Neo-Pagans will worship at my base chapel!

I am a member of the Catholic Church at an Air Force Base Chapel. The chapel is a building shared with Protestants. Jewish and Muslim worship is also held there, though not regularly for the two, because of lack of participation. It is designed so that all the “Catholic stuff” such as holy water fonts, a crucifix etc fold into the walls. They have a Blessed Sacrament Chapel in a lockable room which also has a Baptismal font. I have never witnessed any litugical abuse or felt anything was distasteful about the Mass held on base. My husband and I feel called to support the Catholic presence at our Base, and enjoy worshiping with our military community. One of the wonderful benefits is the opportunity for joint efforts between the various religions! We often work together to have fund raisers, carnivals etc.

I actually now have, what I feel, are valid concerns. I just read in the base paper that the “Neo-Pagan earth-based faith group will meet Aug 28 at 7:00 PM in chapel two”… where we go to Mass! I find this disturbing! I have no problem sharing my worship space at the base chapel with Protestants, Jews and Muslims, although I may disagree with their theology, we are at least all worshiping God, and we respect one another.

I find it disturbing and sacreligious that we will now be sharing space with pagans who will be worshiping gods and goddess and nature and whatever… I am sure that some of them are witches because I have met a few women who are in this group and practice witchcraft, they are in a coven together. I am floored. I believe in freedom of religion,even on a military base, but I feel strongly that our base chapel should be reserved for God. It would be like an Early Christian going into a Roman temple and using the altar for the Eucharist…Or going to a place of witchcraft and asking the witches and warlocks if we can join for Mass there…** I feel it lowers the status of God in the minds of the military base,For Him to be worshiped in a place were false gods and goddesses and, who knows what else, is worshiped-…**They have been meeting in another location until now and the use of the chapel is a breakthrough for them because they want the accepted status of their religion, they really don’t NEED the space, they are making a statement. They have the freedom to meet at other locations. I don’t want to leave my parish, especially at a time like this! I am venting to people who will understand my concern, but I also want some advice. I will leave my parish if I must. I would be backing out of commitments.

It would be like an Early Christian going into a Roman temple and using the altar for the Eucharist.

It should be noted that many temples were converted into Churches by the early Christians. Most notably, the Pantheon in Rome.

My own opinion regarding your situation would be that a military base provides a place of worship for the free practice of religion. My own distaste (to put it mildly) for paganism aside, they have the right to practice their religion the same as anyone else. Since the chapel appears to be incredibly ecumenical, accomodating many religions in the most inoffensive way possible (such as the hiding of statues for those who do not believe in them), it would not be right to suddenly say “well, since I know your gods don’t even exist, you can’t use our chapel”, as the pagans could say exactly the same thing to Christians.

The one concern that I would have is the presence of the Eucharist. If there is a tabernacle in the chapel, I would be very disturbed if pagans used the facility for worship. The Eucharist should not be present while such things are going on. I would speak to your chaplain about this to make sure that Christ is properly revered, and removed from the chapel if necessary.

I was in the service myself. They are sort of stuck. The chapel has to be open to any recognized faith. So there isn’t much you can do. I echo the concern about the Blessed Sacrament. But consider that the lingering effects of the Mass might influence the pagans. Also you might say the St. Michael prayer at the end of every Mass as they did in the old days.

As long as the Eucharist is protected, this is government property and there can be no discrimination of a religious group. In my opinion, stay - this base needs the faithful Catholics who are there. Pray, and I agree that the effect on the Pagans might be suprising!

After I graduated university, since I lived near the campus, I continued to assist the chaplain there. We got a new one, and a very good one, who aggressively set out to establish a liturgical Catholic presence in that very secular (at times, profane) place. All we had was a small multi-purpose theatre hall to use, and it was put to many uses.

There weren’t many of us at the first Easter Vigil. (That changed by the next year, BTW) I commented to Fr.Michael about the small number, and he very quickly told me that didn’t matter, because we had been a Catholic presence in a place that badly needed it.

Here, perhaps, is your chance to ensure that your air base maintains the same presence. :slight_smile:

Blessings,

Gerry

PS: I’m an Air Force “brat”, and navigated C-130’s for 8 years myself.

What does a neo-pagan worship?

Just because Pagans choose to worship the creator(s) of life in the form of a god and goddess does not make them wrong. It is just the way they choose to worship. You have no right to say that they are wrong, just as they would have no right to say that you are wrong for believing in only one, male god. Personally, I believe that all religions are worshiping the same creator/force/whatever, but the religion that they choose is just their preferred way of worshipping. All paths lead to the same destination. If more people had this way of thinking, i really think the world would be a better place.

