Thursday, June 18, 2009

Roman Catholic Church persecutes witches

Hubble bubble, there’s toil and trouble bubbling away in Shrewsbury since a coven of witches was prevented by the Roman Catholic Diocese from holding its annual Witches’ Ball in Our Lady’s Social Club (...Our Lady has a social club?). This is not the first such instance: a Baptist church has previously objected to yogic flyers using its facilities because of their ‘unchristian’ practice which ‘promoted other spiritualities’.

But the statutory obligation to accommodate witchcraft is precisely the sort of ‘clash of rights’ about which Cranmer has been warning for years. It is absurdly comic, but deadly real. Deadly, that is, in a spiritual sense, for what authentic church could possibly consent to facilitate witchcraft? What fellowship hath light with darkness? And it may be deadly in a literal sense too if these witches now see fit to curse the Diocese or stick pins into the Reverend John Joyce whose task it was to respond to these midnight hags.

Sandra Davis - High Priestess at the Crystal Cauldron - had reserved a room in Our Lady's Social Club, though she could not have disclosed the name of her organisation or the precise nature of the event. When she rang to make payment, she was informed that her Witches’ Ball could no longer be accommodated - despite having already printed tickets – and that another venue must be found.

The Reverend John Joyce explained: “Parish centres under our auspices let their premises on the understanding users and their organisations are compatible with the ethos and teachings of the Catholic Church. In this instance, we aren't satisfied such requirements are met.”

To which Witch Sandra responded: "I'm appalled. My congregation is shocked that in this day and age there can be such religious discrimination. We're normal people who follow an earth-based religion and want to enjoy ourselves. We thought we were bridging the gap with other religions but misconceptions still exist, like we sacrifice animals. Does the church check everyone's beliefs before allowing them in the club?”

They are normal people?

One glance at their picture establishes that their sense of normality is as warped as that of any other religious fanatic whose concept of weirdness and arrogated guardianship of orthodoxy presumes a perversely normative egocentricity. There are quite a few about, asserting their theological self righteousness and pontificating their puerile proclamations about what must be believed or performed; about who is good and who is bad. And some of these professing Christians might as well stick pins into the effigies of those they persecute, for they are devoid of love, joy, peace, patience.

But the High Priestess also talks of her ‘earth-based’ religion as though it were the lack of transcendence which renders Paganism anathema. And then she plays the ecumenical card, projecting on to the Roman Catholic Church a narrow-minded bigotry for refusing to ‘bridge the gap’ with Satan worship.

And before Cranmer is inundated with emails informing him that not all witches worship Satan and that even fewer sacrifice animals, he wishes to make it plain that he believes salvation is found in Christ alone, a logical corollary of which would be that witchcraft – white, black or pink and fluffy – leads to damnation.

In a later report of this story, Witch Sandra is quoted as saying: "It makes you think that there is still a little bit of that attitude from the past of the Catholics wanting to burn witches. I thought we had made progress, that we could accept other people's religious paths."

Well, Sandra, some have made progress and others are pathologically incapable of doing so: one person's progress is another's regress.

The acceptance of diverse religious paths is intrinsic to liberal democracy and tolerance of differing views is wholly necessary in a pluralist society. But the statutory obligation increasingly being placed upon churches to accommodate practices and beliefs which are antithetical to Christian teaching and tradition is the real persecution. It is uniquely the Christians who are being burned at the stake by Labour’s obsession with intolerant anti-discrimination and equality legislation.

Perhaps if the witches had all been lesbians, their case would have been incontrovertible.

49 Comments:

Blogger McKenzie said...

"for they are devoid of love, joy, peace, patience."

That's exactly where I find myself.

18 June 2009 at 10:28  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Why not have a look at the similarities of both groups.

The ladies like dress-up. So does the Church.

The ladies like superstitious mumbo-jumbo. So does the
Church.

The ladies are into a sacred vessel. So is the Church.

And as far as the Anglican church is concerned, isn't Beardy Williams a honorary druid - a pagan priest?

Methinks Your Grace doth protest too much.

18 June 2009 at 10:32  
Blogger Mike Rouse said...

Is it true that the King James Authorised Version changes a line to read: "thou shall not suffer a witch to live" where the original line was "thou shall not suffer a poisoner to live"

Somebody told me about this once and that it was because King James hated women and also wanted to deal a blow to the pagans.

Any truth in it?

18 June 2009 at 10:55  
Anonymous Morus said...

Witch Sandra: "I thought we had made progress, that we could accept other people's religious paths."

From false trials by ducking followed by burning at the stake, to having to reprint tickets to a party because it can no longer be held in the Church Hall - in the field of religious toleration, that counts as quite remarkable progress!

