to observe? How can the Church change course now? Is not the path of universalism as envisioned by Teilhard now institutionalized?

  51. tm30 says:

    This is nauseating. The pagan gods are demons at worst, idols at best. The Church is charged with the task of attacking the gates of Hell, not inviting Lucifer over for a cup of coffee.

    We are awash in a sea of secular paganism. We are not obligated to “build bridges” with these groups.

  52. Geoffrey says:

    I think many miss the point of the original intention of the Assisi gatherings. The purpose was/is to promote peace among the various religions of the world… religions which have often been at each others throats, with much bloodshed on both sides.

    We have to look at it with some perspective. Blessed John Paul the Great witnessed first hand the horrors of the Nazi regime. His homeland was invaded and he saw his own friends being hauled away to death camps for one reason: their religion, and/or ethnicity. Communism followed. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI also witnessed these horrors. And just 10 years ago, the world saw further atrocities in the name of “religion” on 11 September 2001, after which Blessed John Paul summoned “Assisi II” because he wanted to try and stop the madness and chaos of the 20th century from being repeated in the 21st century.

    Was the purpose of the three Assisi gatherings to promote syncretism? Of course not. Read ‘Dominus Iesus’ which Pope Benedict XVI prepared at the express request of Blessed John Paul the Great.

    Were there problems, abuses, and misinterpretations at the three Assisi gatherings? Sadly, it would appear so. How the Evil One loves fomenting division! But that was never the intention on the part of Holy Mother Church. Both Blessed John Paul and Pope Benedict XVI did in fact preach the Gospel at Assisi; they preached peace among religions and an end to violence in the name of religion. May all the world hear the voice of Christ in His Vicar, and be led to the Gospel.

    Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperai in suo Vicario!

  53. MikeM says:

    I’ve been critical of the past Assisi meetings. I thought that this one was pretty much the best the Holy Father could do. Anything short Assisi II was bound to be treated as bigoted by the media (the WaPo wrote that the Pope “refused to pray with Hindus” about this Assisi gathering, as it was).

    Pope Benedict managed to get rid of most of the offensive tomfoolery (even if an example or two unfortunately made it in) without generating too much anti-Catholic sentiment. And, from a worldly perspective, I think that the event, in fact, was helpful in putting a better light on the role of religion in the world. The focus on peace and cooperation in an environment that didn’t push anyone to compromise their own beliefs was a good model for what we can hope might happen in broader society. I don’t like the idea of pagan prayers in a church in the least, but I’d prefer to look at this event as a step in the right direction rather than to get worked up over the remaining problems.

  54. Supertradmum says:

    Questions: Is the Holy Catholic Church the one, holy, cathoic and apostolic church, the only true Church and with the Orthodoxs, the only true religion according to Dominus Iesus?

    Are we to evangelize or encourage souls who without the graces in the Sacraments, given through the Holy Catholic Church will go to hell or suffer great pains in purgatory for false beliefs?

    Did all those centuries of martyrs die in vain, not honoring pagan gods,putting Church before acceptance, or even taking the communion with the Anglicans, preaching to the death, as did my favorites Edmund Campion and Robert Southwell?

    I remind all of Hebrews 12:1

    I seriously side with the SSPX on this issue of Assisi.
    Let us also therefore, having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, laying aside every weight, and sin which so easily entangles us, run with endurance the race that lies before us,

  55. catholicmidwest says:

    Why do they have to have these things in a church? Why can’t we have them in an auditorium instead? It’s not like the church doesn’t own any other kinds of buildings. I don’t get it.

  56. marknelza says:

    I agree that it was not appropriate. I can get really infuriated at how so many Catholics today confuse charity with rolling over and showing your belly and tolerating anything no matter how offensive to our faith.

  57. jflare says:

    Well, I guess I”m going to make some folks mad, but so be it.
    I can’t say that I’m precisely thrilled that the man prayed in a consecrated church, but….for my understanding, offering prayer of any kind IS the explicit point. Understood in context, I think we ought to be glad he prayed at all.

    I’ve known a few too many people who have yet to do even that much.

    If we believe that God hears all prayers–be they from the Catholic, the Protestant, the Muslim, the naturalist, or someone else–then it stands to reason that we ought to be willing to pray with another man for peace. I understand these meetings to be focused on bringing about world peace, an end to open warfare. Even if I’m too pessimistic to believe that’ll actually happen, seems to me a worthwhile pursuit.

    I agree that I’d prefer them to be praying a rosary, but since many of them don’t believe in God, I think it good that they prayed SOMEHOW. However imperfect, it’s better than no prayer at all. As to location, well, I would wonder if most of them would be willing to pray someplace else? I understand the concerns people raise, but if we’re calling on all peoples to pray, it’d be wise to avoid making appearances as though they’re “not good enough” for our house. It’s true enough that, well, they actually aren’t, but when they’re not actually ready to pray “correctly”, let’s be glad they prayed.

    It’s not a case as if we intended to give Muslims and heaven-knows-who the run of our churches everywhere on a daily basis.
    This was an event that everyone know quite well what was intended AND what would most likely happen.
    If it was spiritually risky or whatever, well…name me something that ISN’T spiritually risky.

    Let’s be glad they prayed and we hosted.

    Would you rather see another Occupy Wall Street mob instead?

  58. Neal says:

    Supertradmum above wrote that she sides with the SSPX on this issue. So do I. I wonder, however: do traditional groups like the FSSP? From what I can tell, they’ve all been keeping very quiet about this latest gathering, though I would be surprised they find them anything but scandalous. If this is true (and if I’ve missed something I’m sure someone will let me know), is it fair to assume that silence in the face of this scandal is the price of full communion?

    Such servility should not, and indeed must not, be confused with obedience.

  59. Neal says:

    jflare asks, “Would you rather see another Occupy Wall Street rally instead?”

    The Occupy rally in Rome resulted in, among other things, a smashed statue of the Blessed Virgin. Blasphemy! There was well-deserved outrage on the part of bloggers.

    Assisi 3 results in pagans worshipping strange gods in Catholic churches under the benign smiles of the pinnacle of Catholic heirarchy. Sacrilege! The response of bloggers? Lukewarm at best. (“Not cool”? Really? Is that the way to critique this sort of goings-on?)

