20 Answers: Witchcraft & The Occult
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The Forces of Darkness are All Around Us
Are Wicca and witchcraft different words for the same thing?
What does the Church say about witchcraft?
What can I do if my child or friend are experimenting with witchcraft?
Can Catholics use the Ouija board?
In this booklet you’ll find smart, solid answers to these questions and many more.
Interest in witchcraft and occult practices is on the rise in our culture. 20 Answers: Witchcraft & the Occult introduces you to what witches believe and to some of their common practices. It also delves into related topics, such as yoga, the Ouija board, and the work of psychics. Most of all, it shows how to respond with solid answers, information, and assistance for those caught up in these soul-damaging practices.
The 20 Answers series from Catholic Answers offers hard facts, compelling arguments, and clear explanations of the most important topics facing the Church and the world—all in a compact, easy-to-read package.
Also available as an eBook
Softcover, Booklet, 67 pages
This is the first review I’ve written for a “20 Answers” booklet, and I will eventually write more. I own ten of these booklets, and thus far I have read four or five of them. I want to say in general that this series is a wonderful resource. I think these booklets fully succeed in what they set out to do, which is to provide readers with an overview of the particular subject matter and give them a working understanding of it. Furthermore, these booklets are inexpensive and readable (targeted to lay people who may or may not have theological knowledge), and they cover very relevant topics. Finally, coming from Catholic Answers I know that they are entirely faithful to the Magisterium. In a world of conflicting and counterfeit theological voices, this fact is vital to our spiritual guidance and ultimately to our salvation. I think Michelle Arnold does an excellent job in covering the basics of the various subjects in this booklet. She introduces them with a valid insight to why people turn to them in the first place: “Witchcraft and occult activity have been around for hundreds of years—possibly thousands. When people live in uncertain times, they begin to worry that God does not hear their prayers, and so they seek other ways of gaining the knowledge they need to take control of their lives. Recourse to witchcraft and the occult is primarily a sign of despair of the goodness of God” (pp. 5-6). From there, she proceeds to explain what these practices are and why they are spiritually dangerous. Considering that people are increasingly abandoning traditional faith and turning instead to these alternatives, Ms. Arnold’s work is timely and relevant. Ms. Arnold explores witchcraft, Wiccans and Satanists, occult practices, psychic mediums, the Ouija Board, yoga, and paranormal investigation. Being well-versed in these topics myself, I can say that her treatment of them is accurate and solid. I was particularly pleased to see her reference two important Church documents that address some of these matters, namely Jesus Christ, Bearer of the Water of Life by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Some Aspects of Christian Meditation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Considering all the problematic spiritualities in the world, both of these documents are well worth reading, and by citing them Ms. Arnold puts them on the reader’s radar. There are multiple references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church to support her points, and she also cites a variety of trustworthy sources, including: Peter Kreeft, The Catholic Encyclopedia, C.S. Lewis, the Modern Catholic Dictionary, and St. Thomas Aquinas. The text of the booklet is 67 pages long with another 8+ pages of endnotes. The twenty questions covered are: 1. What is witchcraft? 2. Are Wicca and witchcraft different words for the same thing? 3. Are witches Satanists? 4. What does the Church say about witchcraft? 5. Did the Church burn witches during the Middle Ages? 6. Is Halloween really a holy day for witches? 7. In what kinds of practices do witches engage? 8. Is witchcraft dangerous? 9. What do I do if I have dabbled in witchcraft? 10. What can I do if my child or friend is experimenting with witchcraft? 11. What is the occult? 12. What do mediums do? 13. What does the Church say about divination? 14. Can Catholics use the Ouija board? 15. Is yoga a pathway to the occult? 16. What are the dangers of magical and occult content in popular culture? 17. Is there such a thing as ghosts? 18. Can I watch ghost hunter shows on TV, go to a haunted house, or take part in ghost hunts? 19. Should psychics be consulted to help solve crimes? 20. What do I do if I think I am a psychic? I would heartily recommend this booklet. In my own experience of Church ministry over 40 years, I find that most people lack an accurate understanding of these topics at best and are entirely misguided about them at worst and see no harm in them. Nothing could be further from the truth.