Togoville 1985: Did John Paul II Actively Participate in Non-Catholic Worship?
#11
(12-11-2012, 08:59 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: Catholics in Togo may view the faithful departed as the object of their customs which are used by animists for worship of ancestors as gods.

Quite true, but was every person present a Catholic who understood this? Were there animists, protestants or other infidels present who, uninstructed in the Faith, would have assumed that the Pope was worshipping the gods?
Reply
#12
(12-15-2012, 07:20 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(12-11-2012, 08:59 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: Catholics in Togo may view the faithful departed as the object of their customs which are used by animists for worship of ancestors as gods.

Quite true, but was every person present a Catholic who understood this? Were there animists, protestants or other infidels present who, uninstructed in the Faith, would have assumed that the Pope was worshipping the gods?

Perhaps. We actually don't have information on who was present, nor what their thoughts were. I make my conclusion based on the pattern of past pagan customs taken into Catholic culture, and how they're viewed and justified. The British Isles, for instance, are replete with pagan customs, and I'm not just talking about the neo-pagans. St Brigid's Eve (Imbolc), May Day (Bealtaine), Lunasa, and Halloween (Samhain), maypoles, bonfires, etc., not to mention our Christmas and Easter traditions. Christmas is almost all pagan custom. How about that evergreen tree in the sanctuary? Who knows what kind of interaction was happening back when these people's were converting and the customs came with them. There's the old story of Patrick and the bonfire on the Hill of Slane. In this case it was an appropriation, nor an approbation.
Reply
#13
I'll respond to your email, section by section.

(12-15-2012, 06:52 PM)Scriptorium Wrote:
(12-13-2012, 07:16 AM)Scotus Wrote: Firstly, it was led by six Animist priests, not by civic dignitaries.

I don't know where you got this from. Maybe I am just missing that. The article says there were prayers before the Pope arrived by an "old man, wise and austere in appearance", Aveto, and "followed with devotion by a host of young women and other elders". They "awaited the arrival of the Holy Father". So all this is taking place before the Pope even arrived. There is no indication there was joint worship.

It is clear from the text of the article from the Vatican newspaper that Aveto was an Animist priest since it is he who is described as the "guardian" of the "Sacred Forest" i.e. the Animist sanctuary and who "led the prayers of the faithful of the cult of Nyigblen". Since Nyigblen is the water god of Lake Togo it is also clear that it would be an Animist priest who led these prayers to this deity.

Further, this article from Jet Magazine makes it clear that (1) Aveto was an Animist priest and (2) he was one of six Animist priests who greeted the Holy Father on his visit to the Animist sanctuary which - as we read in L'Osservatore Romano - is called Be':
Jet Magazine, 9th September 1985 Wrote:Demonstrating the strong popularity of the African belief in Animism, six priests of Animism personally welcomed the Pope to their Sacred Forest in Togoville.
...
Aveto, supreme priest of the spirit worshippers, began the meeting with a blessing: "May our God of the rainbow intercede with Mawu-To-Hono, great god, the creator..."
Reply
#14
(12-15-2012, 06:52 PM)Scriptorium Wrote:
(12-13-2012, 07:16 AM)Scotus Wrote: In the case of the ceremony in Togoville there is every indication that it was unequivocally religious in nature, rather than purely civic.

Even if it is religious in nature, that doesn't preclude a cultural interpretation, or a cultural intention. If I say, "Allahu Akbar" or "As-salamu alaykum" to a Muslim, that may be interpreted in many ways, everywhere from "hello," to "you're a Muslim."

But, then, these are greetings and not acts of participation in non-Catholic worship. So the analogy does not hold.
Reply
#15
Scotus, you have not established that the libation took place in the sacred forest. Do you have info on that?

As for greetings, I didn't mean it as a one-to-one analogy, but that it is something that can be interpreted as a religious act. They are Muslims greats, unlike "hello".

You're saying libations are an act of participation in non-Catholic worship, whereas it seems they are being practiced as religious custom by Catholics.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)