Voodoo You Trust?
John Paul II’s Betrayal in Benin
by John Kenneth Weiskittel
“You have a strong attachment to the traditions handed on by your ancestors.
It is legitimate to be grateful to your forbears who passed on this sense of the sacred,
belief in a single God who is good, a sense of celebration, esteem for the moral life and for harmony in society.”
—John Paul II (to voodoo representatives of Benin on 4 February 1993 at Cotonou)
PRELIMINARY NOTE TO THE READER:
The following study deals with very disturbing subject matter, and reader discretion is advised, both as to text and accompanying pictures. As always, there is not necessarily an endorsement or complete agreement of the external linked content, and once again, given the subject matter, there is a blanket warning regarding photos.
The text that follows is substantially that of the essay “Voodoo You Trust? John Paul II’s Betrayal in Benin” by John K. Weiskittel, as it appeared in the publications Sacerdotium and Catholic Restoration in 1993. Some minor changes have been made to facilitate online publication and reading. All footnotes are found at the end. This article is here reproduced with the kind permission of the author and the publisher.
May this study open the eyes of many on how the teachings of the Catholic Church have been and continue to be attacked by infiltrators who are unlawfully occupying the highest positions of power and those who follow them without reflection. Unless these men are seen for what they truly are, that is agents of a church of darkness, then their agenda of destruction will continue unabated. They are not friends of Catholics, however much they sometimes simulate being men of faith.
The Lord is great, and exceedingly to be praised:
He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of
the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made the heavens.
— Psalms 95:4-5
The things which the heathens sacrifice, they
sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would
not that you should be made partakers with devils.
— I Corinthians 10:20
— St. Francis Xavier
Modernists do not deny, but actually maintain,
some confusedly, others frankly, that all religions are true.
— Pope St. Pius X
The word voodoo conjures up many images to the average Westerner, all of them markedly unpleasant. Secret rituals celebrated around a hellish fire, in which participants possessed by demon gods dance with total abandon to the hypnotic beat of tribal drums. Spells intoned by crazed witch doctors, who impale pins into dolls representing intended victims. Zombies, the living dead — those sightless, mindless toilers of Caribbean fields, wickedly revived from the grave to continue existence in a hideous twilight state. The sacrificing of animals (and, sometimes, of humans). A dash of cannibalism completes the “witches’ brew.”
These images are the raw material from which nightmares are spun. They are images that have, to be sure, been exploited with some success by the producers of Hollywood horror movies. They also happen to be essentially true, for the reality behind such films is just as lurid, just as shocking as its cinematic likeness.
It is thus reasonable to posit that a cult such as voodoo is (or should be) utterly repugnant to any Roman Catholic worthy of the name — far more abhorrent than any run-of-the-mill variety of religious error. Yet despite the obvious, there are those falsely claiming the Catholic label today who dare hold that voodoo is a valid form of belief. In ordinary times this could be written off as but the aberration of a few heretical kooks. (Pope Saint Pius X surely would have declared it to be but a manifestation of the modernists he so roundly condemned). Unfortunately, the years since the Second Vatican Council hardly can be counted as ordinary times, and this movement to give voodoo a façade of legitimacy is led by none other than an alleged Pope, John Paul II, a lamentable fact borne out in the course of his African pilgrimage earlier this year. In the pages that follow, ample evidence will be marshaled to demonstrate not only the base depravity of this firm of paganism, but the equally base apostasy of “His Holiness” in praising it.
Voodoo in the Air
In his article on John Paul’s visit to the tiny African nation of Benin (pronounced Beh neen’), New York Times correspondent Alan Cowell begins by recounting how “Father” Raymond Domas, a French cleric stationed there, has to coexist with the cultists in Ouidah, a town that calls itself “the cradle of voodoo.” As it turns out, though, relations between the two are not all that bad:
Just across a muddy way from his church, a less imposing temple offers, in the place of his God, sacred pythons to cure the sick, curses, spells, gongs to summon the spirits and other magic. But Father Domas said: “The pythons don’t worry us at all. In fact, sometimes they visit us. And the man who looks after them is a Christian.”
Josephe Odjo, the keeper of the snakes, explains his beliefs: “I am a Christian, but you can be a Christian and follow vodun. We are born with vodun. It is like the air around you — you cannot abandon it.”
The remarks made here are significant for several reasons. First, mention is made of a heathen temple devoted to spells, curses, the invocation of spirits, and other sorcery — voodoo “devotional” practices to be examined presently. Second, Odjo’s claim of being both voodooist and Christian is consistent with attempts by some in that cult to syncretize its paganism with the teachings of Christianity. Third, the statement of the missionary, reinforcing Odjo’s notion that such a dual religious identity is legitimate, similarly conforms with other Conciliar errors of this nature. Fourth, even beyond all of these points (if that is possible), is an expression that lodges its way uncomfortably into the mind — sacred pythons. Most important to voodooism is the central part played by the worship of snakes (this, too, will be taken up later).
When “Pope” John Paul II journeyed to Africa in February, he stated that the main purpose of the trip was to call on “the Catholic communities, in order to encourage them and confirm them in their faith.” But whatever the ostensible reason, “His Holiness” also took time to encourage and confirm the “faith” of Beninese voodooists. Even among the myriad theological scandals of his fifteen-year reign, this meeting with voodooists has few serious rivals in terms of sheer shock value. The “Benin tour” is, in fact, a singularly remarkable example of his manifest defection from the Catholic Faith, and of the boundless credulity exhibited by millions who still call him “Holy Father.”
On February 4th, while visiting Benin’s largest city, Cotonou, he warmly addressed a group of the pagans. Although it amounted to a mere “whistle-stop” along the way of his ten-day African itinerary, the event was widely reported by the news media around the world. USA Today summed up the meeting as follows:
Chanting young girls treated Pope John Paul II to a “trance-inducing” voodoo dance at an unusual encounter between the leader of the world’s Roman Catholics and Benin’s top voodoo doctors. The Pope told voodoo followers in the west African country, birthplace of the traditional religion, that they would not be betraying their ancestors if they became Roman Catholics.
Those present, euphemistically described by the “Pontiff” as “members of the traditional African religion,” included hundreds of voodooists and “a group of 30 senior vodun priests who met with the Pope and placed him on a carved wooden throne to address him.” To address him? But, of course! Listening in the ubiquitous spirit of “ecumenical dialogue” that largely has defined him, John Paul heard Senou Zannou, a spokesman for the witch doctors, bemoan the “systematic denigration to which … vodun is subjected by certain churches and parishes.” In concluding his article, Alan Cowell emphasizes the defense of voodoo presented to the “Vicar of Christ”:
The priests were at pains to say that there was nothing ungodly about a faith that recognizes a “master creator” of the universe beyond all lesser gods. “The master of life knows that vodun has nothing to do with Satan or the devil,” Mr. Zannou … said. “It is God that is the final object of vodun worship.”
Curiously, there is nothing here indicating that John Paul endeavored to correct these misrepresentations of a pagan cult long steeped in superstition and barbarism. Cowell can hardly be faulted, however, because no such attempt was made. So the impression conveyed above by USA Today (and echoed in the Times) that John Paul encouraged their conversion is only a very small part of the story, and as such is more than a little misleading. In fact, the absurdity of the “Pope’s” responses equals that pronounced by his hosts, but given his alleged status as chief defender and proponent of Catholic truth they are far less excusable and far more incriminating.
Before examining John Paul’s outrageous remarks, a sketch of Benin is in order. Situated almost halfway down the continent’s West Coast, it was once part of one of Africa’s greatest kingdoms, Upper Guinea, until its incorporation into the French colony of Dahomey in the late 1800s. It gained independence in 1960. Benin only recently emerged (at least in appearance) from over two decades of Marxist rule. Nearly 75% of its 4.7 million people are illiterate, and the annual per capita income in 1989 was $380. By every yardstick of measuring Benin exemplifies the phrase “Third World nation.”
Far more severe than this material privation is the country’s spiritual impoverishment: Seventy percent of the Beninese people are identified as adherents of the indigenous religion (voodoo), while the rest are evenly divided between Christian and Muslim believers. It is not uncommon, however, to find those (such as Josephe Odjo) claiming to be both voodooist and Christian, so even the published percentage of the latter must be considered an inflated figure. Here, in short, is a nation with a crying need for extensive missionary activity. Much good could have resulted from a visit by a zealous Pope, passionately committed to the conversion of its citizens; unfortunately, what the Beninese people got was an unhealthy and unholy dose of John Paul II and his crypto-modernist drivel.
Given the regularity with which “His Holiness” has given offense to pious ears over the past decade-and-a-half; it is difficult to imagine anything he may say that is capable of shocking Catholics, since the expected is, by its very nature, no longer surprising. Yet in his Benin speech, John Paul confounds this truism in spectacular fashion. The errors that flow from that talk are wholly consistent with the apostate brand of “Catholicism” that he long has preached, only raised to a new level of defiance against the Magisterium he purportedly upholds.
How, then, does he succeed in performing this admittedly arduous task? He does so by praising the assembled voodooists for being committed to their “faith”:
You have a strong attachment to the traditions handed on by your ancestors. It is legitimate to be grateful to your forbears who passed on this sense of the sacred, belief in a single God who is good, a sense of celebration, esteem for the moral life and for harmony in society.
Further, he alludes to the voodooists’ “freedom of religion”; to their “Christian brothers and sisters”; and to the need for a “mutual enrichment”(!) of the religions. Their conversion, suffice it to say, was not high on his list of priorities, if these statements are analyzed against the backdrop of voodoo beliefs and practices, the full measure of his covert war against Tradition can better be appreciated.
“A Single God Who is Good”
“When we perform vodun, we invoke the name of God,” declares Sasso Guedehoungue, president of Benin’s national voodoo association, “It is God who created vodun and God who created us.” In a sidebar to its coverage of John Paul’s voodoo visit, L’Osservatore Romano offers this definition:
VOODOOISM (voodoo-deity) is a religion originating in West Africa (particularly Benin) that is also widely practiced in Haiti and the Antilles. It is characterized by various rites to the “Great Master” or good God who is the creator of the spirits responsible for protecting human beings. The great God and the spirits are identified with the Christian God and the saints of the Catholic Church. The calendar of voodoo feasts imitates that of Christian worship.
Voodoo ceremonies consist of rituals invoking the spirits and the great God and are marked by drums and songs accompanying an animal sacrifice. The rite culminates in a trance in which a ritual dancer is thought to be possessed by a divinity. Ceremonies are conducted by a man (hungan) or a woman (mambo), who are often knowledgeable about witchcraft as well.
While this is reasonably accurate as far as it goes, the trouble is that it does not go nearly far enough. (For example, the priests and priestesses of the cult are not merely “knowledgeable about witchcraft,” but often skilled practitioners of the black arts). To read this or the “Pope’s” remarks unawares, one is left with the impression that adherents to vodun are, at the very worst, confused monotheists. Nothing could be further from the truth.
While the voodooists profess nominal belief in a “master creator,” it is a god totally alien to Catholics. They do believe in a deity above the other gods, though one without many of the qualities Catholics associate with the Almighty — omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, etc. It is a god far removed from the affairs of the world, which it allows lesser spirits to control. These spirits are thought to reside in trees, water, animals, and other natural phenomena. This primitive cosmology is known as animism. Hand-in-hand with this teaching is that of fetishism, wherein it is held that witch doctors have the power to magically compel a spirit into an object (or fetish) for the benefit of its possessor. In his article on fetishism in The Catholic Encyclopedia, Father John T Driscoll demonstrates how far this belief is from that of the Christian:
The African negro in appealing to the fetish is prompted by fear alone. There is no confession, no love, rarely thanksgiving. The being to whom he appeals is not God. True he does not deny that God is; if asked, he will acknowledge His existence. Very rarely and only in extreme emergencies, however, does he make an appeal to Him, for according to his beliefs God is so far off, so inaccessible, so indifferent to human wants, that a petition to Him would be almost vain. He therefore turns to some one of the mass of spirits whom he believes to be ever near and observant of human affairs, in which, as former human beings, some of them once had part. He seeks not spiritual, but purely physical, safety. A sense of moral and spiritual need is lost sight of, although not quite eliminated, for he believes in a good and a bad.
But the dominant feeling is fear of possible natural injury from human or subsidized spiritual enemies. This physical salvation is sought either by prayer, sacrifice, and certain other ceremonies rendered to the spirit of the fetish or to non-localized spirits, or by the use of charms or amulets. These charms may be material, i.e. fetishes; vocal, e.g. utterances of cabalistic words which are supposed to have power over the local spirits; ritual, e.g. prohibited food, i.e. orunda, for which any article of food may be selected and made sacred to the spirit. At night the Congo chief will trace a slender line of ashes round his hut, and firmly believe that he has erected a barrier which will protect him and his till morning against the attacks of the evil spirit.
