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Pope warns against witchcraft

Pope Benedict XVI praised marriage upon his arrival in Africa and warned the faithful against dabbling in witchcraft.

With the western world captivated by such bestsellers and movie franchises as Harry Potter and Twilight, Africa is seeing the darker side of the occult. Several countries are battling a resurgence in child sacrifice — as native witchdoctors promise health and prosperity if a human child is ritually mutilated, then murdered.

Pope Benedict XVI

The pope talked about the danger of combining Christianity with traditional African magic. Even though baptized into the Catholic Church, some faithful are being seduced by the promises of paganism, he noted. The pope condemned such practices, particularly those which lead to the sacrifice of children and murder of the elderly.

“Tens of thousands of Angola’s Catholics lined the streets of the capital for a blessing from Pope Benedict XVI, who urged the country’s faithful to reach out and convert people who believe in witchcraft,” reported Victor Simpson in the South African daily Mail & Guardian newspaper.

“In today’s Angola,” the pontiff said on Saturday at a mass in Luanda, Angola, “Catholics should offer the message of Christ to the many who live in the fear of spirits, of evil powers by whom they feel threatened.”

Simpson reported that the 81-year-old pontiff, wearing white robes, looked tired and moved slowly in the tropical heat.

Meeting with bishops from Angola and the nearby nation of Sao Tomé, the pope repeated his warning against witchcraft, then praised marriage and said the low percentage of couples formally married “shows a lack of spiritual maturity,” according to the news website RomeReports. He asked the bishops to promote a traditional family life amid a culture of co-habitation.

“The first problem is couples living together before marriage,” he said. “This contradicts God’s plan for generations and the human family.”

Why would the pope speak out against witchcraft?

“For many in the Western world, ‘witchcraft’ may seem a benign form of New Age spirituality; the chaplain’s handbook for the U.S. military recognizes ‘Wicca,’ a modern form of witchcraft, as a legitimate religious practice,” writes John Allen Jr., writing for the National Catholic Reporter. ”Across Africa, however, things look very different. The working assumption is that magical powers are real, but they’re demonic – a conviction that can have devastating consequences. Even after converting to Christianity, many Africans keep one foot in this cluster of beliefs and practices rooted in traditional African spirituality.”

Patrick Lafon, former secretary general of the bishops’ conference in the African nation of Cameroon, told Allen that many Catholics in Africa may show up for mass on Sunday, “but if there’s sickness in the family, they’ll also consult their tribal medicine man to find out who placed the curse and what they need to do to lift it.”

In February 2007, the Catholic University of East Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, held a three-day symposium on witchcraft. Experts warned that witchcraft is “destroying” the Catholic Church in Africa, in part because skeptical, Western-educated clergy don’t take the beliefs behind it seriously.

“It is important for the Church to understand the fears of the people, and not to attribute them to superstition,” said Michael Katola, a lecturer in pastoral theology. “Witchcraft is a reality; it is not a superstition. Many communities know these powers exist.”

Katola warned that inadequate Catholic responses are driving some Africans into evangelical Pentecostalism.

“Many of our Christians seek deliverance, healing and exorcism from other denominations because priests do not realize they have redemptive powers,” he said. “If we don’t believe in the existence of witchcraft as Satanism, then we cannot deal with it.”

Sister Bibiana Munini Ngundo told Allen that the Catholic Church has not paid sufficient attention to “integral healing,” leading people to put their trust in diviners and magicians. Father Clement Majawa of Malawi listed 14 categories of witchcraft practiced in Africa, and argued that the Church’s denial “only escalates the problem.”

“Since Christ in the Gospels encountered the devil, it is proper for Christians to accept the reality of witchcraft,” Majawa told Allen.

“In his remarks today, Benedict XVI alluded to one reason why the church has sometimes been reluctant to challenge witchcraft: an exaggerated ‘live and let live’ spirit of tolerance,” reported Allen. The pope noted: “Someone may object: ‘Why not leave them in peace? They have their truth, and we have ours.’”

In the end, the pontiff said, such timidity does no one any favors.

“If we are convinced that, without Christ, life lacks something, that something real – indeed, the most real thing of all – is missing, we must also be convinced that we do no injustice to anyone if we present Christ to them,” the pope said. “Indeed, we must do this. It is our duty to offer everyone this possibility of attaining eternal life.”



