28 December 2007

Does This Concern Anyone Else?

On the multimedia page of STLToday, there is a photo of a Catholic Priest conducting a Kwanzaa ceremony on the altar of a Catholic Church. Thanks to Catholic Church Conservation for capturing the above image.

The caption reads as follows: The Rev. George Kintiba, pastor of St. Nicholas Catholic Church performs a ceremony lighting of [sic] the candle marking the first of seven days of Kwanzaa Wednesday at the Church's altar. The first candle represents the first day's principle of Umoja, meaning unity. St. Nicholas will have nightly celebrations of Kwanzaa for all seven days.

The link at STLToday is here, and it is listed as photo 1, but I don't know how soon this page will be revised. You can pause the sideshow for easier viewing.

It is simply unthinkable, whatever one's opinion about the legitimacy of Kwanzaa as a holiday, that a Catholic priest would deign to perform a non-Catholic ceremonial on a Catholic altar. This outrage is compounded by the fact that Kwanzaa has certain spiritual elements attached to it. Notice that St. Nicholas will have celebrations of Kwanzaa all seven nights. St. Nicholas?! The patron saint of this church must be most displeased with the irony.

Thanks to the reader who passed this along.


Latinmassgirl said...

Now that is a sacrilege. Why doesn't he just get out the golden calf?

Anonymous said...

Is this church in the St. Louis area? Not that it matters WHERE it is, it is still wrong just the same!

Gillibrand said...

Just captured the photo and put it on my blog.

All yours!


thetimman said...

Chris, thanks a lot! I am a computer geek in the worst sense of the term. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

thetimman said...

Anon, yes it is in downtown St. Louis.

Dust I Am said...

The founder of Kwanzaa, Ron Karenga, said his goal was to "...give a Black alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society."

Wikipedia also notes that During the early years of Kwanzaa Karenga said that it was meant to be an alternative to Christmas, that "Jesus was psychotic", and that Christianity was a white religion that blacks should shun.[4][5] However, as Kwanzaa gained mainstream adherents, Karenga altered his position so as not to alienate practicing Christians, then stating in the 1997 Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture, "Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday."[6]

Does the priest know this? If he does, he is a priest who is unfaithful to Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

I'm certain that Cronan's cretins would have no problem, whatsoever, with this sort of pagan idolatry. Bah!

Anonymous said...

You don't want to see a Catholic altar used for an activity that is not Church-endorsed. I get that, and I respect that.

But get real. Kwanzaa is NOT pagan idolaltry. It's a celebration of some themes/values that help to make a community strong -- values such as unity, community, love. Those values (and the other values of Kwanzaa that I've celebrated at a friend's ceremony) are not in conflict with Catholicism, no matter what someone may have gleaned from a Wikipedia entry. I very much value the opportunities I've had to participate in a Kwanzaa ceremony. Have you ever been to one? How well do you understand what you claim to dispise?


thetimman said...

Steve, I never said it was pagan idolatry. I simply don't know much about it, other than its ersatz origin and the intent of its founder to make it an alternative to Christmas. My objection was merely as I stated-- it has no place on in a Catholic sanctuary in a ceremony conducted by a Catholic priest. I would not want a hannukah ceremony there, or a civil ceremony, or any non-Catholic ceremony.

I am not saying that those commenters who feel strongly against this recently made up holiday are wrong, merely that I don't have a world of knowledge about it other than what I stated.

Anonymous said...

Your point in mentioning that this is a "recently made up holiday" is, I imagine, to suggest that Kwanzaa lacks legitimacy? Guess what. People in Ireland don't eat much corn beef. Many Irish-Americans do. That's a "made up" tradition. (All traditions were made up by someone at some point.) Sorry. I respect the practices of my friends and neighbors, as long as they are rooted in peace, love, sincerity -- and that's certainly the case with Kwanzaa, at least from the four or five times I've had the opportunity to join in the celebration.