When the beliefs of the Fon and Ewe peoples (the principal tribes of Benin, Togo, and eastern Ghana) are singled out, it is all the more evident that no true monotheism is observed by them. Another scholar notes:
The Fon have a number of variant cosmologies, and some disagreement exists concerning the identities of the various deities. Some say that the world was created by one god, Nanu Baluka, both male and female, who gave birth to twins named Mawu and Lisa; the first, female, was given command of the night, and the second, male, was associated with the day…
If a deity is claimed to bear other gods, then the theology espousing this is not really monotheistic, but polytheistic. Fon confusion continues when attempts are made to explain these “divine” twins. Not only are they seen as siblings, but spouses as well. In addition, they are often merged into a single supreme deity, Mawu-Lisa (or, simply, Mawu). Yet even this exalted position is not remotely equivalent to the God of Christians: “No god is all powerful, not even Mawu who is the parent of the others and controls life and death.”
So the “sense of the sacred” John Paul purports to find in this cult is more properly described as a climate of fear, and the “belief in a single God who is good” (which has little practical substance) is far less compelling to the natives than observances rendered to many gods who are not necessarily good.
Of all “solemnities” offered to these spirits, few are more widespread than the homage proffered to snake gods, and none more revolting. In fact, it is to these deities, and not the “master of life,” to whom the greatest measure of honor, devotion, and trembling is accorded. Ophiolatry (snake worship) is truly a passion for the Beninese and neighboring peoples. One authority on the subject, M. Oldfield Howey, has written: “Practically all over Africa serpent worship appears to have existed from time immemorial and cannot be traced to any local origin, but seems to have arisen spontaneously. It was found in full swing by the first European explorers in Whidah and the Congo, and though its origin is lost in the mists of antiquity, the custom is not even now extinct.”
The veneration accorded to serpents is well-nigh impossible for the civilized mind to comprehend. Though it is by no means localized in Africa (ancient cultures such as the Incas and Aztecs practiced it, and its survival can be found today in India and other parts of south-central Asia where Hinduism is popular), it is safe to say that nowhere is its sway more obsessive than on the Dark Continent. One explorer, Leighton Wilson, describes such extraordinary worship in Dahomey (now Benin):
A house in the middle of the town is provided for the exclusive use of these reptiles, and they may be seen here at any time in very great numbers. They are fed, and more care is taken of them than of the human inhabitants. If they are seen straying away they must be brought back; and at the sight of them the people prostrate themselves on the ground, and do them all possible reverence. To kill or injure one of them is to incur the penalty of death. On certain occasions they are taken out by the priests or doctors, and paraded around the streets, the bearers allowing them to coil themselves around their arms, necks and bodies…
This remarkable mentality is fueled not only by the belief that serpents possess divinity, but also that they are the dwelling places for the souls of both the living and the dead. For the native, the protection of snakes is synonymous with self-preservation, as what he calls his “bush soul” (or elanga) is literally embodied in the creature, and its harm spells his harm. This notion is evident in an eerie incident that occurred in Gabon:
A French missionary spent the night in the hut of a Fan chief. Before daylight the rustling of dry leaves aroused him, and on lighting a torch he saw to his horror a huge, black, poisonous snake, coiled, and about to strike. He was on the point of shooting the creature when his arm was suddenly struck up by the chief, who, extinguishing the torch, cried, “Don’t fire, I beg of you. In killing the snake you would kill me. That serpent is my elangela. Fear nothing!” Having thus saved its life he seized and caressed the reptile, which appeared delighted at his attentions. He then carried it to another hut, where he laid himself down beside it, after exhorting the missionary never to speak of what he had seen.
Howey then reveals the root of the words vodun and voodoo (blandly described as “deity” by L’Osservatore Romano): “one of the names of Dañh-sio [the Beninese python god — JKW] being Vodunhwe.” Obeah, the Jamaican form of the cult, originates in “the worship and propitiation of the snake-god Obi — a West African word typifying the Spirit of Evil.” Likewise, the latter is derived from obayifo, a term from the Ivory Coast’s Ashanti tribe, which means “a wizard, or more generally a witch.” Legba (or Legbo), an overtly devilish god, is also greatly revered by the Beninese, so much so that, aside from Mawu, he is the only one of their deities “[whose] worship is universal.” It is not surprising, then, to find him adored side-by-side with serpents:
In 1863, according to the account of Captain Richard F. Burton, who was sent thither on a government mission, snake-worship was in full swing at Dahomey. There were horrible clay images of Legbo, the demon deity of the natives, and in a small, round hut, whitewashed within and without, with a thatched roof, was an establishment of sacred snakes, some ten feet long, of a non-poisonous variety.
Are the Beninese to be “grateful” for this sort of legacy? If the “Pope” had any problems with it, they were of so inconsequential a nature that he did not see fit to raise them during his warm, fuzzy, “I’m OK; You’re OK” dialogue with the cultists.
Communion of the “Saints”
In addition to snakes, fetishes, ancestors, and demons, the voodooists mix in the sacrilegious worship of their gods under the guise of Catholic saints to arrive at an utterly loathsome “credo.” This unholy syncretism has been most blatant in (though, as indicated above, not confined to) sects in the Western Hemisphere.
For most of the last century in New Orleans, Marie Laveau made such a thriving career as a mambo (sorceress) that she became popularly known as the city’s “voodoo queen.” She gained friends and clients from the rich and powerful, and, exploiting the beliefs of her clients, “added many Catholic elements to her Voodoo rituals. She insisted it was possible to be a good Catholic and a Voodooist at the same time…” According to researcher James Haskins in his book Voodoo & Hoodoo: “Because of the influence of Marie Laveau, Saint John the Baptist became the patron Saint of voodoo in New Orleans. ‘St. John’s Eve is the most important date of the year,’ says Gandolfo [the owner of the city’s Voodoo Museum, Charles M. — JKW].
Laveau is hardly unique in her attempts to syncretize elements of the two religions; in fact, most voodoo sects in the hemisphere have found the ploy quite useful. It is not uncommon to find cultists attending a Novus Ordo “Mass on Sunday morning, after having participated in an animal sacrifice the night before. Regarding the combining of saints and loa (African deities transplanted to the Americas by slaves — this is also the singular form of the word), it takes the form — typical with primitives — of a naïvely associating of external similarities. Saints’ statues can be found in vodun “temples,” usually with alterations signifying the saints’ supposed appropriation of traits associated with the loas. For the cultists the two — saint and loa — confusedly become one entity.
The Haitians, for example, transform the Blessed Virgin Mary into Erzilie, a gentle, queenly, and beautiful, but extremely jealous, goddess. Saint Anthony they confuse with Legba (mentioned above), a demonic intermediary between men and the other gods. And Saint Patrick, of all things, is merged with Damballa, a snake god. In santeria, the Cuban version of voodoo, Saint Christopher becomes Aganyú, father of the thunder god Changó, who, in turn, is better known to Catholics as the third century virgin martyr, Saint Barbara. Meanwhile, the macumba cult in Brazil has its own pantheon of “saint-gods,” including Oxala, who is blasphemously linked with Christ; Yemanja, with Mary; Ogun, god of war and iron, with Saint George, and Oxóssi, a minor deity related to hunting and the aiming of arrows, with Saint Sebastian.
Given the primitive, haphazard structure of these regional groups, their general lack of contact with each other, and the diverse tribes from which they spring, it is not surprising sometimes to find humorous discrepancies between the various cults. While santería identifies Changó with Saint Barbara, macumba falsely associates him (which it spells Xangó) not with a female martyr, but with two male saints — Saint Jerome and Saint John the Baptist. In addition, this “split personality” (thunder & lightning?) Xangó naturally is said to have two wives. Their names are Oyá and Oshun, but to Catholics they are known as Saint Catherine … and Saint Barbara.
While these mix ups are, at one level, unintentionally comical, as are what sound like nonsense words to Western ears, such as juju, hoodoo, duppy (ghost), and mumbo jumbo (a corruption of the name of a tribal god), there is, rest assured, nothing amusing about the underlying beliefs. In some cases the wickedness of the gods is somewhat hidden behind the saints’ falsely appropriated identities, but in others, their personalities are not so tempered. Erzulie, claimed to be one with the Blessed Virgin Mary, is hardly the “mother most pure” beloved by Catholics. Kyle Kristos writes:
As soon as Erzulie possesses someone, even if the possessed is a man, that person is led to the place where her things are kept and is dressed in her clothes. Once dressed, the possessed person, whether male or female, will walk with a mincing gait and swing his or her hips provocatively. Often the person who is possessed gets presents from the men who are in the temple.
There is something else “special” about “Mary”/Erzulie: “Although Erzulie can take human form, she is also known as a serpent that is usually coiled upon itself and lives mainly on water and bananas … as a serpent goddess she has tremendous power and is feared as much as she is loved and courted.”
Equally revolting are Ghede, a loa connected with death and rebirth, who is known to “love obscene jokes relating to sex,” and Baron Samedi, Lord of the Cemetery, who also is given to lewd jesting, but who is also a most terrifying figure to superstitious Haitians.
After surveying such depraved thinking shamelessly cloaked in the garb of religion, the claim by John Paul that they believe in “a single God who is good” is seen to be false to the point of absurdity; To say that voodooists “believe” in God can hardly be squared with any of this evidence. Mere belief in the existence of a Supreme Being is not the same as believing in God, for the latter involves worshiping Him, as well. Demons believe He exists, but they refuse to worship Him. Saint James writes in his Epistle: “Thou believeth that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble” (2:19). Only fools deny the existence of a Creator, because God Himself has given to every man the ability to discern His existence through the power of reason. It is consummate lunacy to ascribe anything remotely approaching the lofty philosophical conception of the Divine (though a purely natural conception) presented by such thinkers as Aristotle — much less the revealed God of scripture — to a people who, less than a decade away from the 21st century, continue to prostrate themselves in abject servitude before serpents, confidently invoke fetish spirits, and seek the assistance of vile, demonic forces. These are the gods that the Beninese call to aid them — not God.
How could John Paul II, knowing this about his hosts, utter something that any reasonably bright Catholic child studying the catechism would know to be nothing but theological twaddle? The simplest way to answer is by saying that, unlike the youngster, John Paul’s thinking is not that of a Catholic. Nowhere in his address to the voodooists does he tell them that their faith is in a false god (and gods). Instead, by congratulating them for “belief in a single God who is good,” he all but identifies that deity with the Almighty, since, as Christ declares, “[n]one is good but God alone (Luke 18:19).” The god of the voodooists can only be good if he is God — every deity worshiped other than God is a false god, and a demon. One of the most telling moments in his meeting came when, as cited earlier, cult spokesman Senou Zannou stood face-to-face before him and declared that it “has nothing to do with Satan or the devil. It is God that is the final object of vodun worship.” Far from witnessing Catholic truth in the face of egregious error, the “Pope” said absolutely nothing to refute this, and may even be said to largely confirm this delusion in his aforementioned remarks. It is proof of the mystification engulfing the majority of those who consider themselves Catholics that they are unable to draw a clear and simple conclusion from this episode: John Paul II, both by praising voodoo, and by remaining mute when, in his very presence, it is declared holy, demonstrates his non-papacy by acts of commission and omission: His tacit approval to the false claims of a thoroughly debauched, degenerate, and despicable sect shows an utter lack of the Apostolic spirit that seeks to overcome the Father of Lies with the truth of Christ, and, hence, a betrayal of the office so singular and fundamental that it defies faith and reason to imagine that he can in any way be counted as a true successor to Saint Peter.
To believe otherwise throws the whole concept of Pope into confusion, and verges on a form of theological lunacy, for it is then maintained, in a schizophrenic manner, that a Pontifical claimant may be as heterodox as Martin Luther, even while publicly acting in an official capacity, yet his status cannot be questioned. Thus, Christ’s institution of the Papacy as the primary preserver of Catholic truth is pitched out the window, and, in turn, obedience to the Pope goes from being an obligation (except, perhaps, once or twice a century) to an option.
Apologists for the Conciliar religion may argue that John Paul is not endorsing the god of voodoo, but simply stating in a diplomatic way what the cultists themselves believe. If so, it is still an indictment against him, for never would a true Pope callously behold the spiritually blind in their abject darkness without telling them something on the order of: “The gods of your forebears can do nothing for you, save to lead you down the road to perdition. But I bring you the glad tidings of the true God, that you may be brought into the light of salvation.”
Yet John Paul II’s failure to iterate Catholic doctrine to them is hardly surprising, coming from the man who invited Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, and assorted pagans (among others: Hindus, Buddhists, American Indians, and African heathens) to Assisi, where, with Conciliar “Catholics,” they would raise up a babel of prayers to their various deities for world peace. Why should anyone expect anything different from him in Benin? Again, his silence, where a repudiation of the falsity of vodun plainly was in order, must be construed as tacit approval of the sect’s claims as a true religion.
