Catholics in Australia were concerned with the many Aborigines there and the possibility that they could find a welcome in the Church. The question that was being asked was: 'What was Mother Church doing to show care for her many Aboriginal children, who treasured their Baptism but did not find a place in her churches and liturgy?' Was the European culture a bit too foreign for them to accept? Pope John Paul II said: "The Church invites you to express the living words of Jesus in ways that speak to your Aboriginal minds and hearts. All over the world people worship God and read his word in their own language, and colour the great signs and symbols of religion with touches of their own traditions. Why should you be different from them in this regard, why should you not be allowed the happiness of being with God and each other in Aboriginal fashion?"
As I tried to point out above, in the past, symbols from pagan religions have been adopted and modified and incoporated into Christian worship. Why should the Aborigines be any different?
Except I've already drawn the distinction (probably now eight times) on this thread between
a) pagan elements that are Christianised by being used by Christians - such as incense; with,
b) pagan elements that are used in Christian churches by non-Christians and/or to perform some non-Christian function
I don't believe in ancestral spirits walking the earth. I don't think that it is a part of Christian worship to believe so. You and others have failed to address this difference in your responses.
I have repeatedly given examples of this; and it's completely ignored; a preference for simple repeating the statements you make.
I am happy to go over this again:
Drinking wine/blood of Christ is Christian. If the priest said "We drink this blood in order to appease Baal" then it would not be Christian despite any superficial similarities between
a) drinking blood
b) drinking blood
When a) is Christian and b) is not Christian
Once your argument moves beyond the superficial, you'd perhaps have a point.
Smoke, incense - it's not all the same because of 'intent'.
I have also demonstrated from a Catholic site one of the statements that can be used to give thanks to the Australian indigenous population.
So far, after three pages of posts people choose to support the Catholic use of this by claiming a) = b) because there are other similarities of a) and b) in the church.
I don't believe Australian Aborigines have an inherent spiritual bond with the land. Certainly it's their belief that they do.
"Aboriginal people learned from their stories that a society must not be human-centred but rather land centred, otherwise they forget their source and purpose.... humans are prone to exploitative behaviour if not constantly reminded they are interconnected with the rest of creation, that they as individuals are only temporal in time, and past and future generations must be included in their perception of their purpose in life."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Aboriginal_mythology
"You and the land are one" is not a Christian concept.
Bending to their beliefs just so they feel included is a bad way of presenting Christianity.