Hello Fr. Can you tell me why sola scriptura is wrong? I have a family member who doesn’t like the Catholic Church, she’s a member of the Church of Christ. When we talk about religion, she says “I don’t see where it says that in the bible” or “where does it say to do that in the bible?”. Please help. Thank you. — weplayagamecalledlife
Well, if people are happy to individually study the Bible and seek answers under their own personal inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it would not be wrong for them. We know there are always Christians who are very content to study the Bible on their own and not have any church or any religious authority tell them how to interpret it or how to live.
So, a family member who does not like the Catholic Church, or any religious authority telling them what to do, would naturally say, “Show me where it says that in the Bible?”
You see, that person does not believe, and does not want to believe, that Jesus left any religious authority in the Church. From this non-Catholic point of view, Jesus established a faith where “everyone is equal” and everyone just makes up their own mind as to what the Bible tells them about Christianity. For that family member, the Pope or bishops would be an unnecessary “go between” who just interferes in your relationship with Jesus.
From the Catholic point of view, the problem with “sola scriptura” or “the Bible alone” theory is that, no where in the Bible, does it say we have to follow the Bible. The Bible talks about the importance of Scripture, and obeying the Word of God, but nowhere does it specifically say, “Follow the Bible” or even tell us which books are supposed to be part of the Bible.
Which leads to the interesting question–IF the Bible does not tell us what books are supposed to be listed in the Bible, WHERE did we get the list or canon of books that are in the Bible? WHERE did “the Bible” come from or how was it collected and composed? The answer, historically, is that the Church convened councils and synods in order to arrive at the decision of what is “canonical” Scripture.
That means that “sola scriptura” is cancelled or invalidated by the very fact that God used “Church authority” in deciding on what was the Bible to begin with. And if Church authority or Church Councils arrived at the canon of Scripture, it only goes to follow that in the history of the Church, Christians have ALSO RELIED on Church Councils to arrive at the proper INTERPRETATION of Bible or Scripture teaching.
The Council of Jerusalem described in the Acts of the Apostles, which allowed for non-Jewish members to enter the Church, is one such example of Christians turning to an authority, besides the Scriptures themselves, for an answer to Church problems. And this is the bottom line–church problems come down to this. Without an authority to interpret Scripture and present doctrine to Christians, each Christian will think his or her interpretation is the final say so.
If each Christian is having the final say so, and there is no authority, there is no possibility for the Church to overcome division and disagreement in the interpretation of God’s Word. In fact, the Bible even says there are teachings or deeds of Jesus which are not written down in the Bible:
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written (John 21:25).
In other words, if the Bible itself points to acts of Jesus which are not passed down in the Bible, then it must be that such teachings are passed down in the Church through other means, such as oral traditions and preaching not found in the Bible. And it is up to the Church to be the final arbiter or authority in matter of disputes, as Jesus said:
If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector (Matthew 18:17).
If one studies carefully the Acts of the Apostles, they will see that the discipline and order of preaching, ministry, and conduct was regulated by the authority of the Apostles and of the Church, not by “the Bible.” Here is this passage:
But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.
And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch..(Acts 11:20-22).
Barnabas goes to inspect what is happening, and to report back to the Church. It was up to Apostolic authority in the Church to validate or sanction this preaching, not up to the individual believer to decide on their own. This leads us to believe that Scripture is inspired by God as a gift for the entire community of the Church to use.
Scripture can be read and studied by the individual Christian, but Scripture belongs first to the entire community of the Church, and according to Scripture the individual Christian is accountable to the community and the authority of the Church. It is this authority, succeeding to the chair of the Apostles, which has the final say so on Biblical interpretation, so that unity of Christians is preserved, as it is so beautifully preserved in the holy Catholic Church.
“Most people have only half developed their single personalities. That a
man should split his into four and more; and should develop each
separately and perfectly, was so abnormal that many normals failed to
understand it.” – FR. Rolfe, aka Baron Corvo, from his wonderfully weird classic, Hadrian the Seventh, seen here in a lovely reprint from NYRB.
I don’t really understand how sola scriptura can logically work and how it lines up with tradition and the “interpretive” methodology/praxis of the early church. As a catholic fundamentally I believe the church has the final say (not that theologians can’t contribute and point out errors in Mother Church’s teachings.. which maybe essentially actually justifies sola scriptura then?) But yeah idk. Thoughts?