18 June 2009 at 11:08  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Rouse,

The phrase to which you refer is found in Exodus 22:18. The Hebrew word is 'kâshaph', which is used only once more throughout the entire Old Testament. It literally means to whisper a spell, ie, to inchant or practise magic, and is associated with sorcery and witchcraft.

A derivative word is 'kashshâph', which is most frequently rendered magician or sorcerer.

There are several Hebrew words variously translated 'poison', but only 'rôwsh' (poisonous plant, venom) would fulfil your contextual stipulation. That is not the Hebrew word used in this sentence, therefore there is no truth in the assertion that this was purposely rendered in a fashion 'to deal a blow to the pagans'.

18 June 2009 at 11:21  
Blogger Mike Rouse said...

Thanks, your grace. My pagan friend will be most disappointed at our next beer-based debate.

18 June 2009 at 11:25  
Anonymous wonderfulforhisage said...

I wonder how acceptable a Gay Pride knees up would be? And if a booking were refused would this be against the law?

18 June 2009 at 11:37  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Equality Bill 2009 Schedule 23 Paragraph 2

(3) The organisation [churches] does not contravene Part 3 [services and public functions], 4 [premises] or 7 [associations], so far as relating to religion or belief or sexual orientation, only by restricting –
(a) membership of the organisation;
(b) participation in activities undertaken by the organisation or on its behalf or under its auspices;
(c) the provision of goods, facilities or services in the course of its activities undertaken by the organisation or on its behalf or under its auspices;
(d) the use or disposal of premises owned or controlled by the organisation.

18 June 2009 at 12:01  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Burning witches ? The idea has some merit but quite why this absurd woman thinks we should do so eludes me.

As a taxpayer I should like to throw a birthday bash at the Foreign Office, I hear it has nice architecture and decor and as a taxpayer funding the place I feel my right of access should not be restricted by private security guards.

Likewise 10 Downing Street where men with guns and gates obstruct my access to a public building funded by the taxpayer even when I appear to be funding Sky TV subscriptions and ironing bills for the tenant. If this were a stately home it would need to be open to the public...The White House is

18 June 2009 at 12:03  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Gnostic

The ladies like to dress up? Really? I thought that they went 'sky-clad'. That picture just shows them in mufti.

Anyway, in spite of their protestations, that pentangle looks pretty dodgy to me. I've read Dennis Wheatly's 'The Devil rides out'

Top marks to Father John Joyce for vetoing the event. Brave man. Not only does he risk being hexed by the coven, he also risks being savaged by the Grand Witch herself, Wicca Wiccarum (or is it Vacca Vaccarum), Harriet Harperson herself.

18 June 2009 at 12:25  
Anonymous otacilia said...

It seems a bit unPagan to be having their bit of a do in a church hall. A blasted heath or a forest glade, or a trip to the Stiperstones might have been a better idea.

I may be underestimating the midnight hags, but as long as they are not Satanists or Luciferians, is what they are doing any more spiritually harmful than being a UFOlogist, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist or a morris-dancer?

18 June 2009 at 12:26  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Can the Yoga club book the church hall Mr Singh?

wv raver

18 June 2009 at 12:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I listen to Gordon Brown at PMQ's, it occurs to me that pointing out truth and injustice is extremely futile: He will go away and conjure up some mendacious statistics which will confound and circumnavigate any argument that he deems to be IN THE WAY.

Good points in here today, but we are the party of investment and you have not produced any figures to back up any of these claims. You are obsessed with personality.

My figures show what people want. "I find your lack of faith disturbing".

18 June 2009 at 12:47  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Yoga

If the Equality Bill becomes an Act, I would suggest that the Yoga club could be banned (yoga: from Hindu philosophy).

18 June 2009 at 12:50  
Blogger Manfarang said...

And the Vegetarian Club Mr Singh?

18 June 2009 at 13:02  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Vegetarian club - that'll cost another shilling for advice, please.

18 June 2009 at 13:08  
Anonymous TBF said...

But then couldn't you ban the gay club because it's basically Greek/pagan in origin?

18 June 2009 at 13:17  
Blogger John Woolman said...

They could always try the local Quaker Meeting House. I sometimes think that the equivalent for a non-Christ centred Quaker of going up the candle is to start taking an active interest in Wicca. It is only one short step from believing that there is that of God in everyone to believing there is that of God in everything.

18 June 2009 at 13:21  
Blogger Dave H said...

Perhaps they'll be more sympathetic at the Mosque.

18 June 2009 at 13:45  
Blogger John Woolman said...

@Dave H. I doubt it.