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Father JP Vanir

posted November 19, 2011 at 7:35 pm


Neither Twitlight nor Harry potter are in no way dark. Harry potter condemns using dark magick or hurting people and there magick is very tame and lame lol. As for Twilight there is no magick there and they are so not dark they sparkle in the light LOL which is rather lame and sad. They even condemn drinking human blood so how are they even Vampires? Im surprised your not condemning them for being gay with all there fairy nonsense? But dark? Please don’t make me laugh…



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Rev. Guido S. DeLuxe

posted November 20, 2011 at 10:39 pm


“Pope warns against witchcraft” but doesn’t offer a viable alternative…



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    Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

    posted November 21, 2011 at 6:56 am


    The Pope doesn’t offer an alternative? You wrote this in seriousness?



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Anamaria

posted November 23, 2011 at 9:49 am


The Pope does offer a VERY VIABLE ALTERNATIVE. If you are a true Christian it should go without saying: Jesus IS the alternative and the only true answer. I may be wrong, but I think the pope believes in Jesus… As Christians we should stop our petty differences and stand together in belief of what is the truth.

As for Twilight and Harry Potter; The point is not whether they work for good or evil. It is that we are programming our children to believe that witchcraft and vampires, and other experimenting with “magic” is normal and acceptable even sexy. If you accept white magic, you will be that much closer to accepting black magic.



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Panzer

posted November 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm


There are a lot of witches still to be burned…



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Victoria

posted November 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm


I wholeheartedly agree,people need to stop participating in witchcraft all over the world. If they had real faith and hope there would be no need to dabble in it nor do it. Especially a true believer, believes and watch there spiritual side prove it to them, with no intentions of adding wickedness to it.



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Josielle Bonnici Campagne

posted November 25, 2011 at 11:43 am


The pope is rigt to warn about the danger of witchcraft dabbling!
The fact certain Africans lack needs is also because certain so called ‘voluntary workers’ useother Africans to expoit the country,rather than go to give unconditionally!.

THE SOLUTION TO ALL PROBLEMS LIES IN LEARNING DIVINE PRINCIPLE.

AS THIS A MESSAGE FROM GOD TO HUMANITY REGARDLESS CULTURE RELIGIOUS BELIEF OR PRACTICE, IT IS FOR ALL TO LEARN GOD’S TRUE ORIGINAL PLAN RELATED TO ORIGINAL DIVINE NATURE ORIGINALLY IMBEDDED IN EACH HUMAN BEING AND DESPITE ANY PERSON’S,IT IS STILL THERE TO STAY FOREVER.

THE ORIGIN OF EVIL CAME ABOUT THROUGH satan’s SELF CENTERED PLAN BUT AS EVIL IS SELF-DESTRUCTIVE IT CANNOT BE FOREVER!.

GOD THEREFORE WORKS THEPROVIDENCE OF RESTORATION WHICH EXPOSES THE NATURE OF THE FALL OF MEN.

THREE SIMPLE PLANS TO HELP MANKIND COOPERATE WITH GOD IN HELPING US TO SNAP OUT OF THE RING-ROAD VICIOUS CYCLE OF SIN WHO MANY BELIEVE IT’S JUST CHRIST’S JOB TO REMOVE!.
PRIOR TO THE DOGMA’S SAINT ANTHONY TOLD US THET HE WHO CREATED YOU WITHOUT YOU CANNOT SAVE YOU WITHOUT YOU!.
BELIEVING WITHOUT CONVINCING HAS NEVER SAVED A PERSON BY MOTIVATING ENOUGH TO ACT WHOLEHEARTEDLY.
CHRIST CAME TO BE THE MODEL FOR ALL TO FOLLOW BUT THE PEOPLE BOTH RELIGIOUS OR NOT PROFITTED OF HIS MIRACLES BUT IGNORED HIS TEACHINGS AND ULTIMATELY KILLED JESUS!.
NO IT IS NOT GOD WHO SENT HIS ONLY BELOVED SON THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE,WHO SENT JESUS TO DIE.THE GOD WHO GAVE ‘THOU SHALT NOT KILL’ IN THE 10 COMMANDMENTS AS THE FOUNDATIONAL LAW PRIOR JESUS’ LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT & LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF’IS NOT A CAPRICIOUS CRAZY GOD WHO SENDS HIS ONLY SON TO DIE AFTER PREPARING SO MANY GENERATIONS TO RECEIVE MESSIAH?.JESUS CAME TO TEACH PEOPLE BUT WAS & IS REJECTED.nobody fought sin just by believing and not acting due to lack of logical conviction!
LEARN DIVINE PRINCIPLE TO APPLY IN THEORY UNDERSTANDING & IN PRACTICE.