Doctor of the Church 1567 – 1622 Feast Day: January 24 Patronage: against deafness, authors, Catholic press, confessors, deaf people, educators, journalists, teachers, writers
Born to nobility, St. Francis de Sales, who is known for his deep faith and patience, studied law and theology at the University of Padua, Italy, earning a doctorate in both fields. Bishop of Geneva in 1602. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation and authored many books, the most famous of which was Introduction to the Devout Life.
There was a missionary sister from Cairo at mass today giving an appeal and though she spoke beautifully and mass was lovely I’m kinda just. Sad.
I feel quite often that had things turned out differently, had I not had a brain that’s constantly trying to kill me, had I not had a laundry list of personality defects and mental disorders that’d scare off anyone but Christ Himself, I’d have quite liked either a missionary or monastic life. I think I’d have found great peace and purpose there and been able to do real Good.
I’m self aware enough to know that’ll never happen and I don’t entertain any delusions of grandeur because I know I’m a weak, feeble, needy person who is mentally incapable of that type of life. I struggle with basic things most days - getting up, doing laundry, just living. I’d not be able to cope with those kind of lives and I know that but it hurts sometimes. Alot.
I know logically that (with God’s Mercy) I’ll have all eternity to worship and be with Him, but again, if things had been different I’d have liked I think to do that here too. I feel a bit like Cordelia and Sebastian in Brideshead, caught between vocations, never truly fitting into the world or the monastery. And I think it’s going to require a daily humbling of myself and my aspirations and my heart to just live a monotonous, boring, ordinary life. (Not that there’s not wonderful things about the world and ordinary lives!! I quite enjoy the *outside world* but there’s always been a part of my heart that craved something else). It’s humbling to accept I cannot do any of those things, that I’m not called to some grand martyrdom or life of service. I just have to live. Be ordinary. Try and struggle to be holy in a small boring life in my small simple actions. And perhaps that’s my cross, a burden in and of itself for me to carry. To just be. To be called to that Long Defeat.
The picture of a powerful and professional opposition politician is at odds with the more romantic vision of a red-headed, white-faced girl transported in an instant from poverty to power. But it explains how, when she did come to the throne, she was already politically involved with Robert Dudley.
When Robert came back from the continent, he probably spent a good deal of his time at the London houses of various family connections, having always an eye to the various Norfolk properties inherited by himself and Amy. Apparently, he was lying dormant; but a few years later Elizabeth would say - to the Duke of Saxony’s envoy - that, personal liking apart, she would always be grateful to Robert, because, in her time of need, he sold lands to raise funds for her. (Schemes and shadow governments costs money.) There is no other hard evidence - no evidence that he mortgaged lands, no evidence as to what he did with the proceeds; what went to Elizabeth, and what to buying the Dudleys’ way into the Spanish army. But the protestants circles with which she was in touch were the circles in which he moved; indeed, he was at the center of a useful network to a striking degree. He had connections to William Cecil (who was in regular touch with the princess) and to the other Cambridge scholars; to the disaffected plotters who had followed Sir Henry Dudley; and simultaneously, to the Spanish courtiers.
“For my daughter, can you just tell me in one sentence how a girl can know if a boy really loves her,” asked a mother from the Philippines.
“The closer she gets to him, the more she becomes herself” –Jason Evert, Catholic author & Speaker
Watching Seek 2013 YouTube videos at severe hours into the night and ran into this beauty. “…It’s the same with God, the closer we get to Him, the more we become ourselves. Sainthood is the full bloom of the human personality.”
• although not by a catholic author, I really love this quote. photo taken during my morning meditation. and the sun behind the window. all this to tell me: Jesus is the LIGHT • ☀️🔥
Unless we get hurt right out of every deception about ourselves, the word of God is not having its way with us. The word of God hurts as no sin can ever hurt, because sin blunts feeling. The question of the Lord intensifies feeling, until to be hurt by Jesus is the most exquisite hurt conceivable. It hurts not only in the natural way but in the profound personal way. The word of the Lord pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, there is no deception left. There is no possibility of being sentimental with the Lord’s question; you cannot say nice things when the Lord speaks directly to you, the hurt is too terrific. It is such a hurt that it stings every other concern out of account. There can never be any mistake about the hurt of the Lord’s word when it comes to His child; but the point of the hurt is the great point of revelation || Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
When a man and a woman love each other, that thing between them, that bond that doesn’t let them walk away, that’s God. He’s the third part, uniting them, drawing them to one another even when they’d rather cut and run …
That’s why we can hurt one another so badly and then forgive and love again, because God’s changed all the rules and redefined the parameters - it’s His way of doing things.
