Saint Clare's parish in Braintree is having an Evening of Magic for Adults only. Be dazzled and amazed at this Performance on Friday, October 14 at 7 p.m. in the parish hall, downstairs of church.
What is the matter with these people?
A parish trip to Hooters to play with ouija boards?
CC 2117: All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.
A few comments have reminded me that we should be clear about Catholic teaching on magic in general and what makes this particular event at Golgotha so screwball.
Simply stated, 'magic' becomes problematic when the 'magician' does things that violate laws of nature.
Card tricks, pulling a rabbit out of a hat, pulling a quarter from behind your ear and other slight-of-hand tricks that use distraction - these are not problematic.
Let's use David Copperfield as an example of what can go awry when you dance on the border of 'magic'. Most of Copperfield's 'tricks' involving sophisticated equipment and flexible women are harmless. About twenty years ago his illusions graduated to making building and statue of liberty 'disappear' in front of live audiences. The tricks were done with obstacles and lights and were not a problem in substance. Yet this starts to get out of my comfort zone. Copperfield has the money and time but we don't have the same kind of confidence about a local guy who could take you to the parking lot of a KofC and make the building disappear.
Again, making things 'disappear' using distraction and optical illusion is harmless but similar tricks could be used by people using power only the devil can supply. Why on earth would I want to give my children the impression it's all harmless? We open the door to things and people who would introduce harmful things. It's a stupid thing to do.
On it's face, it is very little difference to the uncatechized. They won't know the difference. Our people do not have the skills to know the difference. Children do not have the skills to know the difference.
Consequently, any kind of 'magic' show does not belong in your parish hall. The Church hall is not a public event venue for money changers and all forms of entertainment. It's a place reserved for things for teaching, a gathering place for people who have just received the Body and Blood of Christ, a place to bring a speaker or hold an event that is Catholic. You are ten feet away from Golgotha. You are standing on holy ground. Guard this space in your parish accordingly. Just like Christ did.
Any kind of 'magician' that involves or appears to involve mind reading or a stranger having personal knowledge or communications about you, your family, your dead relatives, your future or your past is a form of divination.
2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.
2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future.48 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 is wrong with this particular event?
1. It's an inappropriate use of holy ground.
2. It pastorally opens up stupid people and the uncatechized to events and people who are using divination and powers of the devil.
3. It's an R-rated-adults-only event, which should alert lucid people that something is askew. Thecontent could be sexual or vulgar in nature or includes some form of divination.