See the Koran 113:1-5 "Say: 'I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak. From the evil of that which He created. And from the evil of darkness when it settles. And from the evil of the blowers in knots. And from the evil of an envier when he envies'."

The blowers on knots are usually understood to mean witches.

18 June 2009 at 13:49  
Blogger Dave said...

The church must make up its mind whether it is an inclusive or exclusive organisation.
If it decides to have a closed membership, thereby denying its facilities to non-members, or restricting the use to those it approves of, then it can rightly justify banning witches and pagans from using the premises. However, it will probably lose its charitable status and other perks.

If however it continues to be an inclusive organisation, a service to the community etc etc, then it can't pick and choose who uses those facilities.

The church can't have it both ways can they?

18 June 2009 at 13:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Examples of religion or belief are issued in the notes to the
Your Grace,

Equality Bill 2009. They broadly follow a definition consistent with Art 9 European Convention on Human Rights – which I can assure you is not worth much.

Religious folk are second-class citizens right across Europe and particularly Christians.

Communism, Darwinism, Fascism and Socialism are not beliefs, according to the notes, that fall within the definition; nor faith in Newcastle United FC.

The Equality Bill 2009 Schedule 23 Paragraph 2

(6) Sub-paragraphs (3) to (5) permit a restriction relating to religion or belief only if it is imposed –
(a) because of the purpose of the organisation, or
(b) to avoid causing offence, on grounds of the religion or belief to which the organisation relates, to persons of that religion or belief.

(7) Sub-paragraphs (3) to (5) permit a restriction relating to sexual orientation only if it is imposed –
(a) because it is necessary to comply with the doctrine of the organisation, or
(b) to avoid conflict with strongly held convictions within sub-paragraph (9)….

(9) The strongly held convictions are –
(a) in the case of a religion, the strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion’s followers;…

18 June 2009 at 13:52  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Mr Singh
I don't have any Kenyan shillings.
Will Thai baht do?

18 June 2009 at 13:58  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Does Your Grace have any reliable statistics on whether witches or the clergy of Holy Mother Church have practised the most child sex abuse over the centuries?

18 June 2009 at 13:59  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Manfarang - put it down to pro bono work. An idea first developed by John Cook the lawyer who prosecuted King Charles I.

18 June 2009 at 14:02  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Well that U2 bloke gets everywhere Mr Singh!

18 June 2009 at 14:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The crucial difference is those who believe in and practice Christ's teachings and those who do not.

Be they in frocks, trousers or naked.

18 June 2009 at 14:13  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Anony 14:13

Did Christ's disciples wear frocks and trousers?

18 June 2009 at 14:23  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

I'm looking forward to having a test case of attempting to book this year's beer fest in my local mosque. Should be fun, eh? And we can follow this by a tarts'n vicars kneesup at the same venue, followed later by the annual pig farmer's convention. Then we can see how much equality we really have in these matters.

18 June 2009 at 14:59  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

If the Equality Bill 2009 becomes an Act – then in order to claim that one has suffered negative discrimination one must fall under a ‘protected characteristic’. The ‘protected characteristics’ are:

1. Age;
2. Disability;
3. Gender reassignment;
4. Marriage and Civil Partnership;
5. Pregnancy and Maternity;
6. Race;
7. Religion or Belief;
8. Sex; and
9. Sexual Orientation.

18 June 2009 at 15:13  
Anonymous Penny said...

I was taught by the Dominican Sisters - quite the activists in the Inquisition I'm told - and frankly, witches would have been less scary:-)

18 June 2009 at 16:11  
Blogger Gnostic said...

To Ultramontaine Grumpy Old Catholic.

It's not only witches that have thread free fun. Some vicars go skyclad too. I found this on the Independent website:

David and Susan Fowell were married in the nude at South Hants holiday naturists club

"We'd been naturists for a few years before the wedding," said David. "We're not exhibitionists; for me, naturism is a family thing. It's a lovely way of life, very open and honest. When Sue got breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy a few years after we met, being a naturist stood her in good stead because she was comfortable with her body. That's the naturist way - we accept ourselves, we're all natural with lumps, bumps, scars, you name it. When we decided it would be nice to get married naked, Sue thought it could help other women in her position not to feel bad about their bodies. We had a clothed ceremony at a register office, then went along to South Hants Country Club where we had a blessing, performed by a naturist vicar called Father Bowles, and a wonderful party. Some of our guests weren't naturists and came clothed, which the club decided was OK on this occasion. It was a shame that some family members, like my brother and our children from previous marriages, refused to come because of the nudity. But since then some of them have come to the club with us anyway."