That’s what marriage is - it’s showing the world how God loves. It’s public and accountable but it’s also passionate and private.
It’s that third thing that knits us all together, that makes sacrifice simple and heroism the new normal. It’s Him that makes a you and a me into an us.
That’s why nothing else in the world is like it. That’s why it feels so powerful and so beautiful and so terrifying, because it’s Him.
Hermes McCaffrey, Rapunzel Let Down by Regina Doman
7 THINGS NON-CATHOLICS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
1. We are The Church. We are not a denomination since our Founder was Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. Jesus built His Church on the Apostle Peter (Cephas-Rock) in Matt. 16:18 as a Dynastic office supported by the Holy Spirit and those Apostles and Bishops in full communion with the Bishop of Rome who holds the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Pope is the direct and unbroken successor of Peter. No other Church in the world can trace its roots through Peter to Jesus. Only the Catholic Church has this.
2. Our name is the “Catholic Church”. We are not just Roman Catholics. Latin and Eastern Catholics form the Catholic Church, the world’s largest single religious body and the largest Christian Church with 1.2 Billion members. The word “Catholic” means Universal; we are everywhere and for everyone, every nation, every race and every colour.
3. The Bible is a Catholic book. The Catholic Church, by God’s authority to bind and loose and to be led into All Truth by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 16:19), put the Canon (list) of the Bible together in the 4th Century. We chose 27 books for the New Testament out of 50+ choices, and 46 books of the Old Testament from the Septuagint as that was the Jewish Scriptures Jesus and the Apostles used for a total of 73. The words; Bible, New Testament, Old Testament were chosen by the Catholic Church to define the final terms of the Canon of Scripture. The Catholic Church put together the Bible you now use. The original Bible was intact with 73 books from 300 AD till the 16th Century. This was the Bible all Christians used (73 books) until the Protestants breakaway when they removed 7 books from the Bible and now have 66 though the Bible says we should not take anything away from it (Rev. 22:19). We still use the original Bible in our Churches.
4. Our form of Worship is called the Mass. This is from the Apostles who inspired by the Holy Spirit gave us this Sacred Tradition making our worship Divine in origin. No other form of Christian worship, despite its respectful nature, is divine like ours. We worship as the angels do in heaven with incense (Rev. 8:4). This was the way the Apostles worshiped and this is the way they taught us to worship. We have a heavenly worship.
5. The Eucharist (communion) is the true and real presence of Christ; body, blood, soul and divinity. While the species’ properties remain bread and wine to the senses, they are in whole changed into the Flesh and Blood of Christ. Through our holy priesthood with valid Apostolic succession the prayers of consecration make this change, and the one time sacrifice of Christ on Calvary is represented to the Father. Only Catholic and Orthodox Churches have a valid Priesthood with Jesus truly present in the Eucharist. All other forms of celebrating the last supper in Protestant communions are symbolic in nature as they lack a valid Priesthood.
6. We do not worship Mary or the Saints. We worship the one true God of the Holy Trinity (Trinity was a word invented by the Catholic Church to describe one God in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We honor Mary and all the Saints who did the will of God and lived heroically holy lives. All Saints are created beings and therefore are not Divine and worthy of Adoration which alone belongs to God. Since nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:35) we believe that not even death can so we believe that all Christians who have died are alive with God and together we form one big spiritual family of God which we call the body of Christ and communion of Saints. Since they are already home with God (where we hope to be someday) and see God face to face, we ask them to intercede (pray) for us just as we ask our living brothers and sisters on earth to pray for us. They are our holy siblings just as we have physical siblings. If we believe in the power of prayers of human beings like us, how much more the power of people who are in heaven praying for us. Mary and the Saints are home in heaven with God our Father.
