Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Night of the Little Candles

Tonight was the annual Noche de las Velitas (the Night of the Little Candles) in La Candelaria, the symbolic beginning of the Christmas season.

The beginning of the consumer Christmas season, of course, started more than a month ago.

A bit surprisingly, this sweet and innocent tradition has a sinister past involving close mindedness and violence. In 1854, Pope Pius IX issued an Encyclical declaring that the Virgin Mary was "immaculate," or untouched by original sin.

Pius's supporters celebrated his decree with a candle-light march, beginning the 'little candles' tradition.

All this says a lot, of course, about what the Catholic Church values in women, and its hostility to a fundamental biological function. But Pius went further. To ensure that no future Pope - or anybody else - would ever call into question Mary's immaculatedness, Pius ordered that anybody who expressed doubt about Mary's immaculatedness be prohibited from speaking, and that all literature doing that be banned. To doubly ensure the certainty of his theology, Pius also ordered that anybody who persisted in questioning the immaculatedness, receive multiple "mortal blows," reports Semana magazine.

Isn't it a lucky thing that religious institutions are no longer in charge of most educational and research institutions?

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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