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Weird religious stuff, on the dangerous side

I love weird religious stuff. Tie a bag of herbs around a goat's neck, trekking around the desert throwing stones at a pillar: bring it on. Some religious stuff is weird and creepy, and some is dangerous. Santa Muerte is dangerous, and the Vatican is tired of it.

The Mexican offensive against Santa Muerte (Saint Death) launched by former president, Felipe Calderon, has now gone global. In an interview last week with a Peruvian Catholic news site (Aciprensa), the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, condemned the cult of the skeleton saint as "sinister and infernal." The Italian prelate, whom Vatican watcher John Allen recently called "the most interesting man in the Church" and even profiled as a candidate for the papacy, called for both Church and society to mobilize against devotion to Saint Death. 


"Everyone is needed to put the brakes on this phenomenon, including families, churches and society in its totality." The cardinal explained that devotion to Santa Muerte "is the celebration of devastation and of hell." The influential member of the Curia will take his message directly to Mexicans during his visit there next month to lead his pet project, the "Courtyard of the Gentiles," a Vatican program designed to engage with and evangelize non-believers.

Santa Muerte is tied very heavily to the drug cartels, and is disguised as just another saint in the communion of saints. It's not; it's sinister.  Pray the Vatican and the people of Mexico are successful in ridding the country of this false belief.

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