What's the Deal With Syncretic Religions


So I was killing time just looking up silly stuff on Google when I found this. Basically there’s something called Santeria in the Caribbean and it is a syncretic religion, syncretic meaning it blends two faiths together. Basically it combines pagan and Catholic ideas and requires a Catholic baptism. Here’s the Wikipedia article for more info. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santería

Now here’s the thing that confuses me: obviously since half of their religion is a false faith, and the other half the One True Faith, why haven’t any bishops tried to stop the pagan aspects of this faith? Also, how could a faith with contradictory views even exist?

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What are the bishops supposed to do about it?
It’s already heresy to mix-and-match religions. Some people have tried to combine Buddhism with Catholic and that’s not possible, either.
So, other than explaining why this is invalid, the bishops don’t actually have the power to stop another religion.



How do you propose they do that?



At the very least they could make a statement if the adherents go to Mass. Have the priests discourage such behavior



The African slave trade lies at the root of the origin of santeria, which exists under various names in several Latin American countries. The Yoruba, a people from the country that is now Nigeria, brought their religion with them when they were shipped as slaves to North and South America. In the Catholic countries slaves were generally baptized and expected to practice the Catholic faith, but in the case of the Yoruba, rather than having their ancestral religion wiped out, they managed to keep it going by picking out certain Catholic saints which they proceeded to identify with their own deities. Nowadays the resulting syncretic religion has come to be regarded as being entitled to the same respect and protection as other faiths. Just as a bishop in Caracas or Rio de Janeiro doesn’t have the authority to go around closing mosques and synagogues, so too there’s not much, if anything, he can do about the santeria places of worship.

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These people dont seem to be Catholic even if they do go through Catholic baptism. I havent read the Wikipedia article yet, but I don’t believe our bishops have any right to exercise their authority over these people since despite adhering to certain Catholic beliefs they are not really within the Church. The Mandeans of Iraq also perform Catholic baptisms but that doesnt mean they are a practicing part of the Church.
Pax Christi.



This is nothing new. Docetism and Gnosticism are examples of early Church syncretic religious systems which used the imagery of Christ in their theology.



Precisely. CCC44 - Man is by nature and vocation a religious being. The ego has its preferences and free will decides the application of those preferences. As Professor Peter Kreeft says, “We cannot avoid reasoning. We can only avoid reasoning poorly.”

Some reason well, others reason poorly.

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