    I’m starting to get the sense that the seriousness of the offence is in direct proportion to the station of the offender (and how much we are suppposed to like or dislike them), with the actual gravity of the act being of no consequence.

  60. renegade friar says:

    I think it is only the Catholics who are interested in the “Reunion of Christians” and the forging of fraternal relations with non-believers. We are now obsessed with this much as we have become paranoid over achieving world peace. The problems with the “Reunion …” and world peace have the same answers — in the Lord’s own good time! There is no need of compromising our identity as Catholics and flying in the face of Catholic doctrine. All we need to do is pray. No need calling for further meetings in Assisi that does more harm than good! But for pagans to hold pagan rites inside the Basilica di S.Francesco is a sacrilege. Shall we just allow sacrilege for the sake of peace? Come to think of this — can you offer the Holy Mass in a mosque?

  61. anna 6 says:

    Again I will ask the question…Do we know with absolute certainty that the man was praying to a pagan god? The lyrics listed on this video don’t at all seem to correspond to what he is singing.
    A few weeks back we endured the outrage of a large number of people who insisted that Pope Benedict was being “dissed” by bishops in Germany when he obviously was not.

    Be very careful that you know all of the facts before you start shouting “off with his head” at the Holy Father. He did everything he could to make it clear that this event was not syncretistic…beginning the prayer vigil with “Tu es Petrus”.

    Anyone who questions Pope Benedict’s fidelity needs to back it up…he deserves no less than their charity and seriousness!

  62. jhayes says:

    St. Rafael said,

    Mortalium Animos is Magisterial teaching and a papal document that is part of the Ordinary Magisterium.

    Nostra Aetate is a pastoral document that is not part of the Magisterium because it contains errors, and like all the other pastoral Vatican II documents, it has zero and absolutely no infallibility or protection from error by the Holy Spirit.

    In his 2005 Christmas address to the Curia in which he drew the distinction between a “hermaneutic of discontinuity” and a “hermaneutic of reform” (not “continuity” as it it sometimes misquoted), Pope Benedict explained the difference between enduring principles and decisions made in specific historical contexts.

    It is precisely in this combination of continuity and discontinuity at different levels that the very nature of true reform consists. In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the Church’s decisions on contingent matters – for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible – should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself. It was necessary to learn to recognize that in these decisions it is only the principles that express the permanent aspect, since they remain as an undercurrent, motivating decisions from within.

    On the other hand, not so permanent are the practical forms that depend on the historical situation and are therefore subject to change.

    Basic decisions, therefore, continue to be well-grounded, whereas the way they are applied to new contexts can change. Thus, for example, if religious freedom were to be considered an expression of the human inability to discover the truth and thus become a canonization of relativism, then this social and historical necessity is raised inappropriately to the metaphysical level and thus stripped of its true meaning. Consequently, it cannot be accepted by those who believe that the human person is capable of knowing the truth about God and, on the basis of the inner dignity of the truth, is bound to this knowledge.

    It is quite different, on the other hand, to perceive religious freedom as a need that derives from human coexistence, or indeed, as an intrinsic consequence of the truth that cannot be externally imposed but that the person must adopt only through the process of conviction.

    2005 speech

    I’ve quoted just one specific point, but the whole speech is worth reading again.

  63. Geoffry, as kindly as I can say it dear brother, there is no such Pontiff and Pope John Paul the Great. And it may be argued that the only reason he is beatified is because he dismantled the office of advocatus diabolos in 1983. It is gravely doubtful that he could have attained this exalted status under the rigors of the canonical system in place before he oversaw the abrogation of venerable standards that had stood for centuries. So you are welcome to lavish praise upon this Pope but you are also going to be challenged when you advance such hubris as though these were real titles conferred by the Church. For many of us, his pontificate was a complete disaster.

  64. Oops. Should say, as John Paul the Great…

  65. Frankly, I found Assisi III a total waste of time and money. What was done there could have been done at home of each participant. Furthermore, what bothered me the most was the opening remarks of Patriarch Bartholomeus, who never once mentioned the name of Jesus Christ, but said nothing but to foster the Green Agenda. I think many of my brother Orthodox Christians hung our heads in shame.

  66. Supertradmum says:

    I have a well-formed conscience and I am having troubles –here is a quotation from http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1349995?eng=y on doubts about Assisi expressed at a conference beforehand.

    “One of the speakers at the conference was Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, prefect of the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura, who said among other things:

    “There are a number of dangers that such an encounter could bring in terms of the mass media communication of the event, of which – as it is clear – the pontiff is well aware. The means of mass media communication will say, even with the images alone, that all religions have come together to ask God for peace. A poorly formed Christian could draw from this the gravely mistaken conclusion that one religion is as good as another, and that Jesus Christ is one of the many mediators of salvation.”

    As I love Cardinal Burke, I am concerned that he may be out of touch with the vast majority of uncatechized Catholics who will believe exactly what he claims would be rare.

  67. levi1991 says:

    Whilst I agree with the tone of this article Fr, especially what you have said about St Francis of Assissi, it is important to remember that he loved his faith and did not brook fools or ‘heretics’ much as modern day supporters of ecumenicism want to paint him otherwise, I am curious as to why you referred to Mortalium Animos? Whilst I agree its relevant you did say not so long ago that ‘these are not the times of Mortalium Animos’ have you changed your mind?

  68. irishgirl says:

    Going to try this again (got ‘kicked out’ on the wireless internet in the bookstore….sigh).
    Oh, boy….another hornets’ nest….
    I can just hear the reaction from the priests at the TLM chapel I go to; they will NOT be happy if they hear about this!
    Poor St. Francis….how his hometown is getting trashed….
    And I can also imagine the reactions in the more traditional Catholic press (Wanderer, Remnant, Catholic Family News, et al). They are going to have a field day!
    Not to mention the SSPX….I hope this does not push them further away from reconciliation with Rome.

  69. This man has not only say a personal prayer. If you study well what he made there and the yoruba religion of Ifa you will find two things:

    -He made a sacrifice to put order in the world, in that sacrifice is included the act of Assisi and the Pope itself.

    -That sacrifice is not for a good o love divinity, but for the evils ones too. Besides the man says he speaks with the authority that this powers gave him to put all in clear from the begining.

