Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Smudge Of Satan
Shouldn't that be "The Smoke of Satan"?

Not in this case. The Prot-Wannabes at the supposed "Catholic" Diocese of Gaylord in Michigan have taken it upon themselves to incorporate pagan ceremonies into a purported Catholic Mass.

A committee has been planning the special liturgy that, in accordance with the General Instructions of the Roman Missal and provisions of Vatican II, will include some elements of Native American culture. In addition to some of the music and readings using Native American language, one of the customs planned is "smudging."

Ahhh.... of course, Vatican II had to be brought up. Oh by the way, this section of V2 isn't binding upon pain of sin. It isn't dogma. It is nothing more than a suggestion. But don't let the ecumaniacs try to tell you differently.

Anyhow, see what the actual documents themselves say. Scroll down to the section entitled "D - Norms for adapting the Liturgy to the culture and traditions of peoples ", and you will clearly realize that Rome was never contacted for "authorization" for this abomination. You will also read that this portion of V2 states that any inculturation mustn't be bound up with superstition and error. And guess what? It is!

More from the Diocese of Gaylord website;

Smudging is the burning of herbs to create a cleansing smoke bath which is used to purify people, spaces, or objects. The principle herbs used are sage, sweet grass, lavender and cedar. As the assembly enters the sanctuary, they will pass through the fragrant incense, thus bringing themselves into physical, spiritual and emotional balance. In addition, during the Introductory Rites, the liturgical spaces of the church will be smudged in an Ojibwa ceremony. Native American men will be doing the smudging while the priest blesses with Holy Water.

Why in the hell do we need "smudging" and "cleansing smoke" to purify a Catholic church? And since when do Catholics need to pass through such to reach "physical, spiritual and emotional balance"?

The last sentence there especially concerns me. Are these "Native American men" just some schmucks they grabbed off the street? Or are they possibly pagan nativist shamans? I think the latter. Even more troubling... the mysterious "Native American men" will simultaneously be joined by an alleged Catholic priest sprinkling Holy Water. This smacks of a pagan ritual being equal to the Catholic practice of blessing with Holy Water.

And to add insult to injury, the good folks up Michigan way added to their little news blurb "Since the expeditions of the 17th century that brought Jesuit missionaries Raymbault, Jogues, Menard, and eventually Father Jacques Marquette to the United States..."

Notice they didn't even refer to St. Isaac Jogues as "Saint"? Anyhow, seeing they invoked the name of St. Isaac Jogues, I'd like to invite everyone to read the absolutely first rate posting by Campidoctoris de Anathematis over at Anathema Sit concerning said Saintly individual and his first hand knowledge of "Native American culture". Here's a taste;

[His] fingers were chewed off by women. He was tortured and beaten near to death. And that was the first time he was a prisoner. The second brought worse and brought his ultimate beheading.

If you thought that was bad, read what they did to St. John de Brebeuf;

Scalp removed, his flesh cut off, cooked, and eaten in front of him. Red hot hatchets put under his armpits. A necklace of redhot hatchets put around his neck. His nose was cut off, and his lips ripped off because he wouldn't stop preaching the Gospel. A belt of bark soaked with pitch put around his waste and set on fire cooking his body. Three times he had boiling water poured over his body in derision of Baptism - mocked all the while. In the midst of all this he endured like a statue, to the amazement of even his torturers. He continued to encourage the other Christians, men and women who had converted, as the horror continued. Eventually they cut off his feet, gouged out his eyes and put red hot coals in the sockets. Finally they cut his chest open while he was alive, ripped his heart out and ate it.

I wonder if the folks at Gaylord plan on "keeping alive" any of the same Indian traditions that Sts. Isaac and John were treated to? Just a thought.


Blogger Dave said...

There are cultural adaptations and cultural adaptations. I don't mind seeing Our Lord attired in a chief's robes. After all, He never wore a medieval king's ermine or a Byzantine emperor's rainment, yet we portray Him so. Neither would I mind using sage or cedar as incense if they simply use it as incense. Incense has always been made of materials at hand, and I do know of some "traditional" blends which have cedar in them.

All that being said, I do think that a lot of "Native American spirituality" is hooey. I know a number of Indians who think so, and get mighty pissed when the palefaces co-opt and distort things for their own selfish gain.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Also remember that the same people who tortured St. Jean also produced Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

And remember that Bl. Kateri turned her back on many of her peoples ways when she embraced the One, True Church.

No Catholic Church, no Blessed Kateri. Just another heathen.

But just for the heck of it, I'll ask my main question again... Why in the hell do we need "smudging" and "cleansing smoke" to purify a Catholic church? And since when do Catholics need to pass through such to reach "physical, spiritual and emotional balance"?

7:15 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Not much there I can disagree with. Excellent post, Dave.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Sister Mary Martha said...

hmmm....As I recall the fingers the Iroquois chewed off were the fingers the priest uses to hold the host. They knew about his consecrated fingers. The Pope had to give him special permission to say Mass with his remaining fingers. At least he had enough fingers left to count the number of people he and his fellows actually And it wasn't Kateri...she was a Huron.

I guess I have to re read your post. Are you thinking we should hold a grudge on behalf of the tortured North American Martyrs?

12:26 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Sr Mary Martha,

Hold a grudge? Absolutely not. If anything, this is a dig at the Pavlovian Dogs at the Diocese of Gaylord.

Just because someone uses the phrase "Native American Traditions" is no reason for them to wet their collective pants and start drooling.

Some NA traditions were actually quite barbaric (and thankfully abandoned). Some NA traditions were actually quite pagan (and sadly, embraced by some within The Catholic Church).

This post was just my gentle way of pointing that out to the good folks up Michigan way.

.....and for some odd reason, the warnings given to us by Our Lady of Akita keep popping into my head.

5:12 AM  

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