Author Topic: Was I right?  (Read 499 times)

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Anonymous

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Was I right?
« on: January 24, 2020, 05:42:46 PM »
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  • My son went to a party with his girlfriend a few days ago. He brought home a beautiful, delicious looking whole roasted chicken that was left over from the event. I told him that it was nice of them to send it to us, but since it was Fri we would wait til the next day to have it. He laughed and said that it was an "offering to the ancestors" for Chinese New Years. I blanched. I thought he was joking as he is apt to do. So I asked his girlfriend if this was true. She said yes, the friend's wife was Cambodian and there is a traditional ritual of making an offering to her ancestors on that day. I explained to her that while I appreciated the gesture,  Catholics wouldn't eat offerings made to false gods, and that not only would we not eat it, that it needed to leave our house. Now it seems my son thinks I am being ridiculous, wasteful, and ungrateful; and is mad that I embarrassed him by telling his girlfriend those things. I reminded him of martyrs who refused to eat such offerings, he just rolled his eyes. Was I in the right?

    Offline MaterDominici

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 05:47:53 PM »
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  • My understanding of offerings must be lacking ... how is it an offering if they eat it themselves?  :confused:
    "I think that Catholicism, that's as sane as people can get."  - Jordan Peterson


    Offline Nadir

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 05:49:18 PM »
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  • The question is: are the ancestors gods?
    And if it's an offering to the ancestors then it's not the livings' to give away or his to accept.

    Anonymous

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 05:52:34 PM »
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  • St. Paul taught it was OK if no scandal is given.  But that was back in the day when food was difficult to come by.  I wouldn't touch the thing myself with a ten-foot pole out of contempt for it.

    Now, a more pertinent question, should your son have been going out alone with a girlfriend to a party.  That would depend on their ages and whether or not the son is in a position to be married in the near future, etc.

    And the fact that your son thinks it's ridiculous, unfortunately it's a sign that he's contaminated with worldiness.  Even if he didn't agree, the fact that he considers this "ridiculous" means that he is of little faith.  Sounds like both your son and the girlfriend are worldlings.


    Anonymous

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 05:54:14 PM »
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  • My understanding of offerings must be lacking ... how is it an offering if they eat it themselves?  :confused:

    It's a ritual offering (not the OP here) ... a symbolic gesture.  I believe that it's possible for such a ritual to invite demonic influences.


    Anonymous

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #5 on: January 24, 2020, 05:56:49 PM »
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  • See 1 Corinthians 8 through 10 for Paul's guidance. See also Acts 10, esp. 9–23, for Peter's vision.

    If the food is to be eaten at home, there is no chance that scandal would be given. So tuck in.

    Offline claudel

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #6 on: January 24, 2020, 05:59:31 PM »
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  • And the fact that your son thinks it's ridiculous, unfortunately it's a sign that he's contaminated with worldiness.  Even if he didn't agree, the fact that he considers this "ridiculous" means that he is of little faith.  Sounds like both your son and the girlfriend are worldlings.

    It must be great to be able to read minds, especially at such a distance!

    Anonymous

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #7 on: January 24, 2020, 08:47:57 PM »
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  •   I probably would have trashed the chicken later without saying anything to the girlfriend but it's your house and your rules. Your son was probably embarrassed but hopefully he'll come around.


    Anonymous

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #8 on: January 25, 2020, 05:05:23 AM »
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  • Isn't such an offering a form of pagan worship, where the ancestors are asked to provide help and blessings to the family for the coming year?

    Anonymous

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #9 on: January 25, 2020, 05:12:34 AM »
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  • He laughed and said that it was an "offering to the ancestors" for Chinese New Years. I blanched. I thought he was joking as he is apt to do. So I asked his girlfriend if this was true. She said yes, the friend's wife was Cambodian and there is a traditional ritual of making an offering to her ancestors on that day.
    And that's just another reason why we avoid having non-trad friends these days.

    Offline Jaynek

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #10 on: January 25, 2020, 06:29:21 AM »
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  • Historically, there has been controversy in the Church about how to see the traditional Chinese rites to honour ancestors.  Here is an account from an SSPX perspective:
    https://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Catholic_History/For-The-Missions-Of-Asia-6.htm


    Quote
    The unqualified welcome extended to Chinese thought and practices during the XVIIIth century was not, however, endorsed by the theologians of Europe.  While the missionaries at the court of K’ang Hsi were exerting greater influence than ever before, while the number of Chinese converts reached a total of 300,000, a further aspect of Ricci’s programme had aroused bitter controversy.

