Today I read an article that really made me pause and think.  The issue concerned the Catholic Church’s new pamphlet regarding the conversion of Wiccans.  The Catholic Truth Society website (http://www.cts-online.org.uk/acatalog/info_Ex35.html) has it up for sale.  I may buy one just to see what it says so I can write a more comprehensive article, but their synopsis has this to say:

Wicca and Witchcraft

Understanding the dangers

An introduction to these phenomena and how to evangelise those involved

To marginalised and spiritually hungry generations the growing spiritual phenomena of Wicca and witchcraft have proved attractive, with much to offer: power, supernatural abilities and socially acceptable agendas such as eco-activism and feminism. This booklet examines their origins, history, beliefs and practices, and then explains Catholic teaching’s cogent assessment of them. Furthermore it explores why young people are attracted to Wicca, and describes ways in which it is possible to bring witches and wiccans to Christ and his Church.

The pamphlet is written by an alleged former Wiccan, and I am immediately reminded of Christine O’Donnell.  From the blurbs sited in the article I can’t imagine where this woman practiced or learned her craft.  She seems to be prone to stereotype and misinformation.

She talks about the impact Wicca has on the children, because who can resist a scare tactic that uses children as bait, citing “psychological damage that can be done to a young person who is convinced that they have summoned the dead, or have performed a spell that has hurt or injured another.”  Man, I can’t remember the last time I had the four year-old help me summon the dead.  He’s far more advanced now, and performing his first blood sacrifice on his own.  Please, give me a break.

The other piece the article quotes is about offending God by using magick because it “attempts to usurp God”.  First of all, I’d never try to usurp God…any of them.  Secondly, I was raised Catholic.  I used to kneel in front of an onslaught of candles and pray a petition for whatever I deemed important.  I would fondle crystal beads offering prayers, attend rituals of benediction and praise, and remember a set of moral codes to live a good and ethical life.  Right, kind of like I do now.

The book apparently offers a few suggestions on conversation starters designed to lead to a successful conversion.  In my opinion it’s going to be a lot harder to convert people when a majority of them have explored other systems already, many who were Catholics at one time, and decided this is what worked for them.  I’m sorry, Ms Dodd, but if these “few simple steps” didn’t work when I was seven, they won’t work now.  Please don’t insult our intelligence.  We’re already keen on the fact that Catholicism so resembles Wicca.  We’re also hip to the fact that this isn’t a new trend for the church.  This is something that’s been done before.

On that note, I’ll have you all know I was raised Catholic and have very few unfavourable memories.  I’ve always hated the term “recovering Catholic”.  I consider many facets of the church sacred and beautiful, and respect anyone who finds Catholicism a good fit for her spirit.  This is the first time I’ve been seriously turned off by the church for something personal.    Live and let live, my friends.  I won’t bring my coven to the church picnic if you don’t bring your picket signs to my Beltane.

This is where we differ, and why I’ll always pick my community.  When I started planning my wedding, Hubby’s father was appalled by the amount of covenmates and spiritual friends we were inviting over cousins we hadn’t seen in decades.  His justification?  He didn’t invite his entire (Catholic) church to his wedding.  No, because we’re a family where his church was a group of people to sit with once a week.

In closing, I have a few tips for anyone who has bought the alreadey sold-out pamphlet and may be trying to convert me.

1. Save your breath.  Really, I’ve heard it all.

2.  I enjoy fire-play.  Your stake won’t scare me unless it’s above 70% isopropyl.

3.  You still haven’t thanked me for Christmas, Easter, or any of the other “Catholic traditions” you borrowed the first time you tried to convert us all.

4.  I may speak to my dead ancestors, but I never eat the facsimile my martyred savior.

Ok, so now I may be getting a little snarky.  I apologize, but after 12 years of the Catholic School system I came out of it with a respect and adoration for all cultures and spiritualities.  I’m slightly disappointed and sorry that these people will never know what that feels like.  I pray for all of them

Go now.  Pray for tolerance.

Namaste.

To read the article cited in this blog, go to:  http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/04/catholic-church-issues-guide-on-how-to-convert-witches/?a_dgi=aolshare_twitter

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