This pernicious error, that all religions are somehow true, was expressly condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in his 1907 Encyclical, Pascendi. A passage from that document is especially illuminating in the present context, for in anathematizing the modernists of the time, His Holiness also lays bare, in seemingly prophetic fashion, the falsity of his would-be successor’s teachings on the subject (Pascendi’s direct relevance to today’s crisis is a shining example of the work of the Holy Ghost in His Church, and specifically in His Popes). Saint Pius, during his discourse on the modernists’ error that religious belief is based upon subjectively felt experiences, instead of (as the Church expounds) objectively verifiable truths, writes:
How far this position is removed from that of Catholic teaching! We have already seen how its fallacies have been condemned by the Vatican Council [the First — and only truly Catholic — Vatican Council — JKW] . … Here it is well to note at once that, given this doctrine of experience united with that of symbolism, every religion, even that of paganism [italics added throughout — JKW], must be held to be true. What is to prevent such experiences from being found in any religion? In fact, that they are so is maintained by not a few. On what grounds can the Modernists deny the truth of an experience affirmed by a follower of Islam? Will they claim a monopoly of true experiences for Catholics alone? Indeed, Modernists do not deny, but actually maintain, some confusedly, others frankly, that all religions are true. That they cannot feel otherwise is obvious. For on what ground, according to their theories, could falsity be predicated of any religion whatsoever? … In the conflict between different religions, the most that Modernists can maintain is that the Catholic has more truth because it is more vivid… No one will find it unreasonable that these consequences flow from the premises…
This sagacious analysis by the last canonized Pope is very valuable for its relevance to the subject at hand. Its applicability to John Paul is quite striking, and often should be recalled over the remaining sections, as it is a most solid basis for refuting his claims to the Holy See.
“A Sense of Celebration”
The General conducted me to a small wood about three miles from the town of Jacmel. By the light of kerosene oil flares I saw about forty men and women gathered round a rude stone altar, on which, twined around a cocomacacque stick, was the sacred green snake. The ‘Mamaloi’ a tall, evil-looking negress, was dressed in a scarlet robe, with a red turban on her head. She was dancing a sinuous dance before the altar, and droning an ancient West African chant, which the onlookers repeated. Rapidly she worked herself up to a frantic pitch of excitement, pausing now and then to take a drink from one of the rum bottles which passed freely from hand to hand. At last she picked up a glittering machete from the altar, and with her other hand seized a black cock held by a bystander. She whirled the bird round her head violently until the feathers were flying in all directions, and then severed the head from the body with one swift stoke. The tense and horrible excitement had kept the worshippers silent, but they burst into a savage yell when the priestess pressed the bleeding neck of the slaughtered bird to her lips. Afterwards she dipped her finger in the blood and made the sign of the cross on her forehead and pressed it to the forehead of some of her disciples.
While this colorful account pertains to Haitian voodoo, it varies little, save for accidental features, from the pagan sacrifices performed daily in tribal villages throughout Benin and neighboring countries. And it serves to help place the next several paragraphs in the proper context, as well as illustrate what the “sense of celebration” mentioned by John Paul II is really all about.
As is clear from this passage, and from a few already noted above, the celebrating bears no resemblance to Christian observances (save for an impious mocking of them). There is little doubt that, as reported, the “Pope” was indeed witness to a “trance-inducing” dance, and it is possible that the performers were in an altered state of consciousness at the time. Nevertheless, it is more probable, given the presence of a large number of reporters and photographers from the world’s news media, that the dance was merely a simulation — no mention is made of any animal sacrifice or self-mutilation, yet both are common features of real voodoo “celebrations.”
These are rites that can, as shown in the opening passage of this section and elsewhere in this study, include serpents. One striking description of a snake worship service in what would pass for the town square of a village in Guinea, recalled by WW Hurd, a Protestant (Anglican?) minister, suggests a parody of the Catholic liturgy:
The priest frequently sits near the centre of the place before a kind of altar, on which he offers up the sacrifices to the Fetishes, and some men, women and children sit promiscuously round the celebrant, who reads or pronounces a kind of homily to them. At the conclusion, he takes a wisp of straw, twisted hard, which he dips into a pot full of some particular liquid in which there is a serpent. He either besmears or sprinkles the children with this holy water, mumbling over them a certain form of words, and he observes the same ceremony with respect to the altar, and afterwards empties the pot; and then his assistants close the service with some inarticulate, unintelligible sounds, loud acclamations, and clapping of hands.
More familiar, however, are those gatherings in which it can be said — quite literally, perhaps — that all hell breaks loose. When the gods “ride” (or possess) their devotees, the rituals are performed with a fervor so wild that those “ridden” become largely oblivious to their surroundings and even to their own personal safety. (One participant has described the distorted consciousness of voodoo possession as the white darkness). The following vivid observations made by Harvard ethnobotanist Wade Davis of a ritual he attended in Haiti in 1982 are sufficient to demonstrate the depraved states to which possessed voodooists fall, and to the demonic presence assuredly behind them:
Never in the course of my travels in the Amazon had I witnessed a phenomenon as raw and powerful as the spectacle of vodun possession.. .The initiate, a diminutive woman, tore about the peristyle, lifting large men off the ground to swing them around like children. She grabbed a glass and tore into it with her teeth, swallowing small bits of it and spitting the rest onto the ground. At one point the mambo brought her a live dove; this the hounsis sacrificed by breaking its wings, then tearing the neck apart with her teeth. Apparently the spirits could be greedy, for soon two other hounsis were possessed, and for an extraordinary thirty minutes the peristyle was utter pandemonium, with the mambo racing about, spraying rum and libations of water and clairin, directing the spirits with the rhythm of her asson. The drums beat endlessly. Then, as suddenly as the spirits had arrived, they left, and one by one the hounsis that had been possessed collapsed deep within themselves…
Incredibly, Davis reports that in the evening’s second wave of possession things grew stranger still:
The spirits arrived again … The hounsis was mounted violently — her entire body shaking, her muscles flexed — and a single spasm wriggled up her spine. She knelt before the fire, calling out in some ancient tongue. Then she stood up and began to whirl, describing smaller and smaller circles that carried her like a top… and dropped her, still spinning, onto the fire. She remained there for an impossibly long time and then in a single bound that sent embers and ashes throughout the peristyle, she leapt away. Landing squarely on both feet, she stared back at the fire and screeched like a raven. Then she embraced the coals. She grabbed a burning faggot with each hand, slapped them together, and released one. The other she began to lick, with broad lascivious strokes of her tongue, and then she ate the fire, taking a red-hot coal the size of a small apple between her lips. Then once more she began to spin. She went around the poteau mitan three times until she finally collapsed into the arms of the mambo. The ember was still in her mouth.
It cannot be emphasized enough that possession by the gods is not something unique to the cults of the West Indies, but a vital part of vodun wherever it is practiced. One authority on the subject, Kenyan-born John S. Mbiti, who received a doctorate in Theology at Cambridge, taught in England and Germany, and served as Director of the Ecumenical Institute in Switzerland, writes that Africans the continent over look to spiritualistic mediums to put them in touch with the “great beyond”:
The main duty of the medium is to link human beings with the living-dead and the spirits. Through them messages are received from the other world, or men are given knowledge of things that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to know. For example, through a medium who gets in touch with the spirit world, a person may be directed to a lost article or to know who stole his goods. Mediums function in this role only when possessed’ by a spirit, otherwise they are ‘normal’ people without specialized abilities. Their distinction is their ability to be ‘possessed’ or to get in touch with the spirit world, but this also depends on the ‘willingness’ of the departed or other spirits to get ‘into’ them and communicate through them [italics added —JKW].
Mbiti then relates his attendance at a mediumistic rite that seems almost sedate compared with other possessions:
I recently witnessed and tape-recorded one such case some twenty kilometers from Kampala. A young man was dressed up in a barkcloth, put on a ring made from a creeping plant, and held another plant half a metre long in his hands. He sat down in the diviner’s room where a crowd of twenty-five to thirty people gathered. One of the men started to sing a highly rhythmical song, and the rest of the crowd joined with singing, clapping and rattling small gourds. The medium-to-be sat quietly on the floor without even turning his head. The singing and rattling went on for about thirteen minutes when suddenly the young man’s hands began to tremble. Three or four minutes later he started talking in an entirely different voice. The singing stopped and the diviner could then talk to the medium for about fifteen minutes, in the middle of which the medium (or spirit in him) requested another song to be sung. At the end, the medium jumped about like a frog, banged his head hard on the floor and with his fist hit his own chest very hard twice or thrice. Then he was ‘normal’ once more. When I ‘cross-examined’ him afterwards, he assured me that he was not aware of what he said or did during the time he was acting as a medium. My colleagues and I got the impression that he was in his right mind and that he told us the truth concerning what he felt and did while he was in that trance. The spirit which entered this young man, who was an apprentice to a diviner, has been kept at the home of the diviner since 1958 (as he told us), living in a buffalo horn (yembe, in Luganda).
The possessions cited above all constitute celebrations of a sort, but are they godly ones? In The Spiritual Life, a masterful thesis on mysticism and asceticism, the great 20th century theologian, Father Adolphe Tanquerey devotes a section to “diabolical phenomena.” He defines demonic possession as a domination by Satan (and his minions), whereby “he takes up his abode in the human body, which he moves at will as if he were its master, in order to afflict the soul itself.” Concerning the symptoms of possession. Father Tanquerey writes:
According to the Roman Ritual there are three principal signs by which possession may be recognized: “Speaking an unknown tongue or understanding it when spoken by another; making known distant and hidden things; exhibiting a strength out of all proportion with one’s age and circumstances. These and other like signs, when they concur in great number, are the surest signs or indicators of possession.” …
Do voodoo possessions fit these criteria? They certainly seem to, since, as shown in Davis’ anecdote, they involve a small woman capable of lifting and swinging large men around “like children,” and “calling out in some ancient tongue.” These possessions, like communion with the gods” trances evident in other pagan cultures past and present, often involve the telling of “distant and hidden things” believed helpful to the welfare of the group or tribe (note Mbiti’s reference to “knowledge of things … difficult or impossible to know”). Additional indicators of demonic control include the obscenities spoken through the lips of the possessed (such as the possessions by “Baron Samedi” mentioned above), aberrant behavior (e.g., drinking hot blood from the neck of a freshly decapitated bird), and acts of senseless self-mutilation (e.g., eating glass and red-hot embers).
Yet for all the similarities with (and, most probably, true indications of) infernal control exhibited in voodoo possession, curiously, it is a dissimilarity with the standard pattern that is the most disturbing. Possession to the Catholic is a spiritual ordeal of the worst sort, which is endured only with God’s grace, combated with the full arsenal of the Church, and from which release through exorcism is greatly desired. Possession to the voodooist, however, is an honor to be sought, and an essential part of his or her worship life. What the former shuns as unspeakable evil, the latter welcomes as the highest good. This helps explain what may seem at first to be a curious difference: Unlike possession inflicted on Christians, there is little in the way of torment seen in its vodun counterpart. Yet this is perfectly logical, as there is no reason for demons to do anything that would dissuade their devoted followers from paying them homage (however unwittingly) as gods!
These possessions also illustrate a key aspect of voodooism’s modus vivendi — unbridled passion. The Catholic Church has always taught that the passions must be servants to both spirit and reason, and has denounced all that which would raise the physical above the spiritual. Hence, Aristotle, though neither Hebrew nor Christian, was justly esteemed by Saint Thomas Aquinas for his keenly analytical writings. The spirit of vodun, however, as is clearly shown above, seeks to invert the order of hierarchies, and therefore is beneath consideration as either a true religion or religious philosophy. On the natural plane it is debased and unnatural; on the supernatural, it is a celebration of the diabolical. Thus, when John Paul contentedly watches glassy-eyed girls dance “in tune” with their gods, and yet makes no denunciation of this heathenish display, but actually praises its celebratory spirit, it is eminently fair to question not only his taste in “music,” but also his very claim to the blessed titles of Catholic and Pope!
“Esteem for the Moral Life & Harmony of Society”
Earlier in this study mention was made of the voodooists’ vague idea of right and wrong, and how this usually centered around physical self-preservation as the sine qua non of their existence. Likewise noted was the primary religious sentiment expressed by them: fear of the spirits. Consistent with these beliefs, their ethical base is, to say the least, one of moral ambivalence. This has not stopped John Paul II from moronically singing their praises (nothing stops him, it seems). Yet by so doing, he has placed himself in the position of defending a religious system that has made “the ends justify the means” a cornerstone of its tenets, often with the most horrifying results.
While most voodooists, both East and West, seek out “good” magic (that is, spells for beneficial purposes such as health, fertility, a good harvest, protection from harm, etc)., the darker side is never far away, and the two aspects are, in fact, to a great degree intertwined. Max Beauvoir, a prominent Haitian cultist, has explained the relationship between the houngan (“mainline” voodoo priest) and the bokor (voodoo sorcerer) as follows: “In a way, we are all bokors, we houngan. The houngan must know evil to combat it, the bokor must embrace good in order to subvert it. It is all one…” Witchcraft is permissible, but only if used for the purposes of the group. As one scholar has written:
The Voodoo cults of Haiti and the Macumba cults of Brazil make formal distinctions between public religious sorcery and private sorcery; the latter is condemned. The distinction between public and private magic often becomes the most usual distinction between “good” and “bad” magic.
