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Demonization of Vudun

The process by which vudun has been demonized by Catholicism, western culture and arguaby by Christianity in general has been a lenghty process. Judeo-Christian dogma frowns on a "hands on approach" to spiritual matters as the notion has always interfered with religious establishments and institutions. These institutions have always feared the notion of direct contact with saints, deities, entities and spirits as it would essentially completely cut out the necessity for the institutions themselves and their own priestly hierarchy's intervention in spiritual matters. Catholicism's usual critique of engaging in spiritualism or deity worship outside of their own is that it is dangerous and in some cases not possible as the process as they understand it, requires a high degree of virtue which usually requires a large measure of personal sacrifice in order to achieve.

Specifically the adherence to the Beatitudes as a mode to gain personal virtue; in the case of self-sacrifice the notion of monasticism and celibacy. These institutions assert that personal virtue and self-sacrifice in essence creates a barrier by which negative spirits and or entities will not influence an individual's personal relationship with God. Out of this process comes the demonizing of other spiritual disciplines. Catholic and Judeo-Christian history is replete with examples of harsh intervention whenever their theological doctrines have been challenged. The Crusades, the Inquisition and in more recent centuries, the Salem witch hunts are just a few of the more grotesque examples. A more recent Roman Catholic critique of indigenous faiths and vudun specifically has been put forth by the College of Cardinals.

For the most part, the broader theological critique of Vodun by Christianity is that indigenous faiths are not actually a religion but rather a human expression of practicing culture.This position which was held for a long time by the Catholic Church specifically was ratified somewhat during a papal visit by Pope John Paul II to the Republic of Benin; where after some discussion he acquiesced to the truth of Vudun being a "religion". Another area of concern for them is the notion of idol worship as they understand and interpret via the 10 Commandments. In addition the Catholic Church and Christianity are un- easy with the use of human bones in relation to spiritual operations and veneration. This particular critique is ironic coming from Catholics when one considers that in the Vatican the main altar is constructed around St. Peter's remains and that the quite vast catacombs in general which are kept underneath the entire edifice is replete with the remains of past Popes and Cardinals throughout the ages. So in essence, all the masses being held in the Vatican are performed on top of human bones.

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