Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Popes and Voodoo in Africa

The other day, I was reading what Benedict was up to in Africa...the crucifix in the picture above is pretty disturbing if you take a glance at it.

"Pope visits West Africa's voodoo heartland"

see also

"Benin: Pope Celebrates Giant Mass in Voodoo Heartland"

This was kind of a worrisome sentence here....they cried "Jesus" everytime they saw the sun?

Benedict arrived at the stadium in his popemobile amid a joyous welcome from the faithful, many wearing skirts or wraps with his picture. The 84-year-old pope received warm cheers when he took a baby in his arms.

Before his arrival, the crowd applauded each time the sun appeared from behind the clouds, some crying out, "Jesus!"

Across the street from the Temple of the Pythons?

 the Voodoo Temple of Pythons:

"On Saturday, he signed off on a roadmap for the Roman Catholic Church in Africa at a basilica in the city of Ouidah, a centre of voodoo, with the Temple of Pythons and its 30-odd snakes just across the street.
The document signed by Benedict -- an apostolic exhortation called "The Pledge for Africa" containing conclusions from a 2009 synod of African bishops -- includes peace, reconciliation and justice as its main message.
It calls for good governance, the abolition of the death penalty and denounces abuses, particularly against women and children, while describing AIDS as a mainly ethical problem that requires a medical response.
Changes in behaviour are needed to combat the disease, including sexual abstinence and rejection of promiscuity, it adds.
The Catholic Church's position on AIDS and the use of condoms has long been controversial and carefully scrutinised, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, home to nearly 70 percent of the world's HIV cases.
The pontiff's visit to the country has been heavy in symbolism, in a region that served as a major slave-trading centre and coming 150 years after what is considered the evangelisation of Benin by missionaries."
One reporter described the scene even in more detail.:
But Benin, and the city of Ouidah in particular, was an unlikely place for the Pope to launch the church's Pledge for Africa; but one that delighted the foreign correspondents in attendance. The official religion of Benin is voodoo, and Ouidah is that religion's spiritual home. The juxtaposition between the Pope's pious Catholicism and Voodoo's mystical spiritualism, with - if only in the West- all its dark connotations and the myth, beloved in movies, of voodoo dolls and pins, was too much for journalists to resist. "As [the Pope] signed the papal treatise, several dozen Voodoo practitioners sat in plastic chairs in the Temple of the Pythons located at the opposite end of the basilica's square. The high priest, who sat with his foot on a bottle of gin, a traditional Voodoo spirit offering, said they listened carefully as the pope's message was projected outside through massive speakers mounted on the basilica," wrote Rukmini Callimachi for Associated Press.
A Reuters reporter had even more fun describing the Temple of Pythons.
"A sign painted on the wall outside the voodoo complex read 'Temple of the Pythons' and a statue of a bare-breasted woman holding several snakes stood by the entrance. Inside was a small stone house with about two dozen large and baby pythons. A voodoo priest put five or six around his neck and arms for a visiting reporter. Dressed in red, the snake priest and others dressed in white said they had nothing against the pope's visit."

The Pope, remarkably, didn't seem to have too much against the voodoo priests; indeed, he said that the church could learn from them. His Pledge for Africa, compiled with the recommendations of African clergy, emphasised how the modern and the traditional should work together, and that traditional practises should be examined to discern if aspects of them could be helpful to the human condition. But traditional practices shouldn't be permitted in the church if they clash directly with church doctrine. It's up to bishops to "separate the good seed from the weeds" in this regard.

Another strange crucifix in the picture above including pyramid symbolism. Too bad these Africans will not hear the true gospel from the Pope. They will remain lost in a religious blur as Mystery Babylon mixes everything up.  Often times in countries where they practice Voodoo and other related religions to it, they will mix and blend those beliefs with those of Catholicism:

Magloire Fadjikpe, a former army chief warrant officer who lives in Ouidah, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) that he sees no problem blending his traditional faith with his Catholic beliefs.

"We have mixed up" voodoo and Catholicism, he told RNW. "We worship the same God. The priests always tell us that we cannot do both at the same time. They forget that we had worshipped voodoo before the missionaries arrived."

