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Here be dragons

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 25, 2004

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has gone through some hard times in the past years, including a harrowing crisis in catechesis. That's why I was delighted to learn that it's taken a serious look at its problems and decided that the way forward is careful instruction of children in the doctrine of the Sacrifice of Calvary.

Sorry, wrong church! It's the Pentecostal assemblies that are concerned with the redemption thing. The Archdiocese has gone in for a magic dragon dance routine in the multi-purpose worship space known as Our Lady of the Angels:

The pounding percussion, coupled with the menacing 50-foot dragon, is believed to ward off evil spirits and usher in good fortune in the Chinese New Year, which is today. ...

It will be a first of its kind at the church, which has had festivities for various ethnic communities, said Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the L.A. Archdiocese, who could not recall a church event with a dragon dance.

Tamberg has this much in common with St. Augustine, that Augustine likewise would've been hard pressed to remember a pagan festival in a Christian basilica. Still, we can only applaud the marvelous ecumenical spirit that can engage those of other faith traditions and say: We Think Our Doctrine's a Joke Too!

Think of the boost dragon-centered spirituality will give to the greater Los Angeles area. Hundreds if not thousands of Asian Americans will say, "You know, the Christian account of atonement never made much sense to me. But the pounding percussion and the 50-foot dragon have opened up a new window of spiritual experience. I'm going to phone Father Bill's parole officer at the first opportunity and set up a time to discuss RCIA..."

Mother Angelica was unavailable for comment.

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