Regarding roots of vodun, James Haskins states: “In Africa lines between religion and magic were indistinct, the practice of one frequently entering the domain of the other… Africans believed that magic and witchcraft could very powerfully affect their spirits and their gods, not to mention each other.”’8 He elaborates on this, showing the lack of any moral repugnance toward the ju ju man (or witch doctor), only an alternating fear and trust in his magic:
The attitude toward the sorcerer in West African society was somewhat ambivalent. In times of peace and prosperity, he was likely to be killed or banished if identified, for he was seen as destructive and threatening to the society’s structures. In times of warfare or other threatening situations, a tribe’s sorcerer would be one of the powers relied on to help assure the tribe’s safety and victory. Under such circumstances the evil force could be of benefit [italics added — JKW] …
The skills employed by sorcerers are frequently used to harm one’s enemy from afar. In the following passage, Father Driscoll very ably illustrates these remarkable beliefs, and the sinister methods that go into such malevolence, writing:
There exists in Bantu a society called the “Witchcraft Company”, whose members hold secret meetings at midnight in the depths of the forest to plot sickness or death. The owl is their sacred bird, and their signal-call is an imitation of its hoot. They profess to leave their corporeal bodies asleep in their huts, and it is only their spirit-bodies that attend the meeting, passing through walls and over tree-tops with instant rapidity. At the meeting they have visible, audible, and tangible communications with spirits. They have feasts, at which is eaten “the heart-life” of some human being, who through this loss of his “heart” falls sick and dies unless the “heart” be restored. The early cock-crow is a warning for them to disperse, for they fear the advent of the morning star, as, should the sun rise upon them before they reach their corporeal bodies, all their plans would fail and they would sicken. They dread cayenne pepper; should its bruised leaves or pods be rubbed over their corporeal bodies during their absence, their spirits are unable to re-enter, and their bodies die or waste miserably away…
Clients for these witches and warlocks are always plentiful in any nation with practicing voodooists. For example, in his A Popular History of Witchcraft, written in 1936, Father Montague Summers, the renowned British authority of the subject, outlines how the same dark side of vodun and kindred sects also is found on this side of the Atlantic:
In Chamber’s Journal, 11th January, 1902, an article entitled “Obeah Today in the West Indies” points out that “In many countries superstitious rites are practiced to bring good luck; but that is not the case as a rule with obeah. Its root idea is the worship and propitiation of the Evil One: it is essentially malevolent. A Negro usually goes to the obeah-man to harm his neighbor, not to do any good to himself; and that is why the law regards the matter so seriously”. The Jamaican legislation of 1760 provides against “the Wicked Art of Negroes going under the Apellation of obeah-men and obeah-women pretending to have Communication with the Devil and other Evil Spirits” and enacts that any Negro or other slave who shall pretend to any Supernatural Power and be detected in making use of any.. .materials related to the practice of Obeah or Witchcraft in order to delude or impose upon the Minds of others shall upon Conviction thereof before two Magistrates and three Freeholders suffer Death or Transportation”. The Times of London, 5th December, 1818, quotes “a recent Act of the house of Assembly (Barbados)” which punishes negroes or slaves willfully, maliciously and unlawfully pretending to any magical or supernatural charm or power, or who use and carry on the wicked and unlawful practice of obeah, with death, transportation, or such other penalty as the Court may decide. Obeah, European witchcraft, Satanism in England today, are all one and the same thing, essential evil, malignant, destructive, accursed by God, hateful to man, the cult of the Devil.
He substantiates this identification of vodun and its kindred with other types of diabolism by pointing out that the cursing by mutilation of an intended victim’s image, such as the infamous “voodoo doll,” is not a localized, but, rather, a universal phenomenon in occult circles:
The magic use of actual figurines, molded from some plastic material in human form, reaches back to remotest antiquity to Egypt, to Assyria, Babylonia, and India. It has prevailed among all people, savage and civilized, and admits almost infinite variants in preparation and performance.
Father Summers convincingly illustrates that, whatever differences exist from cult to cult, the users of this wicked art are united in aim:
When some victim is marked for death by the witch there is made of the doomed person an image or effigy of wax, clay, marl, lead, leather, wood, or almost any material, and this being pierced with black pins, nails, thorns, or even struck through with a knife, or dagger is burned or slowly melted before a great fire. As the image is pricked so the victim suffers in that part of the body; as it is crumbled or dissolved, so he languishes; when it is melted away or pierced to the heart, he expires. Such are the theory and practice of this “sympathetic” or “homeopathic” magic, as it is sometimes known. The image thus fashioned for purposes of sorcery has many names: figurine, puppet, moppet, doll, baby (in the obsolete sense of “doll”), effigy, maumet (the same name as given to a familiar), simulacrum, or even picture, since a painted canvas, or portrait, may be effectually employed. If a lock of hair, a piece of clothing, the nail-parings, or some other substance intimately related to the victim can be secured and molded in or attached to the poppet the charm acquires so much more force and propulsion. Sometimes a heart, most frequently the heart of an animal, will be used instead of a figurine. Not very many years ago some new tenants who had taken a house in Somersetshire found hidden in the chimney a big black velvet heart with pins thrust through it. They heard that the house had belonged to a witch. Other substitutes are employed. In Somersetshire, again, a sorcerer will write his enemy’s name on a piece of paper and fasten this with as many black pins as possible in an onion, which must be put up the chimney. As the onion shrivels and withers so will the victim languish. An onion treated thus was founded in a cottage chimney about 1880. Not long ago in a churchyard at Bradford, Yorks, a lemon was discovered full of pins. The Neapolitan witches pierce a lemon, an orange, a potato, with rusty nails or pins to cast sickness upon or kill the person who has offended them. The Sicilian strega transfixes an egg, an orange, or a lemon to the same end.
Because of its misuse of the sacred and its often evil intentions, voodoo was condemned in 1928 by the Bishop of Mauritius (an island east of Madagascar) as follows:
The petitions are for personal gain or injury to enemies, and are often of an erotic or obscene character. Sacred names and phrases are used in a blasphemous way. These intercessions are accompanied by various ceremonies, in which a skull, a dagger, camphor, and flowers figure. Engravings of saints have pins stuck in various parts of the figure; I have seen a picture of the Sacred Heart covered with such pins. A crucifix is also frequently used in these blasphemous rites. It has been known in Mauritius for a newly-interred female corpse to be dug up and used for horrible purposes. To take part in such practices, and at the same time to pose as a Christian, is, in my opinion, perilously near committing unforgivable sin.
But voodooists have other ways with which to harm their foes. Haskins interviewed conjurers in the Southern U.S., and was given curse “recipes” intended to kill, maim, craze, incapacitate, or otherwise do ill to the foe. The spells often sound naive, as though the operations of the natural world are being viewed through a child’s eye, but there is nothing innocent about the purpose behind them. A few examples will suffice to get a feel for their venom:
[Death] Obtain a lock of the intended victim’s hair and place it in an egg shell. Throw the egg into a stream and curse the person. As the egg floats downstream the victim’s health fails and he eventually dies.
[Internal snakes] Extract the blood from a snake by puncturing an artery and allowing the blood to drip into a container. Feed the liquid blood to the intended victim in food or drink and snakes will grow inside him.
[Headaches] To cause headaches, put some graveyard dust in a small bag and hide it in the person’s pillow.
[Forced miscarriage] Obtain a piece of the woman’s underclothing, preferably a slip. Tie nine knots in it, cursing the woman with each knot. By this time the slip should measure approximately the length of a baby. Then knot it three more times. Bury it under the woman’s doorstep, and soon after she walks over it nine times she will miscarry. The knots symbolically tie up the baby.
[Insanity] Obtain a piece of the intended victim’s hair and singe it lightly over an open flame. Then bury it deep in the ground to cause him to lose his mind.
The point in citing these “conjures” (numerous others also are related by Haskins) is to emphasize that spells of this sort are every bit as plentiful (if not more so) in the voodoo religion as those aimed at acquiring fame, health, money, romance, happiness, or anything else of benefit. Christ’s admonition, “love your enemies” (Matt. 5: 44) is a precept conspicuously absent for the voodooist. Exactly how efficacious these curses are in terms of magically causing harm is a matter of debate (though the possibility can hardly be dismissed), but even on a natural level their wickedness causes great mischief, at the very least elevating hatred and revenge as religious principles for those who cast them, and plunging the victim (should he know of the curse) headlong into blackest despair, because of his firm belief in its power.
As disturbing as all of this surely is, it must be remembered that these are acts carried out by “average” voodooists who are content to limit their sacrifices to goats, doves, chickens, and the like. More ghastly is the awareness that what the “Witchcraft Company” and others carry out symbolically, other vodun practitioners have not hesitated to do in corpore; namely, to engage in two of the greatest taboos known to civilized man — human sacrifice and cannibalism.
Documentation of these inhuman acts can be traced from the earliest European exploration of Africa up to the present. The custom of human sacrifices to snake gods has been widespread in West Africa, occurring in what are today Togo, Benin, Nigeria the Congo and the Ivory Coast (to name a few), all countries in what used to be known as the Slave Coast and all contributors to voodoo in the Americas. Members of the Ashanti tribe in the last-named nation, from whose idolatry the Jamaican version of yodun, obeah, is derived, “worship a serpent which they call Oboni,” notes Hawley, “[and they] assert that when he is angry nothing but a human victim will appease him.” Records from 1815 show that “3500 slaves were sacrificed to appease the gods at the death of an Ashanti queen.”
In their book, Africa & Africans, authors Paul Bobannan and Philip Curtin describe the desperate ends taken around a century ago by native leaders faced with the prospect of defeat by foreign invaders. They write:
Benin is well known for the fact that during its last years human sacrifices were performed in the most gross exaggerations. There were sacrifices made just before the capture of the city by the British — almost frenetically performed sacrifices aimed at staving off the encroaching enemy — an orgy of human sacrifice that seems to have been far worse than any which preceded it. The first major work on the area, R.H. Bacon’s work of 1897, is called Benin, City of Blood Only in later years was the precise symbolism of these sacrifices determined; the word “Benin” was, in parts of Europe, synonymous with depravity at the turn of the century.
This assessment is confirmed by Father Albert Battandier in his Catholic Encyclopedia article, “Benin,” when he writes: “Among the pagan blacks, human sacrifices are frequent; the cruelty in atrocious forms is characteristic of these natives.” If they are less frequent today, it is testimony not of the goodness of the “traditional religion,” but of the civilizing effect of a century or more of Catholic missionaries there. Closer to home, Father Summers relates the following macabre scenarios:
The Daily Express. 20th January, 1937, says that “Voodooism, with its strange, awful rites, is still flourishing in Michigan”, and reports how a Negro woman and her child sought the protection of the police, since her husband, Verlen McQueen, was going to sacrifice them to Satan in a huge jar of boiling water. The man, when arrested, was found stirring a great cauldron of water set over a fierce fire. In 1932, a voodoo magician, Robert Harris, beheaded another negro upon an altar. Harris was confined in an asylum…
So the idea of an explorer or missionary thrown by savages into a steaming pot has a basis in fact. This leads to reference of another in voodooism’s chamber of horrors, the equally repellent and often complimentary practice of anthropophagy — cannibalism. Many pagans the world wide have long thought that they could gain power or some other desired attribute by the partaking of human vital organs. The Scottish scholar Sir James G. Fraser, in his famous study of comparative anthropology, The Golden Bough, recounts a brutal example of such ghoulishness, writing:
When Sir Charles McCarthy was killed by the Ashantees [Ashantis — JKW] in 1824, it is said that his heart was devoured by the chiefs of the Ashantee army, who hoped to imbibe his courage. His flesh was dried and parceled out among the lower officers for the same purpose, and his bones were long kept at Coomassre as national fetishes.
Cannibalism, like a great deal else in voodoo, was to make the trip across the Atlantic aboard slave ships. Regarding this abomination, Father Driscoll writes:
Voodooism… is simply African fetishism transplanted to American soil. Authentic records are procurable of midnight meetings held in Hayti [Haiti — JKW], as late as 1888, at which human beings, especially children, are killed and eaten at the secret feasts. European governments in Africa have put down the practice of the black art, yet so deeply is it implanted in the belief of the natives that Dr. Norris does not hesitate to say that it would revive if the whites were to withdraw.
The secret Haitian voodoo society alluded to here, the dreaded Sect Rouge, is believed to perpetuate this obscenity even today. Kyle Kristos states: “The main goal of their prayers is to obtain a ‘goat without horns’ — a human being — who can be sacrificed.” A victim captured by the Secte Rouge, if not killed immediately, so “[h]is flesh and blood [can] provide food and drink for the members,” may be given the opportunity to join the group, but to prove his worth “he must drink a glass of human blood,” and also provide them with a loved one as alternate victim.
