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Pagan Indian ceremonies performed at the Santa Ines rededication

Pagan ceremonies at the dedication of Mission Santa Ines

At the re-dedication of Mission Santa Ines Church after a long restoration process, Bishop Thomas Curry and the Franciscan parish priest Fr. Michael Mahoney, above at right and center, promoted an ecumenical service, which included shamans of the Chumash Indian nation. Santa Ines Church is in Solvang, California, an inland Mission north of Santa Barbara.

As part of the ceremony, Indians were invited to execute pagan ceremonies. While shaman Arturo Lopez, above right, performed ritual movements with a rod in front of the altar, priestess Betty, left, carries out a "blessing" of the church building with a feather. With these pagan rituals they offered the place of worship to their deities. Below, Adelina Alva-Padilla, another Indian priestess, burned herbs and shook a bird's wing to ask the protection of Manitous (spirits) over the building.

The Indians worship the spirits that supposedly inhabit visible things. According to Catholic doctrine, however, there are no spirits immanent to creatures. Therefore, the Indians are idolaters, and their ceremonies in Santa Ines Church constituted a formal act of idolatry.

Regarding the gravity of the sin of idolatry, we can read this in the Dictionary of Moral Theology by Card. Francesco Roberti:

"The Holy Scriptures, in both the Old or New Testament, judge with extreme severity the sin of idolatry, which is also an intellectual aberration (see Ex 20:2-5; 23; Deut 4: 15-19; 5: 6-10; Wis 13, 14; Rom 1:18-25; I Cor 8: 4-5; 10: 14-20).

"Idolatry constitutes a crime of divine lèse majesté by giving the honor due only to God to another creature" (Barcelona: Editorial Liturgica Espanola, 1960, entry idolatria).

So, the "dedication" of Mission Santa Ines Church consisted of promoting an act of idolatry in it by the initiative of both the Bishop and the Pastor. Hardly something that attracts the grace of God.

Bishop Thomas Curry is an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles under the authority of Card. Roger Mahony.

A pagan performs an Indian offering at the Santa Ines rededication

Tidings, Feb. 23, 2007
Posted August 19, 2007

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