7. We accept all Protestants as our separated brothers and sisters in Christ. Together, Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants make up the one body of Christ. The Orthodox share the most in common with the Catholic Church as they are valid churches because they have retained Apostolic succession with all seven sacraments. They are wounded by their lack of union with the Bishop of Rome who holds Primacy among all Bishops, and serves as a source of unity which the Orthodox do not enjoy. Protestants have a valid Trinitarian Baptism and they are incorporated into the body of Christ and should be deemed worthy to be called a Christian though they have not maintained a valid Priesthood nor Apostolic worship. Over time Protestantism, by its very nature, has continued to divide from one another and water down the Christian faith, form of worship and Christian moral view. Off shoots from Protestantism like Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Unitarian, Church of Christian Science and Oneness Pentecostals are not considered Christian and are a completely different religion.
All Christians are to blame for our disunity. The Orthodox in rejecting the Primacy of the Pope, successor of Saint Peter. The Protestants in their revolt creating many man made ecclesial communions not founded by God rejecting parts of the Apostolic Faith. The Catholic Church while having the fullness of Christian Truth, has sinned against our neighbor at times creating unrest in the body of Christ, that was in part responsible for this division.
We pray as Jesus prayed for the unity of all Christians to return to full communion in the Catholic Church, sharing all their gifts in unity at the Eucharistic table of our Lord. We also pray for all non-Christian religions and non-religious to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior reconciling the whole world to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church for their is no salvation except through Jesus Christ. God bless you and please pray for me
Also the phrase “you can’t really call yourself a Catholic if _____”
Because you know what that does? It tells people who aren’t Catholic but may be interested in becoming so that they shouldn’t bother. Because if they don’t know and agree with EVERYTHING about Catholicism then they don’t count.
You know what else it does? It tells Catholics, even Catholics who go to mass every week and are super involved with their faith and knowledgeable about theology, that they can’t question anything. That they can’t have doubts. That they can’t be uncertain. That they either have to blindly accept everything they hear from any type of Catholic authority figure or they risk not being a “real” Catholic.
Seriously that probably annoys me more than anything else about conservative Catholics (well, almost anything else)
In a landmark move for the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has given Catholic priests the power to grant forgiveness for abortions indefinitely. Though the Pope maintains that he views abortion as a “grave sin” this decision makes it easier for those who have had abortions to be absolved and rejoin the church, should they so choose.
Ava Gardner in the Pretino dress by Sorelle Fontana, 1956.
“The little priest dress was created in 1956. It was the result of a sort of combination between creativity, friendship with Ava Gardner and respect for the religious institutions. My sisters and I–all faithful practicing Catholics–asked the authorities the permission to design the dress and the Vatican approved it. Their positive answer filled us with pride and gratitude.” -Micol Fontana
If you were to write up a list (of any length) of your personal favorites or best recommendations of Catholic fiction, what would be on it?
There are a couple of interpretations of “Catholic fiction” that are worth exploring.
The author is Catholic.
The work may or may not be Catholic.
Example: For at least part of his life, F. Scott Fitzgerald was Catholic. Would you consider The Great Gatsby Catholic fiction?
The work is Catholic or has Catholicism in it.
This can mean A) the work is in line with Catholic teaching/themes/events/etc., OR correctly presents Catholic teaching, etc. in the book, intentionally or unintentionally; or B) Catholic teaching, etc. are in the book, but they are inaccurate.
Much of C.S. Lewis’ works fall into category A.
Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is firmly in category B. Dan Brown wrote about Catholicism in the same way that L. Ron Hubbard wrote about science.
Read and recommended
The Father Brown stories, G.K.Chesterton. There are 5
collections of Fr. Brown short stories: The Wisdom of Father Brown, The
Innocence of Fr. Brown, etc. Also worth looking at is Chesterton’s novel The
Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare.
Notes from the Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky. This is a novella (or short story?) that may give you a nasty shock. I have always been unnerved by how much I have in common with the narrator. The
Brothers Karamazov is also an essential. Make sure you get good translations of
The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas. So many subplots, but the book hinges on forgiveness, and how to forgive.
Silence, Shusaku Endo. Do not read Silence and The
Power and the Glory back to back, like I did.
In This House of Brede, Rumer Godden. I know that I can
make some sweeping, melodramatic statements, but I just want to say that this
is easily one of the best books of the 20th century.