Where, in this section, is anything approaching the “esteem for the moral life” that John Paul II allegedly sees? Nowhere, of course. So vicious, so monstrous are the practices outlined here that any gloss on Church teachings would be superfluous. But to the modernist “Pope” considerable leeway must be given to indigenous religions. While this is not, of course, to say that he would give his blessing to the most extreme voodoo practices, it is nonetheless significant he would suggest some deep moral sense for what is, at its very best, a decidedly amoral sect, and which is known to engage in gravely immoral acts. Reflecting on Father Driscoll’s last quotation, given John Paul’s exuberant praise of Benin’s voodooists, it is not unreasonable to see the equivalent of a withdrawal of the European presence there, and the concomitant resurgence of their sect, thanks to the “Pontiff’s” visit. The vodun adherents’ response can easily be anticipated: Why should we turn away from the path of our ancestors, when the Great White Witch Doctor has paid us so many compliments about our religion and moral life?
John Paul II — “Pontifical” Snake Worshipper?
When John Paul II embarks on one of his propaganda tours de force it is almost impossible for him to shut up (perhaps it is the ham actor in him). Traditional Catholics should actually be thankful for this, since (for those who can read between the lines) he makes his apostasy all the dearer the more he talks. Not content with merely congratulating voodooists on their belief in “God,” applauding their participation in the white darkness, and extolling their alleged moral sensibilities, he went further — much further.
Among other points, he spoke of the “mutual enrichment” of religions. Given the preceding evidence submitted in this study, it is impossible to see the Catholic Faith being in any way enriched by vodun. It is strictly a “one-way street”: Voodooists must cast off the slavery of superstition and barbarism, and embrace Christ — there is no other legitimate enrichment to be spoken of here — none. But it must be stressed that in the case of John Paul, and the sect over which he presides, “Catholic” is merely a label, not a reality. For them, the only question is whether the Conciliar religion is “ecumenical” enough to find a way to permit snake worship as a form of inculturation (Conciliarspeak for allowing cultures to fashion their own liturgies around native rituals). If the many zany antics of its “Pontiff” are any indication, then the answer is, most assuredly, yes.
During a visit to Africa in 1982, John Paul II heard a proposal by Conciliar bishops to blend “ancestral customs” into “Catholic” rites; a year later, he took “africanization” a step further by giving a Vatican-level post to Zambia’s “Archbishop” Emmanual Milingo, who critics accused “of practices that approach witchcraft”; and in 1984, he donned a monkey-skin tribal headdress in Nairobi to express (here is paraphrased the stock line he uses around the world) “solidarity with the deepest aspirations and noblest traditions of your people.” “On August 8, 1985,” writes the French traditionalist Catholic priest, Father Noel Barbara, “in Togo, Africa, he [John Paul — JKW] actively assisted in pagan ceremonies in a secret grove near Lome. Several days later he participated in other non-Catholic religious rites at Kara and at Togoville.” Reflecting on his performance of pagan rites at a site consecrated to the worship of tribal gods, John Paul exalted: “The prayer meeting in the sanctuary at Lake Togo was particularly striking. There I prayed for the first time with animists.” It has been stated that while in Togo he actually paid homage to the sacred snakes. These acts constitute the supreme indignity toward God by attempting to place false gods on a par with Him. But they will shock only those who have lived in a news vacuum over the past decade and a half, for it is the very same modernist modus operandi that this “Pope” has employed time and again (such as receiving the mark of the Hindu god Shiva upon his forehead during a 1986 visit to India). To paraphrase the Bishop of Mauritius: For John Paul II to actively take part in voodoo ceremonies, and at the same time pose as a Catholic and a Pope, is perilously near committing unforgivable sin.
Returning to the Benin fiasco, we find the “Vicar of Christ” speaking to voodooists about solidarity with their “Christian brothers and sisters.” And yet how are pagans and Christians to be regarded as siblings, except on the natural order as part of the same human race, since they are hardly related spiritually. Christ, when informed that His Blessed Mother and brothers (that is, cousins) were present, responded: “Who is my mother and who are my brethren?,…whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother (Matt. 12: 48, 50).” The “Pope,” then, seems to suggest that God’s will can be fulfilled in snake worship. In the “gospel according to John Paul II” Christ’s spiritual relations amount to an “extended family” without any perceivable limits!
“All This is Done in Freedom”
Contrary to the drift of the articles cited earlier in this study, nowhere in his Benin speech does John Paul II openly invite the voodooists to any conversion. Nowhere does he counsel them that, as USA Today reports, “they would not be betraying their ancestors if they became Roman Catholics.” And nowhere does he assure them that, as New York Times’ correspondent Alan Cowell maintains, “they would certainly gain from converting to Christianity.”
In order for them to arrive at these conclusions involves considerable reading between the lines. John Paul does allude to how the ancestors of Christians came from other religions, and how they “gained by knowing Christ,” but never once does he come close to directly proposing that the Beninese “traditionalists” take the same step (not that they would stand to gain from converting to his mutant form of “Catholicism”). No remarks can be considered a real call to conversion if they are so vague that sophisticated newsmen can only extract them through inference. And if this be thc case, what chance is there that a people so primitive as to defile themselves with oblations to snakes are capable of the intellectual subtlety and acumen needed to decipher rhetorical obscurity?
But “dialogue” — not conversion — is the focal point of John Paul’s discourse. It will come as no surprise, then, to learn that the “Pontiff” assures vodun devotees of their “right” to freedom of religion. (What can be more “self-evident” than an inalienable right to worship snakes, drink blood from the neck of a freshly decapitated chicken, blaspheme God by identifying his saints with devils, place a death curse on one’s neighbor, or eat a baby?) In typically roundabout modernist fashion, John Paul takes the opportunity to tell the Beninese pagans that their converting to his brand of “Christianity” is a valid (though not necessarily crucial) option. And option is surely the key word here, for religious liberty is given an overarching prominence in his remarks. The “Pope” states:
All this is done in freedom. Indeed, the Gospels emphasize that Jesus has never forced anyone. To the Apostles Christ said: “If you want to, follow me”; he told the sick, “If you will, you can be healed”. Each person must freely and responsibly respond to God’s call. The Church considers freedom of religion an inalienable right, a right which is accompanied by the duty to seek the truth. It is in an atmosphere of respect for the freedom of each person that interreligious dialogue can develop and bear fruit.
Thus, according to John Paul and the sect he heads, but totally contrary to the perennial teachings of the Church he claims to head, one is free to believe any way he chooses, so long as he “seeks the truth.” The gist of his statement here is virtually identical in substance to that found in the following rationalist proposition condemned in 1864 by Pope Pius IX in his Syllabus of Errors: “15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true…”.
John Paul speaks of an obligation to “respond to God’s call,” however he never explains exactly what he means. To which God does he allude? Mawu? Legha? Vodunhwe? Or maybe the Blessed Trinity? But he makes no distinction, thus leaving the voodooists with nothing upon which to draw conclusions but his “confused” approval of their belief in God (or shoddy facsimile thereof). Why, then, should they have any reason to change religions, since, in their minds, they are already responding to this call? While he invokes the name of Christ, to what end? Many already claim to follow Him. He has no answers for them, though, only empty rhetoric about their supposed “sense of the the sacred” and the like.
There is nothing Papal or Catholic in John Paul II’s “freedom of religion” remarks, but much hearkening to modernist thought. Nowhere, for example, in the “Pontiff’s” entire speech are the pagans reproved for venerating false, wicked gods; rather, they are given the theological equivalent of a “clean bill of health.” This is consistent with Saint Pius X’s observation that modernists acknowledge the validity of all religious experiences, even those of pagans. Even his passing “throwaway” reference to Christ is in keeping with modernism, for instead of emphasizing Him as Savior and pointing out the radical difference between the naturalistic earth religion of vodun and the revealed, transcendent Christian faith, John Paul is content to make the distinction of no more consequence than the make of car one drives or the restaurant at which one dines. This, too, is fully in keeping with Saint Pius’ statement that, based on their erroneous teachings about some pretended universal truth in world religions, “the most Modernists can maintain is that the Catholic [faith — JKW] has more truth because it is more vivid…”
The manner in which John Paul “invites” voodooists to Christ is deserving of brief analysis, for it is a masterpiece of modernist doublespeak that encapsulates in a single passage the same tactic of calculated confusion found in books written by his heretical forebears. According to Saint Pius X in Pascendi, such a muddle was “done deliberately” in their works, where “one finds some things which might well be approved by Catholics, but on turning the page one is confronted by other things which might well have been dictated by a rationalist.” John Paul presents the teaching of free will to the Beninese “traditionalists,” but then proceeds to stand the precept on its very head. In doing so, he upholds this so-called “freedom of religion,” an error perennially condemned by the Catholic Church, but advanced at the Second Vatican Council.
Our Lord is sacrilegiously made to approve Vatican II errors, by “suggesting” to His Apostles “If you want, follow me,” and to the sick, “If you will, you can be healed.” If you want? If you will? A search for these quotations in the Douay-Rheims translation of the Bible, and a cross-referencing in the Confraternity, uncovered no phrasing that suggests a choice is being offered by the Saviour. There are a number of places in scripture where Christ makes the straightforward declaration: “Follow me.” He is often seen calling on the Apostles to do so, and He also uses the expression in at least two other instances (first to an unidentified disciple, and later to the young rich man). In neither translation, however, is there anything to be found like the “if you want” qualifier John Paul wishes to affix to Christ’s evident meaning; rather, in each, the sense is always in the imperative: a divine commission is being presented to the hearers for acceptance or rejection.
The “freedom” to reject — as did the rich man — can only be perceived as a denial of the immeasurable grace that God seeks for the person in question, and so is not a blameless choice. In fact, it was the very same rich man’s refusal to accept Christ’s solemn invitation to follow Him that led to the observation by Our Lord: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:24). His disciples’ questioning response (19: 25) is also quite telling vis-a-vis John Paul’s stand: “Who then can be saved?” Thus “Follow me takes on an urgency of action that “His Holiness” totally ignores to the great detriment of the voodooists’ souls.
Likewise, no “If you will, you can be healed,” passage has been found. Here, it seems, the “Pope” is confusing Christ with the one He is to heal. The relevant biblical episode is the one in which a leper approaches the Saviour, exclaiming: “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean [italics added]” (MATT. 8: 2). To which, Christ replies: “I will, be thou made clean” (8: 3). Although faith plays an important part in miraculous healing, contrary to the slant imposed by John Paul, it is always a passive part played by the believer, as is clear in the instance cited here. And just as surely, it is the Lamb of God Who actively heals. Throughout the Gospels Our Lord is hunted by the sick and their families for cures. Nowhere is it recorded that Christ states “If you will” as a condition for healing, since that is always a given: It is their faith that compels them to reach out for Him in the first place; any such query on His part would thus be a redundancy.
These glaring errors by a man supposedly fulfilling a mission as a successor to Saint Peter are impossible for his followers (and quasi-followers) to wish away, but there is worse to come. For even if one bends the rules in his favor, and allows, ad absurdum, the argument that he is in no way culpable, because he either 1) used a corrupt scriptural translation [!], or 2) did not wish to hurt their feelings [sic], he can hardly be exonerated for passing over — without so much as a mention — the following absolutely bottom line scriptural text: “And He said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).
But John Paul II, every inch the modernist, will have no part in “burdening” the voodooists with any “all-or-nothing” proposition. He is content to play word games with them, saying that they “must freely.. .respond to God’s call.” But, as has been pointed out already, in the context of his overall remarks it is quite ambiguous as to which God and what call are meant. And, of course, no effort is made by him to clarify his intent. Had the “Pope” opted to preach Catholicism to them instead of rubbish, he would have said something along this order:
God calls upon you and welcomes you to accept His merciful call, which involves abandoning your old ways and believing in His Son, Jesus Christ, as your Saviour. For God is greatly offended that you continue to offer your prayer to serpents and such, and in so doing believe that you are offering them to Him. Your sacrifices of animals are as holocausts of straw before the Almighty, availing you nothing. Christ alone has given His life for you, and He alone has opened for you the way to Eternal Life. All of this you must believe if you wish to save your souls. The Church, with the outstretched arms of a mother, bids you come to her and make your lives pleasing to God…(etc).
That this is how any true Pope (not to mention any missionary worthy of his salt) would handle this situation is so manifestly dear that it confounds all attempts at reckoning to determine how so many otherwise solidly traditional Novus Ordo “Catholics” can accept (and, as will be shown presently, even make excuses for) such a glaring theological “lapse” by their “Holy Father.” (Does the expression mystery of iniquity ring a bell?) Among many omissions (and commissions) committed against the Faith on his Benin tour, two of John Paul II’s most grievous failures clearly are not telling voodooists that through the functioning of their much-ballyhooed free choice, they will end up either in Heaven or Hell, and not telling them that there is only one way by which they can safely attain the former and avoid the latter.
Of course Hell is a word that is not part of John Paul II’s vocabulary (apart, possibly, from very rare and passing references made to it on occasions in which he seeks to “score points” with tradition-minded followers and convince them of his orthodoxy), so it is hardly a surprise when he fails to mention it. (At a time when even historically Catholic nations have almost universally cast aside Christ and His teachings in favor of the Cult of Man, the need for constant reiteration of the doctrine of hell is vitally important; John Paul’s habitual dereliction demonstrates that he does not believe in it, except, perhaps, as a literary device used by the writers of the Bible. This, too, is good reason for him not to be acknowledged as a licit Pontiff). In the final analysis, he offers the voodooists not one compelling reason to abandon paganism in favor of Christianity.