    Ricci had used tact and gentleness when dealing with Oriental ways of thought, realising with profound sympathy, the difficulties which faced a Chinese confronted with a strange religion.  He had laid down that the mysteries of faith must be gradually unfold, otherwise irreparable shock and damage would be done to Chinese sensibility and natural pride.  Afterwards, when grace had worked its miracle, the heights and depth of faith could be revealed.  Moreover, after life-long study of Chinese practices he had decided that just as slavery had been tolerated in early Christian centuries until the time should be ripe for its abolition, converts might fulfill their two traditional duties, the veneration of Confucius and the dead members of their families.
    As the China mission grew, Franciscans and Dominicans entered the country.  Their approach to evangelisation was rather different than the Jesuits.  When the Mendicants discovered that converts made by the Jesuits were allowed to honour Confucius and the tablets of the dead, they protested that a tainted form of Christianity had been introduced to China.  The Mendicants forbade their converts such concessions and complained to Rome, branding Jesuits methods of adaptation as protective mimicry.  Theologians of the Society rallied to the support of their missionaries.  For more than seventy years the controversy raged while Rome, seeing in the problem one of the most difficult and far-reaching that had ever faced the Church, delayed her decision.
    Both parties accumulated evidence.  The Jesuits obtained from K’ang Hsi a written document which they believed would prove decisive.  In it the Emperor stated "Honours are paid to Confucius, not as a petition for favours, intelligence or high office but as to a Master, because of the magnificent moral teaching which he has left to posterity.  As for the ceremony in honour of dead ancestors, it originates in the desire to show filial piety.  This ceremony contains no request for help.  It is practiced only to show filial respect to the dead.  Souls of ancestors are not held to reside in the tablets; these are only symbols which serve to express gratitude and keep the dead in memory, as though they were actually present."
    On their side, the Mendicants maintained that, despite all appeals to authority and tradition, in actual fact such honours as practiced by the majority of Chinese, were tainted with superstition.  Confucius they protested, was venerated not merely as a teacher, but as the highest of saints, a superhuman being, while most Chinese held that the souls of their ancestors were actually present in the tablets and feasted on the food offered to them.
    It must be said that while they opposed themselves so vividly, not one of the missionaries ever thought to establish a kind of syncretism between the pagan religions and Christianity, such, unfortunately, as is being done after Vatican II, in the name of ecumenism.  However there were some practices not specifically religious which need to be studied in reference to the value given to them concretely in the society which practices them.
    Missionaries were divided in the question of rites and beyond these in the difference of approaches: the tabula rasa (clean slate) method or the method of a certain adaptation.  Such a controversy could not be solved at the mission.  Rome at to intervene.  She did so the Roman way i.e. slowly and prudently.  Pope Benedict XIV (1741 - 1758) ended the dispute in two documents of 1742 and 1744, maintaining previous censures and reminding missionaries that their role was less to adapt at all cost than to convert.  In order for the situation to be totally clarified, it took a lot of time, the time for the popular mind to desacralize all of these rites.  This is precisely what was declared in the pontifical instruction of December 8, 1939.

    Obviously taking either side of this debate is reasonable or it would not have been such a matter of controversy.  The earlier Church decrees forbade Catholics from participating in rituals of ancestor worship and deemed them heathen superstition.  The instruction of 1939 treated them as secular customs that were permissible for Catholics.

    Here is a Wikipedia article on the subject with further details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Rites_controversy


    Anonymous

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #11 on: January 25, 2020, 09:07:49 AM »
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  • Could there be a cultural miscommunication?  Is it a meal “offered” to the dead or “in memory” of the departed loved one?

    We “offer up a meal” in honor of my mom who passed away sometime ago.  What we are actually doing is just getting together to remember our loved one...no harm, no foul.

    Anonymous

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #12 on: January 26, 2020, 01:46:10 PM »
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  • My son went to a party with his girlfriend a few days ago. He brought home a beautiful, delicious looking whole roasted chicken that was left over from the event. I told him that it was nice of them to send it to us, but since it was Fri we would wait til the next day to have it. He laughed and said that it was an "offering to the ancestors" for Chinese New Years. I blanched. I thought he was joking as he is apt to do. So I asked his girlfriend if this was true. She said yes, the friend's wife was Cambodian and there is a traditional ritual of making an offering to her ancestors on that day. I explained to her that while I appreciated the gesture,  Catholics wouldn't eat offerings made to false gods, and that not only would we not eat it, that it needed to leave our house. Now it seems my son thinks I am being ridiculous, wasteful, and ungrateful; and is mad that I embarrassed him by telling his girlfriend those things. I reminded him of martyrs who refused to eat such offerings, he just rolled his eyes. Was I in the right?
    Do you eat meat from the store?  Most of that is kosher, i.e. blessed by a rabbi.  Do you eat anything halal, i.e. sacrifice by moslems?  How is the Cambodian ritual different?
    Your son was rude: "He laughed and said that it was an "offering to the ancestors" for Chinese New Years".  He should have kept his mouth shut.  It was very disrespectful for him to roll his eyes at you, too.  

    The bigger problem is why is your son dating a non-Catholic young lady?

    I probably would have invited the young lady to take it home to her parents so they could enjoy it.

    Anonymous

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #13 on: January 26, 2020, 07:13:55 PM »
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  • How about this for a meal, whatever day of the week it may be?

    https://tinyurl.com/tj9e3aq

    Offline poche

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    Re: Was I right?
    « Reply #14 on: January 27, 2020, 01:08:49 AM »
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  • Historically, there has been controversy in the Church about how to see the traditional Chinese rites to honour ancestors.  Here is an account from an SSPX perspective:
    https://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Catholic_History/For-The-Missions-Of-Asia-6.htm


    Obviously taking either side of this debate is reasonable or it would not have been such a matter of controversy.  The earlier Church decrees forbade Catholics from participating in rituals of ancestor worship and deemed them heathen superstition.  The instruction of 1939 treated them as secular customs that were permissible for Catholics.

    Here is a Wikipedia article on the subject with further details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Rites_controversy
    Can you give the name of the pontifical instruction of 1939 so that we may study it. 


     

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