spiritism catholic perspective

This is a summary of the conference I delivered for Católicos por Convicción regarding the practice of Spiritism and its opposition to Christian beliefs. If you understand Spanish, you can watch the following video for the whole speech.

Escucha la conferencia en Español.

Spiritism (origins)

  • Ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Greece
  • Native American Cultures
  • Celts and Druids
  • The East
  • Resurgence in the 19th century

Objective of Spiritism

  • Seeking guidance and advice
  • Finding comfort
  • Resolving unfinished matters

Bases of this belief

  • Religious worldview
  • Honoring ancestors
  • Personal experiences
  • Spiritist tradition

The term “necromancy” comes from the Latin “nigromantia,” which in turn derives from the Greek “νεκρομαντεία” (nekromanteía), meaning “divination of the dead.”

Forms of communication with the Beyond

  • Table knocking in response to questions
  • Automatic writing; writing on a slate
  • Speaking in trance
  • Clairvoyance
  • Descriptions of the spiritual world
  • Communication from the deceased
  • Ouija board
    • Originated in the 19th century
    • Elijah Bond, Charles Kennard, and William H.A. Maupin were involved in the invention and patenting of the Ouija board in the United States.
    • They took advantage of the spiritualism trend to commercialize the board.
    • Subconscious movements of participants.

An innocent game?
Communicate with Jesus Christ?

Personal testimony

  • Without the Ouija board
  • Precautions (praying the Our Father, using a glass of water, candles)
  • Contact with the spirit of a 5-year-old girl
  • Descriptions and predictions impossible to know
  • Physical manifestations (noises, lights turning on and off)
  • Unexplained illnesses
  • Appearances even years after the contact

Risks of Spiritism

  • Possible contact with malevolent entities posing as family members
  • High risk of demonic possession
  • Emotional dependence
  • Deviation from faith

Justifying these beliefs with the Bible

  • 1 Samuel 28:3-25

The eternal deception
Genesis 3:5 – “You will be like God.”

What does the Bible say?
Leviticus 19:31 (NIV) – “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.”
Leviticus 20:6 (NIV) – “I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people.”
Isaiah 8:19 (NIV) – “When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God?”

Warning to the Egyptians
Isaiah 19:3 (NIV) – “The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will bring their plans to nothing; they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, the mediums and the spiritists.”

Why consulting the dead is not an innocent practice?

  • It goes against I Commanment
  • Risk of contact with evil entities that decieve
  • Psicosis, Mental and Emotional Manipulation
  • It goes against faith in God

Officiorum ac munerum
Pope Leo XIII
Apostolic constitution
Lumen Gentium
Pope Paul VI
Nov 21, 1964
Pope Francis
Homily at Casa Santa Marta

  1. All forms of divination should be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead, and other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future (cf. Deuteronomy 18:10; Jeremiah 29:8). Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

What to do if we have fallen into spiritism?

  • Rule out demonic possession (consult an exorcist)
  • Examination of conscience
  • Reconciliation
  • Penitence
  • Complete renunciation
  • Daily prayer (Rosary)
  • Constant participation in the Eucharist

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

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