As much as anything presented in these pages, this point should be sufficient to show the ‘Pontiff’s” abandonment of Catholicism. Again, not once in his talk does he tell them in these plain, understandable words: “If you wish to save your immortal souls, you must renounce your false religion, profess Christ as your Saviour, and present yourself to be entered into His Church.” But, then, why would he say this, since it is obviously something he does not believe. The fundamental modernist doctrine condemned by Saint Pius X — “every religion, even that of paganism, must be held to be true” — is conclusively shown in the Benin scandal (as in so many other similar incidences) to be an essential part of John Paul II’s Conciliar ‘credo.” It matters not to him that the Beninese deity is far removed from heaven: Since all faiths are true, salvation awaits everyone!
Voodoo: A Religion Created by God?
As noted earlier, voodooists are not reluctant to attribute a heavenly origin for their faith, and John Paul has done nothing to dissuade them from their error. Further, his remarks to them indicates that he even agrees with them, if only provisionally. He also has exhibited this mentality in what normally would be an ex cathedra papal pronouncement. At one point in his first ‘encyclical,” Redemptor Hominis, issued in March 1979, the “Pontiff” dares to ask:
Does it not sometimes happen that the firm belief of the followers of the non-Christian religions — a belief that is also an effect of the Spirit of truth operating outside the visible confines of the Mystical Body can make Christians ashamed at being often themselves so disposed to doubt concerning the truths revealed by God and proclaimed by the Church and so prone to relax moral principles and open the way to ethical permissiveness. [question mark omitted in the original]
This passage, in the type of teaching historically protected from error by the Holy Ghost, strongly smacks of heresy, and is at the very least erroneous in attributing to Him the false belief of non-Christians. Nowhere in the surrounding text does John Paul bother to clarify his meaning, so the impression given is that the Holy Ghost ‘operating outside of the visible confines of the Mystical Body” is in some manner the Author of false religions, and, hence, not only the Spirit of Truth, but the Spirit of Error as well. If this specious dictum is applied to the Beninese religion, it can be argued that the manifestations present at voodoo Possessions (e.g., fire- and glass-eating) are as much ‘an effect of the Spirit of Truth” as the charisms (e.g., speaking in tongues) bestowed on the Apostles at Pentecost.
Only a paragraph before in the same missive “His Holiness” asks, again rhetorically: “Can we fail to have trust — in spite of all human weakness and all the faults of the past centuries — in our Lord’s grace as revealed recently through what the Holy Spirit said and we heard during the Council?” When the two passages are viewed together their un-Catholic character is all the more highlighted, for the Holy Ghost is shown, inferentially, to both confirm “Catholic truth” at a council, and to have a causal role in the “faith” (firm belief) of heathens as well. All of this plainly smacks of a species of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Yet again, the source of the unholy nonsense here is not found in some modernist tome placed by Saint Pius X on the Index of Forbidden Books, but in what purports to be a Papal Encyclical!
Still further, are Catholics to be humbled by the belief of voodooists? Are they to seek, as is implicit in the words of John Paul, strength from pagans (and, since he uses the all-inclusive expression “non-Christians,” Jews and Moslems, as well), to overcome “doubts concerning the truths revealed by God and proclaimed by the Church”? What happened to the saints? Are they no longer the models for overcoming such doubts? Although it is patently insane that Catholics find the “firm belief” of Christ-deniers and enemies of the Church any reason to be “ashamed,” yet that is what “His Holiness” dares to claim. (And what is worse, his devoted “Catholic” followers actually buy this bunk as Papal wisdom, as though it flowed from the pen of Saint Peter).
Had he merely spoken of isolated truths that are found, to varying degrees, in non-Christian religions, he would have been on safer ground. The Church has always acknowledged as much, but stressing that such truth is the product of a natural apprehension by the pagan, and not something uniquely revealed by God. Catholic rejection of the “firm belief” position is succinctly expressed in Radio Replies:
164. Since other religions contain so much good, why do you rank them all as false?
Because not every particle of truth is “the” truth. Non-Christian religions are wrong because side by side with such natural truth as they have, they contain many errors; and because they say they are from God, whereas they are not [italics added].
To follow the “Pope’s” tortuous thinking a step further, should not the Church admit grievous guilt for having in the past “slandered” the “good names” of the gods adored, say, by the ancient Philistines, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Scandinavians, and Germans, by declaring them demons? And, if this is the case, why not in present times “rectify” this by acknowledging the beliefs of, for example, the Hindus, wiccans (i.e., witches), Taoists, Shintoists, and voodooists? After all, by John Paul’s definition, does not the Holy Ghost preside over them all in some inscrutable way?
His inference is that somehow the voodooists are worshiping the true God (as there is only one God Who is good). No doubt many in the Conciliar religion would nod hearty, if unreflective, approval to such a suggestion, but this only demonstrates the theological confusion that abounds in those quarters. As Father Donald Sanborn has succinctly asked:
What is the standard of true worship versus false worship? Who sets it? Can we say that those who worship Jesus Christ are worshiping the same God as those who worship the sun, the moon, the debauched gods of the Greeks and Romans, flies, calves, rabbits, thumbs, idols, snakes, cats, trees, pillars, demons, devils, or spirits, to mention only a few of the “gods” which human beings have worshiped? Is it true worship to burn children to Moloch, as the ancient pagans did?… [etc].
The answer John Paul’s modernist sect makes to these queries is that all religions, in some ineffable way, bear the mark of faith. This notion also finds expression in his reminder to the Beninese that they should hold earlier generations of their people in reverence for passing down this belief to them. All of this is imparted to them by the pseudo “Pope” despite the undeniable fact that they are voodooists today, in large part, by virtue of their ancestors’ adamant — and at times, murderous/cannibalistic — refusal to accept the Gospel when it was preached to them by Catholic missionaries generations ago. John Paul is, in effect, confirming them in their error.
As demonstration of the sheer madness in his recommendation, the following illustration apropos the subject is submitted for consideration:
A Catholic missionary incursion, with all its attendant dangers, is made a century ago into darkest Africa. At some point in the trek, before the missionaries are able to reach their destination, they are discovered and attacked by a band of savages. Some of them are killed on the spot, others die later from their wounds, and the rest are taken prisoner. The survivors are spared only because of the innate curiosity of the natives to see what “makes them tick.” But life is a day-to-day affair, since the tribe’s resident witch doctor determines that aliens are a threat to its well-being (i.e., his job security). Nevertheless, in a matter of days, some of the aborigines have heard the Gospel preached in their tongue by the prisoners, and are willing to cast off the slavery of heathenism in exchange for liberation in Christ. Other tribesmen, however, are fully under the sway of the witch doctor, and hence will have nothing whatsoever to do with the “novel” doctrines being advanced by the outsiders.
The scenario, taken this far, will suffice for purposes of argument. Present here are two diametrically opposed belief systems: Catholicism and paganism. Yet, according to a reasonable extrapolation of John Paul II’s remarks, the conversion of some tribe members to Christianity is somehow really equivalent to the pertinacious idolatry clung to by the witch doctor and his followers, since the same ‘Spirit of truth” informs both the new (and true) faith of the former, and the ‘firm (but false) belief” of the latter.
It is difficult to see how anyone (save those thoroughly mesmerized by the “Pope’s” mystique) can fail to see the perfidy in all of this. The Benin Affair constitutes, if nothing else, a clear denial and betrayal of Catholic dogma and the very tenets of true evangelization by a man who ostensibly represents their sine qua non. This is all the more cogent reason for every devout, thinking Catholic to reject and challenge his arrogant and unlawful claim of Possession to the papal office, for there is nothing more un-Catholic than a “Pope” who assures snake worshippers that they have good reason to solemnly honor ancestors who, by their defiant perpetuating of ungodly beliefs against the Gospel, have long kept their descendants separated from Christ and His Church. (And it must be added, there is nothing more illogical [or, frankly, more un-Catholic] than “Catholics” who, despite such incontrovertible evidence, continue to lavish support in the direction of an imposter “Pope.” (Where, it must be asked, has their Faith gone?)
“Pope” John Paul II’s Benin excursion is but the most striking of many damning visitations of his “Papacy.” His worship with Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Jews, Moslems, and Hindus (to name but a few) all demonstrate his defection from the Faith. And his “official” acts, such as the promulgation of documents such as Redemptor Hominis, and the codification of the revised Canon Law, make an even clearer case for his apostasy. For all of this, however, he is but merely the faithful modernist continuer of a theological subversion initiated over a century ago, and fulfilled at Vatican II.
At that Robber Council spells were cast: not by conjurers in foul loin clothes and animal-skin headdresses, but by ecclesial “witch doctors” in miters, and vestments of the richest brocade, not by semi-literate sorcerers chanting mumbo jumbo in some aboriginal tongue, but by seminary-educated “shamans” who introduced modernist mumbo jumbo while chanting in Church Latin; not with the backdrop of spasmodic dancers exposed to the elements, and possessed by destructive spirits, but with that of theological subversives, who danced around questions that would expose them, and who were possessed by a spirit to destroy the Church; and, finally, not from unspeakable rites performed at midnight on some dusty, deserted crossroads, but from unspeakable wrongs perpetrated during a solemn council in the hallowed setting of Saint Peter’s Basilica.
But this is not the only sense in which a parallel between the two is evident. The “Pope question” has elicited a response every bit as primitive in its way as anything found in the grasslands of Benin. Just as voodooists cling superstitiously to their charms, a segment of traditionally-minded Conciliarists have made the person John Paul II a sort of theological fetish. No matter how reprehensible his attacks on tradition, he is protected by a magical incantation that instantly wards off any assault on his status: “He is the Pope … He is the Pope … He is the Pope.”
This mentality leads to the creation of Conciliar “zombies,” who blindly follow him. Publications like The Wanderer omit any reference that puts their “Pope” in a bad light. An oversight? Hardly. It is a concerted effort to defend the indefensible, one that censors news that would tarnish his “halo.” Above and beyond any other “traditional” Conciliar publication it is, for its deliberate suppression of truth, worthy of censure by everyone committed to Catholic restoration. Another paper that offends, though in a different way, is The Remnant.
While The Wanderer pretends that Benin never happened, The Remnant attempts to excuse it away with a simplistic dismissal of anyone questioning John Paul. Such people, one of these “zombies” writes, believe “that the Pope is a heretic for shaking hands with leaders of the Voodoo religion.” Like their brethren blindly toiling in the field of Haiti, these “zombies” are incapable of perceiving anything that is not right in front of their noses. Hence we read such utter drivel as The Remnant’s anemic rationalizing of John Paul’s visit to Benin:
But on the basis of what we have read and the confusion that has issued are we to become adherents of sedevacantism because of what has happened in Africa? Absolutely Not!!! We must re-read carefully the address given by the Pope to the adherents of Voodooism[.] We might be initially shocked, we11 might be infuriated, but the point is that if we wade through the loosely spun rhetoric we will find that Pope John Paul has not denied the Faith in any way by his words. It is weak, it is ecumenical, it is in complete accord with and is as ambiguous as Vatican II, but is not heretical.
There is, of course, far more than a mere greeting for which Catholics need be concerned in the Benin affair. The Remnant’s “handshake” argument laughably oversimplifies a grave matter, but it is, even more, the claim that “John Paul has not denied the Faith in any way by his word” that rewards closer scrutiny. As has been shown time and again in the present study, the “Pope,” far from leading voodooists to Christ and His Church, has given his “imprimatur” to their false religion, assuring them by his word that it is, in fact, a holy and honorable belief in God. Not only does this definitely constitute a denial of the Faith, but, on the other hand, an equally defiant refusal to defend it in the face of its enemies. Far worse than being merely “weak,” “ecumenical,” or “ambiguous,” it is plainly a heretical attack against the Church established by Jesus Christ. And yet The Remnant still fails to see (or to admit) the fundamental contradiction between John Paul II’s conduct and that of a true Pope. How can this be? Chalk up another casualty to voodoo “Catholicism.”
To underscore the paucity of the argument set forth by The Remnant (and other such Conciliar apologists), a short review of the beliefs and practices of John Paul’s voodoo “brothers and sisters” is much in order:
- Contrary to “His Holiness’” incredible claim of wholesome monotheism for vodun (“belief in a single God who is good”), its real belief entails a vile multiplicity of deities that include fetishes, devils, ancestors, and natural phenomena (trees, snakes, crocodiles, etc)..
- While the “Pope” refers to its “sense of the sacred,” vodun shows its very lack of this quality when it sanctions such acts as the grievous defamation of Catholic saints (even Christ and His Blessed Mother) by identifying them with its debased (and, sometimes, overtly demonic) gods.