    Things that people doesn’t know are that Ifa religion has a extended spiritual concept of sacrifice. It can consist on physical or mental actions (just like our concept) and not only on the sacrifice of beings (kill a chicken). And always, the worship of the sacrifice is adressed to the left (evils powers) and invoke them to restore order whith the right ones and the humans (the concept of goog and evil is someway that of mani). Demons were invoked in Asssisi, not only a personal prayer. It remember me the table of daemons of Saint Paul.

    We can proof all of this from a book writen by this same man who sang in Assisi. For all of you who can read spanish i have in my blog http://divcomedia.blogspot.com/2011/10/et-vidi-de-mare-bestiam-ascendentem-et.html the links to the book and the quotations.

    Very sad. Noboy notes that, because they said “is only cultural tradition in form of poetry” Did the, at least, read the writtings of this man? Have they preserved the honour of god in his temple?

  70. Sorry for my ortography and mistakes . God with capital letters, please.

  71. anna 6 says:

    Again I will ask the question…Do we know with absolute certainty that the man was praying to a pagan god? The lyrics listed on this video don’t at all seem to correspond to what he is singing.
    A few weeks back we endured the outrage of a large number of people who insisted that Pope Benedict was being “dissed” by bishops in Germany when he obviously was not.

    Be very careful that you know all of the facts before you start shouting “off with his head” at the Holy Father. He did everything he could to make it clear that this event was not syncretistic…beginning the prayer vigil with “Tu es Petrus”.

    Anyone who questions Pope Benedict’s fidelity needs to back it up…he deserves no less than their charity and seriousness!

  72. Supertradmum, you nailed it. It is that very false presumption (that few Catholics will be scandalized or worse yet deceived by Assisi) that deeply troubles those of us who teach the Faith. Perhaps it is a grace that the media have largely ignored Assisi III…

  73. Centristian says:

    @Neal:

    “If this is true (and if I’ve missed something I’m sure someone will let me know), is it fair to assume that silence in the face of this scandal is the price of full communion?”

    Perhaps it is the case that it is hard to be anything but silent in the face of something so bewildering. I watched broadcasts of the event, and I could not see that there was any point to the event at all. It seemed like a completely empty and totally meaningless affair (at best). It was strange to see the Pope preside over all of this orchestrated meaningless…and it was not edifying, I am afraid, which I say with all due respect to the Holy Father. But finally, I just do not understand what it actually was. And if certain voices are not vocalizing condemnation, I imagine it is because they aren’t even sure what exactly happened. That is better, I think, than the voices who will harshly, now, condemn the Pope, having just as little understanding, themselves, of what actually happened.

    I don’t really know what to do but walk away from it and forget about it. It isn’t the first time, of course, that the actions of popes have left the faithful shaking their heads and wondering what to make of things. Think of the stellar example of the warrior Pope Julius II, or of the publicly scandalous behaviour of Pope Alexander VI (and others like him from the same era). Think of the powerful Italian families and patrician Roman woman using the papacy as their own property for the political and economic advancement of themselves and their families. The good Christfaithful of such times aware of such papal disappointments must have been sickened to the point of wanting to walk right out the door. But where were they to go? Many did run away from it all, of course, into the household of Protestant heresy and schism, confused, shaken and angry; a lamentable but very understandable reaction. So scandalized were they by Christ’s wounded Body, they could only think to flee rather than stay behind and care for it. Fortunately, many Veronicas stayed by and wiped the Face of our disfigured Church with their own personal holiness, witness, and examples.

    I think its also helpful to recognize that Christians of one era would potentially be scandalized by the Church of another, so much has the Church changed over the centuries of her existence. Many readers of this blog, for example, in today’s Church, would glory in the sight of, say, Pope St. Pius X, borne aloft on a throne on the shoulders of courtiers, surrounded by ostrich feathers and imperially crowned with the papal tiara. “Magnificent!” we would exclaim. Would a first century Christian feel the same way, however? Might he not be horrified and repulsed by the sight? “Our blessed Peter is arrayed as Pharaoh?!”

    I have to put myself in the company of Christians, who, when faced with bewildering actions on the part of a pope or other church leaders will simply sigh, say a prayer, and continue to go about living their own lives of faith, confident that they will not ever have to answer for what a pope does, in any case. That’s all I can do: leave it behind, let God and the Pope sort this one out between them, and carry on in faith, day by day.

    Let us not neglect to pray for the Pope. The popes aren’t always supermen. They’re seldom supermen, in fact; often they are quite the opposite. Some past popes have said and done silly and even horrific things. Just look at Peter, himself, who actually denied Jesus Christ three times. Christ chose his apostles knowing that they were all weak and apt to stumble and fall…what else did he have to choose from? We’re all that way. And when one of us rises to the Chair of Peter, that brother of ours remains what he began as: dust. That’s all any of us are. That’s all the pope is, too. So love him and pray for him. He is no better than us, and he is no worse.

    Some will watch this and conclude “see: this is not a true pope and that is not a true Church. This is ‘Newchurch’, the false Roman Catholic Church. We must find, somewhere, the true remnant of the true Church and separate ourselves from ‘Newrome’. We will save the Church!” Don’t fall into that trap, however. Don’t flee the establishment of the hierarchical Church because you worry that it isn’t as pure and indefectible as it ought to be. Of course it isn’t; it never was. Its many imperfections give no group the right to establish its own authority, however.

    We do not save the Church. The Church saves us. The Church is Christ’s own Body. Christ has promised us that the gates of Hell will not prevail against his Church, therefore those faithful to Christ need have no fear or great trouble over the mistakes (or apparent mistakes) of erroneous hierarchs and prelates. We don’t answer for any of what they do. When we die, God isn’t going to ask, “What is your position on Assisi III?” and then say to us, “Ah-ha! You’re wrong. Buh-bye!” if we’ve misunderstood it all.

    Don’t be scandalized, therefore, by those who aren’t commenting on something that , for some of us, simply leaves us speechless.

  74. Hidden One says:

    ‘Oh yay! / It’s lynch the Pope day!’

    Seems to me that Pope Benedict’s presence made the event much better than it would have been. After all, it would have been.

    I do not know that a great traditionalist cacophony about this sort of thing really does the Faith as much good as it does evil. I honestly don’t see how it does much real good at all. If it does good, what good does it do?

  75. muckemdanno says:

    Fr Z,

    You state,

    On the face of it, nothing is wrong with him singing his own prayers. I think he has a false faith, but he seems sincerely to believe it.

