Skip to comments.The Witch Next Door
Posted on 04/23/2006 6:20:58 PM PDT by Coleus
Pretence of Antiquity Empty Rites Catholics Have a Real Priesthood
Witchcraft and paganism have been growing worldwide, especially the practice of Wicca, for which courses one can now get a tax write-off in the Netherlands, according to the Associated Press. Although Wiccans profess no hard-and-fast doctrine and practices vary, the main beliefs, as stated in Catherine Edwards Sanderss Wiccas Charm, are as follows: all things are equal and humans have no special place in the world; humans possess divine powers unlimited by any deity, and they are gods or goddesses who can and should change their consciousness by rites, including spells and herbal magic; Mother Earth is a goddess called Gaia. Somehow for Wiccans the inner contradictions in all this dont matter or dont register. Isnt paganism a historical relic? Not quite. The group Covenant of the Goddess claims to count 800,000 Wiccans in America alone, whereas Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance estimates their numbers in the United States to range from 2,000 to 5 million. The Los Angeles Times stated that a survey funded by the Lilly Endowment in 2002-2003 found that almost one-third of one percent of teenagers admitted being in an alternative religion.
Neither is Wicca a historical expression of paganism. It was started by Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner sometime after 1900 and given the name Wicca from the Old English word wicċa for witch, probably to lend it some authenticity and roots. Some Wiccans claim that their religion is a return to the religious origins of man. Thats not true. Even though the US Supreme Court accepted Wicca as an official religion in 1986, its main theistic elements are a far cry from the genesis of mans religious experience. The god of Wicca is a hungry, easy-going, ghost-god who cares for [a Wiccan´s] family, according to Andrew Longs The Making of Religion; such a deity is more likely to be a degenerate of the demanding, transcendent, omnipotent God that every primitive people believed in than vice versa. Common sense.
Part of its popularity is its adaptability: with no dogmatic demands or stone-carved commandments, it fits almost any cultural situation. Gene Chambers, owner of an alternative spirituality store, stated in an interview with the Boston Globe, "People are seeking less formal spirituality without the tenets and without the dogmas of organized religion.... The uniqueness of being a pagan is the ability to incorporate other ideologies in your belief system." The witch who works in a beauty salon can use her herbal spells to improve the shine of her clients hair, while the warlock who sells his self-made computers on the Web can perform his rites as he waits for his programs to download. It works just as well for the chainsaw-murderer as for the philanthropist.
More than two-thirds of Wiccans are women, and the movement is dominated by strong feminist tendencies (paradoxically, Wicca was founded by two men, one of whom was a misogynist). It presents an escape for many women who feel their Christian churches have nothing to offer them in the way of active participation. This particular outlook stems from a misunderstanding of religion, which cannot be reduced to attendance at Sunday Mass or worship. The loss of observance leaves many wanting more ceremonies and ritual in their lives, something which kids easily pick up from their parents. Perhaps as well there has been a loss of fervor in the ministers who preside at their religious community's functions or they sense no real, internal participation by the community itself.
What does the Catholic Church have to say about it? Simply that a Catholic cant supplement his or her Catholic faith with Wicca, or any other magic or spirit cult: It has no real belief in God, and it neglects the reality of the human soul and man as made in Gods image. Man indeed has a special place in the world, which was given to him to be its steward. Moreover, a personal relationship with God is not only possible, but necessary. The Catholic Church even goes one better on the issue of womens participation in religion. The Second Vatican Council stressed the point of the universal priesthood in which all Catholics share: it is active participation in the life of the Church, not by taking the place of the ordained priest, but by bringing the Church into ones daily life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: The entire community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each one according to his own vocation, in the mission of Christ, Priest, Prophet, and King (no. 1546). If that is not involvement, what is?
Nevertheless, Wicca remains enchanting to adolescents. The occult, the secret, the darker elements that Wiccans claim exist, and the out-of-the-closet things like Ouija boards intrigue the teenage mind. Without a firm religiosity Americas adolescents are easy prey, contemporary Hansels and Gretels seduced by the subtle lies of the occult. Br. Paul Stein, LC is a brother with the Legionaries of Christ.
Catholics Have a Real Priesthood
I saw this in the AM, but never got it posted. Thanks!
It is my understanding that a rise in occultism preceded the rise of Hitler by about a generation.
What sort of "leader" are our children being groomed for?
Can't go wrong with an estimate like that!
Chesterton said it best.
"When people cease to believe in the one, true God they don't just believe in nothing.
They believe in anything".
I think it is traceable to the 19th century spiritualist and early 20th century Theosophical movements.
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