- The ceremonies of the sect — praised by John Paul as evidence of its “spirit of celebration” — are among the most debauched known to man: besides the singularly sick and habitually performed animal sacrifices, diabolical possession is a common religious rite of voodoo, greatly prized by sect adherents as a token of “fellowship” with the gods, and ritual acts of human sacrifice and cannibalism are both well-documented.
- Alien to the “esteem for moral life” that the “Pope” claims to see in this cult, the belief in vindictive gods is prevalent, as is the companion practice of ritual revenge, manifested by impaling dolls (or other likenesses) with pins, and other forms of witchcraft and black magic.
- Finally, the very term voodoo comes not from the worship of God (as falsely suggested by the “Pope” and his semi-official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano), but from the name of a snake god.
It is evident, then, that “Pope” John Paul II cannot, by any reasonable consideration, be held as a lawful occupant of the Holy See — unless, by “reasonable consideration,” snake worship is admitted as suitable oblation to the Almighty. But wait! The anti-sedevacantist “traditionalists” (in true zombie fashion) are not through “defending” their “Pontiff;” even when he is embroiled in (and, indeed, is the author of) a plethora of theological errors. Five months after the completion of the article cited above, The Remnant’s Michael J. Matt was compelled to take an even stronger stand in favor of his tainted “Pope.” In “Who Questions Our Loyalty to the Pope?” he admits being one of those “gravely disappointed” by John Paul’s “objectively scandalous fraternizing with the priests of the Satanic Voodoo Religion…” [italics added —JKW].
If anything, these bits of quotation from the second article are even better than the first at illustrating the process of zombification, for, like the Haitian prototype, Matt’s response is utterly devoid of anything resembling strong or appropriate emotion. Here he is writing about the “Pope’s” palsy meeting with representatives of a religion that he himself rightly describes as satanic, yet the most feeling he can muster is grave disappointment! (From this lukewarm reaction, it is quite difficult to imagine that he is even talking about the same event discussed in the present article. But he is).
Apart from its sheer incongruity, this strange response provokes certain questions. How is it that Matt is “gravely disappointed” by the visit? Has he, perhaps, been living in a cave for the past fifteen years? This must be the case, because otherwise he would surely be aware that Benin is only another instance of “His Holiness” acting as he always has since his 1978 election — John Paul II just being John Paul II. Since this is but one of his numerous uncatholic acts over that span of time, and since he has given no reason to believe that he has suddenly turned Catholic, the confab with voodooists, far from surprising, is wholly in character for the “Pope”. Given this element of predictability; it makes no sense to speak of being “gravely disappointed,” as such conveys the notion that there was good reason to expect or hope for a change by John Paul in the direction of orthodoxy; when, in fact, no grounds for such a hope existed (or, at present, exist). If Benin proves nothing else, it is that such “zombie” hopes amount to mere pipe dreams.
Yet this is nevertheless somehow appropriate for those afflicted with zombie brain-freeze, being as it is a condition that prevents its victims from saying anything critical about the “Holy Father” except in the most tepid way possible. Hence, Matt qualifies his disapproval by using the expression “objectively scandalous fraternizing,” as if to suggest that somehow, at some level, John Paul’s conduct in Benin might very well be acceptable or even meritorious. It is as if he tells his readers:
Now I know this really looks bad, but let’s not overreact. Maybe the Pope didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe it just appears that way. I’m sure that if we all suspend our initial negative judgment, give him the benefit of the doubt he is entitled to, and carefully study this matter with open minds, we will be able to find good reasons for his actions. After all, he is the Pope, isn’t he? What right have we to question him? If he finds voodoo to be good, then perhaps it is!
The denial is the same kind heard all of the time when these sorts expound” on the subject of John Paul II. How pray tell, is it even possible to converse with such a person on anything approaching logical terms? They are constitutionally impervious to any argument based on faith or reason, as though residency at the Vatican Palace is the sole criterion for basing the question of validity. Moreover, the equivocal (though handy) word “objectively” has the desired effect of leaving an uncomfortable question unanswered indefinitely (i.e., since John Paul has all of the papal “trappings” [orthodoxy pushed way aside, of course], it must be concluded that his acts are equally papal — end of discussion). The most lamentable (and even the most frightening) thing is that these “zombies” have lost a substantial portion of their Catholicism not from any willful rejection of the truths of the Faith, but from their continued contact with the false cult emanating out of Vatican II. Until they can shake free from this evil influence (this zombiism), they will never be able to grasp the full measure of the terrible reality — truly a mystery of iniquity — that has befallen the Catholic Church. Their level of confusion is such that to attempt any meaningful discussion with them on this subject verges on trying to make order after a hurricane (it can be done, but progress is reached only after a herculean effort).
One last point needs to be made regarding Michael Matt’s stance. As mentioned earlier, it is a stance that is neither strong enough nor appropriate for the Benin betrayal. It is not a stance of a red-blooded Roman Catholic, but of someone who has had the equivalent of a theological lobotomy; someone for whom the most heinous acts committed against the Faith barely move the needle of his emotional Richter Scale. Such a stance is zombie-like, to be sure, since for truly militant Catholics, the word “disappointment” does not even begin to plumb the depths of feeling experienced upon learning of the “Pope’s” voodoo visit. Really, only one word describes the feeling, and that word is outrage. On a somber note, it must be concluded: If the Benin betrayal is not sufficient to elicit outrage from these “zombies,” it is seriously doubtful that anything can.
This failure to exhibit appropriate emotion underscores two important and interlocking features of the zombies’ tepid resistance to the Vatican II revolution: First, their firm and long-standing insistence that John Paul is, at very worst, only a bad Pope, and, second, their equally adamant and absolute refusal to weigh any evidence showing him to be a nonpope or even consider such a possibility. Herein lies the greatest gulf between hardline traditionalists and Remnant-style fence straddlers; one that continues to frustrate any real progress toward restoration of the Church. For there is a world of difference between an immoral Pope who nevertheless is entitled to acknowledgement as a successor to Peter, and a false claimant who is not entitled to it.
The response by the “zombies” to the “Pope’s” voodoo visit is a perfect illustration of just how anemic their stand really is. John Paul’s trip to Benin was public, and ostensibly an official act of the Holy See. He did not speak to the voodooists as a private individual, but as “Pope.” Hence, in theory anyway, he was representing the Catholic Church with his falsehoods. This is a fact that the “zombies” cannot wish away. But, then, they don’t bother to, referring to it, along with his numerous other scandals, as an “indiscretion.” (In other words, for the past 15 years a repeated cry could be heard emanating from Saint Peter’s Basilica: “Oops, I’ve goofed again!”)
Zombie is surely an applicable term for those who are so entranced that it is impossible for them to draw certain elementary conclusions: When a man makes a pagan offering to a snake god there is sufficient reason to have doubts about his validity as a successor to Saint Peter. When the same man publicly meets voodooists, but does not warn them of the imminent danger of hell that awaits snake worshippers and impress upon them the urgent need to accept Christ, a task that any true Pope would zealously perform, there is even greater reason to doubt him. When in 15 years at Rome the same man has multiplied similar scandals by the score it is evident that what is being considered here does not involve mere “indiscretions,” but a calculated modernist agenda seeking a ‘melting pot” of religions that would destroy the very idea of a Roman Catholic Church, then the doubt; if it has not already, becomes positive in nature.
But none of this means anything to the loyal “zombies.” Nothing fazes a “zombie.” They attempt to write Benin off as but another example of John Paul’s foolish attachment to Vatican II’s teaching on religious liberty. In reality, it is an exercise in modernist doubletalk by an undisputed master in that field. The “zombies” can explain the voodoo visit away all they want, but they cannot deny Redemptor Hominis and its errors. Since they cannot dispute this evidence — as strong a proof as any of John Paul’s lack of authority — they do the next best thing: Ignore it.
The Remnant column ends by declaring that “even if our Pope acts in a way we cannot understand[!],” we “will not desert our Pope nor our Church, especially not now when She suffers the most heinous humiliations.”” Here is the tragedy of these Conciliar “zombies.” Oblivious to the real state of affairs, they have deserted both the Church and the Papacy without knowing it. By continuing to uphold the false Vatican II religion and its leader they are doing the greatest harm to the cause of Catholic restoration, giving them a legitimacy for which they are not entitled. The “zombies” see a Church and a Pope where neither exists! It is hoped the present article will help some of them to snap out of their trances, so that they may effectively fight for the Church.
What can the “Pope” do for an encore? Benin is a tough act to follow, but if any actor is up to the role it is John Paul II. Perhaps a pilgrimage to the indigenous tribes of Brazil. There he could both congratulate the Amazonian head-hunters on their “firm belief,” and make ecologically correct remarks about preserving the rain forest (never mind preserving the Faith). It is hoped, however, that he will spare the good people of Ireland any pastoral visit. They, in turn, would do well to give serious thought to banning John Paul II from any future sojourns there, and view it even as a high priority national security issue. Opening their doors to him would be a huge mistake. Why? Simply because his presence would threaten to undo what Saint Patrick worked so hard to accomplish 1500 years ago, and overnight produce a snake infestation of truly Biblical proportions!
OR WHAT MAN IS THERE AMONG YOU,
OF WHOM IF HIS SON SHALL ASK BREAD, WILL
HE REACH HIM A STONE? OR IF HE SHALL ASK
HIM A FISH, WILL REACH HIM A SERPENT?
— Saint Matthew 7:9-10.
 “Pope Meets Rivals in ‘the Cradle of Voodoo'”, February 5, 1993 [International Edition], p. A11.
 Cited. ibid. vodun. a synonym for the religion of voodoo.
 syncretize. to combine different and even incompatible religious beliefs.
 True, “Father” Domas does allude to “a serious danger of syncretism,” but why, then, does he seem to encourage it by suggesting that a valet at a voodoo snake but can be Christian? Another Conciliar clergyman cited by Cowell, the Reverend Charles Whannou. also warns against syncretic practices, but in the process promotes an equally pernicious error: “It is the right of the vodun followers to take part in the cult, but for Christians to take part is a contradiction.”
 “Pope Addresses Adherents of Voodooism: Church recognizes ‘seeds of the Word’ in other religions” [Complete text of John Paul II’s speech]. L’Osservatore Romano, Number (10 February 1993), English language weekly edition, p. 7. (In subsequent footnotes the title of this publication will be abbreviated as LOR.) Regarding the “Pontiff’s” remark cited above, sedevacantists in the audience are kindly asked — for the benefit of those still groping with the question — to keep their show of outward derision to the level of quiet chuckles.
 “Elsewhere in the world,” February 5, 1993, p. 4A.
 Ibid. and Cowell.
 Ibid, and Cowell.
 Op. cit.
 How can this be known? Simply because when an internationally known religious celebrity steps out of character in so ecumenically incorrect a way, it is more significant as news than when he performs as expected. No mention was made of such a rebuke in any news report of the visit, not even LOR’s extensive coverage. Had John Paul challenged their “faith,” there would have been a mad scramble by media rivals to get the scoop on a very big story, and to produce eye-catching headlines such as: POPE WARNS VOODOOISTS: RENOUNCE YOUR COVENANT WITH SATAN.
 Cowell writes that the “Pope” told the heathens that (in Cowell’s words) “they would certainly gain from converting to Christianity…” This interpretation of his remarks is, as will be shown, quite an overstatement.
 LOR. Capitalizing the word God here by LOR and/or John Paul II suggests an attempt to identify the voodooists’ deity with the God of revelation.
 Cited, Cowell.
 Op. cit.
 A distant relative of the fetish is the so-called good luck charm (or amulet), such as a rabbit’s foot, which the credulous believe will protect them from harm. The Church absolutely forbids Catholics to place any stock whatsoever in the alleged power of such superstitious objects.
 “Fetishism,” Vol. VI, 1913 ed., p. 56. The example from the Congo is relevant to the present study since it is not unlike the thinking and practices of the Beninese primitives, and also because the Congolese religion contributes significantly to voodooism in the Western Hemisphere. cabalistic. magical.
 Michelle Gilbert, “Fon & Ewe Religion,” Vol. 5, The Encyclopedia of Religion (1987 ed.), p. 386. Caveat lector: It must be noted that references to this and other non-Catholic works treating on religious subjects (including those by Novus Ordo authors — “Pope” John Paul II, of course, being no exception) in the present article in no way constitutes any across-the-board endorsement of them. On the contrary, the Church has always viewed this matter quite gravely, and absolutely forbids the general lay readership from the perusal of potentially dangerous books out of idle curiosity: Canon 2318 (Code of 1917) punishes with the penalty of excommunication anyone reading such material without requisite permission. Any Catholic seeking such permission today must get the approval of his priest, which involves demonstrating a serious need to examine the book in question (such as a scholarly pursuit or rescuing family or friends from the grasp of a sect). likewise, the layman in question must, at all costs, accede to the judgment of the priest. Some readers may wonder why such warning is necessary, but there is very good reason, since the harm caused by Vatican II extends to many traditional Catholics who have been lulled into erroneously thinking that they are now somehow free to read whatever literature they please. Let no one he deceived: The same strictures established three-quarters of a century ago are still very much in place.
 A strong case can be made, however, that their worship of crocodiles is equally repulsive.