    There is “something wrong with it.” It is an objective violation of the First Commandment.

    Now, I do not condemn this man for worshiping his false gods. How much guilt is imputable to him depends on how fully his own will has consented to this and whether he knows this to be wrong. This is for God only to judge, not us. However, objectively speaking, what he did here is a sin. And he did it at the invitation of the Pope himself. This is what is so scandalous.

    The absurdity of all of this was pointed out by Abp Lefebvre in the 1970s and 1980s. He pointed out that in the great churches of France, Muslims could pray their prayers…the same for Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Protestants – they could all perform their various religious rituals in the Catholic Churches of France – at the invitation of the Catholic Church. The only ritual that was forbidden to take place in the Catholic Churches of France was the Tridentine mass.

    At least Pope Benedict now admits the old mass into the Catholic Churches. Perhaps we should amend our mantra to “Pope Benedict is the Pope of the unity of all religions!”

  76. I don’t understand the comment “I doubt any of the organizers intended to do anything contrary to the Catholic Faith”. How is allowing prayer to a demon-god in a Catholic basilica consecrated to the One, True God not grossly (and obviously) contrary to the Faith?

    What I want to know is why are ignorant, incompetent people in charge of these things?

  77. LouiseA says:

    Supertradmum asks: “Did all those centuries of martyrs die in vain, not honoring pagan gods,putting Church before acceptance, or even taking the communion with the Anglicans, preaching to the death, as did my favorites Edmund Campion and Robert Southwell?”

    All I know is that the holy martyrs did NOT also die for the freedom to profess one’s own faith according to one’s conscience. Their ultimate sacrifice was to honor the One True God, not for Freedom of Religion! Benedict XVI’s 2005 Christmas address to the Curia, included the following very disturbing passage:

    “The martyrs of the early Church died for their faith in that God who was revealed in Jesus Christ, and for this very reason they also died for freedom of conscience and the freedom to profess one’s own faith – a profession that no State can impose but which, instead, can only be claimed with God’s grace in freedom of conscience. A missionary Church known for proclaiming her message to all peoples must necessarily work for the freedom of the faith. She desires to transmit the gift of the truth that exists for one and all. “

  78. Recall that the purpose of the pope’s participation in this event was, according to the Holy Father himself, “…to solemnly renew the commitment of believers of every religion to live their own religious faith as a service to the cause of peace.”
    – Angelus – Jan 1, 2011

    The problem isn’t the pagan chant or even the venue; it’s the erroneous premise that the cause of peace can truly be served by living a false religion. It cannot.

    Sure, the Holy See should encourage people of other faiths to strive for peace, but the message is incomplete and misleading without also making it clear where true peace comes from – this means preaching the Gospel of Christ and calling outsiders to Baptism and the fullness of faith that exists within the Catholic Church alone.

    No, this won’t induce nearly as many warm and fuzzies as an ecumenical group hug, but isn’t this exactly what Christ commissioned us to do?

  79. LouiseA says:

    Even if a gathering of the Pope and representatives of all the false religions could somehow be accomplished in a perfectly traditional Catholic manner, this would still not bring peace to the world.

    God has entrusted world peace to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and to accomplish this He asks for the spread of devotion to her Immaculate Heart. She is holding the blessing of WORLD PEACE in her hands, and is ready and willing to give it to us, but… we haven’t done our part.

    Did anyone notice if Our Lady was even mentioned at Assisi III?

  80. Centristian,

    Your post at 10:56 has to be the best insight of this entire post (Fr. Z, give him the gold star today!). This is truly the best way we as faithful Catholics of the Church can examine this event and live our Faith in spite of it, while loving and revering our Holy Father as our Pope but also a human being.

    I loved your post so much that I featured it in my blog: http://ycrcm.blogspot.com/2011/10/quick-post-commenter-centristians-reply.html. It’s just a small casual Catholic blog and I’ve only got 1 follower, but well it’s something and I just had to post your comment there. YCRCM.

  81. jhayes says:

    LouiseA said: ” Benedict XVI’s 2005 Christmas address to the Curia, included the following very disturbing passage:” [quote omitted]

    I think the text you quoted is consistent with what he says later about Vatican 2 having “corrected certain historical decisions”

    The Second Vatican Council, with its new definition of the relationship between the faith of the Church and certain essential elements of modern thought, has reviewed or even corrected certain historical decisions, but in this apparent discontinuity it has actually preserved and deepened her inmost nature and true identity….

    The Church, both before and after the Council, was and is the same Church, one, holy, catholic and apostolic, journeying on through time; she continues “her pilgrimage amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God”, proclaiming the death of the Lord until he comes (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 8).

    This dialogue must now be developed with great openmindedness but also with that clear discernment that the world rightly expects of us in this very moment. Thus, today we can look with gratitude at the Second Vatican Council:  if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic, it can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church.

    My understanding of what he means by “a right hermeneutic” is “the hermeneutic of reform” he described earlier rather than “the hermeneutic of discontinuity ”

    @Fr. Z. I apologize if my earlier post gave the impression that I was talking down to people here. That certainly wasn’t my intent. What I was trying to say is that since since Vatican 2 has “reviewed or even corrected certain historical decisions” (as in the quote above from Pope Benedict) the Vatican 2 documents need to be read alongside older encyclicals or other documents of the magisteriuinto they are taken into account in considering a particular issue.

  82. jhayes says:

    Two typos:
    The break is really between the second and third paragraphs, so the omission sign (ellipsis) should have been there. In the last line, it should have been “Magisterium so”

  83. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    I found it interesting that the Ratio Tranlationis (#31) points to pre-Christian/pagan prayers as sources of the prayer forms of the Roman Rite, and particularly how the present form our outline of our Opening Prayer is very similar to prayers to the pagan Roman “dieties”.

    The basilican design is taken from the pagan temple. And many churches were built on and in pagan temples–St Benedict lived in the ruins of a pagan temple at Monte Cassino.

    The point is that those prayers and temples were transformed. It wasn’t a matter of the Eucharist being celebrated in one part of the building, animals being sacrificed in another part of it, and incense being burned to the god Portunus in still another.

