25 06 2009

duende altar

Notes on the folk theology of the limbus infantium

In a book about Guatemalan folk saints, I saw a prayer to Don Diego Duende, who is portrayed as a portly man with a red suit and a red hat. Poke around the Internet, and you will find more prayers to him (the difference between these and witchcraft are virtually non-existent). Poke around even more, and you will find many prayers to protect oneself from duendes. Their role seems to be a bit ambiguous, as I quote from one Mexican website that I found, a series of children’s stories that mention duendes:

A pesar de ser tan traviesos, los duendes también acostumbran ayudar a los que se vuelven sus amigos. Los que quieren sus favores hacen un pacto con ellos: van a lo más apartado del monte a llevarles regalos, como elotes, agua, carne… y les rezan la oración del encantado. Algún duende les contesta que está de acuerdo echando tres chifliditos; o responde mandándoles venados y dejando que encuetren los tesoros de las cuevas.

In spite of being mischevious, goblins also are prone to help those who become their friends. Those who seek their favors make a pact with them: they go to the most secluded mountains and take them gifts, like corn, water, and meat… and they pray to them the enchanted prayer. A goblin answers them affirmatively by giving three whistles; or they answer them by sending them deer or leaving them to find treasures in caves.

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Catholic Traditionalism

25 06 2009


An excerpt (the whole essay is well worth reading):

The error of Ultramontanism is easy to see, with hindsight, because it is rejected not only by Liberals and Trads but also by the Pope and the Papal Magisterium. In the chaotic decades which have followed the Council, Papal teaching has often been a lifeline for Catholics who wanted to see traditional teachings reiterated; it is natural that Conservatives have clung on to it. It is understandable, but obviously wrong, to take this to an extreme and start saying that whatever the Pope, or some Vatican department, makes a friendly off-the-cuff remark about must be imposed on everyone by next Tuesday, and the Popes themselves would regard this attitude as absurd.

Hence we find a frequent contrast between what Popes have said about their own positions, and how Conservatives have applied those positions. So Paul VI said that Natural Family Planning can be legitimate in certain circumstances. And you get Catholics who regard themselves as Conservative saying that all Catholics preparing for marriage should be drilled in it. John-Paul II said that the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary might be found helpful, and Conservative presses suddenly pulp all their books on the Rosary so they could add the new mysteries, and conservative parishes insist on having them. Benedict XVI carefully explains that his books are not papal teaching, but his opinions as a private doctor, but Conservatives promote them without such a warning and they are printed wrapped in the papal colours.

And in other news, those crazy kids in Winona just keep on keeping on:

Sometimes I just like to stick it to the Man.