 The Encircled Serpent: A Study of Serpent Symbolism in All Countries & Ages (McKay, no date), p. 136.
 Cited, Howey, p. 42. doctors, witch doctors.
 Ibid., p. 245-6.
 Ibid., p. 246
 Lewis Spence, “West Indian Islands,” An Encyclopedia of Occultism (University, 1960), p. 428.
 Captain R. Sutherland Rattray, cited, Father Montague Summers, A Popular History of Witchcraft (1936; Causeway, 1973), p.2.
 Gilbert, p. 387.
 Howey, p. 241.
 Kyle Kristos, Voodoo (Lippincourt, 1976). p. 95. Marie Laveau
 (Stein & Day, 1978), P. 61.
 It should be noted that this also was practiced long before Vatican II, when the voodooists often truly defiled the pews at which they knelt by their attendance at true Masses. Even warnings against this behavior from the pulpit were unable to end it completely. The Conciliar religion has much more “understanding” for the “needs” of various ethnic groups to have their own “religious experiences,” so there is greater tolerance for those who wish to partake at both “communions.”
 Op. cit., p. 48. This “cross-dressing” can go the other way: a woman possessed, say, by Baron Samedi (a loa of death summoned in cemeteries), will don the appropriate apparel — black trousers, a suit coat, and battered black hat. See pp. 66-67.
 Ibid., p. 46. Yemayá: Our Lady of Regla
 Ibid., p. 51, 54.
 As ludicrous as it surely is, a typical “rebuttal” by John Paul’s supporters is offered: Perhaps he was not aware of this. To this an obvious answer is countered: He was not aware? How can a man claiming to be head of the Catholic Church not be aware of teachings of a pagan sect, yet plunge headfirst into its midst, and nonchalantly avow their belief in God? The burden of proof here is surely not with those who challenge his Papacy, but rather with those who support it!
 This mentality is popular with certain traditionally-oriented Conciliarists who, while avidly applying the “schismatic label” to sedevacantists, pay virtually no heed to anything promulgated by John Paul and his henchmen. Rather, they deem themselves competent to sort through the Novus Ordo ragbag for scraps of orthodoxy. While accusing sedevacantists of a Protestant mindset, they are themselves far more deserving of such a censure for their pick-and-choose approach.
 Published with Lamentabili Sane (Saint Paul Editions, no date), pp. 19-20. Pascendi online edition
 An unnamed reporter, cited, Spence, Op. Cit., p. 428. Mamaloi. A synonym for mambo, or voodoo priestess.
 Cited, Howey, p. 241
 The Serpent & the Rainbow (Warner, 1985), p. 45. Davis’ book is a fascinating investigation into the existence of zombies. He maintains that they are real — victims not of supernatural spells, but of highly toxic powder manufactured by voodoo priests. After the potion enters through a person’s pores, he is so stricken as to appear dead; after burial, he is later exhumed by the cultists, his brain functions having been severely and irreparably damaged in the ordeal. He is now a “zombie.” Davis notes that this punishment is an exercise of voodoo “justice,” meted out to those who violate the cult’s code of conduct. peristyle, a roofed court. hounsis, a voodoo initiate. clairin, a homemade rum drink. asson, a rattle used in the ritual.
 Ibid., p. 46. poteau misan. The center post or column of the peristyle.
 African Religions & Philosophy (Heinemann, 1989), pp. 171-172.
 Ibid., p. 172. Note the allusion to a buffalo-born fetish. diviner. a tribal fortune-teller.
 Trans. Father Herman Branderis. 2nd ed. (Desclée, 1930 imprimatur), p. 718.
 Ibid., pp. 721-722.
 Cited, Davis, p. 42.
 Jeffrey Burton Russell, “Witchcraft,” Vol. 15, The Encyclopedia of Religion (1987 ed.), p. 416.
 Ibid., p. 37.
 Op. cit., pp. 56-57.
 Op. cit., pp. 249-250. “transportation” means deportation.
 Ibid., p. 66. As an example of its use by otherwise civilized people, he mentions: “In 1900 an Italian burned a wax figure of President McKinley, quilled with pins like a hedgehog, on the steps of the American Embassy in London.” p. 67. (On the ancient use of such dolls, see Witchcraft and Magic in Europe (Account of Theophilus begins on p, 77; chapter about voodoo starts on p. 71.)
 Ibid., pp. 63-65. familiar: a witch’s demon appearing in the form of an animal, often a cat. strega. Italian, witch. More on the subject by the author can be found in this linked chapter from another of his books, Witchcraft and Black Magic.
 Cited, ibid., p. 251. Elsewhere, Father Summers adds that profanation of the Blessed Sacrament has also been practiced by the cult: “In 1895 a particularly revolting instance of defilement of the Host occurred in the Island of Mauritius.” p. 178. Considering the baneful aim behind voodoo dolls and the like, what is to be concluded about pictures of Christ and the saints embedded with pins. save that the perpetrator evidently sought harm to the personages represented therein?
 Op. cit., pp. 120, 122, 124, 126, and 128-129. As so often in this research, unmistakable correlations are to found with European sorcery — witchcraft is the same the world over. Paralleling the textual reference to a miscarriage curse is the following note by Father Montague Summers, found in his 1927 translation of Demoniality, a treatise of the 17th century Franciscan theologian, Padre Lodovico Maria Sinistrari:
INTRICATE KNOTS. – La Ghirlanda delle Streghe, a long cord tied in elaborate knots with the feathers of a black hen inserted in the strands. This is hidden away in some secret place with appropriate maledictions, and the person at whom the bane is launched will be consumed with a swift disease no doctor can cure. Strangely enough one of these enchanted ropes was in 1986 found in the belfry of an English country church. All were puzzled, for it was evidently twined and twisted for a specific purpose. An old woman in the village identified it as a “witch’s ladder,” but it was not until an engraving had been published in The Folk Lore Journal full information was received and the purport of the mysterious charm completely understood. (Dover, 1989), p. 125. graveyard dust. soil taken from a freshly dug grave, believed by voodooists to have occult properties.
 Ibid., p. 246.
 John Kenneth Weiskittel, “Occultism in the Conciliar ‘Catholic’ Church,” The Athanasian, Vol. V, No. 7. October 15, 1984. p. 4.
 (Natural History Press, 1971), p. 88. The Benin referred to by the authors is most probably what is presently called Benin City, located in south-central Nigeria. This was part of the 19th century British colony of Lagos. The Yoruba tribe of Nigeria is one of the principal sources of voodoo in the Western Hemisphere.
 Vol. II, 1913 ed.. p. 480.
 Op. cit., p. 250. Thames torso boy was sacrificed
 (1922; Macmillan, 1971), p. 576. BBC – Radio 4 Empire – West Africa – Jaw-jaw (Sir Charles McCarthy and the Ashanti)
 Op. cit., p. 57.
 Op. cit., p. 75.
 Ibid., pp. 76-77.
 Weiskittel, p. 5. Pope wears Indian headdress in African tour
 Is John Paul II a modernist?” Fortes in Fide, 4th quarter, 1990, p. 21.
 Cited, Abbé Daniel Le Roux, Peter, Lovest Thou Me? — John Paul II: Pope of Tradition or Pope of Revolution? (Instauratio, 1989), p. 154.
 Concerning the Toga incident, there is an alleged detail — quite incredible, though quite plausible — not mentioned above. It has been relegated to the footnotes simply because indisputable documentation was not available at the time of this writing. Nevertheless, it is recorded here as it definitely has the odor of truth. John Paul, never one known for being camera-shy, asked, it is maintained, that photo-journalists nor accompany him when he visited a village on a remote island to participate in the ceremony. Standing with a voodoo chief before a snake hut in the center of the town, he cast cucumber peelings on the ground in front of its entrance. Moments later, a serpent slithered forth from it. The chief then turned to the “Pope,” exclaiming that the reptile’s appearance meant the snake god had favored his offering. One of the strongest cases for the validity of this anecdote is die fact that it was related to the present writer well over a year before this article was begun, yet closely corresponds with what has been gleaned about snake worshippers in research since that time. Any reader who has direct documentation about this incident is invited to share it for future publication. Acknowledgment will be forthcoming, if so desired.
 In the roughly 750-word LOR English translation of rhe “Pope’s” French language address, the phrase Roman Catholic is nor even found. Only twice, early on in the text, does lie even rise the word Catholic: first, when lie stares that he has come to Benin to visit “Catholic communities”; and second, when he declares that “the Catholic Church looks favourably upon dialogue…”
 Anne Fremantle, editor, The Papal Encyclicals (Mentor, 1956), p. 145.
 Op. cit., p. 23.
 There is no more a right to reject Christ than one to steal or murder.
 See (Douay-Rheims’ numbering), for calling of various Apostles — MATT. 4:18-22, 9:9; Mark 2: 16-20, 2: 14; Luke 5: 27-28; John 1: 43; an unnamed disciple — Matt. 8: 21-22; and the rich young man — Matt. 19: 16-22; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18: 18-23.
 John Paul’s Biblical misquotes present another problem in regard to his status: Either his ignorance of basic scripture is so impenetrable as to render him unfit for the office or he has intentionally falsified the Gospels to accommodate a modernist agenda.
 (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1979). pp. 17-18.
 Ibid., p. 17.
 Fathers Leslie Rumble, M.S.C., and Mortimer Carty, Vol. I (Radio Replies, 1942), p. 39. The false claim of a divine origin for voodoo has been noted, as has John Paul’s abject failure — in direct confrontation with adherents making this claim — to condemn it. Radio Repliesonline edition
 In all these various polytheistic systems, one supreme god can be found above the rest: for the Hindus it is Brahma; for the Philistines, Dagon; for the Baylonians, Marduk; in the Greco-Roman religion. Zeus/Jupiter; and in the Norse faith, Odin (Scand.)/Wotan (Germ.) Following John Paul II’s modernism, each of these false “creator deities” could somehow be characterized (à Ia Benin’s Mawu) as “a single God who is good.”
 John Paul has, of course, given assurances to Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans, and others that the Catholic Church was also “guilty” in the events that brought about these sects’ breaks from Christian unity. In dealing with the voodooists, his tack is different, but the result similar: he deftly side-steps any consideration of the demonic character of their religion, and bestows upon it undeserved recognition as wholesome and monotheistic.
 Father Donald Sanborn, “Do We All Worship The Same God?,” Sacerdotium (III, Pars Verna, MCMXCII), p. 40.
 Michael J. Matt, The Pope in Africa & Religious Liberty,” The Remnant, March 31, 1993, p. 3. His assessment is a prime example of the “zombie” mindset.
 Ibid., p. 3-4.
 August 15, 1993, p. 5. It is of interest to note that Matt’s article, as weak as it surely is, was too much for The Wanderer to stomach, On page four of the September 9 issue, Wanderer editor AJ Matt Jr. went after his wayward cousin’s Piece in an editorial entitled “What ails the Remnant?” Suffice it to say, the editorial makes no mention whatsoever about the Benin scandal.
 Certainly prayers ought to be said for John Paul II — not to aid him as “Pope” as the “zombies” propose, but to turn him away from his very dangerous and very successful role as an arch-destroyer of Catholicism.
 These Conciliar “traditionalists” would no doubt be shocked to see themselves linked with modernist members of their sect, but there is a connection, however unintentional, and that is moral relativism. This is not to suggest that they practice it in their personal lives, only when explaining away the apostasy of John Paul and certain of his high ranking cronies (e.g., “Cardinal” Ratzinger). For, by attaching “objectively scandalous” and like terms to his conspicuously indefensible acts, they actually approach the thinking of avant garde Novus Ordo “theologians”, who have argued, for example, that Judas may only have “objectively” betrayed Christ.
 There is an analogy that can be made to the destructive power John Paul has over these people that is not at all inappropriate in the present context. Like a cobra, which hypnotizes its prey into submission by its gentle — but lethal — swaying to and fro, the “Pope” has kept these souls committed to him by his frequent appeals to them (Fatima pilgrimages, Indult Masses, references to the Rosary, warnings about social evils, etc.) – all the while relentlessly undermining the very foundations of Catholicism and the Christian order.
Among Other Works Consulted
Bach, Marcus. Strange Sects & Curious Cults. Dodd & Mead, 1961.
The Catholic Encyclopaedic Dictionary.
Encyclopedia of Magic & Superstition.
Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia.
Gilfond, Henry. Voodoo: Its Origins & Practices. Watts, 1976.
González-Wippler, Minge. The Santeria Experience. Prentice-Hall, 1982.
Hughes, Pennethorpe. Witchcraft. Pelican, 1965.
Mair, Lucy. Witchcraft. McGraw Hill, 1969.
Radin, Paul. Primitive Religion. Dover, 1957.
Roy, Most Rev. Alexander Le. The Religion of the Primitives. Trans. Rev. Newton Thompson. Macmillan, 1922.
Saint Clair, David. Drum & Candle. Bell, 1971.
Tierney, Patrick. The Highest Altar: The Story of Human Sacrifice. Viking, 1989.
World Book Encyclopedia.