I am reminded of what Bertrand Russell said when told that some Chinese had begun to worship him as a god: “I have some slight regret that this did not happen, as I might have become a god, which would have been very chic for an atheist.” On the other hand, while it’s not quite chic to be worshipped as a Catholic missionary, I suppose it probably has happened historically at least a few times (witness the attempts to do so with Paul and Barnabas in Acts 14).
It is nevertheless just funny to come across people who worship – for example – Dominicans. A recent exhibit at the Kaohsiung Museum of History in Taiwan displayed certain “idols” in the pantheon of various Chinese villages. One caught my eye:
As the person who referred this to me notes, however, the use of this statue could have been perfectly orthodox in that the villagers were merely showing honor/venerating either St. Dominic or Vincent Ferrer as saints, rather than as gods to be worshipped.
And, knowing the Dominicans who were missionaries in the far East, they probably taught the villagers well enough in this regard to avoid worshipping them 🙂
Unlike those blasted Jesuits….
Yours in Christ,
Br. James Dominic, OP