What is the same and different about Catholics and pagans?

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I am trying to find all the information that I can about what is the same and what is different about Catholicism and paganism. There are not many web pages and even less books that I have found that can help me with this topic. Please, please, please help me. Thank you!

-- Hayley Burton (BabyBug200@aol.com), January 24, 2001


Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

A friend of mine is a pagan priestess. She has expressed the following pagan theories about Catholicism:

Pagans (at least her sect, if there is such a thing) believes that:

The idea of the Trinity has pagan origins, as does Christmas, Halloween, and Easter.

Mary was a concession to the pagans the early Christians were trying to convert because they believed in a goddess.

Catholicism is polytheistic (they think we think the saints wield godlike powers)

In truth, those beliefs are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of Catholic beliefs (ie, we merely ask saints to pray for us, not to actually *do* anything. That's God's job. See any one of a number of recent threads for the Mary question. I'm not going to re-iterate all that here.) and Christian history (hence their misconceptions about pagan-Christian contact, the Trinity, holidays, et cetera).

While I must admit that my knowledge of paganism comes mostly from this one source, I consider her to be an authoritative one. One thing has become clear. THE PAGANISM OF TODAY IS NOT THE PAGANISM OF ANTIQUITY!!!!!! She has told me that modern paganism is much like a "salad bar" (her words) of religion. It would be impossible to define paganism, at least in the antique sense (There were Jews, and Christians, and the whole rest of the world fell into the category of "pagan"). There are many differences in beliefs between Germanic pagans, Celtic pagans (the two groups most heavily borrowed from), Greco-Roman pagans, Egyptian pagans, Indian pagans, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum.

They borrow from all of these to varying degrees in a new form of "composite" paganism, removing the human and animal sacrifices, and focusing on nature-worship and their version of the golden rule (If it hurt no one, do as you will). In short, modern pagans probably have more in common with hippies than with the pagans of old. So first, you must tell us which pagans you're asking about (new or old), and if it is the antique pagans, which ones you mean.

I don't know if there are any decent books out there. Most Christian authors find the subject too silly to write about and pagan authors are likely to expound on mistaken assumptions about Christianity in general and the Church in particular. In short, you'll have to do most of the scholarship yourself. The best way, I've found, is to ask a pagan what they believe, and then compare their answers with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

aaaaaa aaaaaaa aaaaaaaaa

-- anthony (fides_spes_et_caritas@hotmail.com), January 24, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

Your insights are keen, Anthony.
I thank you for them. I could never have composed such a good answer to Hayley.

Pray for us, St. James and Mary our mother.
God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (jgecik@desc.dla.mil), January 24, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?


here are some links that you can check out that might give a deeper insite how the catholicism is tied in with paganism,.. theres also a book called " hissops two babalons".. it talks about how that alot of the symbols in the catholic church came from pagan symbols,.. even the trinity!!.. and basically it started with a guy named consitine who was pagan til he had a dream one nite before he went to war, and the dream was about him painting a red cross on his sheilds in his dream,.. so he did so, and the next day they won the war,.. from there, the romans started to convert there idols over to christainty images,.. venus = mary, juptier = paul, mars = peter..ect.. you can find that in the book of acts where they menched that... they wasnt no true conversing, just a differant way of thinking, but not a true borned again new birth experiance with Jesus Christ... do some real deep searching Hayley, you will be suprised what you will find behind that Big beautiful chruch called the "catholic church".. you will find its roots becomes the beast that is spoke of in revelation...

http://biblebelievers.org/defages.htm (click on the Seven Church Ages link at the bottom)

http://www.bibleway.org./branham/branham.asp (Search for sermons by title column) type in "church ages" you will get audio sermons that are spoke about the history of the church ..

http://www.delphi.com/branham/start/ ( this is a very very good forum that explains so much in doctrines .. please check it out..

God Bless........

-- Dr. Oizo (hpuxor@yahoo.com), January 25, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

Keep in mind what I told you about. Any source commenting on the Church that is not a Catholic soruce or site, take with a grain of salt. Nobody knows what the Church believes and why as well as the Church. I wouldn't reccomend otherwise no more than I would send someone to a Catholic site to hear the Lutheran argument. Read people's OWN writings to find out their beliefs (about themselves, don't rely on them to comment on others). When I started doing that a number of years ago, I found my belief in the authority and legitimacy of the Church and her teachings wonderfully affirmed, but that is something for you to discover for yourself.

aaaaa aaaa

-- anthony (fides_spes_et_caritas@hotmail.com), January 26, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?


Now the pagans are experts in Catholicism; sure.

