Vatican Declares Mexican Death Saint Blasphemous

BBC News, May 9, 2013

A senior Vatican official has condemned the cult of Santa Muerte, or Holy Death, in Mexico as “blasphemous”.

The president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, said worshipping Santa Muerte was a “degeneration of religion”.

Cardinal Ravasi spoke at a series of events for believers and non-believers in Mexico City.

The cult, which reveres death, has been growing rapidly in Mexico.

It is represented by a cloaked female skeleton clutching a scythe.

It is particularly popular in areas of Mexico that have suffered from extreme violence carried out by the country’s drug cartels.

The cult is believed to date back to colonial times.

It merges indigenous beliefs with the tradition of venerating saints introduced by Christian missionaries after the Spanish conquest of Mexico.


Devotees pray to the saint at home-made altars and often offer votive candles, fruit and tequila in the hope Santa Muerte will grant their wishes.

Cardinal Ravasi said the practice was “anti-religious”. “Religion celebrates life, but here you have death,” he said.

“It’s not religion just because it’s dressed up like religion; it’s a blasphemy against religion”, he said.

The cardinal also referred to the fact that the cult is particularly popular among members of Mexico’s drug cartels and accused “criminals” of invoking it.

Cardinal Ravasi said a country like Mexico, where more than 70,000 people are estimated to have been killed in drug-related violence over the past six years, had to send out a clear message to its young generation.

“The mafia, drug trafficking and organised crime don’t have a religious aspect and have nothing to do with religion, even if they use the image of Santa Muerte,” he said.

There are no reliable figures showing how many people worship Santa Muerte, but academics studying the subject say more and more Santa Muerte shrines have been popping up in Mexico and the US, where the cult is popular with Mexican immigrants.

Last year, police in northern Mexico arrested eight people in connection with the killing of two boys and a woman in ritual sacrifices which prosecutors said were linked to the cult of Santa Muerte.

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  • Bill

    Big surprise. ALL the third world nations who “adopt” Christianity do the very same thing. They overlay true Christian tenets with the animal worship, ancestor worship, voodoo, witchcraft and/or idolatrous home grown religion. I shudder every time I hear that the third world is the fastest growing “mission field”. Really? And what kind of Christianity are these people engaging in? I ask. Like everything else in their sorry lives, they can only produce a comical and tragic shadow of what the White Man brings them.

    • Katherine McChesney

      In the 1950’s Africans murdered and cannibalized Protestant missionaries for teaching them that they needed to cease their voodoo worship and instead adopt Christianity.

      • Xerxes22

        A lot of Catholic missionaries wre also martyred by third world Pagans.

      • Johnny Clay

        I believe in missionary work, but is it worth going into a place like that and trying to spread the Gospel?

  • jeffaral

    Globalist, race-mixing, authoritarian Catholicism is itself a blasphemy,

    • Katherine McChesney

      Catholicism is the One World Religion….to control the world and destroy other religions. The Jesuits are the military arm of the Vatican are carrying out Ignatius Loyola’s design to place the world under Catholic rule. It isn’t Christianity. It’s more deadly than Islam.

    • White Mom in WDC

      Exactly. Catholicism is about wealth redistribution among the masses so that we can all feel each others’ pain. Except of course the Vatican elite.

  • They’re Roman Catholics like all of us West African, Carribean, US, and European Roman Catholics. And their going to be the savior of the The Church.
    Just like Santaria:
    Santería, also known as Regla de Ocha, La Regla Lucumí or Lukumi, is a syncretic religion of West African and Caribbean origin influenced by Roman Catholic Christianity.
    The less intelligent can only take from higher evolved cultures and destroy it to fit their liking.

    • The__Bobster

      The police in my old canecutter-infested NJ town are always scraping up the corpses of sacrificed animals. Yes, these people are so “vibrant”.

      • White Mom in WDC

        Lovely, maggot infested corpses are just so ‘vibrant’

  • NYB

    The practice of Christianity in Hispanic America and Africa differs according to regional culture. In Africa, adultery and polygamy endures among Christian converts.

    What we think of as classic ‘Christian values’ owes much to the pre-Christian European values which defined it.

    • Cape to Cairo

      Interesting? Could you point to a few examples? thanks.

    • Bossman

      Which is to say that most of it is superstition. Pre-Christian Europe also practiced human sacrifice and ritual cannibalism. The Catholic mass is really the same thing raised to a symbolic level.

  • bigone4u

    I suspect the skull tattoos I sometimes see on young Mexican females here locally have something to do with Satanism. But guess what? I don’t intend to ask about the tats. Better to remain ignorant than to be selected for their next ritual sacrifice. From ritual sacrifice to cannabalism is a short step. Welcome to the world the Gang of Eight has in store for us.

    • White Mom in WDC

      The Gang of 8 are clueless ammoral glorified slave traders. I almost think McCain is getting back at white Americans

  • The__Bobster

    The Mestizos worship the dead and drug dealers. And we’re supposed to give the squat monster invaders amnesty because?