And although it is true that Muslims worship God in the same form as you, many of them pray to God to rid the world of Christianity and Americans (and I said many, not all).

As for the “witches” you are so afraid of. Witchcraft in itself is not evil. People can use it for evil, but not many do. It’s the same with guns. Guns in themselves aren’t wrong or evil, but some people choose to use them for that purpose. And although I can’t speak for all Pagans as I have not studied all forms, if any of those witches are Wiccan, they are not allowed to cause harmful or manipulative spells. And not all Pagans and Wiccans practice witchcraft, some do ,some don’t…it’s not a requirement. And a “spell” is just essentially a prayer, only sometimes with ritual added. A Wiccan might light a candle as part of their spell/prayer, for example, to help heal a loved one. Last time I checked, Christians do the same thing.

I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school for 4 years, and went to Church most of my life. I think it is a good religion with good prinicples, I just didn’t agree with everything. Part of it may have been that every time I disagreed with my mother about something, I was “sinning”. That wasn’t the whole of it, but it played an influence. I still respect the Catholic religion, and other religions in general, but currently I am studying Wicca, and it teaches the same good qualities that most religions do. One thing that did appeal to me is that it is a lot more tolerant of others’ beliefs. Of course there are going to be some people that think every other religion is wrong, but you find that in any belief system.

Honestly, you have nothing to worry about from the Pagans. They are just trying to express their faith, just as you are. I personally feel that the Eucharist will be fine, but if it bothers you that much, ask to have it removed. I think if you really tried to get to know some of these people, and genuinely tried to understand their beliefs, you would find they are not much different from anyone else.

Buffalo,
The neo-pagan movement is not a monolithic organization so one answer to your question is not easily available. Neo-pagans range from wiccans, to those who worship the gods of Norse, Greek, Roman, Egyptian mythology, to those who believe in fairies and their ability to do work such as the people who reside at Findhorn in Scotland who attribute their huge vegetables to their influence. Pray for these people as many of them are former Catholics who were never properly catechized. Many of them are sincerely :confused:

[quote=trippinprincezz] All paths lead to the same destination.

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[/quote]

All roads lead to the top of the mountain. But to get to heaven you must go through Christ. I once seen a drawing about this. It showed all roads leading to the top of the mountain. Hovering above the mountain was a helicopter with God in it. A rope ladder was hanging out of the helicopter down to the top of the mountain.

Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” [John 14:6]

11 If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him? 12 All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them. For this is the law and the prophets. 13 Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. 14 How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! 15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

23 And a certain man said to him: Lord, are they few that are saved? But he said to them: 24 Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able.

Please, if you are going to pray for me, pray that I lead a happy, healthy life. Don’t pray that I “see the truth” or that I don’t go to “hell”. Honestly, the more you try to shove something down someone’s throats, the more they will probably dislike you for it. Look at how many people dislike Jehovah’s Witnesses because of their going door to door trying to shove their beliefs down your throat?

How about instead of converting you try understanding, and maybe even accepting? And yes, I am a former Catholic, but I was properly taught and raised in the belief system, so I’m not uninformed or confused. A lot of Pagans I’ve talked to that know the Bible as well or better than many Christians. So they aren’t confused, they just choose to hold different beliefs.

[quote=trippinprincezz]Please, if you are going to pray for me, pray that I lead a happy, healthy life. Don’t pray that I “see the truth” or that I don’t go to “hell”. Honestly, the more you try to shove something down someone’s throats, the more they will probably dislike you for it. Look at how many people dislike Jehovah’s Witnesses because of their going door to door trying to shove their beliefs down your throat?

How about instead of converting you try understanding, and maybe even accepting? And yes, I am a former Catholic, but I was properly taught and raised in the belief system, so I’m not uninformed or confused. A lot of Pagans I’ve talked to that know the Bible as well or better than many Christians. So they aren’t confused, they just choose to hold different beliefs.
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I suppose that if you’re right, and all religions really are the same, then I’ve got nothing to worry about. I’ll keep on being Catholic, and I’ll end up in the same place as you. But what if we’re right? And there is objective truth? I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for on this board (truth, knowledge, understanding, etc). But what you won’t find much of is intolerance. As Catholics we respect other religions, but that does not prevent us from holding firm to what we believe is the truth.

Oh, and try not to let people who pray for you bug you too much–it’s part of our faith. You can respect that, can’t you?

[quote=trippinprincezz]Please, if you are going to pray for me, pray that I lead a happy, healthy life. Don’t pray that I “see the truth” or that I don’t go to “hell”. Honestly, the more you try to shove something down someone’s throats, the more they will probably dislike you for it. Look at how many people dislike Jehovah’s Witnesses because of their going door to door trying to shove their beliefs down your throat?

