Catholicism and Voodoo


Can anyone tell me how Catholicism and voodoo are related…or if they are? I know voodoo has borrowed different practices from the church. I am in a political forum and trying to debate someone on whether the Catholic Church has voodoo practices in it of if voodoo has adapted any rites from the church. I thought here is where I would find the answer. Thanks.

I would appreciate any enlightenment.



What practices has voodoo borrowed from the Catholic Church? And given that voodoo is from the New World and Catholicism began in the old, any rites that existed in Europe prior to Columbus discoverng the New World would have to be authentically Catholic.


I believe I know what the OP is talking about!

I saw a documentary recently about voodoo, and how the slaves in Haiti (I believe) were forced to convert to Catholicism by their masters.

So the slaves practiced their religion in secret using symbolism from Catholicism.

For example one of the “gods” or “holy thing” in voodoo is/or has to do with “snakes”. So the slaves would use pictures of St. Patrick to represent this voodoo figure, because St. Patrick is generally pictured with snakes.

I wish I could remember more or give you more concrete answer thing this. It’s the only thing I remember from the documentary


Voodoo was brought to the Americas by African slaves. Over time, these slaves naturally borrowed elements from the Christian cultures in which they now lived, so some of the African deities now took on the names of Catholic saints, and the use of candles and incense, unknown at that time in Africa, was incorporated into their New-World version of their African religion.

Fortunately, many slaves were converted to Catholicism and other forms of Christianity, and many of their decendents are faithful Christians to this day. Praise Jesus!

The Catholic Church has always condemned the practice of animistic religions like voodoo, but no Church has the ability to keep people from borrowing from its traditions.

Oh well,


Paul is correct.

Mommyof2, I think I saw the same documentary you did. The voodoo believers they were talking about associate Catholic Saints with voodoo “gods”.

Also, they use the Blessed Sacrament in some of their rituals. This is, of course, a sacrelige in the eyes of the Church. I am told that many Catholic priests have to be careful in places like New Orleans, where there are many people who practice VooDoo. They will come up in the line for communion to recieve a consecrated host to take from the church to use in their rituals.


:yup: you may of saw the same thing I saw…

The documentary started about how things are in Africa, then moved to Haiti, then moved to New Orleans.

The documentary, talked alot about this one lady in New Orleans too.

I don’t remember the thing about the host, then again I may of miss that part. I remember I didn’t see all of it, do to my children waking up…one of them had a bad dream that night.


Yep. That’s the one.


Thank you folks. My appreciation to you.



Is this what you’re all thinking about?

Santería, also known as Lukumí or Regla de Ocha, is a set of related religious systems that fuse Catholic/Christian beliefs with traditional Yoruba beliefs. In the Yoruba language, Lukumí means “friends” and also applies to descendants of Yorùbá slaves in Cuba, their music and dance, and the cubanized dialect of the Yorùbá language.



Yes, I think Santeria is what the OP is thinking of.

But in Haiti, they say they are 90% Christian and 100% VooDoo. It is very difficult to get people there to dispense entirely with VooDoo, despite the best efforts of the church leaders–not just Catholic, but all Christian leaders there struggle with this. It is really engrained in the animistic culture and no matter how hard they try to overcome it, folks still have a tie to it.

I saw a VooDoo guy (a priest pointed him out to me) in a small town in Haiti. He looked just like everyone else, which sort of disappointed me:rolleyes: He did have a large entourage, though.

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