    • Bossman

      The Catholic church does the same thing. It canonizes virtuous people who have died and call them saints and then pray to them.

      • Lygeia

        The Catholic Church recognizes saints, it doesn’t create them.

        First, there has to be proof that the person who is a candidate for sainthood was truly alive. Then there have to be at least three miracles that can be attributed to the candidate for sainthood. Saints intercede with God on behalf of the person praying to them for help. One miracle and you get beatified. Three you are recognized as a saint.

        The idea is that these saints were once alive on Earth, but now they are in another dimension (heaven) where they have seen the face of God and that they are sympathetic to people living on Earth because they were once alive here, so they are given a job to do in Heaven of helping the Earth and its people.

  • Flaxen-headed Strumpet

    Vaya puta sorpresa! So the Vatican is tightening up on standards related to its long standing Friar Bartholomew de las Casas’ promotion of religious syncretism. Anything to “git her done” in terms of Spanish Blitzkrieg conquest and looting of gold artifact laden aborigine New Word societies. That gold that didn’t sink in a hurricane or wasn’t pirated and finally made its way to Spain was by and large bartered to the Vatican by the inbred Royal Families of Europe to procure “special dispensations” from the Church, thus facilitating via royal annulments and remarriages the consolidation of power in Europe.

  • Xanthippe2

    So is this going to cause the Mexicans in the U.S. to remove the Santa Muerte decals from their cars or is it going to cause a buying rush at the local “Hispanic Market”?

  • Nathan

    Kinda ironic considering the Catholic Church is nothing more than an mixture of various pagan religions with a veneer of Christianity.

    • Xerxes22

      Does that also apply to the various Protestant Churches?

      • TeutonicKnight67

        Oh no! They’re perfect, just ask them.

    • ZB

      Nathan, that’s interesting. You make the old standard canards, and yet don’t offer any proofs to substantiate your inane assertions. Care to offer proof? Or do you just wish to bloviate? I’ll be glad to take you on in an epistolary exchange.

      And I’ll beat you, for sure.

      • Bill

        Let’s start with just one. Transmutation. The Catholic church teaching the wafer and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ. They even ring a bell to indicate that it just HAS become actual flesh and blood. That is NOT what Christ was talking about when he said “do this in remembrance of me”. But it IS related to pagan human sacrifice and cannibalism. The Catholic church was the FIRST blasphemous institution to overlay the true tenets and character of what Christ preached with pagan doctrine and ceremony. Now they object to the Mestizos carrying their blasphemy and paganism to the next level? (okay, the RC wasn’t really the first – Gnostics and others prior to 400 AD had also polluted the core doctrine).

        • Bossman

          You are mostly correct in your assertions. What do you think the core doctrine was?

        • Erasmus

          Let’s start with just one. Transmutation.

          The word is “transubstantiation.” If you’re going to slam something, at the very least, get the word right.

        • ZB

          Bill, There is not now nor has there ever been a Catholic doctrine called “transmutation”. Encyclical? Papal allocution?Council? Dogmatic decree? I’ll save you the trouble: there are none. The word is transubstantiation (and this is not a game of semantics; the two words have different meaning), and it is referenced in St. John 6. The Jews of Our Lord’s day, obviously took Him very seriously (and literally): it is the only place in the Gospel where disciples followed him no more because of a literal understanding of his statement—-and Our Lord refuses to back down because of it, and then further even challenges His apostles to see if they wanted to leave him also. But He (Our Lord) was not giving an inch or an iota.

          Take note of this too; all of the early heresies: Arianism, Donatism, Monophytism, Monothelitism, Adoptionism, Luciferianism (not the same as what we think today, folks), Iconoclasm, —-I really could list more—not a single one—-not even one, had a different belief on transubstantiation. I offer this not as “proof” of the doctrine, but as evidence that the early Christian belief was synonymous with Catholicity. Your heresy,(and that’s what it is), is rather recent, beginning with Wycliffe —-some 1300+ years later.

          Also, historically, the early Christians were accused of cannibalism by the Romans. Whose understanding of the Blessed Sacrament would give rise to such an allegation: Catholicity’s, or yours? Whose understanding of the Eucharist would even make sense to ‘warrant’ such an accusation?

          Don’t take my word for it. Read St. John 6 yourself with open mind. Our Lord keeps repeating himself about giving his flesh and blood—not just a one time, off statement. You may not agree with Our Lord—most didn’t then, and they were right there—but don’t thereby say because you do not agree with Him, therefore, He didn’t teach it.

          • Scott

            “Early Christian belief was synonymous with Catholicity.” LOL…that’s a good one, especially since the Catholic church did not exist until Constantine.

          • ZB

            Scott, that’s why there’s an unbroken line of successors in the Chair of St. Peter—-well before Constantine.

            You’re no historian, pal…

    • Erasmus

      And what do you say about Judaism?

