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Thread: The Reason(s) I Re-embraced Roman Catholicism

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    Account Inactive DeSanto's Avatar
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    Post The Reason(s) I Re-embraced Roman Catholicism

    Firstly, I was raised in a (moderately strict) Roman Catholic household, steeped in the traditions up 'till ninth grade (at which point I transferred to a public school and all religious indoctrination promptly ceased). However, when we are young, very young (grammar school age for instance), whatever doctrines or belief systems we are exposed to regularly end up being, in my opinion at least, somewhat etched with acid into our brains. Regardless of how far we think we move from them, we can never truly fully "escape" their influence. That can be both a good and a bad thing.

    So , clearly, a large part of the reason I have embraced, or "re-embraced" as it were my native Roman Catholicism (I was non-practicing for about all of my 20's, during part of which time I was something of a rather militant anti-religionist) , has to do with my upbringing, plain and simple.

    However, I should also add that there are other facets to this faith, this particular branch of Christianity, which attract me much more so than just a desire to remain true to my roots, so to speak, and / or a desire to believe in a "Saviour". Truth be told, I don't really believe 100% in all of the dogma of the Catholic church (or of any other organized religion for that matter). The message at the heart of all organized religions (or most; I may take issue with one or two, which I will not mention by name except to say that they are both purely Semitic religions, which forbid pork, and both were born in the desert) is essentially good, I feel. Following some type of organized religion, beyond providing social, racial, and ethnic "cohesion", also can provide some much-needed discipline and, of course, a certain level of spiritual solace or comfort. That having been said, I don't take everything that the Pope says to be mandatory for me , as a practicing Roman Catholic, to follow. Some papal edicts , against prophylactic usage for example, are patently absurd to say nothing of grotesquely , even dangerously, out-of-step with the modern-day world. However, I don't feel one needs to truly believe 100% in all of the "dogma", and/or follow to a tee the edicts of any spiritual leader, in order to remain a "member in good standing", if you will, of one's religion of choice.

    Another key reason that I adhere to Roman Catholicism is going to sound quite strange to many of you, particularly to many other Catholics I suppose, but it is how I truly feel nonetheless. I feel that Roman Catholicism is the closest we have left to a truly "organized" form of something that still remotely resembles the religion(s) of our distant past as Europeans; the (so-called) "pagan" , and particularly the Greco-Roman pagan, beliefs. I believe the Roman Catholic Church, with the Pope at its head, is something like the last living remnant we have left in this modern world of the "Roman Empire", in a certain sense, and therefore is key to not only Greco-Italic but to all European heritage in a very real sense. For me to , say, convert to Islam (as my first cousin recently did, an act which he followed by marrying a Pakistani woman - much to his family's chagrin), as is becoming rather fashionable in some areas in Europe and America and Canada these days, would be nothing less than severing all ties with my racial and cultural past. Becoming a "hanger-on" (as someone else put it in another thread that I was reading here about Islamic converts) of a foreign religion, culture, and race.

    It is not in the true European's blood to believe in solely "one God" , who forbids "images" to be made of him, who forbids alcohol and certain kinds of foods, and is insanely jealous of all other Gods and condemns the worship or praise of divine Mother-figures or Goddesses. It is simply not in the European nature. We are a people whose ancestors typically believed in many Gods and Goddesses, and created worlds of awe-inspiring art to express those beliefs. Without our people's religio-based cultural contributions, with only, say, the Semites' belief(s) for instance, the world would be a much much more drab and bare place. For in their belief, Jew and Arab alike, God must not ever be drawn or sculpted or painted or any such thing like that. What a perfect recipe for a state of cultural and artistic coma! Sure, there is Arabic / "Islamic" art, but compare the body of it to the nearly countless examples of European art, both Christian and pre-Christian. Clearly, those who are religiously forbidden (or perhaps just lack the inherent talent or Muse) to sculpt, paint, draw, are the losers in that comparison, by any rational objective standpoint.

    Furthermore, I believe that the Roman Catholic church, with its pantheon of saints (both male and female) , and its "cult" of what has sometimes been called "Marianism" (i.e., worship of the divine Mother-figure) , is one of our last remaining links with something purely ancient that was our peoples' anyway, long long before the itinerant Jewish preacher ran afoul of the authorities in Palestine and got himself hung up on a Passovers eve. Do I believe that that man WAS God, was the (literal) son of God ? Rose from the dead? I don't know. Perhaps in some "allegorical" sense. But I think , in cold reality (and reality is always cold isn't it?) , he was probably just , as I said above, an itinerant Jewish preacher with some radical political and / or religious notions. Would he ever have even wanted to be worshiped, AS God, or as the (literal) "son of God" (a religious idea which is, incidentally , anathema to Semites) ?? And by the descendants of what were, to he and his people, in his time, hordes of "unclean", "pagan barbarian goyim" ?? Well, I suppose that's a whole other story in itself.

