Hi Fred...

This is an older article but it gives one a good idea of the voodoo-heads who find Catholicism attractive. It is safe to say that this mentality (minus the goat-heads) is representative of the primitive and superstitious mindset of all Catholics.

Remember: I live in the only majority Catholic state in the U.S., Rhode Island, a state also quite rightly reviled as the most corrupt state in the nation.

The two appellations are no coincidence...we must only look to the "paradise" that constitutes South America to see that either Catholicism breeds corruption or else corrupt people are attracted to Catholicism by its doctrine of confession at death.

As a federal law enforcement official I was privy to confidential info regarding the Mafia. They often figure its okay to be murderous felons in life so long as they make a "good confession" on their deathbed.

The Catholic religion is merely an appalling superstition that is little more than mental illness passed from generation to generation through the forced indoctrination of unthinking children. The voodoo of Santeria is only the most obviously insane of the various versions of Catholicism.


Subj: Afro Catholics
Date: 97-12-29 08:29:29 EST


.c The Associated Press

HAVANA (AP) - A crucifix stands behind the severed head and feet of a goat on a floor bloody from an animal sacrifice. Drummers beat rapidly on boxes and drums, and dancers writhe and butt like enraged horses.

Traditional Roman Catholics might not recognize the ceremony in Armando Castillo's small apartment in Havana as a celebration honoring Santa Barbara, a Catholic saint.

But the rite is an example of common religious practices in Cuba that combine traditional Catholicism with African beliefs.

When Pope John Paul II makes his historic trip to Cuba in January, he may find Catholics are outnumbered by followers of African-influenced religions like Santeria, a mix of Catholicism and religions practiced by West African slaves brought to the Caribbean.

Most Santeros are expected to welcome the pope enthusiastically.

``It gives me great satisfaction,'' said Mario Garcia, a prominent practitioner of Palo Monte, a religion of Congolese origin that uses human bone fragments to summon influential spirits to intercede with God.

Garcia, who goes to church as often as he can, said he hopes to attend the papal Mass.

``To go to church means refreshing oneself with God,'' he said.

Enrique Hernandez Armenteros, head of the Afro-Cuban Religious Association, has a poster welcoming the pope on his wall behind a glass-encased statue of St. Lazarus.

At the icon's feet are moldy cigars and a scattering of little arms and legs cut from tin, offerings from those seeking help for their painful extremities.

``I see his visit as very positive because .... he is the representative of peace,'' said Hernandez, who is baptized but described himself as ``not an active Christian.''

African immigrants began to identify Catholic saints with African deities because the church, or Catholic festivals, often were the only places slaves could openly practice religion, experts say.

Although Cuba has been officially atheist since the 1960s, about 70 percent of Cubans dabble in some sort of African religious practices, usually very lightly, said anthropologist Natalia Bolivar.

Only about 40 percent of Cubans are baptized Catholics, and a large share of those blend Catholic and African beliefs. Most Santeria orders require devotees to be baptized Catholics.

Catholic Cardinal Jaime Ortega has tried to use the papal visit to encourage more orthodox practices. In recent open-air Masses to publicize the pope's visit, Ortega alluded to Santeria orders as ``pseudo-religions.''

In a recent edition of the church magazine, Palabra Nueva, Ortega expressed ``violent criticism ... of the public, propagandistic presentation of Santeria as the official religion of the country.''

Yet only two of Ortega's outdoor Masses drew more than 1,000 people - many times fewer than those who regularly turn out, many crawling on their knees, to honor St. Lazarus - known here as Babalu-Aye - each Dec. 16.

``He is a cardinal who does not understand well the situation of the Cuban people,'' Bolivar said. ``He is attacking the Afro-Cuban religions that are filling his churches.''

Ricardo Guerra, another researcher and practitioner of African religions, complained the church was excluding Santero leaders from a delegation of religious leaders who will meet the pope.

But Ortega insisted they are Catholics and thus are represented by church leaders.

AP-NY-12-29-97 0334EST


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