  • ZB

    The modern day Vatican is about 50 years too late to make this Johnny-come-lately analysis—which, mark my word (and do, in fact, mark it), will be followed up by absolutely NOTHING. Of course, the Vatican itself has promoted every form of syncretism since Vatican 2, which is a departure from the One True Catholic and Apostolic Church: John Paul II did it at Assisi in 1986; Benedict followed in due course some years ago. All three are examples of their acquiescence to apostasy, heresy, and schism. No better example of Diversity in the religious realm exists than the modern Vatican. It’s even worse than the diversity in the secular realm. What a feat!

    The revolution in the Church and in the world are one and the same as one writer noted. And notice that they began at the same time, even: the early 60’s.

    • Clement Pulaski

      The video footage of John Paul II’s interfaith gathering at Assisi is absolutely shocking. Muslims, Jews, even animist shamans, all praying together in Catholic churches. There is no excuse for it, and yet Catholics just seem to ignore it.

      • TeutonicKnight67

        Not all of us

  • Clement Pulaski

    Just a few months ago I read about one of the conflicts in Nigeria where the “Christians” ate the corpses of their slain Muslim enemies.

    • TeutonicKnight67

      Bantus will be Bantus

  • William Allingham

    The cardinal also referred to the fact that the cult is particularly popular among members of Mexico’s drug cartels and accused “criminals” of invoking it.

    he forgets that mexico is a nation of criminals.

  • June

    What else would you expect from people whose ancestors practiced human sacrifice and cannibalism on an industrial scale? Each years thousands of victims had their beating hearts torn from their bodies and then their corpses were thrown to mobs who ripped them apart and ate them.

    In some ways they’re doing the same now.

  • Bossman

    You will need to define what a Christian is and what Christianity is. Most of it look like voodoo to me. Explain to me the difference between Christianity as it is now practiced and voodoo.

  • Angry White Woman

    “Religion celebrates life, but here you have death,”

    Beg to differ here, but as far as I can tell most of Christianity also celebrates death. Christians worship a crucified (killed) Christ. Christians have to die to receive their heavenly reward. Many if not most of the accepted “saints” were martyred, and a hundred other examples. This “Santa Muerte” is just more of the same. I personally don’t care who or what the Mexicans pray to as long as they do it in their own country and keep it there, not here.

    • Bossman

      You’re correct Angry White Woman. True religion should be about celebrating life—this present life—not some nebulous afterlife that nobody knows for sure exists.

    • Lygeia

      Christianity celebrates that god became a man and then resurrected, overcoming death, not just for himself, but for those that believe in Him (Jesus).

    • Robert from Australia.

      Dear Angry White Woman,
      I don’t know what “Christianity” means to you, but Christians do not worship a killed Christ, but a living risen One. Lygeia has it right. If you pick up a Bible, and read the first four eye witness New Testament accounts, with a genuine desire to understand, you will see that death is in no way celebrated, but conquered. It is His life that is celebrated, and His conquest of death. Death is not the focus, Life, and a love relationship with that Life is.

      If you then move on to Acts (a continuation of Luke), you will see disciples move from cowardice, depression, hopelessness engendered by His crucifixion, totally eliminated by proof of His resurrection. The consequence of that is Peter and the other apostles risking their lives with a bold proclamation (Ch 3) of that resurrection, which also contains a “slam it in your face” accusation that his listeners were a pack of murderers. (Acts 3:14ff)

      I believe that you (and other correspondents here) would love to see that kind of courage displayed in defence of your race, sex, nation and right to live. You should be revelling in the fact that the apostles followed their Saviour in that they were willing to give their lives for the truth He proclaimed, and that they had personally experienced. As I understand it, neither you or many on this site, are happy with your own who “fold” under pressure from media, churches, government, UN etc.

      I cannot let your ignorant comments about martyrdom pass either. Go to Acts 6 and read to the end of Ch 7. There is no seeking to die on Stephen’s part, but he’s not going to lie to save his neck. He was killed because he wouldn’t quit being a man, and being a Christian man. Neither did James (Ch 12:1ff) seek death because of some pathological pre-occupation with it. His death like Stephen’s and others (Ch 8 & 9), was forced on them, because HIS AND THEIR OPPONENTS WERE PRE-OCCUPIED WITH IT.

      It’s that same rampant spirit of death that you face that you and every other race realist, gun owner, patriot, true Christian, faces today. In my own country (Australia) it’s the same. There are other things comments I could make upon your further comments, but this is enough for now. I commend you and others for standing up and speaking out, but please don’t write off your best ally (Jesus) because of ignorance or misperception, or because of Him being dragged through the mud because of false or deceived followers. (2 Peter 2:1-2)

  • Erasmus

    I have seen votive candles to “Santa Muerte” in the ethnic food section of several grocery stores near to where I live. Is this obsession with death part of the cultural richness the leftists are always demanding we achieve?