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Catholic Church needs to review wizardly practice

I refer to the widely publicised exhumation of Msgr Aloysius Ngobya and Sister Amadeus Byabari’s bodies which was witnessed by among others, Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa and Brother Reginald Cruz from the Vatican. According to various media reports, this is because of the many “miracles” they are claimed to be performing for people who pray through them or petition them for intercession, even if they are both long dead. In its article, ‘How the Catholic Church tells who is in heaven,’ Saturday Vision of April 7, 2012 adds: “Once a miracle is proved, the venerable is cleared for beatification and given a new title – Blessed. Daudi Okello and Jildo Irwa of Gulu diocese are at this stage.”

The prominence given to the process and testimonies cited leave no doubt that Catholic Church teachings encourage her followers to petition, not only spirits of the dead, but also visit their graves when desperate for miraculous social, economic, physical health, career, protection and other breakthroughs, similar to what necromancers (those who carry out divination through alleged communication with the dead) in shrines teach their faithful, some of whom end up compelled into committing cold blooded ritual murders.

Being at the forefront of the fight against human sacrifice, I consider this to be a very big blow to the campaign against human sacrifice because those lured into it, indulge for similar reasons: miraculous social, economic, physical health, career, protection, cleansing and other breakthroughs.

It becomes very difficult to dissuade desperate Ugandans from indulgence in human sacrifice when communication with spirits is taught straight from church pulpits, right from the Vatican, by learned and spiritually knowledgeable men of God who convince their flock that the dead, when invoked, can perform miracles. Apparently, since a desperate person’s ability to think, reason, understand, perceive and make rational decisions is greatly impaired, divine intervention through the dead, no matter what it takes, even if it requires murdering or exhuming the dead and removing their parts becomes inevitable.

What the Catholic Church apparently indulges in by exhuming the dead, invoking their spirits for intercession, etc, amounts to necromancy or wizardry which is biblically condemned.

Acts 4:8-12 says: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: it is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is the stone you builders rejected which has become the cornerstone.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’”

The first Catholic Pope, Apostle (Saint) Peter must be taken seriously. Invoking the dead is a vanity. Furthermore, while in Leviticus 19:31 God forbids contact with necromancers, in Isaiah 8:19 He forbids consulting the dead and in Deuteronomy 18:10-12, He forbids necromancy.

Though in 1 Samuel 28:3-25, King Saul consulted a medium in Endor who called up the dead Prophet Samuel’s spirit, it couldn’t change his fate. Therefore, consulting spirits of the dead, be it Msgr Ngobya’s or any other’s, is a vanity, and it is tragic that the Catholic Church does not only indulge, but teaches and greatly publicises these acts, in a way, indirectly condoning desperate people’s resort to unusual practices, even murder that is instigated by witchdoctors at shrines.

I, therefore, call upon the Catholic Church to arise, re-examine and stop this practice so as to have the moral authority of fighting against spirit divination and ritual murders. Otherwise, it will have to humbly accept responsibility for the increased spirit-worshiping and human sacrifices occurring in Uganda. We need to change the people’s mindset for belief in necromancy if we are to succeed, in more than one way, fighting the gruesome ritual murders whose victims are very often children.

The author is Executive Director, Arising For Christ.

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