LATRIA AND DULIA
Since Protestants (and Neopagans converted from Protestantism) often charge the the veneration of the Saints is no different from praying to Pagan gods, we would do well briefly to review the Church’s teaching on the subject.
The way the Church speaks to Angels and the Saints is not the same way the Church Speaks to God. When she speaks to God, it is out of the spirit of worship, which is technically called latria, from the Greek word λατρεια meaning “worship.” In the Church’s liturgy;
the acts of bowing, incensation, genuflection, kneeling, and so forth are considered gestures of latria and reserved for God alone.
When the Church invokes the Angels or the Saints, she speaks in a manner of dulia, from the Greek word δουλεια, meaning “reverence” or “work.” She speaks to the Angels and Saints as one would speak to a revered and cherished friend, oftentimes as a friend able and willing to help us out of a tight spot.
Lastly, there is a special category within Catholic devotion, called hyperdulia, from υπερδούλια, meaning “extra special reverence.” There is only one person who receives hyperdulia, and that is the Blessed Virgin Mary.
They do actually.
It’s called the Tetragrammaton (God) and the Pentagrammaton (Jesus Christ).
In the middle of the second century, St. Justin Martyr affirms the Real Presence:
- " For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh."
Iranaeus of Lyons, around the end of the second century, tells us:
- When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can [ the heretics ] affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, Which is life eternal, which [ flesh ] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him?"
While we again run the risk of overkill, we see there’s no question that early Christians did not believe the Eucharist was a mere symbol, but the testimony is plain that they believed the elements truly became the Body and Blood of Christ. Of course, none of this talks about how the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, only that they do.
As to the “how,” thee is no specific hypothesis supported in Scripture. The Catholic Church, moved by the Aristotelian metaphysical concepts of “substance” (a thing as it is in itself) and “accidents”(what a thing looks/smells/feels/sounds/tastes like), defined this process as Transubstantiation at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 A.D.
- “His body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine having been changed in substance, by God’s power, into his body and blood, so that in order to achieve this mystery of unity we receive from God what he received from us.”
This is a fallacy.
See my first paragraph explaining how the Church see’s worship.
Closer to the modern period, in the mid-nineteenth century, we find Eliphas Levi ( a defrocked Catholic Deacon whose real name was Alphonse Constat) saying roughly the distinction between the magician and the sorcerer.
In his Le Grand Arcane, he cites the Church as a magical Order, Writing that the Roman Church :
- " alone possesses the monopoly of Transcendental Magic and it’s efficacious ceremonies. It charms demons with water and salt; with bread and wine it invokes God and constrains Him to become visible and palpable on earth; it imparts health and pardon with oil. It does yet more, for it creates priests and kings."
on this subject, we see even Aleister Crowley; the deranged anti-Catholic genius (whose anti-Catholicism is strange when contrasted against his friendship with Fr.Montague Summers), recognized the distinction between magic and sorcery, referring to the latter as “witchcraft,” and he stated quite clearly in his book Magic in Theory and Practice, Book III Ch. 4.
That witchcraft is illusory and denies the Holy Ghost the right to indwell His temple.
- " Witchcraft consists in treating it as the exclusive preoccupation of Magick, and especially in denying to the Holy Spirit his right to indwell in His temple."
There is not one system of magic that hasn’t started as a small congregation of people (cult) which then led to a religion.
So with that logic no religion (Pagan ones included) deserve respect either.