The first statement the Catholic Encyclopedia assumes has truth to it, but the second is blatantly false. Even in the Bible polytheism could be argued to exist, almost all other religions are polytheistic partly due to the fact they understand incarnations. I've said this a million times and I don't pretend it will yet have any significance...possibly later. Polytheism is compatible with Monotheism and here is why...….polytheism is an extension of monotheism, sounds strange but it's true and when people understand this fact it will bring the whole of religion and spirituality together as one. It's precisely due to the nature of consciousness and creation, and why the Creator creates. The illusion of creation is that there is more than one reality, or a singular static reality where all creation derives from. The illusion of separation, division and contrast comes through the creation of forms and embodiments but the inner channel of awareness is the very same in all life and in all forms, there is no distinction just like energy and electricity where the two takes on forms and animates machinery. We could take a trip to Home Depot and look at all the pretty appliances, lights, refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves ect ect and all of them have different features and looks yet they all are operated the same way, through the same source of power. Creation, incarnations work the same way, the very same way.....you have different looks and various forms but the channel of conscious awareness comes from the same Source.
So, while you have many forms and incarnations in creation they all come from the same reality, the first Source....God, Creator whatever you wish to call it. Likewise, the Creator channels it's power and creative energy through vessels, or what we as humans would call god or demigods depending on how you view them. For the monotheist, just one of these variations or channels is "God". For the Polytheist all of these channels are gods....BUT......for the Omnist ALL of these realities come from a single Source. If both Monotheism and Polytheism would bring their conceptions together you would have the truth, and the truth would be magnified and strengthened tenfold because the bridge between two divisions would be nonexistent. The monotheist would understand that other gods and other incarnations also are an expression of the Divine, and the polytheist would come to terms that all gods come from the same source not separate origins.
Polytheism is in no way less evolved, I would say polytheism probably came before monotheism and monotheism only came about as a misunderstanding of polytheism. And this is coming from someone who has held a monotheistic belief most his life, but now I understand the nature of the soul and the nature of creation more precisely than I did. Now I know they are actually compatible and not a separate category at all. Think about it, you have one massive reality that takes on many roles and many expressions. This is why you have so many dynamics and various interpretations of one truth, from one arena. We're talking about an intelligent conscious reality that had no beginning and no ending, to try and stuff this reality in one corridor is insane, especially when you learn what consciousness is, what the soul is and how creation works. I'm not even saying that I'm a polytheist because I don't believe different overlords have separate origins. I'm a monotheist that understands the nature of incarnations and why polytheism fits perfectly within a singular reality. BTW, polytheism states this...…" is the worship of or belief in multiple deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals. In most religions which accept polytheism, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, and can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator deity or transcendental absolute principle (monistic theologies), which manifests immanently in nature (panentheistic and pantheistic theologies)."
Note that in that definition nowhere does it state the origin of such deities....only that there are more than one, how this ever got contrasted with a monotheistic theism is silly.....because all creation comes from a singular, omnipresent conscious reality.
These incarnations and channels for the Divine take on personalities and creative roles in our universes. Souls have unique experiences with these spiritual Beings and perceive they are much, much higher than we are and they are....but just as the new souls came from the heart of God all beings, all incarnations, angles, creatures, gods, spirits ect ect also come from that same truth. Even though Christianity is primarily perceived as monotheistic the OT is pretty clear there exists more than a single god.....note I said "god" and not God, because again we have gods coming from one God, or one Source. Yes, in theory these incarnations or lower gods would be considered inferior only in that they do not embody the fullness of the first Source, which is the root of all life. However, some incarnations DO take on the role of a god in creation and for some souls so again, when one comes to terms with what I've said here it can be assured that both polytheism and monotheism are in fact compatible because they both originate from one Source. I hope this is not confusing, some of these questions require a dynamic answer because it's a vast arena not to mention this is a fresh analysis nonetheless it's the truth of the matter.