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  #1  
Old Feb 20, '11, 2:03 pm
narnia59 narnia59 is offline
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Default Who or what are the false pagan gods?

The Egyptian gods in the OT, Baal and others that were worshipped by the pagans. Does the Catholic church have an official position on exactly what these entities were? Were they simply made up by the people? Demons? Does the church have an official position on this?
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Old Feb 20, '11, 2:26 pm
Jehoshua Jehoshua is offline
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Default Re: Who or what are the false pagan gods?

I am not certain about the official teaching.

But I do know that a lot of records show that the christian population considered the pagan gods to be as demons. I know that one of the fundamental reasons behind the lack of three dimensional images in the eastern churches was the repulsion away from the idols of the pagans which were considered to be vessels for demons. (or gods by pagans)

Now not knowing the official teaching, I cannot be authoritative. But i would hazard a guess that the official teaching is something of a combination of worship of malevolant entities and figments of human imagination striving towards God but veering in ignorance into worship of creation instead of creator.
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Old Feb 20, '11, 11:02 pm
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DavidFilmer DavidFilmer is offline
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Default Re: Who or what are the false pagan gods?

Quote:
Originally Posted by narnia59 View Post
Does the Catholic church have an official position on exactly what these entities were?
No. The Catholic Church has no authority to speak to the nature of pagan deities, except to say that we acknowledge the "one true God" and all other deities are (by definition) false.

They might be myths or they might be demons, but the Church has no authority to say one way or another.
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Old Feb 21, '11, 12:13 am
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kepha1 kepha1 is offline
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Default Re: Who or what are the false pagan gods?

Abortion as Pagan Sacrifice

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
We know what the word “sacrifice” means. It means the surrender of something precious to the god in whom a person believes. Sacrifices have been part of world religions since the dawn of recorded history. Without exception, the deities of all the religions of the ancient world demanded sacrifices in their honor. The Egyptians and Babylonians, the Greeks and Romans, the deities of pre-Christian India and of the continent of Africa required that their adherents offer what we call sacrifices in their name.

click on the title for the rest of the article
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Old Feb 21, '11, 2:31 am
Seachange Seachange is offline
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Default Re: Who or what are the false pagan gods?

They were the false gods worshipped by those who did not know the true nature of God.

The Romans/Greeks were quite pious in their worship, at least in their early days. They built massive temples in which to worship and they sacrificed to them. The Parthenon, for example, was built to worship the patron goddess of Athens, Athena. The whole of the mount of the Parthenon is covered with temples to various Greek gods, with the Parthenon dominating.

They had rituals to be observed for each. There was a priesthood which did the sacrificing and who read the omens in the blood of the animals. Female gods had priestesses. They all had their particular areas of concern, like Neptune, God of the Sea was consulted for sea journeys, or fishing and Mars for war.

The people the Romans called barbarians had their own sets of gods/goddesses, like Morrigan for the Celts or Odin for the Norse.

What I understand that the Church says, at least about some of them, is that the pagans gave them names and worshipped them because although they recognised the existence of God, their perception of Him was very imperfect. I believe Paul addresses this in some of his letters, that they worshiped what they did not know.

Others, like Baal/Moloch, imho, were demons masquerading. The difference can be seen in the type of worship demanded. While the Greek/Roman pantheon required moral living and punished people for their sins, Baal wanted human sacrifice.

Still others, would carve a rock or a piece of wood and call it a god. These were the idols. I think these people were con artists, doing it for what they could get by deceiving people into giving them things ostensibly to worship the god. Unfortunately, some people actually believed that pieces of wood or stone really could supernaturally affect their lives.

Some people, even today, offer to idols. I had a Buddhist friend once who offered food to her statue of Buddha.

For us, we must be on guard that we do not place other things in the place of God, such as the pursuit of riches, or happiness or vengeance. These things can become false gods for us when we sacrifice what is precious to us to attain them.
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Old Feb 21, '11, 6:27 pm
narnia59 narnia59 is offline
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Default Re: Who or what are the false pagan gods?

Thank you all for the good responses. And I agree, abortion can easily be seen as sacrificing one's children to a pagan god.

It appears there is no official teaching. I disagree that the church does not have the authority to make that determination; but she evidently hasn't done so which is fine. I figured if she had I would find out about it here.

I like the understanding that while some were denomic others perhaps were simply people trying to understand a higher being, and not all are necessarily the same.
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