RNW also spoke with Severin Adantonon, an official with a Catholic group in Ouidah, who warns against blending Catholicism and Voodoo. He insists his countrymen need to choose Jesus and Jesus alone.

The article mentions a Catholic official that says they should not be blended, but what did the Pope himself say about Voodoo?

Well he promoted "interreligious dialogue"

Here the Pope spoke of looking for what was good in "traditional practices" [that of course in Benin would include Voodoo] As you read this do not forget that Voodoo has it's followers seek after actual possession and incorporates many aspects of witchcraft and divination.

Catholics need to cultivate respect both for Islam and for traditional practices, the pope said in the document. He also encourages the study of indigenous beliefs to determine what aspects are helpful to the human condition. But he told bishops they must nevertheless discern which traditional practices clash with church doctrine so they can "separate the good seed from the weeds."

and this...

"The church is open to cooperation with all the components of society, particularly with the representatives of the churches and ecclesial communities not yet in full communion with the Catholic church," the pope said as African priests and nuns held up camera phones in the pews of the packed basilica to record his message. "As well as with the representatives of the non-Christian religions, above all those of traditional religions."
As he signed the papal treatise, several dozen Voodoo practitioners sat in plastic chairs in the Temple of the Pythons located at the opposite end of the basilica's square. The high priest, who sat with his foot on a bottle of gin, a traditional Voodoo spirit offering, said they listened carefully as the pope's message was projected outside through massive speakers mounted on the basilica.
"This is a positive message which will bring peace to Africa," said Houkpon II Houawamenod. "I am a baptized Catholic, but I can't turn my back on where I come from. When I was a child if I attended a Voodoo ceremony, I used to get flogged at school the next day," he said.
Houawamenod, who like many in Benin practice a combination of Voodoo and Catholicism, said: "We are simply taking a different road to get to the same place."

Notice that Houawamenod seems to be alright with the Pope's words? Actually unless he repents, they are headed to the same place but its nowhere good.

Years ago I remember being shocked to see Pope John Paul II, announce that the "seeds of the Word" existed in Voodoo. Actually this is a Catholic teaching outlined in Vatican 2. Pope John Paul II visited the same African area in Cotonou as well, preaching the same messages of seeking after what is good in voodoo "traditions" and focusing on inter-religious dialogue.

Cotonou, 4 February 1993
The foundations of dialogue 
I am happy to have this opportunity to meet you, and I greet you most cordially. As you know, I have come to Benin first of all to visit the Catholic communities, in order to encourage them and confirm them in their faith. However, I have always considered contact with people belonging to different religious traditions an important part of my ministry.
Indeed, the Catholic Church looks favourably upon dialogue: dialogue with Christians of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, dialogue with believers of other spiritual families, and dialogue too with those who profess no religion. She wants to establish positive and constructive relationships with individuals and with the human groups of various faiths in view of a mutual enrichment. 
The Second Vatican Council, which mapped out the Church's route for the end of this millennium, recognised that in the diverse religious traditions there is something true and good, the seeds of the Word. It encouraged Christ's disciples to discover "the riches which a generous God has distributed among the nations" (AG 11). 

Yes, seriously the Catholic church teaches that false pagan religions, with their witchdoctors and seeking after familiar spirits, that within those rested the 'seeds of the Word'. We know that is is beyond absurdity and is just another message of Babylon and those who follow Baal. Those trapped in the darkness of false pagan religions need led out of them to Jesus Christ, not told that these religions hold any truth.

Some Trad Catholics protested this but were unable to reconcile, the truth which is Catholicism is false as well.

