Rhetorical question: When an anti-Catholic Evangelical Christian apologist sees a story about Catholic bishops in southern Africa telling their priests to stop moonlighting as witch doctors for native peoples, does he sigh with relief that the Catholic bishops are defending Christianity or does he immediately start to wonder why the Catholic bishops are complaining?
"Rome is having [a problem] with its priests in Africa "moonlight[ing] as witch doctors" (to use CNN's language), or, more specifically, engaging in prayers to ancestors and in general developing a syncretism between Roman Catholicism and native tribal and regional religions. While one's first thought was, 'Goodness, if a minister in our church were found to be engaging in such idolatry, they would not be "exhorted" to cease, they would be removed forthwith,' another thought followed quickly. Given Rome's violation of biblical teaching regarding prayers to saints and angels, and in particular, given Rome's exaltation of the humble handmaid of the Lord to the Queen of Heaven, isn't this rather understandable?
"I mean, put yourself in the sandals of the person attending the Roman Church in the bush of Africa somewhere. All you've known has been tribal religion, but you also hear about this religion called Catholicism. And so you go to the services and they are sacrificing their god upon an altar and praying to this exalted woman named Mary (could you differentiate between her and one of your tribal deities? Could you? You really think pleading the meaning of 'hyperdulia' is going to work here?) and to spirits like Michael and they are lighting candles and bowing and praying toward a box with something the priest consecrated and put in their and toward images and statues -- just what should we expect folks are going to think? And put yourself in the position of the priest in that rural location. Is he going to really be in a position to attempt to engage in the kind of double-speak Rome's apologists have to use to get around the Bible's prohibition against the very kind of spiritism that is part and parcel of the surrounding culture?"
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Stuff like this can really offer insight into the stumbling blocks to conversion facing some anti-Catholic Evangelical Christian apologists. Not only is there a distinct lack of charity toward the bishops who are addressing the problem, but there is a boatload of snobbery toward people of other cultures who this apologist presumes do not have the intelligence to know the difference between the Blessed Virgin Mary and "tribal deities" or between hyperdulia and idolatry, and snobbery even toward a "rural priest" presumed not to know how to teach the Christian faith in third-world cultures.