Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Even scarier than Nancy Pelosi. From Catholic.org:

Scholars from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) expressed concern that the church continued to dismiss the dark arts as mere superstition, thereby unwittingly helping the devil advance his reign.

For that reason, Christians who suffer because of witchcraft are often dismissed by priests as being superstitious, the scholars said. Because they do not get adequate help from pastoral agents, they seek the assistance of witchdoctors or join the mushrooming evangelical denominations that offer healing, exorcism and deliverance, they said.

Many African priests fear witchcraft or are ignorant of their own power to confront the devil, the scholars said, adding that Christians visit diviners and magicians to seek practical solutions which the church and science apparently do not offer.

And folks here worry about Harry Potter. There is serious supernatural stuff going on in the world and I don't think a lot of people are aware of how bad it is. We've discussed this here before. What I can't understand is how people can see the progressively worse headlines (like so) in the world and still not take note. To many Fr. Karrases. Not enough Fr. Merrins.


Philip said...

When the Mrs. and I lived in Tanzania, we attended a Lutheran Church service where a lengthy lecture was given by a prominent local physician and church elder on how witch doctors are not able to put curses on people.

Belief in witchcraft is very real in East Africa. I think that the Church would be well-served to help people deal with those beliefs. Afterall, didn't St. Patrick use local beliefs and customs as a way to teach about Christianity?

Throwback said...

Absolutely. My point, which on re-read wasn't that clear, is that folks here don't have to worry about this stuff. Harry Potter/Twilight is what you see people having kittens over. We don't know how lucky we have it.

I would suggest, though, that rather than giving some sort of rationalist explanation as to why witchcraft doesn't work, that the Church engage it on the supernatural level and present why it's inferior to Christ and cannot overcome Him. This will probably make more sense to the native population (as it did with the pagans in Rome and the Celts in Ireland) and it doesn't allow for any hedging of the question of whether or not there are demonic powers, hence my reference to Fr. Karras vs. Fr. Merrin.

Ignoring the existence of supernatural bad guys does a disservice to these people, not to mention that it seems to cut against current world problems (see the article I linked). There was a nationally reported story a couple of years ago about how the Vatican was trying to get more exorcists trained. I think stories like the one I mentioned are good indicators of why.