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tonibarb

posted November 26, 2011 at 8:48 am


To the Pastors that are responding to this, You sound weak. What in the Hell is wrong with you. Get some back bone. You are suppose to know what to do about things such as this. Stop being so darn spineless. That’s why the sinners don’t want to follow the Christians. You spineless bunch of men. What does GOD say to do about wickedness. You bind it in the name of JESUS and you pray. You better be trying to search the scriptures and find out before you stand face to face with HIM. God is your sheperd and you better talk to HIM and be led by the Holy Spirit.



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susan blackwood

posted November 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm


Amen there is no reason to deny or ignore that jesus died and bled for us and we should shout and praise his name without fear



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jacob

posted December 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm


You know that by definition magic does not exist right? It would be called something else if were real, like science, black science, white science etc;



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Adewunmi, Adeleke Akinsola

posted December 3, 2011 at 4:53 am


At the 21st century the choice of topic of the Pope gives one cause for concern. If the church felt the western media is promoting movies that encourage witchcraft and other negative vices, what is the alternative the church is providing. I used to enjoy programmes like Touched by An angel, and other faith -based programme. I thought the best way to fight evil is by doing good? We are tired of being advised on what to do, let the western world produce videos that would draw people closer to God. We have gone too far to go back, they should stop those meaningless videos!



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Ray Fraire

posted December 27, 2011 at 10:07 am


Our new pope seems to have forgotten a huge geographical area of santeria witchcraft whatever name you give it, and that is all mexico central and south america not to mention cuba and all the island countries nearby, if he’s going to address this problem
get real and get zeroed in on all these areas



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Shira Israel-Levin

posted August 30, 2012 at 11:54 pm


The Pope is right in warning against the practice of witchcraft. It’s powers are real and seductive. There are demons of witchcraft behind the practice of it. Eventually the demon of witchcraft in the
person’s soul will turn the person who will
end up tormented. The Harry Potter series are dangerous in that evil, witchcraft, is called good darkness light.



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Bro. Crawford

posted October 2, 2012 at 11:31 am


I have read several of the above post and find there is a vast lack of understanding in this subject area.
Remember the book of Acts, chapter 16:16-18. A women with a spirit of divinity followed Paul and Silas around saying, these men are servants of the most high God, which show us the way to salvation. After a few days Paul turns and cast the spirit out in the name of Jesus. Remember the seven sons who tried to cast out a devil “by the same name Paul uses”. The demon itself said Jesus I know, Paul I know, but who are you? Then leapt onto them, beat them and stripped them all naked. We HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, we have power over the entire enemy. If you have the Spirit of the Most High GOD living inside you, have the mind of Christ and are led by the Holy Ghost, you are a Son/Daughter of GOD. For as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the Sons of GOD, even to those who believe on his name, JOHN 1:12.

If you know anything about magic at all, you know there is no difference between white or black magic. To practice either one involves the evoking of spiritual forces by means other than faith, and the Bible clearly states, what is not of faith is Sin. Not to mention during magical ritual you are to assume a God form, and we are in no way shape, form, or fashion a God. Magic will puff you up and pride is an abomination to GOD. If you look deep enough, you will see a relation between Freemasonry and Magic. All Lower level Masonic houses, including the 1st – 33rd Degree Scottish Rite, are equal to Magic, as triangles, squares and circles are to advanced mathematics. In the last days God will cause such a strong delusion, that even the elect would be deceived. Do not be troubled over this. Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice, and they will not answer another”.

Cain’s sacrifice was unpleasing to God because he did it out of duty. Abel’s sacrifice was accepted because he had a relationship with God and did it because he loved God. Some people stay in abusive relationships because they very much love the other person, even at cost of their happiness and safety. God allowed the Prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute, so he could see how Israel was treating their one true God. Search your heart. Count the cost. Ask yourself do you really love God, or are you just going through the motions? We come to God as we are, emotionally broken and bruised. We all fall to temptations from time to time, but it is a learning/growing process in our walk with our Father. Jesus told Peter. Satan desires to have you, so he can sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you. Jesus also prays for us. I say this… SONS/DAUGHTERS of the most high GOD. Stand strong in the power of his might and lean not to your own understanding. Hold fast to that little you have, so that NO MAN takes your crown. Without love, we are nothing, we are not of God. Do not be fooled. The spirit of Anti-Christ is already among us…even within the Church. Satan said, “I will be like the most high”. He wants to be worshipped. He is working through religion to reach his goal. He will one day bring a doctrine upon the world by strong oppression. Ask GOD to reveal the truth to you. Be careful of the one who says he is the voice of all Christianity. Be careful of the one who calls himself Vicar.



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Callin

posted October 8, 2012 at 7:57 am


You are all missing once important fact… In Africa, witchhunting is still popular and many innocent people are murdered that way, I don’t hear the pope speak about THAT!



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