December 14, 2010

Catholics to ban Indian practices?

Indian church, archdiocese clash over mass elements

Archdiocese questions use of special wine.

By Rose French
Buffalo hide adorns the altar. Sage is burned to help cleanse the heart, soul and mind. Ojibwe and Lakota languages are used in many of the prayers and songs. Traditional Indian elements like these have been part of the worship service for decades at the Church of Gichitwaa Kateri in Minneapolis, the only Twin Cities Catholic parish with a predominantly Indian congregation.

The future use of Indian practices, however, is being questioned by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which temporarily suspended mass at the church last month after conflict arose over the use of specialized wine.

The unrest at Gichitwaa Kateri comes at a time when Pope Benedict has called for renewed emphasis on tradition and uniformity in the Catholic church, leaving churches like Kateri wondering how many, if any, of their traditions may be compromised. Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt also has a history of strongly adhering to orthodox church doctrine.

"Without question there likely will be some changes because, first and foremost, it's a Catholic mass," said Dennis McGrath, archdiocese spokesman. "And then only within that context ... can the native rituals be incorporated."
A couple of comments on this article:Me, personally, I'd ask them [the church] to dump the Catholic. Look at what Catholicism had done for Native communities and keep their ceremony and their church without the Catholic church.

I totally understand there's an orthodoxy to organized religion, but--I also understand that traditions that don't change *die*, and that there might be a (huge, gaping) difference between American Catholicism + the Catholicism practiced in Europe + elsewhere.
Comment:  At first I thought the headline meant mass elements like uranium and plutonium. Never mind.

"Wine may be an irreconcilable difference"...right, because Jesus insisted that we drink his blood like vampires. It's right there in the Book of Twilight.

Jesus opposes buffalo hides in multimillion-dollar cathedrals. Because when he was preaching in multimillion-dollar cathedrals, there were no buffalo hides.

Check the Bible on that if you don't believe me. No buffalo hides!

Catholics obviously disagree about the "change or die" dictum. They think they must retain the rituals they made up long after Jesus's time.

For more on Natives and Christianity, see Vatican Acknowledges Kateri Book, Landover Satirizes "Injun Sin," and America's History of Religious Intolerance.


Burt said...

As a member of the Native American Church, I am uncomfortable with the fusion of Christianity into any worshipping that initially began as an indigenous practice(s) and although I feel alone in this area of faith, I still believe it is a personal thing between me and the creator.

Unlike Catholicism, Christianity is so divided into ministries and denominations that as a collective church, they (Christians) would be hard pressed to try to "control" what their sub-churches are doing. After all, Christian churches range everywhere from extremist racist isolationist to inter-racial hippie-type communities that will not flog you if you smoke weed.

Catholicism, however, seems to be more of a government bureaucracy and even at one point in history, had a military wing, i.e. the conquistadors.

This new "Inquisition" in the form of eliminating indigineous practices should be very interesting. Most faiths try to expand their base congregation, but it looks like this Pope is wanting exclusivity with "members" only, sound familiar?

They (Catholics) should be careful. This is not a time to be rejecting church practices. Especially with Islam recruiting at an all time high, but Islam, to me, is more repressive and controlled than Catholicism or Christianity combined.

I would like to see where the natives in Mexico would end up with a church that does not acknowledge their ceremonious traditions?

I would also say that I think the Catholic church needs its Indian congregation more than the Indians need this tax-free government posing as a church faith!

dmarks said...

"but Islam, to me, is more repressive and controlled than Catholicism or Christianity combined."

In a way, but the "control" in Islam lacks any sort of heirarchy, or Muslim Pope.

Burt said...

That is true Dmarks, but keep in mind that when the sex scandals hit the Catholic church, everyone in the church pointed to the individual priests and bishops involved in the events. In Islam, ministers, or mullahs, have alot of power over the community in even the most remote villages around the world.

The reason I compare churches with governments is because in the case of the Catholic church, the Pope appears to be only a figurehead, much like a president or prime minister over a nation. He represents, or is supposed to represent, the people of that particular nation, or theocracy, such as the case is in many Islamic countries.

The Pope and his pedophilia priests did not suffer the wrath that martyrs or the "heretics" have throughout history at the hands of "God", natives included, so why was justice so well hidden and silenced when grown men do the nasty to little boys and get away with it?

I doubt most citizens or corporate heads might get away with such perversion. Everyone else gets exposed and imprisoned, right?

Anonymous said...

The Catholic Church has nothing to talk about. I mean, considering the sex scandals...

Plus, I wouldn't belong to any church that has Emperor Palpatine for a leader. LOL