  84. Neal says:

    Centristian,

    So if I understand you correctly, the possible reason the FSSP (for example) has nothing to say about the events in Assisi is that they have been struck dumb with bewilderment. This despite the fact that 1) the events were easily predictable, being entirely in line with what happened before, 2) the events were announced a year ahead of time by the Pope himself (thereby giving observers a good deal of time to think about possible outcomes), and 3) the priestly members of the Fraternity are intelligent, educated men, and therefore not prone to incomprehension (I only know one Fraternity priest at all well, but if the rest are like him, what you say sells them far short).

    However, preferring investigation to speculation always, I shall call the local FSSP priory to inquire about what their point of view is and why they’re keeping it so quiet. Results to be posted later.

  85. tcreek says:

    Catholic Johnny, how can you say that the pontificate of Pope John Paul “The Great” “was a complete disaster”? The Faith was a shambles but, in spite of that, John Paul had the charisma to make many Catholics feel good about themselves and their Faith life. Celebrity trumps substance any day in our modern age.

  86. Texana says:

    Time to get out the Holy Water and do some exorcisms! How is this different from allowing a satanic Black Mass in a Catholic Church? Folks, this is no accident or bad judgement–it is on purpose! This is another attempt to destroy the One True Holy Catholic Church from within.

  87. albizzi says:

    I believe that allowing non christian people to worship their idols in one of the most holy among the catholic churches looks like a an insult to the many christian martyrs who were tortured and died violent deaths for that very reason that they refused to worship the pagan idols.
    Insult is a weak word in that case, blasphemy would rather be appropriate.
    Do you remember that an earthquake much damaged the Basilica and the Assisi region a few times after the 1986 event? Another to come nextly?

  88. Athanasius says:

    I’m sorry Father, but this is simply apostasy on the part of the Pope. So he is not praying with the pagans, the way JPII of infelicitous memory did in 86, he is still comissioning them to pray to their false gods (which Scripture calls demons, Quoniam omnes dii gentium dæmonia, Ps. 95(96):5). Peter did differently on the day of Pentecost, when he demanded all those gathered who likewise worshiped false gods, not to pray for peace and the dismantling of the Roman industrial military complex, but “Be baptized every one of you.” If you pray to false gods you can never have peace, only nuclear war. Since JPII started these blasphemous scandals, war has only increased exponentially in every decade. Now on the heals of this the US is planning on taking its campaign of murder against innocent arabs to Syria, and then Iran. Non innocent muslims empowered by American regime change operations kill Christians. Pagans in India kill Christians. Yet the Pope keeps bringing all these pagans to Assisi to pray to demons for peace. There will not be peace, only more war until Peter begins preaching the Gospel of Christ and not the gospel of the world.

    This is a fundamental betrayal of Jesus Christ and his Church by His own vicar. Recall the prophecy of Pius XII “The Church will doubt as Peter doubted.” How many times did Peter doubt? 3. How many times has Peter questioned the 1st commandment? 3. God is winding up for something very big, and hopefully this Pope will repent and we might do reparation for such disgraces.

  89. MikeM says:

    JHayes,
    Nostra Aetate says that we accept what is “good and holy” about other religions and cultures, specifically pointing to practices that lead men to live better lives. The basic concept of the Assisi gatherings seems to embody exactly that vision, bringing together people from different religions to promote the peace that they, like us, wish to bring about. But, there’s simply no way to spin a pagan deity into something “good and holy.”

    Of course, I have no idea what that guy was chanting… I’m taking GloriaTV’s word for it that he was worshipping Olokun.

    On a related note, I think that we have to grapple with what constitutes acceptable means of representing Catholicism to others. The Holy Father did not pretend that he wasn’t Catholic, that Catholicism teaches that all religions are the same, or anything like that. Can we treat an ongoing dialogue with people of other religions as a means of spreading the Gospel? And if so, what are the boundaries on that? I was involved, initially more or less without choice, in our campus interfaith group in college. Initially, I had serious reservations about the idea, but over time, I concluded that the opportunity to discuss religious issues with people of other religions was actually an important opportunity. I presented my beliefs politely but without compromise and tried to show respect for everyone else there without pretending that I believed what they did, and without expecting them to pretend to agree with me. At the very least, I hoped that it could put Catholicism in a better and more accurate light to people. Should we avoid doing that if the forum doesn’t actually allow us to take the step from saying that Christ is the road to salvation to explicitly saying “and your religion imperils your soul”? Or, do we take the opportunity, hoping some good will come from it, and assuming that our proclamation of Christ as Savior is enough to infer the less PC implications about other beliefs? I’ve come to lean towards the latter, but I think the overall discussion on the issue has tended towards exchanging boiler plates instead of really discussing the consequences.

  90. benedetta says:

    I think the Holy Father’s words on this occasion still worth listening to:

    http://www.zenit.org/article-33735?l=english

  91. Traductora says:

    Is that Rowan Williams in the background? Sure looks that way to me.

    That said, I think this was inappropriate. If we want to have a musical event sharing sacred song, that’s great, and we would probably all learn from it. But take the Blessed Sacrament out of the tabernacle and just have a concert.

  92. RJS007 says:

    I have no idea what The Pope or Cardinal in charge of this group was thinking to let a Pagan pray to a Goddess in a Consecrated BASILICA?! What is this? Wasn’t it Card. Ratzinger who at the time abstained from the 1986 JPII Assisi Prayers even though they were said outdoors?! This is worse! Unreal…What a total desecration and I wonder if The Pope blinked and noticed and if there will be a corrective cleansing of The Church be made? Hmmmmm…

  93. Taylor says:

    Also, there is no god but the Triune God. As such, those who think a pagan priest is actually praying to some other god are misinformed – there is no other true god. Also, if a man does not know Christ, how can he be charged with offending Christ? God sees in the heart. Let us also be reasonable and look for that goodness which is in the heart of those who have yet to be evangelized in Christ [else, stop all missionary activity]. Remember, this man was a guest – a leader of a people who do not know Christ but who NEED to know Christ. This is a step in that direction.

  94. St. Rafael says:

    John Vennari of Catholic Family News was at Assisi III covering the event for his newspaper. He wrote a good article on it:

    “Religious Indifferentism on Parade”
    http://www.oltyn.org/page8/page32/page32.html

    some excerpts:

    “To say the latest pan-religious event of Assisi contains the promise that it will not foster religious indifferentism is a contradiction in terms. It is like inviting all of your friends to a swimming party with the promise that no one will get wet.

