London, UK - According to Elizabeth Dodd, a former Wiccan, in her pamphlet: Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Danger, published by the Vatican associated publisher, the Catholic Truth Society in England, the Roman Catholic Church has changed its position on the treatment of persons who are Wiccans and witches. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1353517/Catholic-Church-issues-guide-convert-Harry-Potter-witches-Christianity.html;http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/04/catholic-church-issues-guide-on-how-to-convert-witches. In the guide, the author says that it is important to recognize that Wiccans are on a genuine spiritual quest providing a starting point for dialog that may lead to their conversion. She goes on to say that "whether spellwork is effective or not has no bearing on the 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."
John Lenz, the assistant manager of the popular Kansas City religious bookstore, Aquarius Books, and a Second Degree Initiate of Wicca, commented on the statements in the article. He noted that most former Catholic witches have left the Church because they have been "bludgeoned" with the Love of Christ. He means that they have been told that to believe in a spiritual path not approved by the Church would be a sure pathway to hell and that because people love you and want to help you, you should not follow this path. He points out that true followers of the Path of Wicca do not believe in harming others as the adopt the creed of Wicca, which is "Do what thou willst, harming none."
Thomas Albin, a Third Degree Wiccan High Priest of the Gardnerian Wiccans and a Tata of Palo Mayombe (Voodoo), responded that he is offended that the church would think that he needed to be converted. He considered the proselytism to be wrong and even violent. He argues that there is no difference between Mayombe's veneration and prayers to saints and the Catholic church's veneration and prayers to saints except that the followers of Mayombe believed it worked more than the Catholics. He said that Gardnerian Wiccans were sincere followers on a legitimate pathway to G-d who had to study much before they were initiated and continued to study and grow as they acquired higher and higher degrees. He pointed out that the Gardnerian system, the mother system of Wicca, does not admit anyone under the age of 18 and therefore they are adults, not young people. Further, it is strongly frowned upon in Wicca to do a spell that injured another and he hoped that there sense of regret would stop them from doing those kinds of spells again. He pointed out that Wiccans had begun to feel unwelcome in the Catholic church, and he was a Catholic at one time, long before they became witches. He argues further that many of the prayers that Catholics pray are not 100% pure but if those prayers are answered Catholics feel no regret for having prayed those prayers.
One question that should be raised is if the Catholic Church admits that Wicca is a "genuine spiritual quest" how is it different from Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Daoism, Sikhism, or any other great religion. Is the Catholic Church willing to enter into an ecumenical dialogue with Wiccas as it has done with most of the other great religions? Who would represent the Wiccans? John suggested that Selena Fox might have the standing to represent all Wiccans. Thomas suggested Ray Buckland, the man who brought Wicca to America.
One other question that should be asked is if the Roman Catholic Church is willing to try to convert rather than kill witches despite the clear statement of scripture which says "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live", is it now willing to rethink the treatment of gays who are called faggots because their bodies were used to light the bonfires around witches as they were burned to death? After all, witches are to be killed, while gays are only abominable.
This is the first of a series in which other local churches are asked about their position on Wicca.