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A Pagan God Enters a Marian Sanctuary
in Ceuta

Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
My friend Jan and I were talking about the "two steps forward, one step back" tactic used by the progressivists in the Church regarding the steady advance of inter-religious dialogue since Vatican II. Basically, the process is this: A radical inter-religious act is performed (two steps forward). If there is a reaction against it, a Catholic official issues a meager apology to Catholics with efforts not to "hurt the feelings" of the other so-called religion (one step backward).

Santa Maria statue in the sanctuary of Ceuta's cathedral

The 15th century gothic carving of the Sorrowful Virgin with her Son in her lap in Ceuta's Sanctuary

And thus the revolution advances a step, primarily by changing the mentalities of Catholics who are trained to believe they can participate in prayers and ceremonies of other religions and accept their false gods into their churches.

A recent example of this tactic employed to further progressivist aims took place in the magnificent Sanctuary of Our Lady of Africa in Ceuta, a Spanish city on the north coast of Africa.

For the eighth year in a row, the Hindus of Ceuta ended their raucous 3-day street celebration of the pagan god Ganesh by carrying the statue from the Hindu temple to the Catholic Sanctuary dedicated to Sancta Maria of Africa, Patroness of the city. They leave a floral offering on the altar as part of an inter-religious ceremony.

This year this outrage was filmed and posted on the Internet, making the rest of the world familiar with the blasphemous action and causing backlash for the Diocese. Sad to say, up to now there had been no protests from the Bishop or the faithful of Ceuta, who have unabashedly welcomed this devil into their Sanctuary as part of Vatican II ecumenism.

A photo history of the blasphemy

The Hindus communities from the Spanish regions of Ceuta and Milila, which border Morocco, exited the temple with a bier bearing Ganesh on August 27, 2017. It was the last day of the three day Ganesh Chaturthi festival that pays worship to that elephant-headed deity, one of the many gods in the Hindu pantheon.

people carrying a statue of ganesh out of the hindu temple of ceuta

Carrying the deity out of the pagan temple for the last day of the festivities

In the streets the Hindus shout and shake, with women performing sensual dances to the beat of drums. A reporter enthusiastically comments on the "religious fervor - and not necessarily of just Hindus." "Ganesh is among us," they shout.

Women dancing in the streets to honor Ganesh

Hindu women dancing in the street for the Ganesh festivities

The procession continues to the threshold of the colonial Sanctuary of Holy Mary, and is welcomed and invited inside by the large group of enthusiastic Catholics waiting there with cell phone cameras to receive it.

The statue of Ganesh entering the sanctuary of Santa Maria

Entering the Church of Santa Maria in the main plaza of Ceuta

In the front, standing at the pulpit below the gaze of the Virgin of Ceuta, is Vicar General Fr. Juan José Mateos Castro in a light blue shirt and collar. Arms crossed, he waits to welcome the false god and pray with the Hindu pagans.

The vicar general welcoming the statue of Ganesh into the sanctuary

The Vicar General waiting  near the altar as the statue enters; below, the pagan deity enters the Church to face the altar  with the statue of Our Lady and Our Lord above it

The pagan idol facing the altar of the Cueta Cathedral

The indignity to the Virgin worsens. A small choir in the front, facing Ganesh, sings a popular Salve Maria hymn to the devil god as the congregation watches with approval. The choir appears oblivious to the presence of Our Lady above the altar, focusing their gaze instead on the devil Ganesh. It was a blatant desecration of the sanctuary and a strong blasphemy against Our Lady.

a Catholic choir signing 'Sancta Maria' in honor to honor Ganesh

A Catholic choir serenades the demon-god with a popular song to Sancta Maria

A Hindu representative, in a Hawaii shirt, addresses the congregation, thanking them for the invitation to share their celebration of Ganesh. "It is an expression of how two different cultures can live together in the world," he gushes. Then, a long warm embrace with Fr. Mateo Castro.

Fr. Mateo Castro embracing a Hindu representative

Fr. Mateo Castro gives the Hindu representative a warm embrace of welcome

Finally, the flower offering to Our Lady is made, as a delegation of Hindus joins a smiling Fr. Mateo Castro on the high altar on a platform directly under the Virgin's sorrowful gaze. One of the little girls in a Ganesh festivity t-shirt joins her hands to pray to the demon, whose statue faces the altar.

Fr. Mateo posing with Hindus in front of the statue to Our Lady

Fr. Mateo poses with Hindu reprentatives with the flower offering to Our Lady

After the Catholics and Hindus pray together, the bier with the false god is turned around and leaves the Sanctuary, to the applause of the congregation.

Crowds carrying the Ganesh statue out of the sanctuary of Ceuta

A rousing farewell to the Hindu deity

But the blasphemy does not end there. On the streets of Ceuta is a touching life-size statue of the crucified Christ, set behind glass and a barred grid. The procession makes its rowdy progress toward that Sacred Image and stops directly in front of it. It seemed to me like it was the devil publicly mocking Our Lord as the people watch approvingly.