How about instead of converting you try understanding, and maybe even accepting? And yes, I am a former Catholic, but I was properly taught and raised in the belief system, so I’m not uninformed or confused. A lot of Pagans I’ve talked to that know the Bible as well or better than many Christians. So they aren’t confused, they just choose to hold different beliefs.
[/quote]

It’s especially hard for a Catholic to see another Catholic turn their back on Catholicism. You are like a lost sheep to us and we will celebrate if you are found. It is hard to understand the reasons you did so. Please share why you abandoned Catholicism.

[quote=buffalo]I once seen a drawing about this. It showed all roads leading to the top of the mountain. Hovering above the mountain was a helicopter with God in it. A rope ladder was hanging out of the helicopter down to the top of the mountain.

Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” [John 14:6]

23 And a certain man said to him: Lord, are they few that are saved? But he said to them: 24 Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able.
[/quote]

I’m sure that was a very nice drawing, but it still does not discredit what I said. I think it just proves it since I said that we are all worshipping the same force, just in different forms. So your drawing still shows everyone going to the same place, it just happened to depict your form of god inside the helicopter.

Your quote from John 14:6, is a fine quote, but is appropriate, but it suits your beliefs not, everyone’s. Men wrote the Bible, not God. It was put into writing long after many of the events described took place, so things could have been twisted around. Jesus might have really said that, but he was still promoting his beliefs.

As for the few being saved. 33% of the world is Christian adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html, so I guess that means you think the other 67% are not being saved or are going to “hell”. Personally, even when I was still a practicing Catholic, I did not believe in Hell. All my life I was taught that God loves everyone unconditionally. I don’t believe that an all-loving god would send the ones he loves to a place of eternal suffering. As I said in another thread, I don’t believe in purgatory either, but that concept makes a little more sense to me. Maybe “god” wants to punish us for the bad things we did, but purgatory is only temporary, not forever. So god loves everyone, but is only going to “save” 33% of us? Sounds very contradictory to me - obviously just trying to scare people into following their faith.

I’m sorry if you misunderstood me. It doesn’t bother me if anyone prays for me, in fact I appreciate and respect that. All I meant is as long as it is for the right reasons. If I don’t believe in hell, then please don’t pray for me that I won’t go to someplace I don’t believe exists. Pray I lead a happy life and make the right choices in all aspects of my life.

Respect my beliefs and I will respect yours.

And I do have to say, that you do sounds like a reasonably tolerant person, and I appreciate that as well. You hold every right to disagree with what I believe in, and I have no problem with it. I just don’t appreciate the people that say that I am wrong and will go to hell unless I convert back to Christianity (as I have seen some people on this board with that attitude). And hey, maybe you are right and I’m wrong, or maybe I’m right, but I say lets not assume anything until that time comes.:slight_smile: But once again, I appreciate the fact that you do sound like a reasonable person.

Someone has said to Pray"the Saint Michael’s Prayer" at the end of Mass.

In Churches here in Texas, during the benidiction, that prayer was always said. Was, because now I seldom hear it.

"Holy Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray…

This is a powerful prayer, for our adversary the devil, knows that St. Michael once called to battle with him- will win. The devil wants no part of St. Michael!!!

[quote=trippinprincezz]I’m sure that was a very nice drawing, but it still does not discredit what I said. I think it just proves it since I said that we are all worshipping the same force, just in different forms. So your drawing still shows everyone going to the same place, it just happened to depict your form of god inside the helicopter.

Your quote from John 14:6, is a fine quote, but is appropriate, but it suits your beliefs not, everyone’s. Men wrote the Bible, not God. It was put into writing long after many of the events described took place, so things could have been twisted around. Jesus might have really said that, but he was still promoting his beliefs.

[/quote]

Uhhh no. The point of the cartoon is the ladder. The ladder represents Christ.

Just about every credible Bible scholar knows that the 4 Gospels were written before 72AD. There were still many eyewitnesses alive at that time. The Catholic church does not believe in the Bible alone. Sacred Tradition, the Bible and the Church’s Teaching Authority make up our beliefs.

Now, Jesus proclaimed He was the Son of God. Was he lying?

[quote=**trippinprincezz
[/quote]

]I’m sorry if you misunderstood me. It doesn’t bother me if anyone prays for me, in fact I appreciate and respect that. All I meant is as long as it is for the right reasons. If I don’t believe in hell, then please don’t pray for me that I won’t go to someplace I don’t believe exists. Pray I lead a happy life and make the right choices in all aspects of my life.

Respect my beliefs and I will respect yours.

I read that you, trippinprincezz, said that as a child you didn’t believe there was a hell. To be perfectly logical then you have to believe that there is no heaven!

