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"Great Religions" Update

by Christopher A. Ferrara

With this column I am introducing a new update feature to go along with the "Conversion of Russia," "Ecumenical Follies" and "Double Standard" updates. In this "Great Religions" update I will provide, from time to time, a demonstration of the crippling superstition and darkness of the non-Christian cults (Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, animism, etc.) which the Vatican apparatus now describes as "great religions," whose "representatives" are summoned to Rome and Assisi to "pray" for peace to their various idols and other substitutes for the true God.

Catholics who have not been lobotomized by the post-conciliar "renewal" of the Church will recall the Church’s constant teaching that the members of these false religions live in a state of darkness from which the Church must rescue them with the light of Christ and the grace of His sacraments. They will recall such things as Pope Pius XI’s consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, only 37 years before the "springtime" of Vatican II began, in which His Holiness commanded the Church to pray as follows:

Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism and refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Thy chosen people. Of old, they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior, may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and life.

Apparently we are supposed to forget this constant prayer of the Church as if it were some longstanding embarrassment, but no one in the Vatican ever explains why anyone should believe in a Church that could have been so wrong, for so long, in Her approach to false religions. The answer, of course, is that we can and must believe in the Catholic Church, and that we can and must reject, not the Church - which cannot "change" Her mind on such matters - but rather the novelties introduced by fallible men who have departed from Tradition over the past 40 years.

So, on to the "Great Religions" update. This month the Sydney Herald News reports (September 2, 2002) that "Thousands of people attended the funeral of a monkey revered as a divine incarnation of a Hindu god in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, police said yesterday." It seems the local villagers "discovered the monkey sitting on the idol of Hanuman [and] thought it was a reincarnation of the god and refused to let it out of the temple." The poor monkey, mistaken for a god, died of starvation and exhaustion. According to the Sydney Herald, "3,000 to 4,000 people were present when the monkey was cremated according to Hindu custom, during a ceremony organised by the temple committee."

Animal rights activists were quite upset about the plight of the unfortunate simian, and "petitioned the Andhra Pradesh high court to rescue the monkey, which they claimed was being exploited by the priests of the temple to make money." But instead of ordering the monkey’s release, "the court passed a directive ordering the local police and administration to ensure the monkey was not harassed by pilgrims and given proper medical attention, but it died a few days later."

At the inter-religious prayer meeting in Assisi in 1986, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president of the Pontifical Council on Inter-religious Dialogue, declared to the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Hottentots and the what-nots all assembled before him that "Each of the religions we profess has inner peace, and peace among individuals and nations, as one of its aims. Each one pursues this aim in its own distinctive and irreplaceable way."

Irreplaceable? I don’t think so.