Adding to the Pantheon

On July 3, 1998, the Catholic World News service reported that Pope John Paul II had signed 13 decrees advancing the causes of 13 candidates for canonization. One of the decrees officially recognized one of Pope Pius XII's favorites, Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac as a martyr "who died at the hands of the Communist regime." Five others officially recognized 'miracles' performed as a consequence of the intercession of as many "Servants of God," among them Slovenian Bishop Anton Martin Slomsek.

[Note: For information concerning Stepinac's 'saintly' service and death, see Who Will Be Next? and Life Under Rome's Umbrella]

Like the Spirit Father of the Mormons, Catholicism's reigning high priest was going about his business making little gods.

On September 19, 1999, John Paul 2 was in Slovenia – one of the many historical nations resurrected after the collapse of 'monolithic Communism' in Eastern Europe. The successor to Caiaphas and Ananias in Rome's caricature of Rabbinical Judaism went to Maribor to preside at the beatification proceedings of Slovenian Bishop and patriot Anton Martin Slomsek. Slomsek's hagiography may be read by clicking here.

For those who may not understand the significance of beatification, I offer this explanation from the Catholic Dictionary:

"In the process for the canonization of a saint, this is the next to last step, the last being canonization itself. The act of beatification is performed by the Supreme Pontiff after a person's life, writings, and teachings have been examined and found to contain nothing contrary to the teaching of the Church, nor to the demands of Christian perfection. At this stage, the person's heroic virtues are said to be recognized and the Holy Father, with the aid of consultors from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and especially the postulator of the person's Cause, declares the person Venerable, that is, that the person may be venerated by the faithful. At this point, all that remains are the miracles. In cases of martyrs, sometimes the necessity of a miracle is waived by the Pope, who in any case may do so ad libitum if he so chooses for any person whose Cause has been introduced. However, the miracles are of great importance and must be of major proportions and proven to be an intervention of the supernatural order into the natural order whereby natural causes offer no plausible explanation. For beatification, one miracle is required, and for canonization, two. Once the required miracle has been performed through the intercession of the Venerable in question and recognized as such (that is, unexplainable by human science or causes), the way is made clear for the beatification, whereby the Pope grants the newly-elevated Blessed a Mass and Office of his or her own and a particular feast day to be celebrated in the places related to his or her life and in the religious order or diocese of origin. Sometimes the Blessed in question is of such popularity or of such particular importance to the whole Church that he or she is honored with a universal cult. Unlike the case with canonization, the Pope does not exercise his infallible authority when beatifying. He simply grants permission for public acknowledgement. This act is also a declaration that the person involved did practice virture to a heroic degree or suffered a true Christian martyrdom…. --Peter M.J. Stravinskas, Ed., Catholic Dictionary, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc. (1993), pp. 89-90

I Googled for information concerning any 'miracle' officially attributed to Bishop Slomsek. As was the case with 'Venerable Alojzije Stepinac," I found nothing. In fact, just as my research into the life of the Stepinac led me to believe that worthy's greatest qualification for becoming a Catholic demigod was that he made 'heroic' [and ruthless] efforts to advance the banner of Roman Catholicism and the power of the Holy See, so seems to be the case with 'Venerable Slomsek.' I did find mention of a miracle attributed to Slomsek's intervention here, but no details.

When JP2 visited Slovenia in 1996, the President of that nation greeted him with a speech that included these clues concerning Slomsek:

Another great proponent of our Slovene identity was Maribor Bishop Anton Martin Slomsek, who decisively and relentlessly defended the Slovene language and culture against aggressive and ruthless Germanisation.--Website of the Slovenian President

I don't think decisively and relectlessly defending the Slovene language qualifies as a miracle, but who knows?

In an informative email, a Slovenia correspondent informed me that he had read in a local newspaper that, in the case of Slomsek, the investigators accepted a sworn statement by monks of a Maribor monastery that - as their prelate lay mortally ill - they prayed to Slomsek for help and the prelate was miraculously cured. It was long ago determined that Stepinac had died a martyr, and this was sufficient cause for his beatification.

And we all know that newspapers never lie or distort the truth. Neither do Catholic monks.

'Blessed" Bishop Anton Martin Slomsek's ticket to becoming a Catholic demigod seems to have been that he managed to gather all Styrian Slovenes into a single diocese, thereby establishing a sort of defense against Germanization. In addition to his political activism, Slomsek was a scholar and educator who wrote many books. After moving his see to Mirabor, Slomsek founded a theological seminary – the first such facililty in which clergymen were taught in the Slovene language. [I wonder. Could this have been his 'miracle?']

Is that what it takes to become a god? Or demigod? Is it that simple? Just be an activist and advocate religious and ethnic segregation or "cleansing?" Is it an 'heroic virtue' to place allegiance to the Holy See above all things?

Whatever the case, the process to declare Slomsek a demigod began in 1926. It was 70 years later, in 1996, that Pope John Paul II declared him to be a "Venerable Servant of God."

"Semper Idem," cries the Roman church. "Always the same." Yet to the careful observer, it is clear that very little about the RCC remains the same. If there is a constant in Roman Catholicism, it is that her history, doctrine and theology are constantly evolving. One of the areas of greatest developmental activity is her pantheon of gods, demigods and other spiritual figures to be prayed to, venerated and emulated. How confusing it must be for the devout Roman Catholic as he searches the ever-growing directory of supernatural intercessors in order to find the one who specializes in his particular need.

Personally, as a Bible-believing Christian, I find it so much simpler and quite effective to pray to the One God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the only God there ever has been, is or will be.

Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

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For additional reading visit your library and check out Ilija Ivanovic's, Witness to Jasenovac's Hell, If you really, really want to learn more about this stuff, you could buy a used copy of the book, for $124.00

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