Ganesh statue stopped and blessed in front of a Crucifix of Christ

The pagan statue stops in the street before a statue of Christ crucified

A Hindu woman presses her hand firmly on the glass to "receive the blessing" of Christ and then turns to send it with a kiss to the Hindu devil. The final outrage: She takes a blessing - arms folded high in the air - from Ganesh and turns to transfer it to Our Lord Jesus Christ. It was a demonstration of a Catholic-Hindu syncretism of religions, firmly condemned by the Church until Vatican II.

A Hindu woman touching the glass barrier by the crucifix and blessing the Ganesh statue

A Hindu woman 'takes a blessing' from Christ to transmit to the demon Ganesh, and then sends 'a prayer blessing' from Ganesh to Christ

A meek 'apology' from the Bishop

As this year's blasphemous entrance of Ganesh into a Catholic Church became public criticism poured in from around the world. Even though the same ceremony has been performed for eight years, Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy decided this year to issue a meek apology to the Catholic faithful, calling the event "regrettable" for possibly causing "pain, confusion or scandal in the Christian community."

Fr. Mateo duly tendered his resignation as Vicar General; he apparently received no punishment for his actions except for an "admonishment" for his "mistake to allow the entrance of these images." However, the Bishop went on to assure us, "he didn’t intend, at any moment, to venerate anything outside of our only and true God, for his intention was only to welcome the sign of respect that the Hindu community wanted to offer towards the Christian community and the Patroness of Ceuta."

In the note issued of the Diocese, it was stated that there was never a plan for making a joint inter-religious event and the only planned action was to leave a floral offering outside the Church of Santa Maria. I am not sure what is more scandalous: this supposed surprise of the Bishop that the statue was "spontaneously" invited to enter the Church - even though the same blasphemy has been openly perpetrated for years, or his added sincere apology to the Hindus that he meant no rebuke to their beliefs by his statement.

So then, what was the point of his statement? It was not really an apology, but an appeasement meant to placate everyone: the offended Catholics and the Hindu offenders. Certainly, there was no condemnation of paganism, no sorrow expressed for the profanation of the Church, no attempt to clarify Catholic teaching that there can be no mixing of Catholicism and paganism. And, I feel certain, even this meek apology would not have been made if the video had not raised the ire of those Catholics who still have a remnant of the sensus fidei.

Reactions of the people

We can see the 'two steps forward, one step back' tactic applied in this case. The scandalous and heretical ceremony takes place for eight years without any objection from Church officials (two steps forward). The Bishop is pressured by the people to react and issues a laconic apology (one step backward), accompanied by words of reassurance that the reprimand should not be interpreted as any remonstrance toward the Hindu people or their so-called "religion."

And how do the faithful react? Instead of supporting the Bishop for his admonishment of Fr. Mateos, he was harshly criticized by the Catholics in Ceuta. There was a general outpouring of support for the Vicar General.

A woman in a black tanktop being interviewed defends the Ganesh statue entering the sanctuary

People on the street react indignantly against the Bishop and support the inter-faith act of the priest

An elderly couple being interviewed defend the Ganesh statue entering the sanctuary

An on-the-street reporter interviewed residents of the city. Not one expressed criticism of the blasphemous inter-faith act. An older woman responded indignantly, "Okay, he entered but what's wrong with that? We've been doing this for eight years. We're having good relations among the religions. If you want to enter a synagogue, you can go. If you want to enter a mosque, you can go. Anyone can enter a church - you can't deny that to anyone." Apparently, not even to the devil…

A young woman with red hair immodestly dressed in black said, "We are living in a multicultural society and the Hindus had the good intention to make an offering. So what the bishop did is fatal to the culture of our city." The only thing that matters now is good intentions, not doctrine or an offense to Our Lord and Our Lady.

An old man in his 60s or 70s, who should know better but is indifferent to the truth after 50 years of Vatican II ecumenism, shrugged his shoulders and said, "Nothing's wrong with what he (the priest) did. The Church has to be open to everyone." His wife, more energetic, interrupted to say emphatically, "We've been talking for years about ecumenism. That means we have to receive every religion in our religion. We have to be tolerant in this 21st century and respect all religions."

We can see how Progressivism has moved forward with a new doctrine to replace "extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" [outside the Church there is no salvation]. The general populace, even those who are old enough to have been taught differently, complaisantly accept that all religions are good and admit salvation is possible in all of them. They are prepared to pay respect to pagan gods alongside the one true God. There is no need to insist on conversion…

As for the Hindus, a representative of the Ceuta community was bold enough to announce they are holding a meeting to discuss the incident and plan their next step of support for the priest's actions. I will not be surprised to see Fr. Mateo reinstated as Vicar General or, more probably, moved up the ladder in his priestly career, perhaps to head a prestigious new Committee of Ecumenical Initiatives.

Photo credits: Screen captions/YouTube FatoTV Ceuta.

Posted September 1, 2017

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