Q. But since the “saints” are dead, and since the Bible condemns communication with the dead as necromancy, Catholic teaching clearly contradicts Sacred Scripture. Is that not true?

A. It is certainly true that in Deuteronomy 18:10-11 scripture condemns necromancy which is communication with the dead.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD…

But let’s think about what is meant in Deuteronomy. Would it even be possible to communicate with the souls of the dead unless God had a hand in it? No. So, if people are communicating to “souls” of the dead who might they actually be? I would say they are definitely evil spirits. And these evil spirits are pretending to be the soul of someone known to the person trying to contact the dead loved one or whoever. So, God is warning us not to open ourselves up to the lies and powers of the evil spirits- the fallen angels. And this warning is still very much in effect.

Also, when people practice divination or consult the dead they are communicating with spirits. Notice, scripture says “consults the dead” or in the King James “practices necromancy”. They do it in order to get answers from the spirit (divination) or at the very least some sort of communication from the spirit. Necromancy is the word that translates the Hebrew and the definition for necromancy is:

necromancy n
1. the practice of attempting to communicate with the spirits of the dead in order to predict or influence the future
2. witchcraft or sorcery in general (literary) -Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999

There is nothing in the practice that resembles Catholic intercessory prayer, of asking the saints to pray to God for us. And the Church teaches that it is through the power of God that our requests for prayer are made known to the saints. Therefore, Catholic intercessory prayer with the saints is not forbidden by scripture.

To find out more about Catholic intercessory prayer see under the category “Prayer to Saints


9 Responses

  1. Hehe, i’m a christian but not a catholic. My classmates keep bugging me for this kind of question
    “Why are you not catholic?”
    (90% filipinos are catholic)

    I asked them the same question, but their only reply is this:

    “It’s because our parents says it, so we must believe in it”

    I pity them though…they just do what their parents says yet they didn’t even mind reading a bible. They just sit there in the cathedral yawning while the priests babbles and just exits like nothing happens….and after that.. some even kisses the statues and dance for them…and why the hell do they put some statues of saints (they are like pagans)

  2. Dear Sakimichi,
    Unfortunately the teaching of the Catholic Faith to Children and adults has been pretty abysmal since Vatican II. It is turning around now but will be awhile before we see any results.
    I am a convert from a zealous Protestant faith because I found out that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church. All of the Protestant Churches were founded over 1000 years later by

    Calvary Chapel-Chuck Smith 1968

    Pentacostal- Gaston B. Cashwell,1907

    Jehovah’s Witness- Charles Taze Russell-1881

    Mormon- Joseph Smith-1831

    Baptist-Roger Williams 1639

    Reformed-Zwingli 1559

    Presbyterian-John Calvin/ John Knox in Scotland 1560

    Anglican/Episcopalian- King Henry VIII 1534

    Lutheran-Martin Luther 1517

    Eastern Orthodox Churches 1000 AD

    Catholic Church- Jesus Christ 33 AD

  3. How is it that the Eastern Orthodox was formed 1000 years later and why is not any man’s name associated with its forming?

  4. Steven,
    That is a good question.I had to look into it. Here is an edited version from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    It is the technical name for the body of Christians who use the Byzantine Rite in various languages and are in union with the Patriarch of Constantinople but in schism with the Pope of Rome. The epithet Orthodox (orthodoxos), meaning “right believer”, is, naturally, claimed by people of every religion.

    How “Orthodox” became the proper name of the Eastern Church it is difficult to say. It was used at first, long before the schism of Photius, especially in the East, not with any idea of opposition against the West, but rather as the antithesis to the Eastern heretics — Nestorians and Monophysites. Gradually, although of course, both East and West always claimed both names, “Catholic” became the most common name for the original Church in the West, “Orthodox” in the East.

    It would be very difficult to find the right name for this Church. “Eastern” is too vague, the Nestorians and Monophysites are Eastern Churches;there are sixteen Churches that make up this vast communion. .

    The Orthodox, then, are the Christians in the East of Europe, in Egypt and Asia, who accept the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon (are therefore neither Nestorians nor Monophysites), but who, as the result of the schisms of Photius (ninth cent.) and Cerularius (eleventh cent.), are not in communion with the Catholic Church.

    These sixteen Churches are: (1) The four Eastern patriarchates — Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem — and the Church of Cyprus, independent since the Council of Ephesus. (2) Since the great schism eleven new Churches have been added, all but one formed at the expense of the one vast Patriarchate of Constantinople. They are the six national churches of Russia, Greece, Servia, Montenegro, Rumania, and Bulgaria, four independent Churches in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, namely Carlovitz, Hermannstadt, Czernovitz, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and lastly the Church of Mount Sinai, consisting of one monastery separated from Jerusalem. One of these Churches, that of Bulgaria, is in schism with Constantinople since 1872.

  5. The “communion of saints” is an ancient phrase in the history of our Faith. It refers to the fact that all true believers, whether in this life or the next are part of the Body of Christ. When God uses one of His faithful departed ones to answer our requests, it does not detract from His glory one bit. For many years after abandonning my protestant prejudices I had difficulty with this concept. Colossians 2:18 specifically forbids the worship of angels, so how can we pray to anyone else besides God? I now view prayer and worship as two different, yet closely related activities.
    When I say the Prayer to Saint Michael, or the Guardian Angel Prayer, I am enlisting the aid of my God-given comrads in the battle for my soul. Prayer is my way of communicating with the communion of saints that are already with God.

  6. I cut myself short on that last comment. Prayer is also the name I give to my communication with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the worship of the Mass or my personal offerings.

  7. 51. Usually I don’t read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very nice article.

  8. Interesting discussion here. Nice article.

    My thoughts?

    I like being protestant. My Jesus has time for me. He is my only mediator (1 Tim. 2:5). He prays for me continually (Rom. 8:34). And when my prayers aren’t good enough to come before God – guess what? The Holy Spirit does some editing on them, to tell God exactly what I meant by that “groan, which is too deep for words,” (Rom. 8:26).

    You can ask St. Ignatius or Mary or whoever to pray for you if you want, I guess…they are watching us (Heb. 11:1), so sure – maybe they pray too. All I can think of is, “why waste your time?” Go straight to God, through the Trinity. He knows what we need before we ask Him (Mat. 6:8), and He delights to give us good gifts (Luke 11:3).

    That’s my two cents, anyways…

  9. Josiah,
    We can and do pray to God directly. But intercessory prayer works. And it is recommend in Scripture. That is why both Protestants and Catholics ask our brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for us. We simply acknowledge our brethren in Heaven as well.

    I liked being Protestant too at the time. But being Catholic is such a relief from many things:

    *The arrogance that came from being my own pope. Humility is so much more peaceful.

    *The need to figure out Christian truth on my own from Scripture alone.

    *Divisions in the Church, that contradicted Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17.

    *Divisions between Protestant denominations. Divisions between Members of each denomination.

    *Division between members of each local church if conversation veered deeper than the surface unity of “Jesus died for our sins to save us.”

    *Perplexity about many verses that sounded very Catholic. No Protestant interpretation was convincing.

    *No final authority for Truth anywhere in Protestantism.

    I have been Catholic for 12 years this Easter. I still am so Blessed to be Catholic!

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