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Arwen

Catholicism is a cult!

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Arwen

The catholic Church is, I believe, one of the the oldest and most successful cults on the planet. You don't have to go too far back to discover classic cult features, lies, deception and unnatural beliefs. What do others think? 

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Veggie dancer

Well it's a religion. Is a cult not just a religion after all? I was brought up catholic and while I'm not a fan. I don't think that the Catholic Church is any where near as forceful as some more evangelical churches. Most people at the church were quite ordinary. Most picked and chose the bits they wanted to believe or take part in. A lot of people just go at Christmas and easter and there aren't any consequences or anything sinister like that if people did that. 

OMG - I sound like I'm sticking up for it. I didn't like my catholic upbringing much but I sill wouldn't go as far to say I was brought up in a cult.

what I'd it that's got you riled up? Bad experience? 

 

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Moonsmith

Hi Arwen [Evenstar?]

No, I don't think of it as a cult within my understanding of the word but the OED doesn't make discriminating  between cult and religion easy 🙂  By their definition a number of Pagan paths could be cults.  It is no different from other major religions as far as doctrine is concerned.  All large organisations have their egos and power centres.  Of course where they act illegally they no longer have privilege.

Like Veggie, I sense pain in your post.  It is not uncommon for Pagans to resent their former Christian experiences.  My experiences of Anglicanism were more fortunate and I can see a lot of good in formal religion for those willing members  who make up its congregations. 

I still find myself criticising or bewailing decisions taken by Canterbury but then I just remind myself that I have chosen not to be a member of that organisation.  We Pagans are true heretics, free to choose our thinking.  Others have chosen differently.

Edited by Moonsmith

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Freydis

There are so many different manifestations of the Catholic Church I think that it's difficult to say.  Some of the sub-sections may have cult like tendencies, but never having been Catholic (or Christian) I'd find it difficult to say.  On the whole I don't get the impression that it's any more of a cult than most other religions.

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Ellinas

If you want a depressingly condemnatory view on Christianity, it whatever form, as a "cult", take a look at the ex-Christian.net fora.

I have difficulty, however, with the term "cult" as I find it impossible to define in any meaningful and consistent sense beyond saying that any belief system relating to a deity is the "cult" of that deity.

I tend rather to regard with suspicion any form of organised religion.  The degree may differ wildly, but such systems inevitably tend to bring pressure to conformity in belief, in behaviour and in attitude to secular matters.

I left that behind.  I have no intention of putting up with it again - whatever banner it may wave.

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DavidMcCann

The trouble with the word "cult" is that you have two completely different uses: the traditional one, as in "the cult of Mithras" and the one launched by sociologists, meaning an abusive and controlling religion or pseudo-religion. The classic checklist for diagnosing cults is this

cult checklist

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Badger Bob

There are groups within Catholicism which are somewhat cult like such as Opus Dei and The Society of St Pius X. On the whole though I don't think the Catholic Church is allowed to act like a cult apart from in the more conservative areas, society just doesn't give it absolute authority any more.

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Ulfr

I think many misunderstand the true beginning the times that even today it's hard to fathom the capabilities of pre named followings why pagan is a universal name for not a follower of culture culling our whole history is about adventure conquests knowledge riches and control the one thing we was given I.e free will was a paradox for the soul as everyman or womens intent is to prove there will is strong by controlling and dominating weaker willed people hence in both religions of major influence in our proposed history first it was Darius and Alexander genghis Khan hannibal all human so could be conquered but make a God to follower and a mirage of God intentions you can control a while planet like a farm and everything our souls are longing for is apparently destroyed and forgotten but it took a global culture following to alter words of memory a d rightthe words to promote and sell there product by using the masses in wars to control population by making them believe there mortal lives were nothing but as pagans we feel observed and realised it's the hard work of living that makes you live after why we so curious about the past heroes because there accomplishes lived on so there souls live live free live forever 

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Earthdragon

A cult tends to orientate it's beliefs and activities around the personality of an individual, in this case Jesus Christ. The priests are the earthly special intermediaries between believers and the divine, angels are the heavenly intermediaries. In the end it is the message of a single individual and the revelations revealed by that individual that the whole system orientates around and that , to my mind, classifies it as a cult. 

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Reverend Nick

Simply labelling the Catholic Church a cult isn't going to change any of the misdomeanors they have misdomeaned in the past or continue to do in the present.  Large numbers of people are not going say:   Do you know, I never looked at it in that way before. I shall leave at once.   The opposite may well be true - rather than admit they have allowed themselves to be misled over this issue or that - people may well show more solidarity. To some extent this is human nature. 

I am neither for nor against the Catholic Church - my only connection is that I am partial to their religious music - settings of the mass in particular.

Perhaps the word cult might be more accurately used in reference to modern corporate businesses. Richard Branson fits the bill for a cult (or a similar sounding word)  figure-head. Whilst it is not a crime for us to suggest he is an attention craving sociapath - It is quite likely this view would lead to your dismal from the Virgin corporation, were you an employee of theirs.  It is not too unreasonable for any employer to ask you to fly the flag to a certain extent - the conditions of a cult kick in when any kind of criticism, direct or implied, leads to draconian counter-measures. Added to this is the ownership of you - you must be available for telephone or e mail contact at any hour of the day whether on leave or not. You must dress how they want you to dress. You must be willing to relocate to wherever they want you to work, regardless of any roots you may have put down in your locality. The only noticable difference from the standard view of a cult is that they give you a salary whereas relgious cults tend to take your money away from you - but in terms of your power and self-autonomy the two are remarkably similar.

 

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