Friday, October 19, 2012

The Catholic Church is dying and a Native American saint proves it

Sean Ewart

Kateri Tekakwitha has magical powers.

In what is an obvious attempt to pander to the Native America population that is increasingly unimpressed by the mythology of the Catholic Church the Vatican is going to make Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk woman born in what is now New York in 1656, a saint.

Tekakwitha was apparently incredibly devout after her conversion to Christianity when she was a teenager. More importantly, the Church has randomly ascribed to her magical powers. For instance, she supposedly healed a Native American boy in Washington State – the other side of the country.

I know the Lord is supposed to work in mysterious ways, but seriously? 

What’s worse is the circumstance of her life and conversion. Her family was killed during one of those outbreaks of smallpox that killed off an estimated 95% of the native population of the Americas and that nearly always trumpeted the arrival of European Christian missionaries. If everyone in your town suddenly died, it was a fairly good indicator that you were about to hear about Jesus.

Actually, Tekakwitha isn’t the only Catholic “saint” to have come from the mid-1600’s from the Mohawk River Valley in New York.

Three French missionaries were declared saints after their martyrdom at the hands of Tekakwitha’s tribe in the 1640’s. The Mohawks had correctly (albeit for the wrong reasons) believed the missionaries were the cause of those diseases that were killing them off. And so they killed them (not all at once).

Tekakwitha herself, born 10 years after the deaths of the three other saints from the Mohawk River Valley, was also stricken with smallpox and left nearly blind. Her name actually means “she who bumps into things” (because blind people were fair game in the 1600’s. Look it up).

But rejoice! She may have been blind, but she could still hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and she eventually moved to Canada where the general consensus is that she was nice to people. And like everyone who moves to Canada, she slowly gained magical powers that continue to work wonders to this very day.

Now the Catholic Church has canonized both the men who brought smallpox to Tekakwitha’s village and one of the survivors of the mass death that followed in a whirlwind of credulity, arrogance, and spiritual pandering.

This is public relations desperation at its finest.

And if this is the sort of stunt the Catholic Church thinks will help reinvigorate its aging and increasingly uninterested base, the end is (finally) near.

Thank god.

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