I was rather astounded at the level of vitriol in a recent closed thread and wondered if it was simply an “ad hominem” attack or if it really was an accurate reflection of current Catholic thought vis-a-vis ancient pantheons. Certain writers made the (at least to me) rather far-fetched assertion that all ancient “dieties” were in fact nothing more than demons and that we “gambled” with our immortal souls because demons are “sneaky”.
This really concerned me although I could not get anyone to answer my query amongst all the mud slinging going on. As a grad level anthropology and history major (and Catholic), I have to wonder what I missed in thirteen years of Catholic grade and high school education. Has there been some sort of recent Church teaching which equates ancient dieties with demons? Does this mean that “bright-eyed Pallas Athene” mentioned in the Illiad and Odyssey is in reality some snarling concupiscient demon from hell waiting to ensnare my soul because I happened to read a Western classic? I would really like some sort of answer about this from those who made the comparison. If Mesoamerican dieties are demons what about all the other pantheons? Is there a cultural relativity that OK, we’ll accept Greek and Roman but not XYZ?