Finally, the culminating -- indeed, the defining --moment in the new approach to Voodoo came from Pope John Paul II in his February 4, 1993 ad- dress to the Voodoo representatives of Benin at Cotonou. The Pope told them that "it is legitimate to be grateful to your forebears who passed on this sense of the sacred, belief in a single God who is good, a sense of celebration, esteem for the moral life and for harmony in society". Specifically, John Paul II told them that their religion contained the "seeds of the Word" (semina Verbi) which elsewhere he has explained as a "kind of common soteriological root present in all religions".[7] To translate this theology- speak into common language, the Pope claimed that a "saving root" is present in Voodoo -- that is,that a man may be saved in Voodoo. The Pope followed this astounding allegation of the salvific nature of Voodoo by telling these animists that their Catholic "brothers and sisters" appreciate Voodoo: "Your Christian brothers and sisters, like you, appreciate what is beautiful in these traditions " He added that the Christians in Benin "are equally grateful" to their own "ancestors in the faith" and concluded by extolling Jesus Christ in two sentences. That was the New Evangelization in action, the Vatican II- inspired approach of John Paul II in bringing the Gospel to the land of Voodoo -- a cheerful dance with the devil followed by a couple of sentences about the goodness of Jesus. But when one dances with the Devil, who leads the dance? As we will see in a moment, the Church tragically did not win the prize on the Benin dance floor after John Paul II's exit. Finally, and incredibly, the Pope advocated courses in Voodoo for Catholic priests. In his Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Africa, John Paul II said "The adherents of African traditional religion should therefore be treated with great respect and esteem, and all inaccurate and disrespectful language should be avoided. For this purpose, suitable courses in African traditional religion should be given in houses of formation for priests and religious." [emphasis added]  Voodoo priests saw this as their victory over a groveling Pope, who in essence apologized and endorsed their religion. In a paper by N.Adu Kwabena- Essem entitled "Pope's Apology to Africans," the Voodoo enthusiast says that "African beliefs are now given due recognition by Pope John Paul II. The question is, will the rest of the Western world do the same?" The author continues:  "African religions had their biggest boost two years ago when Pope John Paul II, on a visit to Benin, apologized for centuries of ridiculing African cultural beliefs by the Western world. Benin is the home of Voodoo The crucial question is whether the Pope's 'penance' will force others to start respecting African cultures, in particular the belief in African religions."[8] [emphasis added]

So Benedict has basically followed in the footsteps of his predecessor in advancing and excusing and wishing to help advance the cause of Voodoo. No gospel for the people lost in this darkness but more lies and delusions. As you read the words of Benedict telling people to seek what is "good" in these "traditional practices", here is a reminder of what Voodoo is all about...

voo·doo (vd)
n. pl. voo·doos
1. A religion practiced chiefly in Caribbean countries, especially Haiti, syncretized from Roman Catholic ritual elements and the animism and magic of slaves from West Africa, in which a supreme God rules a large pantheon of local and tutelary deities, deified ancestors, and saints, who communicate with believers in dreams, trances, and ritual possessions. Also called vodoun.
2. A charm, fetish, spell, or curse holding magic power for adherents of voodoo.
3. A practitioner, priest, or priestess of voodoo.
4. Deceptive or delusive nonsense. 
I'll never forget this picture, I got from the Vatican website, from the Assisi section where they had Vooduns doing their rituals as part of the religious gathering.

One unknown fact to many American Catholics is that Catholicism plays the mix and match game with endless religions like Voodoo, this includes Santeria and Columbre. This is a fact in the third world. One can see on Santeria, Voodoo, Columbre altars, the Catholic aspects mixed with the pagan.

Here is an example of a Catholic-Voodoo hybrid altar....

If you are Catholic and happen to be reading this article, ask yourself why your Popes wish to promote what is "good" about false demonic religions or why they preach the blasphemy of the seeds of the word existing in these religions that seek after false demonic spirits.

The fact of the matter is there are two religions in the world: false paganism, that incorporates sun worship, worship of Baal and seeking after demonic spirits and true biblical Christianity.  Pray too for those lost in Voodoo and religions like it, who are being further deceived by the Pope, that one day they will be given the truth instead.

Col 1:13    Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:


Anonymous said...

When we lived in South Florida in the eighties we would hear about Santeria in that area. -Taryn

Bible Believer said...

When I lived in a big city, it was down the street from a Voodoo shop, [it's customers were mostly immigrant Carribeans] it was disconcerting to see the crucifixes in the windows next to the 'costs" for various spells. Then there were the black magic candles being sold with pictures of 'the queen of heaven" on a bunch of them. Yeah Santeria and these other Catholic-hybrid religions are strong in South Florida.