The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene. I hated this book
when I first read it, and I resented its popularity. I reread it last year, and
I was aghast to find that I enjoyed it tremendously.
The Little World of Don Camillo, Giovanni Guareschi. Very funny. Mercilessly mocks fascists.
Les Miserables, Victor Hugo. Ponderously long, but Catholic in its understanding of love and the relationship between the self and the other.
Shadow in the Dark, Anthony Barone Kolenc. This book is for younger readers, but it’s still a delightful read. A murder mystery unfolds in a 12th century English monastery. Good writing, good characters, and a well-paced plot.
The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis. Also worth looking at by Lewis are the Space Trilogy, Till We Have Faces, and The Great Divorce.
The Princess and the Goblin, George Macdonald. He also wrote one of my favorite fairy tales/short stories - The Golden Key.
The Edge of Sadness, Edwin O’Connor. O’Connor and Spellman are never on Catholic fiction lists, which is a total tragesty. I recommend this
book especially for cradle Catholics. O’Connor gets under your skin and
pinpoints assumptions about the Faith and about people that you may not have been
aware of. It’s one of the best portrayals of depression, too.
Quo Vadis, Henryk Sienkiewicz. I read this ages ago, and do not have fond memories of it. Nevertheless, it has been recommended by those whom I trust.
The Foundling, Francis Cardinal Spellman. I consider
myself an expert on “essential Catholic fiction!” lists, and I have never, ever
seen this book mentioned. That is a crime. I think this is the funniest book by
a Catholic that I’ve ever read. Literal laugh-out-loud moments, as well as
heatbreaking moments. The book can be hard, because the rules about adoption
and denominations are not as rigid now. (The book hinges on the fact that
non-Catholic parents cannot adopt a Catholic child.)
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Also worth reading is the novel The Hobbit, and the short story Leaf by Niggle.
The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Leo Tolstoy. A short story about a man on his deathbed. Painful, bitter, uncomfortable, but important.
Sun Slower, Sun Faster, Meriol Trevor. Time traveling kids! Hunted priests! Medieval Catholicism!
Not yet read, but critical to the canon of
Lord of the World, Robert Hugh Benson
Diary of a Country Priest, Georges Bernanos
Death Comes for the Archbisop, Willa Cather
The Spear, Louis de Wohl
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
Michael D. O’Brien
Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor
The Second Coming, Walker Percy
The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael series, Ellis Peters
Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh. Waugh also has a hilarious short short story (it’ll take about 30 minutes to read, if that) called Love Among the Ruins. [AN: Please don’t ostracize me for not finishing this yet.]
Serious reservations, but worth knowing
Regina Doman. Doman writes fairy tales; she reimagines them through a Catholic lens. I wrote about her elsewhere, but here are my reservations: I heard her speak before I read her, and I loved her argument for evangelizing the imagination. When I actually read her works, I was wildly unimpressed. Her writing is not for me, which is a matter of opinion, but I have stronger objections to how she portrays some of the young women. The moment fixed forever in my mind is how Doman described a high school girl who bullied our painfully shy, virtuous protagonist. Doman made special note of the evil bully’s makeup - especially the green eyeshadow. The book harped on how our protagonist didn’t wear makeup, how she shopped at thrift stores, and how those mean bullies wore fashionable, immodest clothing. Her books seemed sanctimonious, flimsy, and saccharine to me. Again, it’s good to at least know of her. Maybe you’ll read her, love her, and write a defense of her that proves me wrong!
The Song at the Scaffold, Gertrude von le Fort. Literarily speaking, this is a wonderful play. Historically speaking, it leaves much to be desired. The play is about the Carmelites of Compeigne, guillotined during the French Revolution. What frustrates me about the play is that reality is incredibly interesting - why did von le Fort remove, create, and totally change characters? I strongly urge you, if you’re interested in this play, to read William Bush’s introduction to To Quell the Terror first.
what are the problems currently facing rodnovery in poland? what are the positive things?
To be honest, it’s hard to give a short answer to these questions and the situation differs between various regions of Poland. If you don’t mind, I’ll try to point things out in a wider perspective, because you’re not the first person asking about that matter.