How can a house have an inside and NOT have an outside. That is impossible! How can there be “good” and yet there can be NO BAD? Impossible!

RESPECT. a reguard for or appreciation of the fundamental worth or value of someone or something: respect for life. 2) regocnittion of superiorty as in a force or wisdom; awesome reguard.

You are posting on a Catholic board. Are you asking for Catholics to respect, to recognise the worth of one who seems to not have a good grounding in the basic truths set forth by the Church? Are you PROMOTING YOU HERECIES HERE?For that matter, even the Fundamentalists such as the Assembblies of God and the church of Christs believe there is a heaven and a hell.

I of course don’t know how old you are, but you sound like a fairly young person who still has time to find the truth. Is God JUST? If He is he can’t lie. Yes He forgives (1Jn1:8-9). But just because you were forgiven doesn’t mean that YOU DONT HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR SINS.

If you are a Christian, ask the Holy Spirit for answers.

[quote=buffalo]It’s especially hard for a Catholic to see another Catholic turn their back on Catholicism. You are like a lost sheep to us and we will celebrate if you are found. It is hard to understand the reasons you did so. Please share why you abandoned Catholicism.
[/quote]

Know what, I just typed up a whole thing, went to submit it and got HTTP page not found yay computers. I’ll try to retype it later, but I’m at work right now too, so I can’t do the whole thing over/

[quote=Exporter]I read that you, trippinprincezz, said that as a child you didn’t believe there was a hell. To be perfectly logical then you have to believe that there is no heaven!
[/quote]

I didn’t necessarily say I believe in the same heaven you believe in. But, I don’t see why there can’t be a heaven without a hell. If god really loves everyone as I was taught in Church and Catholic school, then I’d think he’d want all his loved one’s with him, not to punish them eternally. There doesn’t need to be an outside if everyone is in. Or, Earth can be outside, and when you die you go inside heaven, paradise, or whatever other name can be used for it.

[quote=Exporter]How can a house have an inside and NOT have an outside. That is impossible! How can there be “good” and yet there can be NO BAD? Impossible!
[/quote]

I didn’t say there was no bad. I don’t believe in a being that is the embodiment of evil. People do bad things, but do it on their own free will that their creator gave them.

[quote=Exporter]You are posting on a Catholic board. Are you asking for Catholics to respect, to recognise the worth of one who seems to not have a good grounding in the basic truths set forth by the Church? Are you PROMOTING YOU HERECIES HERE?
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Yes I am posting on a Catholic board in a section that says Non-Catholic Religions. If they don’t want me posting here, get rid of that section. I also post on Wiccan boards (run by a Catholic, mind you), and almost all of the Christians and other non-Wiccans have been very respectful of everyone else’s beliefs. I didn’t ask you to believe what I do, I am asking you to respect my right to believe in what I want, and if anything, respect me as a fellow human being. I’m am not promoting anything here, and definately not heresies (with an ‘s’, not ‘c’). I am stating my beliefs which are not heresies to me. I could just as easily call your beliefs heresies compared to mine, but I don’t because I have respect for other people’s beliefs.

[quote=Exporter]For that matter, even the Fundamentalists such as the Assembblies of God and the church of Christs believe there is a heaven and a hell.
[/quote]

Good for them. I don’t belong to either of those organizations.

[quote=Exporter]I of course don’t know how old you are, but you sound like a fairly young person who still has time to find the truth. Is God JUST? If He is he can’t lie. Yes He forgives (1Jn1:8-9). But just because you were forgiven doesn’t mean that YOU DONT HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR SINS.
[/quote]

I’m 19 years old, so I am old enough to know what I am talking about. I still believe all paths lead to the same place, so yes maybe I will find truth - perhaps in Wicca. I never said God was unjust or a liar, which is why I find it hard to believe that he would send those he loves to suffer eternally. As for paying for one’s sins, that’s why I said the concept of purgatory makes more sense than hell. You ‘pay’ for your sins and then you’re done. No-one is that bad that they need to suffer eternally. But I believe that any sins I commit will come back to haunt me in this lifetime (karma), so that I don’t need to suffer in the afterlife.

[quote=Exporter]If you are a Christian, ask the Holy Spirit for answers.
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I was Christian. I’m not anymore. I don’t completely consider myself Wiccan either, but that is what I am studying. I can ask the god and goddess for guidance.

And I’ll pray for you that you can learn to be more tolerant of others .:slight_smile:

God is perfect. He is all loving. He is also perfectly just. Most people forget this or aren’t taught it.

SInce He is perfectly just he will judge us perfectly. He doesn’t send us to hell. By turning your back on Him you choose hell. He gives us the free will to make that choice. Now why would you think that by turning yur back on Him he would ask you to spend eternity with him? (heaven)

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