>The roman catholics still leave wax legs in
>the sanctuaries of the Virgin, as the old gaulish did. In Neapoli,
>people used to pray like this: "Lord, ask ST. Genarus to..."
>In Seville, they say "Hooray for our lady of the Macarena, and f...
>the one of El Rocío".
You are seemingly appealing to local popular practices. It is worthy to note
that local popular custom is not necessarily reflective of Church doctrine
or any compromise on its part. The last example seems to be based upon some
sort of civic rivalry, not any theological pantheism. On top of that, where
some outer acts of piety and devotion do seem to be similar, this can hardly
be construed as definitive evidence of a compromise with paganism on the
part of Christianity. Take for instance the use of incense, lighting of
candles, etc. These acts are not the essential core of the Christian faith;
so even if we accept these elements as being examples of pagan acts of piety
having been "baptized" into Christian acts of piety (and one might be able
to make the case that is not so), they still do not touch the essential
"Doctrine of the Faith." It would simply relate back to that adapation I
spoke of earlier. On top of that, as symbols and external acts of devotion
their meaning varies according to their context.
>the catholics were not allowed to read the bible until the 18th
This claim is untenable. I ask you to produce one document that came down
from the proper ecclesiatical authorities, be it in a papal bull or some
other official pronouncement of the Roman Catholic Church, that forbade the
Bible to be read.
> There are thousands of examples. I say saints replaced gods because
>people goes on asking them favours as in the old times. They are not
>as important as the main God, each one has a job and his own symbols.
You are speaking of intercessory prayers and the cult of Saints. However,
such an analysis seems to only consider a loose external structure and not
the theological aspects of saintly intercession versus praying to gods.
Comparing the cult of saints to a system of deities is like comparing apples
to oranges. Pagan gods are seen as gods in their own right having specific
control over particular domains. Saints are seen to act as intercessors with
God on our behalf, just as one might ask their friend, family or neighbour
to pray for them for such-and-such an intention. They are not divine. They
are offered as models of Christian life in their devotion and faithfulness
to God, etc. This is vastly different.
(Despite my first two messages to this list, let me assure all of you that
it is actually -not- my intent to get on here to debate religion. I am
really more interested in the artistic and mythological aspects of Celtic
culture and that is my purpose here.)