"A Catholic diocese in the U.K. is encouraging Catholics visiting pagan shrines to 'bow' to pagan images and to eat food 'blessed' in pagan rituals in the spirit of 'ecumenism' and 'dialogue.'
In its guidelines for visiting pagan shrines (click on Ecumenism & Interfaith), the Catholic Diocese of Hallam run by Bishop Ralph Heskett, encourages Catholics to bring flowers to Buddha, bow to the Hindu murtis (image of the deities), and bow to the Sikh holy book. Catholics are also encouraged to eat the food offered to them that has been 'blessed' in Hindu and Sikh rituals.
Bishop Heskett did not respond to a query by press time. LifeSiteNews asked him how he could justify the advice in light of the First Commandment, which states: 'I am the Lord your God; You shall have no strange gods before Me.'
Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn said the guidelines not only lead Catholics astray, but dishonor the early Christian martyrs.
'The early Christian martyrs refused even a pinch of incense to the pagan demons, suffering terrible tortures and death... In the second book of Maccabees, Eleazar refused to even pretend to eat pork. And now, a Catholic bishop is encouraging the faithful to venerate pagan images, make donations to Buddhist temples, and consume ritually 'blessed' food. It is the responsibility of the clergy to help us maintain and strengthen our relationship with Christ, not to tell us how to engage in idolatry,' he added."
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