    The very nature of a swimming party guarantees that those who take part will get wet. And the very nature of a pan-religious event with representatives of the world, most of them pagan, is to foster religious indifferentism and religious relativism.

    Yet in the months leading up to the third major Assisi affair, we have been told repeatedly by Vatican officials that this latest manifestation of religious relativism will actually be an attack on religious relativism. That this manifestation of religious indifferentism will actually avoid religious indifferentism. Such a promise does not correspond to realty.

    The only way to avoid religious indifferentism in a pan-religious event is to not hold the event….”

    “…This necessarily applies to Assisi. The error of religious indifferentism – the belief that any religion is good enough for salvation – which is the central error of our age, is of such magnitude that nothing should be done to foster it in any way whatsoever.

    The Popes throughout the centuries, and especially since the time of the French Revolution, condemned any activity that places the Catholic Church on equal footing with false religions…”

  95. heway says:

    Have to agree with Mike M. and thanks to Benedetta for good words for the Pope…at least she didn’t call him an ‘apostate’.
    Must say that I disagree with a lot of what is said here. Are you familiar with Taize and why it was started???
    Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Rely on Him.

  96. MJ says:

    This Assisi event is a shame. These things should not be allowed to take place in our consecrated Churches. It sends a message…to Catholics and non-Catholics. And the message isn’t a good one.

    With respect to the article by John Vennari…you have to take him worth a grain of salt….as well as the Catholic Family News. I used to be more of a fan, but lately, not so much…they hang out a bit too close to the edge (between Traditionalism and Sedevacantism) for my liking. That said, Mr. Vennari makes some good points in his article on Assisi III.

  97. robtbrown says:

    tcreek says:

    Catholic Johnny, how can you say that the pontificate of Pope John Paul “The Great” “was a complete disaster”? The Faith was a shambles but, in spite of that, John Paul had the charisma to make many Catholics feel good about themselves and their Faith life. Celebrity trumps substance any day in our modern age.

    I agree that the JPII pontificate was not a disaster. There were great strides made during his papacy. Unfortunately, there was little done to reform the Church. And I don’t think the priest sexual scandals made “Catholics feel good about themselves”.

    Celebrity doesn’t trump substance in the reform of the liturgy, priesthood, seminaries, and religious life.

  98. JMody says:

    Back to the topic of the post — I hear that the Orthodox don’t think too highly of St. Augustine, but it was he that said the deities worshipped by pagans are either demons, or figments of the imagination planted by demons.

    The idea that we are still letting these folks into churches and acting like it’s a good or normal or even not-that-big-a-deal thing, is still VERY DISTURBING.

    And the Orthodox would probably see it that way, too, even if it meant agreeing with St. Augustine …

  99. Gail F says:

    Wow, what a great number of bizarre comments.

  100. tcreek says:

    Robtbrown, my comments were “tongue in cheek”. I believe that in a couple generations some future pope will “apologize” to Catholics for John Paul II’s papacy and his apologizing to other faiths. An apology for the apology, so to speak.
    As for this constant praying for peace, if it should ever take hold for Christians, means the end of civilization. Scripture claims and history proves that the Evil One and his worldly agents will never be at peace. We should pray for victory.

    “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” – John Stuart Mill

  101. jhayes says:

    MikeM, regarding work with interfaith groups, Francis Clooney is a Catholic priest who is the Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University. He organizes interfaith gatherings throughout the year.

    You might be interested to read some of his blog posts HERE

  102. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Texana,

    however outraged you may be (and I wish to remain silent on the main topic), you are mistaken (sorry) if you consider a prayer of a pagan to a pagan deity equal (!) to a satanic black Mass.

  103. Paul says:

    I wonder what Polycarp would do at the gathering?

    “Amidst an angry mob, the Roman proconsul took pity on such a gentle old man and urged Polycarp to proclaim, “Caesar is Lord”. If only Polycarp would make this declaration and offer a small pinch of incense to Caesar’s statue he would escape torture and death. To this Polycarp responded, “Eighty-six years I have served Christ, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” Steadfast in his stand for Christ, Polycarp refused to compromise his beliefs, and thus, was burned alive at the stake.”

  104. Dave N. says:

    If the exact same event had occurred sans hierarchy at say, Georgetown, Bill Donohue would be having a coronary.

  105. jhayes says:

    Regarding my earlier comment:

    MikeM, regarding work with interfaith groups, Francis Clooney is a Catholic priest who is the Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University. He organizes interfaith gatherings throughout the year.

    You might be interested to read some of his blog posts HERE

    Fr. Clooney has now posted on Assissi:

    To close with a comment not prompted by the Pope’s speech: as spiritual seekers will also insist, the path cannot be traveled if praying-together be entirely ruled out (as seems to have been the case in Assisi 2011). Our crises are spiritual as well as intellectual, and even on intellectual grounds, deeper truths can sometimes be glimpsed only through spiritual windows, and when they are open. How we can best pray together across religious borders – differently with different believers, one might guess – is open to study and discernment, but the answer is not “pray by yourself.” It is not enough to take the train together (from Rome to Assisi) or to give or listen to speeches in the same place. Pray together we must.

    Full Article

    Here is the website of the Center for the Study of World Religions, which he heads;

    http://www.hds.harvard.edu/cswr/

  106. Parasum says:

    “For pity’s sake, couldn’t the organizers learned from the mistakes made at Assisi I, back in the day?”

    ## The people behind this are not Catholics, so of course not. They are syncretists & heretics, by any recognisably Catholic standards. No Christian would tolerate the desecration of a Catholic church by the rites of a false and anti-Christian nature cult. Peter is denying Jesus yet again, and that is as sinful as ever it was. This wicked gatherings are scandalous, syncretistic, heretical, sinful, and their natural fruit is indifferentism, loss of faith, heresy, blasphemy, & apostasy. Is that what St.Peter was commissioned to bring about ?

  107. Parasum says:

    “The SSPX folk must be having a fit right about now. I can’t say I wouldn’t blame them.”

    Yes, indeed. God forbid they “make up” with Rome, until Rome has stopped its adulterous cavorting with other religions. They are better where they are, free from being contaminated by the AIDS of officially-sponsored error. They are not in the best posssible position – but union with Rome that assures one only of being poisoned with error is not worth having. Petrine Primacy & jurisdiction is pointless if it is not primacy in truth and charity, faith and hope, rather than in idolatry and rejection of Christ. Petrine authority is void when it is used against the Messianic office and teaching of Christ. Thank God for the SSPX and other rebukers of the Assisi Abominations !

