The Texas Inkling


The Church and the Witches by Jim Noble

A recent item in the news is the complaint of a coven of witches concerning the refusal of a Catholic “Social club” (parish hall) to host the groups Annual Witches’ Ball.  According to the Catholic News Agency, the High-Priestess of the group, Sandra Davis, stated that she was “appalled” and “shocked” that there could be “religious discrimination” against “people who follow an earth-based religion and want to enjoy ourselves.  We thought we were bridging the gap with other religions but misconceptions still exist, like we sacrifice animals.”

Pray tell, oh High-Priestess, what do you mean by “bridging he gap?”  That you no longer offer animal sacrifices (to the devil, no less) is certainly progress, but that is not the only thing which your religions supports or believes to which the Church objects.  One of the big ones is the fact that you persist in an earth-based religion, which by necessity has rejected God.  One cannot worship the natural when one believes in the super-natural.

Then again, Wiccans practice magic, if I am not mistaken.  Granted, the magic they claim is “white” magic—magic meant to heal—and not “black” magic—diabolically inspired magic meant to curse or otherwise harm—as per witches of ages past.  However, even “white” magic is a thing which the Church cannot tolerate, for even this is offensive to God, though to understand why one needs to know the difference between miracles and magic, for the latter is really an attempted usurpation of the former.

A miracle may be though of a thing granted by God in answer to a sincere prayer.  It may not be the thing prayed for, but it will be the thing most needed.  If one prays for healing after a physical injury, God may instead grant patience and healing of a spiritual injury.  It is His prerogative to answer prayers, which in turn will recognize this prerogative if sincerely prayed.

Thus, a miracle is based in the recognition that God is powerful, and that He knows what He is doing.  It stems often from a prayer, which is a form of worship of God, Who is not only omnipotent (all-powerful) but also omnibenevolent (all-good).  There is some amount of reverence, and also of trust, directed towards God in prayer, which will be answered by Him in the way He sees fit, often for the greatest benefit to the person in question.  The person thereby acknowledges, either implicitly or explicitly, that God knows what is best for him, and that God will do what is best, even if that means doing something unexpected (or doing nothing at all).

This can be contrasted with magic of any kind, in which the normal process of miracles is circumvented.  Here man—or, since we are talking about witches and not warlocks, woman—tries to take the power into his (or her) own hands.  The magic practitioner must say to himself, “I know what is best.”  The witch sees an injury and says “This must be healed,” not asking for a moment whether there may have been some purpose to this injury.

There is no appeal to God’s authority, only an appeal to one’s one authority, one’s own power, here.  At best, this might be modified to be an appeal to the authority of nature, or some nature gods and/or goddesses; these days, it’s often the latter when witches are involved.  At worst, as often happened historically, the appeal is to the power of the devil.  Any of these three scenarios goes against the First Commandment, that “I Am the Lord your God; thou shall have no other gods before Me.”

The use of magic, then, is akin to idolatry.  It says either that God is not omnipotent, or that He is not omnibenevolent, or that He is not omniscient (all-knowing), and that moreover there exists someone else (be it us, the nature goddess, or Satan) who posses one or more of these traits to a greater (or even equal) extent than God.  Such belief is, of course, not “compatible with the ethos and teachings of the Catholic Church,” as Fr John Royce put it.

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