Expert Answer Forum
Haitii Voodo/Christian Practices QUESTION from Jonathan Malins September 10, 2000 I was reading an artical in the National Geographic regarding the combining of Voodo and Christianity in Haitii. It covered several pilgrimages to pay homage to catholic sainsts. One such pilgrimige contained rituals and acts as only what I could only describe as demonic. Such as self mutilation, the drinking of animal blood what appears to be people possesed.
Does the Catholic Church recognise these pilgrimages and if so Why is this behavior condoned?
Is there behavior condoned bacause they don't know any better?
How does the Church fight these deeply rooted traditions?
Are their practices demonic?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on October 21, 2000 Dear Mr. Malins:
The Catholic Church DOES NOT recognize or condone the practices of Voodoo or the practice of combining Voodoo with Catholicism. In places like Haiti the local people have, unfortunately, combined many elements of Catholicism with Voodoo to such a degree that the entanglement is nearly impossible to unwind. Nevertheless, voodoo and voodoo/Catholicism mixture is NOT APPROVED by the Catholic Church and Church officials have worked long and hard to try to evangelize and catechize these people into a proper understanding of Christianity. As mentioned above, the cultural forces at work there are so strong, however, it has been in many ways a losing battle.
Are they demonic? In my opinion yes. Satan is the author of lies and distortion. Only Satan would have the motivation to corrupt the image of Catholicism with Voodoo.
We need to pray for these cultures entrenched in Voodoo. The Voodoo culture seems to be extremely strong. We need to pray for the missionaries and parish priests who are working so hard to bring these people out of Voodoo and into the full light of Jesus Christ.
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