  108. nanetteclaret says:

    Ever since I read about this, I’ve been sick to my stomach. Whoever thought this up certainly didn’t think it through. They may think it’s “cool” to be all about “diversity” and have had a pagan there praying to his “deity,” but they have offended Christians who take God at His word. Those who have read the Bible know that this is precisely the same type of thing the ancient Jews did when they allowed the pagans and their “gods” to be intermixed with them. They were punished every time! What part of the First Commandment do these people not get?

    It is totally offensive to me as a Catholic, not to mention the fact that there are still Protestants who believe that the Catholic Church is the “whore of Babylon.” They will point to this fact that the Holy Father allowed a pagan to “pray” to a “pagan diety” in a Catholic church as evidence of this fact, and how in the world are we supposed to argue with them? We certainly can’t say it’s ok, because it isn’t! In their zeal for being “inclusive” with the pagans, these organizers have written off the rest of Christendom. How is this supposed to foster Christian unity? It seems to me that it is far more important to bring Christians back together into Christ’s Flock than it is to help pagans “feel good about themselves because they are praying for peace.” I am very disappointed in the Holy Father. He may not have known it was going to happen, but he could have used it as a teaching moment. Plus, I can NOT understand why these people are allowed to get away with this heresy and sacrilege. He had to have had an idea, because of the people who were involved. Why aren’t they canned? I have to say I agree with the SSPX on this one.

    I also agree with all the others who have posted that this kind of thing was precisely what the Martyrs died rather than do. I am just shocked beyond words. I hope someone can explain the Holy Father’s part in this, because at this point, I’ve lost quite a bit of respect for him. He is supposed to be the Chief Shepherd and guard the flock against the wolves – not invite the wolves into the fold to sing “Kumbaya.”

  109. Fr. Maximilian says:

    The Pope’s “New Evangelization” in Europe is certainly getting off to a curious start.

  110. Alan Aversa says:

    The pagan chant to the deity Olokun may have been worst, but look at the best: Picture 1 & Picture 2 of Pope Benedict XVI leading many to worship Our Lord and Savior in the Tabernacle at the Tomb of St. Francis (source).

    “That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.” —Philippians 2:10 And many were kneeling!

    I still agree, though, that this could still scandalize some to believe in religious indifferentism or syncretism.

  111. Taylor says:

    I think that if we fear that God is offended by ecumenism in His church, then we fear God more than we trust God to love ALL of humanity. God does not hate the ignorant; most of us are proof of this. I think we all need a good helping of humility. Seriously.

  112. jhayes says:

    Here’s the context of the video clip that started this discussion.

    http://gloria.tv/?media=209191

    In this longer verson, you’ll see that representatives of different religions are led up to that lectern to give a short speech, sometimes including a prayer, then walk over to shake the Pope’s hand before sitting down.

    Five people speak in this clip. I have seen another clip where The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Patriarch of Constantinople speak from that same lectern, so my guess is that all of the ten people sitting in the row with the pope spoke.

    Whether each one handed in a copy of his/her speech ahead of time I don’t know – also, if they did, I don’t know if they stuck to the text submitted.

  113. kat says:

    @Taylor

    You said ”
    I think that if we fear that God is offended by ecumenism in His church, then we fear God more than we trust God to love ALL of humanity. God does not hate the ignorant; most of us are proof of this. I think we all need a good helping of humility. Seriously.”

    This has nothing to do with God hating anyone; God loves all things, all creatures, all humans. This is about God demanding certain things of the human beings He has created. Since he created us, He has the right to demand the way in which He is worshiped. He sent His Son to show us the way. As an example, when Jesus started talking about “eating His body” and people started leaving Him, unable to accept this, He didn’t call them back and say “wait, it’s ok if you want to believe this is some other way; I didn’t mean it exactly.” No, He let them leave, because they refused to accept the truth of what He said.

    None of us are claiming to be better than the pagan person. In fact, because most of us here are baptized Catholics, we have the ability to gain graces through the Sacraments. Hence, we are much more guilty when we do offend God, because we should be using the graces received. That being said, a non-Catholic has a harder time saving their soul BECAUSE they don’t have the sacrmental graces.

    We are not judging the pagan priest who was up at the pulpit. That is for God to do. We are criticizing (not judging the souls of) the Catholics who DO know Christ and His Church, and who have an obligation to teach, preach, and sanctify, “going therefore, baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

    This has nothing to do with our own pride or humility. Just because one is a sinner does not mean that they cannot recognize public sin and errors against the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

  114. DHippolito says:

    So, Fr. Z, if it’s wrong for an African clergyman to chant a prayer to his pagan god, why wasn’t it wrong for Pope John Paul II to kiss a Koran, or to worship in a mosque? [It is you who have said it, not I.]

  115. Here the book of Wande Abimbola. The african sorcerer of ifa at Assis

    Read this on google books

    Read yourself how this man is invoking “malevolant supernatural powers” to get peace in trhe universe (at page 4).

    Read yourself (at page 6) how the concept of sacrifice for Ifa and yorubas is not only that in form of food or blood sacrifice, but whatever you have that you can put down, or bring, so the universe is reorderer in your favor. Actions of mid and not only physical are included.

    You can read this book to fully understand what tihs man made at Assisi whith the “venia” of catholic hierarchy. They sell us this guy action as a lovely yoruba’s folklore. But it was a pagan sacrifice, a sacrifice to the evil, to reinstore the order (Assisi spirit and meetings itself is seen as a sacrifice in this yoruba view). The sorcerer speaks clearly of he was speaking in the name of the supernatural powers (and we know that it includes the malevolants ones) and looking for a new covenant. The man put on the table that all the presents must considerate all religions as one before good eyes.

    It was the Antichrist imposture put before popes eyes with supernatural powers and sacrifice. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Any body read this book before put this man in a catholic church and before the Pope?

    I remember words of Father Amorth the famous exorcist about satanist cult spread inside Vatican. Now I have convinced of that because this rite in Assisi is not casual. It happened with the aprobation of someone with power who has lie the Pope.

    Come Soon Lord, come soon!