For a start, let me just remind you that the official data from the last few national surveys show that around 86-87% of Poles are a part of the Catholic Church (people who were Christened), what apparently places Poland among the top of the most Catholic countries in Europe. Even though there are many people not ‘practicing’, or attending churches and christening kids only because of the social expectations, it’s estimated that roughly 80% of Poles actually believe in the Christian God. Because of that the Polish Catholic Church still holds a great political power here (and for example still owns a large amount of the land and estates, or regularly intervene in the current events). That is first of the main problems that the Polish Rodnovers are facing, and a topic that simply shouldn’t be avoided in the context of the contemporary Polish Native Faith. One of the reasons of these high statistics hides in the past decades of the Communist regime in the postwar Poland. The regime was, in a way, trying to promote atheism - but in an effect it only strenghtened the attachment of Poles to the Catholic Church, the biggest form of an organized 'institution’ that was supporting the transformation to democracy during those extremely difficult times and, on a local scale, was often the main source of informations under the applied communist censorship.
Socially speaking, Poland is quite diverse, and so the situation nowadays would be much more different e.g. between the villages (the most conservative in theory), towns and cities, or between the West and the East of the country. The eastern and south-eastern parts are considered much more deeply-rooted Christian (Catholic and many parts with significant Orthodox communities), though at the same time they have many spots that are seen as a kind of ‘free artistic enclaves’, or in the past were secluded areas (due to their geographical conditions) where much more of the old-Slavic ‘pagan’ practices had survived undercover within the folklore traditions. Nowadays it is slowly becoming much easier to practice the Native Faith openly in the much more open-minded urban communities, but at the same time the people living in the cities are obviously cut-off from the sacred groves and the nature in general, what makes the highly nature-oriented Rodnovery harder to practice (many of the rituals would require open-air areas e.g. woods, lakes or rivers to be performed). Regarding the problem mentioned in the paragraph above, quite many of the known old-Slavic sacred sites had transformed and are unavailable for practices today (for example, many early Christian Romanesque churches - protected as national heritage today - were built right on top of the old Slavic sanctuaries). Even though there’s already a much greater freedom in the “artistic” manifestations like placing the Slavic totems around the public areas (however, usually on scraps of a private plot of land), there were many cases of the sculptures being forced to be removed after interventions of local Catholic authorities, sometimes coming back after a while, sometimes not.
Most of the population is still highly prejudiced against the old-Slavic faith. It’s an ingrained result of the centuries of propaganda marking the old customs as mere 'superstitions’ or even demonizing them as 'satanic’ practices without any reasonable context, and a consequence of the Catholic Church destroying the knowledge about the Old Faith consistently since the early middle ages (for example you won’t find informations in the medieval chronicles about the early churches being built right over old-Slavic sacred temples and groves: it is discovered bits by bits only by the present-day archaeologists). Another impact came with the numerous tragic wars and phases of occupation that Poland faced over the centuries. It was often leaving people practicing the old rituals they remembered from the childhood without a proper context or background, because there were no elders to pass on the continuous knowledge.
You should already be aware of it, but reminding everyone that contrary to e.g. the Norse religion, much of the contemporary-known Slavic mythology is reconstructed only from the scraps of informations surviving here and there in the folklore of the various Slavic countries and from the several short mentions found in the medieval chronicles (some biased). That raises various kinds of problems within the Slavic Native Faith in general and greatly divides the Rodnovers in the forms of interpretation (and problems of overinterpretation). Some groups of Polish Rodzimowiercy would support the pantheistic or cosmocentric versions; some would stand for the polytheism or a form of henotheism. Some groups would draw much inspiration from the Polish folk/village traditions that were opposing Christianization for long centuries; some would consciously blend the Slavic elements with those commonly understood as e.g. Celtic, Norse or Baltic, acknowledging that they were all influencing each other mutually over time; some would reject it all and seek for the simpliest Slavic components of the rituals; some other would reject elements coming from the East Slavic circles deeming them as a result of the past Russification policies and having no confirmation in the known Polish / West Slavic resources; some other would resemble various types of New Age movements. Some groups would limit the membership access to the people of a Slavic ancestry, leaning towards an extreme form of the traditions of worshipping the ród [kinship/tribe/family]; some would keep a policy of open doors for everyone who 'feels Polish’, supporting the old-Polish traditions of tolerance. And so on, and so on. There are truly dozens of internal problems. Another maybe the most serious one would be the Native Faith being associated with the various forms of nationalism by the common people (often understandably so, as many of nationalistic groups are much more visible appropriating symbols of the Native Faith for their needs). In reality, many if not most of the genuine Rodnovers are trying to stay away from all kinds of political associations. There are still large numbers of the ‘non-attached’ believers, practicing alone or only with a small circle of friends - and often in hiding from their judging families, finding the support for example in the online communities.