Doc Oizo back to his schtick' and this is because he's done all the ''real deep searching''! Even pagans give their opinions straight; but he goes on a devious mystical route to the same conclusion: Let's dump on Catholicism. He then signs off, ''God bless,''

If he weren't so wackey, we could feel upset. But I have decided to tune him out. As the Cure of Ars would say, ''Grappin, you are smelling funny today. --Please, calm down! Is that marijuana I smell on your hot breath? Mon Dieu!''

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), January 26, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

I believe there are already some good answers posted. I just wanted to say that any reference to the relation between gods and saints, Mary and the Goddess, the Trinity and the Norns will be taken lightly by Catholics. For one, they HAVE to believe their faith to be the true one and I see nothing wrong with that. But some of us believe the Divinity to be bigger than religions. Religon is just a human way to approach Eternity. I has to do with culture much more than with anything else. So, while Pagans and Catholics share the ultimate goal of reaching Divinity, some of us who embrace our Northern European roots more strongly may find Cristianity hard to stomach. We are people of groves and mountains, not of deserts. Of course, religions like the old druidism can no longer exist. People have estranged themselves from nature too much to revert the tendency. An there is also the issue of the Theocratic society. I doubt a Celtic State will ever exist that puts Druids in the position they used to hold. But we do what we can. Unfortunately, many catholics have a tendency to act as if the Inquisition was still operational. They usually brand us junkies, call us deranged, dismiss us as scum and ignore us. That makes me sad, for I have many catholic friends. The main difference between pagans and catholics? One word: Intolerance. Peace, though.

-- Bron Mc`Murrag (murrag@hotmail.com), January 28, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

P.S. In hindsight, I believe I over-reacted with the issue of intolerance. It is just that a subject as delicate as religion always brings out passion and it becomes irrational sometimes.

I sincerely apologise. Some of the people I love best in this world are catholics and are not intolerant. And I believe those who are mean no harm, but wish to fight for their beliefs.

P.P.S. Hayley: Any book by Jean Markale will be useful to you. Most sources may be biased towards or against catholicism. I strongly suggest you read reliable accounts on celtic, roman and germanic religions and then compare them to the actual catholic beliefs. Draw your own conclussions. Also, remember that in Latin America, the indigenous people were either pagan or recently converted when they were employed by catholic priests to build churches. There is a myriad of pagan symbols in Mexico´s barroque temples, for example. The transition from Mother Tonantzin to Guadalupe is a fine example of cultural- religious sincretism in the Americas.

Avoid New Age authors. Catholic beliefs are carefully laid out and regulated, but anyone can write a book, make up false footnotes and claim to know everything about paganism. The fact that germans and celts distrusted written word does not make the subject any easier.

Read Greek and Roman historians. They will tell lies about my people, but maybe you will be able to read between the lines. Remember how they said lies about the christians too. Tacitus and Caesar are among the easier to find. Lucano´s Pharsalia may help you, as will a modern novel, which has it`s flaws but may prove useful: Marion Zimmer Bradley´s "Mists of Avalon".

P.P.P.S. I found this forum by accident and seized the opportunity to express some thoughts. I doubt I will post anything on it again, but I really would like to ask Mr. Eugene to show some christian love and be less nasty to non-catholics. I know none of us will burn, for He who is above us is wiser and more merciful than you will ever believe, and the petty concerns that make you and I tear our garments do not trouble Him(Her) as much as you would like to believe.

Love is stronger. Always.

-- Bron Mc`Murrag (murrag@hotmail.com), January 28, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

Maybe you didn't understand me, Sir. I had nothing at all to comment about pagans, except they are straightforward unlike the devious Dr. Oizo. Since anyone can state their prejudices against the Church, it just seemed to me that some might base it on real knowledge rather than opinions.

I hold no opinions about modern pagans; to me they are about the same as Buddhists. The main thing I know is one can't simultaneously be a pagan and a Catholic. This is despite the clear historical fact the Church ''baptised'' a number of pagan holidays and ancient customs. But to claim the Church owes its religious identity to a pagan past is bunk.

Since my manners grate on you, allow me to apologise now. Nothing in what I say to anybody here is on a personal note. I just employ irony or sharp retorts once in a while for emphasis. As I said to someone else lately, Jesus Christ could use a sharp tongue when He became indignant; ''Brood of vipers!'' And I never get quite that insulting! I'm sorry I attracted your attention unfavorably, Mr. Mc'Murrag.

Mary, Refuge of Sinners, Pray for us; James, Holy Apostle of Jesus, be our protector and guide! Amen.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), January 28, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

You are going crackers, Sir. If it bothers you I address Mary and a saint in heaven, --eat your heart out. I haven't seen any need to pray to you.

Mary Our Mother, Pray for those that hate us, and for us, at the hour of our death, Amen!
Holy Apostle Saint James, Pray for us, Amen!

