THE SERVANT GENERAL
ASSAULTS ON FAITH, FAMILY AND LIFE
June 7, 2017
Here is ecumenism and dialogue gone astray.
The first commandment prohibits idolatry. This is the foundation
for all other commandments. Once we violate this, we have
no authentic faith to speak of.
This is another case of the rot in our Church caused by political
U.K. diocese tells Catholics how to venerate
SHEFFIELD, U.K., June 6, 2017 ( LifeSiteNews) -- A
Catholic diocese in the U.K. is encouraging Catholics visiting
pagan shrines to “bow” to pagan images and to
eat food “blessed” in pagan rituals in the spirit
of “ecumenism” and “dialogue.”
In its guidelines for visiting pagan shrines (click on Ecumenism
& Interfaith), the Catholic Diocese of Hallam run by Bishop
Ralph Heskett, encourages Catholics
to bring flowers to Buddha, bow to the Hindu murtis (image
of the deities), and bow to the Sikh holy book.
Catholics are also encouraged to eat the food offered to them
that has been “blessed” in Hindu and Sikh rituals.
Bishop Heskett did not respond to a query by press time. LifeSiteNews
asked him how he could justify the advice in light of the
First Commandment, which states: “I am the Lord your
God; You shall have no strange gods before Me.”
Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn said the guidelines
not only lead Catholics astray, but dishonor the early Christian
"The early Christian martyrs refused even a pinch of
incense to the pagan demons, suffering terrible tortures and
death,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“In the second book of Maccabees, Eleazar refused to
even pretend to eat pork. And now, a Catholic bishop is encouraging
the faithful to venerate pagan images, make donations to Buddhist
temples, and consume ritually 'blessed' food. It is the responsibility
of the clergy to help us maintain and strengthen our relationship
with Christ, not to tell us how to engage in idolatry,”
Hichborn said the guidelines reveal a crisis within the Catholic
"Our Blessed Lord asked if the Son of Man would find
faith when He returned. With this bishop advocating the veneration
of pagan icons and promoting donations to Buddhist temples,
this is a question we can start asking now. Can there be any
clearer indication that the
Church is suffering a crisis of faith, even to the point of
apostasy?" he said.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that the
First Commandment against idolatry requires “man neither
to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the
one true God.”
“Idolatry not only refers
to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to
faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God.”
“Many martyrs died for not adoring ‘the beast’
refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the
unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with
communion with God,” the Catechism states.
The 1949 version of the Baltimore Catechism states that a
“Catholic sins against faith by taking part in non-Catholic
worship, because he thus professes belief in a religion he
knows is false.”
The Baltimore Catechism later adds that a person “sins
by idolatry when he pays to a creature the supreme worship
due to God alone as creator and preserver of all things.”
“Divine honor is paid to God alone. In the early days
of Christianity, many Christians were put to death for refusing
to burn incense before idols. The old Egyptians, and many
pagans today, worship the sun, fire, or animals like the crocodile.
God punished the Israelites for their idolatry,” it
Hichborn said it comes as no surprise that the Diocese of
Hallam is now suffering financial collapse due to a more than
50 percent drop in the Mass-going population (30,000 to 12,000)
since the diocese’s establishment.
Heskett seems to be in a state of cognitive dissonance in
that he doesn't see how honoring pagan deities may have something
to do with a decrease of Catholic faith in his own flock and
a resulting decline in Mass attendance,” he said.
"Our entire faith is centered around the Eucharist. If
Bishop Heskett is serious about his own salvation, and the
souls of those entrusted to him, and if he truly desires to
increase the number of faithful members of his diocese, then
he must be completely devoted to Our Lord in the Eucharist.
There is no other answer,” he added.