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by Catherine Frakas 05 Sep 2001

My belief lies in quesiton QUESTION from Hrafn Sundberg December 5, 2000 First off, I wasn't sure whether to post this in the historical section or here. Me and my friend are both of Nordic decent and have a proud history. Anyways, a friend of mine who is a devote believer in Asatru (A northern pagan belief I think) says that the ancient Christians around the time of the Vikings and Crusades were quite destructive in their views. He says that Crusaders would march into Viking hamlets, and demand they renouce thier evil ways. My friends claims that yes, some villages would renouce thier old ways, but some would not. These poor people would then get killed. He then goes on to say quite convincingly that back then, the church was the evil, and that the ancient people of Scandinavian were slaughtered for this small act. He claims there are many documents supporting these ideas.
As for me, I am a devote Christian, and am wondering whether these acusations of the ancient Christians are correct? I am starting to find books and what-not that are slowly turning me into their it seems to be right. I good portion of the people here are pagan believers, and seem to egg me on to their beliefs, and to forget about the one true church. I do not know where to turn, so I thought I could try posting here.
On a side note, many young people are very much into the evil ways around here, such as worshiping nature. Have you ever heard of black metal? This an evil form of music that is quite popular around here. Anyways, these small cult like bands have proceded to burn churches and destroy grave stones. These seem to be a dark time indeed.
Thanks for your time.
P.S. sorry if my English is bad
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on March 4, 2001 Dear Mr. Sundberg:
In the history of the Crusades and other historical epochs there does exist horror stories of behavior that was not Christian. Since people are human beings, and since human beings sin, we will find people sinning. Whenever the Crusaders or any other Catholic laymen, priest, religious, or bishops sinnned, they sinned as men and women. The Church condemns sin. Thus when these people sinned they were performing an act that was condemned by the Church.
Also remember that the accounts of the Crusades and the Inquisition and other aspects of Church history that come from pagan, Protestant, or other anti-Catholic sources. Such sources have been widely proven to be unreliable. Such sources tend to exaggerate, distort, or even outright lie about history to make the Catholi Church look as bad as possible.
All peoples and all organizations and faiths have horror stories to tell. People are people and they will sin.
A good one volume suvey of Church history is Carroll's Jesus: Lord of History published by Tan Books. It is a high school text and easy to read.
Don't let these people rob you of your faith. The Catholic Church is the One True Church of the One True God. To depart from the Church and go to one of these pagan religions would mean that you would be following a false god and would place your soul at risk of hell.
Stay close to the Church. Ask God to help you with your faith. Spend time before the Blessed Sacrament. Do not lose hope. God is here.
Yes, I am familiar with Heavy Metal music, if we are to call it music. I would advise staying away from that form of entertainment.
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