    But, the thing for me is, I don't truly pray to "him", per se, when I go to Mass. I acknowledge that he must have been some kind of spiritually-possessed man, some kind of prophet or seer or sage along the lines of , say, the Buddha, but I don't really pray to him per se when I go to Mass. I personally am devoted much much more so to the divine Mother- figure (particularly as she appears in her myriad manifestations throughout Europe as the "black Madonna"), and to several personal "patron saints". Those are who / what I really pray to when I pray, or go to Mass. I might ask for their "intercession" for me (along with the intercession of "Jesus", whom I view, as I said, as a deceased holy man more or less) , but I don't pray to "God" directly the way that Semites do. I don't think that we as mere human animals are truly capable of doing that, are truly capable of directly communing that way. I think that "God", whatever It is, is , to quote Mircea Eliade, a "deus otiosus". It has turned Its back, so to speak, and is not personally "concerned" with this creation. It is a vast, hugely vast, incomprehensible, impersonal Life Force which certain human beings have managed to attain enough spirituality to draw closer to - and I'm sure the deceased Nazarene was one such human being. But , to be honest, the thought of direct prayer to a Jew who , in his lifetime, might well have considered Gentiles "dogs" (as so many of the rural Palestinian Jews of his time did) , has always slightly "rankled", at least ever since I became racially / culturally aware. Therefore, although I might make necessary rote mention of him in some of the prayers, I don't truly pray to him directly. The churches that insist on prayer to "Jesus" only , and forbid (or frown upon) , the belief in the vast "communion of saints" and the cult of the divine Mother-figure, are for me not an option.

    All of that is why, instead of remaining in the spiritual desert of agnosticism, bordering on atheism, I chose to re-embrace the Roman Catholicism in which I was born and raised. I feel it is a very valid link between , the last true remaining link really, between what our people once had , and what we have at present. Therefore, when certain other Christians (usually the "evangelical Protestant" types) level charges that Roman Catholicism is only "thinly-veiled paganism", I just smile, and if I could reply to them directly I would probably just nod my head and simply say, "I know..."

    Sinceramente,

    D Santo

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    Re: The Reason(s) I Re-embraced Roman Catholicism

    [quote=DeSanto] I feel that Roman Catholicism is the closest we have left to a truly "organized" form of something that still remotely resembles the religion(s) of our distant past as Europeans; the (so-called) "pagan" , and particularly the Greco-Roman pagan, beliefs. I believe the Roman Catholic Church, with the Pope at its head, is something like the last living remnant we have left in this modern world of the "Roman Empire", in a certain sense, and therefore is key to not only Greco-Italic but to all European heritage in a very real sense.]


    Doesn't sound weird to me at all - in fact ,although I myself would never choose Catholicism as a way to express my Christian beliefs for some of those same reasons mentioned above-you gotta respect someone who tells it like it is.Very refreshing!





    [Furthermore, I believe that the Roman Catholic church, with its pantheon of saints (both male and female) , and its "cult" of what has sometimes been called "Marianism" (i.e., worship of the divine Mother-figure) , is one of our last remaining links with something purely ancient that was our peoples']


    Again -suprisingly insightfull , although oddly enough , even though I believe you are 100% correct here , the above mentioned thought usually meets with some rather heated denial from most Catholics I've had the pleasure of conversing with.


    [I think that "God", whatever It is, is , to quote Mircea Eliade, a "deus otiosus". It has turned Its back, so to speak, and is not personally "concerned" with this creation. ]


    I have enormous respect for your frankness and as such mean absolutely no disrespect - when I say that it is MHO that Catholicism doesn't tend to engender the most "personal" relationship with god.


    [The churches that insist on prayer to "Jesus" only , and forbid (or frown upon) , the belief in the vast "communion of saints" and the cult of the divine Mother-figure, are for me not an option.]



    understood...



    [Therefore, when certain other Christians (usually the "evangelical Protestant" types) level charges that Roman Catholicism is only "thinly-veiled paganism", I just smile, and if I could reply to them directly I would probably just nod my head and simply say, "I know..." ]



    somewhere the theme to "the OMEN " plays as three red eyed Rottwielers accompany our fearless DeSanto across a small bridge...

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