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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  • Posted by: - Jan. 30, 2004 2:58 AM ET USA

    Is there a special venue or process by which a simple-minded layman can complain of the evident heresy embraced by a prince of the Church? Is the dreaded "h" word off limits until some competent authority has made such a judgment? Until it is made official, I can only use the criteria that Jesus Christ gave us ... judge the tree by its fruit. The Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles produces bitter fruit indeed.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 27, 2004 4:04 PM ET USA

    I had a similar thought. Why doesn't Cardinal Mahony call in a contingent of wiccan priestesses to smudge the cathedral to get rid of the negative energy. Then they could rename the cathedral the Cathedral of the Fallen Angels.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jan. 26, 2004 1:00 AM ET USA

    Maybe His Eminence, Cardinal Mahony, God forgive him, is telling us more about his passion for dragons than his passion for the Eucharist (having recently mandated that LA parishioners stand after Holy Communion, a mandate that shows no unity with the new GIRM, the Church nor his brother bishops in the US)... you know, that part in Revelation chapter 12 with the huge red dragon trying to attack Mary and the Infant Jesus... Let us pray: "Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle..."

  • Posted by: - Jan. 25, 2004 9:38 PM ET USA

    Now I understand why the Rog Mahal is so ugly: it was built on Feng Shui principles!

  • Posted by: - Jan. 25, 2004 2:32 PM ET USA

    Frank Sheed wrote: "Sanity, remember, does not mean living in the same world as everyone else; it means living in the real world. But some of the most important elements in the real world can be know only by revelation of God,..." These people are so out of touch with reality. It's called insanity. Like Bishop Bruskewitz, the truly sane are often in the minority.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jan. 25, 2004 1:03 PM ET USA

    You keep amazing me, Diogenes. Why don't they just invite the local "wicca" practitioners and be done with it...?