From the problems that could be met on a daily basis, one of the biggest still comes with the imprinted prejudices and the old customs being ridiculed (from basically all the reasons mentioned above), therefore quite many of the contemporary Rodnovers would be either too afraid or not interested in revealing their beliefs openly to their own family or friends in order to avoid the ostracism. Truth is, there’s a low percent of Poles who are aware what Rodnovery is really about. There aren’t many common Poles who could say anything non-stereotypical about the old beliefs, gods and customs, not to mention recognizing it as an actual Faith… or even who know that it is a thing at all (that applies mostly to the older generations who never heard of the contemporary paganism or heathenry). Due to the unawareness and the past processes of detachment from the roots, a significant amount of the regular Polish people is still stuck in the wrong belief that many of the customs they solemnize came with Christianity, or that it is just a part of the vague ‘folklore’. In fact, the Polish Catholicism and folk traditions are an interesting fusion with a good deal of old-Slavic ritual customs interwoven. Funnily, for many Rodnovers-in-hiding it’s a moderately convenient situation, because they can practice some of the rituals without, let’s say, drawing too much attention.
That’s maybe all of the biggest problems - let’s come to the good sides. A noteworthy 'thaw’ phase came with the 1990s after the fall of the Communism in Poland, and it’s getting gradually better year after year. With the growth of the economy and better access to the knowledge - significantly after the introduction of the Internet - people are becoming more and more interested and most importantly: more aware. For example, much more of the Catholic people are asking themselves a question why are Poles learning about different kinds of 'foreign’ mythologies at the schools, but getting basically no informations about the known Slavic past at the same time. It should be at least taught in a form of a 'theory’ about the Slavic pantheon - thing that might seem trivial, but was a topic rarely raised before the recent years, and for many that lack of the informations became a start of a personal research. Many more publications about the Native Faith and the history of the Slavic people are being released these days and much more of constructive discussions are being possible. Many authors/researchers are coming out, organizing meetings, publishing materials online. Since the 1990s, 4 Native Faith 'churches’ were able to become officially registered and get a legal status as religious organizations in Poland, what is a huge step forward even though many of the Poles don’t have a slightest idea they exist at all (btw, in context to the East-West division I mentioned at the beginning, they were all registered under headquarters in cities around the West of Poland or in Warsaw). Of those official organizations, 3 are currently active, and many other less-formal associations and communities are being created. There’s also the National Congress of Native Faith Believers (Ogólnopolski Zjazd Rodzimowierczy) organized since 2013. It’s the first official one of that kind in the postwar Poland. Here’s quite a good article in English, written in 2013 around the time of the first Congress, that also provides a good general insight with a few small details I might have missed: “Resurgence of Pre-Christian Beliefs in Poland”.
This is just a general set of informations, and certainly doesn’t cover everything. Hope this reply doesn’t look too chaotic, because I was trying to grasp all the historical, political, religious and social context all at once. It would be also great if any of my followers would like to add their thoughts, either based on their experience or observations - there’s no single answer for the whole Poland.
“Satan has NOT the powerto incarnate himself in our nature, to make himself man, to be born of a woman. He must always work from outside; he is rabid because he is hate, and hate can never be incarnate as Love is incarnate in the world. Hate can never be born in generation after generation as Love is.
It may look as if evil is triumphant.
But in reality there is always, from every outset of the devil, an element of frustration. It is a tormenting thing—literally the torment of the damned—for Satan to be compelled to witness the indwelling of divine Love, of Jesus Christ, in the dust that we are made of, and to see the substance of earthly things endowed, by the touch of his human hands and the warmth of his breath, with life-giving power.
…Satan must remain outside of the harmony that motivates everything, from a man’s heart to a star.”