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), January 28, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

A Bhron, a chara,

Dia dhuit! Something I've been wondering. It appears to me that the greatest difference between pagans and Catholics (or Judeo-Christians of any stripe, for that matter) is their approach to religion in general. What you said about culture made me think. Is there a "universal truth" in paganism? I suppose I could just ask my friend tonight, but I figure the answer should be in here since it's a topic. The Catholic view is that everyone...all cultures...are decended from Adam and Eve (ie, very much in the Jewish worldview), just they have become estranged from God in the intervening thousands of years. Since God created everyone, everyone will have to answer to him (Whether you're ancient Celt, modern Rabbi, or Bhuddist monk), and be evaluated by the same set of rules and criteria as everyone else. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. There is a (note the singular) right path and a wrong path (or should I say many wrong...) through life. The goal is not to just achieve harmony nor enlightenment, it is to praise and glorify God, living by His precepts. We learn and practice this by faith, but the world seems to "know" by some mystical bluebird on its shoulder that this view is wrong (and some even say responsible for all the evil in the world), but can't seem to come up with any answer beyone modern American pluralism and political correctness. But I digress. I suppose my question is, with so many groupings and no apparent (correct me if I'm wrong) central authority, what is the pagan equivalent of heretics and protestants, and how are they dealt with by the community at large? As I had said in a previous post, there were many different groups of pagans. Is northern european paganism "better" than another kind? How do you know/decide? Is religion an absolute?

Given our worldview (one God, for everyone, everywhere), it follows logically there there should be one way of doing things (with minor exceptions made for cultural differences, like Sacred Dance in Africa, or Eastern Rites, within the Church). God, being perfect, would want things done the perfect way, and there can only be one perfect way by its very definition. I hope you can see where we're coming from, that it's not quite as simple as you said.

ps. An bhfuil Gaeilge agat ar bith?

-- anthony (fides_spes_et_caritas@hotmail.com), January 28, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

and guess, or rather, about guess... It is my understanding that Lutheranism (you know, Luther, the FOUNDER of protestantism) believes in trans-substantion as well as Catholicism (one of only three Sacrements he decided to keep, Eucharist, Marriage, and Baptism).

If anyone out there knows differently, let me know...

aaaaaaa aaaaaaaa aaaaaa

-- anthony (fides_spes_et_caritas@hotmail.com), January 28, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?


Your understanding is not quite correct, Anthony.
It is true that the various Lutheran denominations have the potential and ability to celebrate valid Baptism and Marriage.

But the same is not true of the Eucharist, even though they may desire to celebrate it. First of all, they do not have apostolic succession in the episcopate, so they cannot confect a valid Eucharist. Even if they could, though, they would be believing something false about it.

You see, following Fr. Martin Luther (who himself seems to have followed the heretic Berengarius, of about 1050 A.D.), most Lutherans reject Transubstantiation. They instead believe in what is called CONsubstantiation or Impanation. Let me quote just a small bit of the (old) Catholic Encyclopedia on this:
"Consubstantiation ---- This heretical doctrine is an attempt to hold the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist without admitting Transubstantiation. According to it, the substance of Christ's Body exists together with the substance of bread, and in like manner the substance of His Blood together with the substance of wine. Hence the word Consubstantiation. How the two substances can coexist is variously explained. The most subtle theory is that, just as God the Son took to Himself a human body without in any way destroying its substance, so does He in the Blessed Sacrament assume the nature of bread. Hence the theory is also called 'Impanation,' a term founded on the analogy of Incarnation."

St. James, pray for us.
Mother of Christ, pray for us.
God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (jgecik@desc.dla.mil), January 28, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

Thanks, John. I knew they believed something along those lines, but I wasn't sure just where they fell.

saaaaa aaaa aaaa

-- anthony (fides_spes_et_caritas@hotmail.com), January 28, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

Greetings: Read Gods word lest you follow men who dont have Gods Spirit. Jesus said those who love him will keep his commandments, are you? Jesus saves

-- Alex is saved (Jesusislife@Christianemail.com), January 29, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

The Apostles' Creed continues to be used as the baptismal profession of faith in most Western churches; Orthodox churches prefer to use the later Nicene Creed. In Roman Catholic practice, the Apostles' Creed is also recited in the daily office, before the first and after the last service each day. In most Protestant churches, it is used periodically at Sunday worship. Anglicans and Lutherans use it regularly in morning and evening prayer (matins and evensong).

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

-- Alberto Ponce (sabueso2@usa.net), February 03, 2001.

-- Alberto Ponce (sabueso2@usa.net), February 03, 2001.

Response to What is the same and different about catholics and pagans?

bump for Rod Rodriguez.

Pax Christi. <><

-- Anna <>< (Flower@youknow.com), February 24, 2003.

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