  116. ebabbish says:

    A profound interfaith dialogue occurred at Assisi because our Vicar of Christ extended his hand in peace. Any expectation of him to proselytize during this gathering would only serve as a barrier. Are you choosing the dignity of a building over the dignity of a man? The sacramental presence of God is a good thing!
    • Be careful that you yourselves do not fall into slander of our Holy See.
    • Many comments here are like the jeers of a crowd against someone sent to love, he will say ‘forgive them they know not…
    • The originator of this rant is on his own pedestal, yawning at this inter-faith effort, he may even try to wash his hands of this mob.

  117. Supertradmum says:

    ebabbish,

    Have you read the lives of the martyrs, especially those in England and Wales? And, the lives of some of those laymen and women were taxed and penalized into poverty rather than going to inter-communion with the Anglicans? We have lost our sense of the Catholic Church being the One, True, Holy and Catholic Church, and I do not mean the building. The building represents the Sanctuary of Christ in the Eucharist on earth. Having false religions, man-made, or demon-inspired religions worshiping in front of the Sacrament Most Holy is crucifying Christ again and again. We are spitting on the monuments and relics of those very martyrs, whose presence is in the altar stones of the altars at Assisi.

  118. tcreek says:

    “Feelgoodism” — A distortion of reality that entices the holder to “feel good” about themselves as they accept and praise contemporary opinions, even if those opinions should conflict with the Tradition of the ages. “Truth”, for the “Feeling Good” is what surfaces during their lifetime.

    “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.” — G.K. Chesterton

  119. jhayes says:

    St. Raphael said:

    Nostra Aetate is a pastoral document that is not part of the Magisterium because it contains errors, and like all the other pastoral Vatican II documents, it has zero and absolutely no infallibility or protection from error by the Holy Spirit.

    Just this month, Pope Benedict has said that the documents of Vatican II are part of the Magisterium:

    5. In some respects, my venerable predecessor saw this Year as a “consequence and a necessity of the postconciliar period”,[8] fully conscious of the grave difficulties of the time, especially with regard to the profession of the true faith and its correct interpretation. It seemed to me that timing the launch of the Year of Faith to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council would provide a good opportunity to help people understand that the texts bequeathed by the Council Fathers, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, “have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church’s Tradition … I feel more than ever in duty bound to point to the Council as the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning.”[9] I would also like to emphasize strongly what I had occasion to say concerning the Council a few months after my election as Successor of Peter: “if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic, it can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church.”[10]

    Porta Fidei

    In the document referenced in footnote [10], “a right hermeneutic” is a “hermeneutic of reform” as opposed to a “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”

    This is an important point because it means that older Encyclicals and other documents of the Magisterium have to be read in the context of the reforms made by the Vatican II Documents.

  120. JonPatrick says:

    I guess I have a hard time understanding the purpose of these kinds of gatherings such as Asissi.
    I realize they are trying to follow in St. Francis’ footsteps, where he met with a Muslim Sultan.
    However this was an individual action of one Christian trying to convert one Moslem to try to save his soul.

    What we need is more individual acts by committed Catholics to spread the truth of the Catholic faith, not these symbolic actions that convert no one.

    To get more committed Catholics, the church should be emphasizing better catechesis, and more availability of reverent liturgy. Lex Orandi lex credendi.

  121. cainech says:

    This is indeed a big mistake!
    I studied the Yoruba culture and mythology for 10 years and have some familiarity with the Yoruba system. The “priest” would have better advised to conduct this ritual on the shore of the nearest lake or ocean since, in the Yoruba mythology those are the realms of Olokun, an hermaphroditic “deity” which lives at the bottom of the ocean and may be roughly understood, as an archetype of the “unconscious”.
    Yoruba religion is a hierarchical system with a largely unwritten mythology based in Western Africa, originally developed from a syncretism of several Egyptian “deities” ( which arrived by way of gold and slave trade routes ) and Yoruba nature spirits. Today, in West Africa it may be found mostly in non-urban Nigeria.
    In the New World, to which it was spread by the slave trade, it is a syncretism of Catholic Saints and Yoruba nature spirits. In the Caribbean basin and North America the system is known as Santeria – literally “holy earth”. It is very prevalent in Cuba, Puerto Rico, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and everywhere there are concentrations of Cuban and Puerto Rican citizens. Its “pantheon”, structure and rituals are significantly different from those of Haitian Voudoun.
    As near as I am able to tell, he is singing a song of peace: “tu-tu” is “peace” and it seems to be repeated often. That’s a nice sentiment but he ought not to have done it in the Basilica. I don’t think anyone knew what he was going to do before he did it.

    cainech

  122. Neal says:

    Well, it’s been three days and no word back from the FSSP. That probably means one of three things: 1) They think what is going on is good but don’t want to lavish praise for fear of fostering pride, 2) per Centristian, they are still dumbfounded, or 3) they are afraid speaking out against what is wrong wih the Church for fear of reprisal. Tell me if I’m wrong, but I think 3 is the most likely. And while I do sympathize, I wish they’d quit laying into the SSPX for not being obedient when they so clearly demonstrate what is wrong with the kind of obedience they practice.

  123. oricol says:

    Allowing a pagan- idol-magic believer chant in a Catholic Consecrated Church, brings to mind the first, the last, the ONLY time JESUS got angry when HE threw the merchants out of the Temple saying: “Not in MY FATHER’s House” –
    i just wonder how HE feels when the Franciscan Capuchins allow chants to a pagan idol to take place in HIS FATHER’s House – WOW! how low have we fallen….much lower seems to be impossible – shame on us that allow this to happen….
    Instead of bringing pagans to HIM,- instead of doing all HE wants us to do to convert them, we abide by their idolatry – again i wonder: “How does JESUS feel about this?”
    If i am in pain and hurt, i can only imagine how HE feels….as Christians, as Catholics, it is our duty to bring pagans to JESUS and NOT the other way around

  124. Tuotilo says:

    You can’t say for sure if singing a song to a pagan deity is contrary to ‘our’ faith? I wonder what faith you’re talking about.

  125. Tuotilo says:

    Father

  126. HyacinthClare says:

    Catholicism, Tuitilo. No other gods.

  127. Tuotilo says:

    Then why is there any question that singing a song to a pagan god is contrary to the faith?

  128. Tuotilo says:

    Also, I hardly think these offenses to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate heart are dull. Though, I suppose a stab wound from a dull blade is more dangerous.