:D

18 June 2009 at 16:20  
OpenID jamestheless said...

manfarang,

"Did Christ's disciples wear frocks and trousers?"

Not at the same time, no.

18 June 2009 at 18:53  
Blogger What's in a name? said...

It would be a whole lot easier if Christians ditched the entire organisational/denominational side of things and rediscovered simple Christianity, where they didn't have official buildings but met underground or in homes and shared the Life of Jesus Christ with each other and their neighbours.
It would cut out all this sort of time wasting and peripheral nonsense.
Your Grace, I enjoy your epistles a great deal, but your adherence to the institutional church prevents you from being radical enough.

18 June 2009 at 19:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story actually started in the Manchester area.

http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2009/06/roman-catholic-church-persecutes.html

18 June 2009 at 19:36  
Blogger Joe Williams said...

Thankyou Your Grace for highlighting another concrete example of the hypocrisy of distorted contemporary liberalism - everything must be tolerated except absolutes.

As a Christian leftist I am saddened by the Labour party's abandonment of value politics and their insistence of legislating the affairs of civic and religious bodies according to Westminster's latest whim of political correctness.

18 June 2009 at 21:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Witch Sandra's stance reminded me of the 'Not the 9 O'clock News' sketch which began "Tonight we ask, "The Devil, is he all bad?""

In twenty years the satire has morphed into reality...


Jay

18 June 2009 at 22:31  
Anonymous cosmic said...

That's not persecuting witches, it's treating them with self-effacing excessive politeness.

Chuck her in a pond and see if she drowns, if she does, that's the end of the matter, if she doesn't, burn her.

Witch my foot, I'll lay cash she couldn't freeze a horse against the whip if her life depended on it.

Mercy suggests she should merely be flogged, told to sin no more, blessed and sent on her way

New Age foolishness.

18 June 2009 at 23:28  
Blogger Neil said...

Your Grace,

I find their (the grand hag or whatever her name is) talk of burning at the stake an insult to your great memory. For surely the purifying flames of the stake are far too great an honour for a group of harridans who will be charred on the coals of Hades.
Aside from the all other arguments, surely if a Witches Coven were allowed in the Temple, then surely the gates would be open to the gamblers and traders that Our Lord vehemently expelled from his house. May as well be akin to a thoroughfare than a place of worship.
Secondly I often wonder of the dedication these so called 'witches' have to their 'faith'. Would they as you did, face the same spiritual trials as St. Peter and die for their own faith or at least be heavily burdened? They talk of burning yet I believe that they deceive, and instead seek comfort in the oxymoronic state of orthodox unorthodoxy - being different, but doing it together.

19 June 2009 at 01:03  
Blogger ZZMike said...

It would appear, from the photo, that the term "witch" is not inappropriate.

"... prevented by the Roman Catholic Diocese from holding its annual Witches’ Ball in Our Lady’s Social Club" (...Our Lady has a social club?).
. . .
"Does the church check everyone's beliefs before allowing them in the club?”

Let's put on our thinking caps, ladies: Roman Catholic social club - religious beliefs - conclusion?

I find it somewhat a stretch to believe that "persecution" is defined as "not letting you use our facilities". (Well, maybe the facilities, if the need were urgent...)

Voyager: "... it would need to be open to the public...The White House is"

I see your point - but the White House isn't completely open. There are scheduled tours, and those going in are screened for weapons, explosives, and Rush Limbaugh tapes.

TBF opens a dodgy area: "But then couldn't you ban the gay club because it's basically Greek/pagan in origin?"

The old Greeks took a extremely dim view of what we now call homosexuality. Their accepted version we now call pederasty.

Woolman: Kudos for your knowledge of Arabic lore:
"…The blowers in knots…" refers to sorcerers. Mujaahid may Allaah have mercy upon him said: "(It is) when they make their incantations and blow on the knots."

(I've heard tell of blowing on dice before a throw - I wonder if there's a connection...)

19 June 2009 at 02:18  
Anonymous mouse-ity is better said...

"Perhaps if the witches had all been lesbians," (their case would have been incontrovertible.)

If? Your Grace? ...

19 June 2009 at 05:57  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Sad Sad people, facing an even sadder eternity.
The place prepared for them will not have to be booked & when confirmed there will be no chance of cancelling or refund.

19 June 2009 at 11:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace may recall a "Not the 9 O'Clock News" sketch about attempts to bring satanists into the Church. "There should be a bit less of the 'get thee behind me Satan' and a bit more 'come in, old mate, and have a cup of tea.'" How prophetic.

19 June 2009 at 11:47  
Blogger What's in a name? said...

We were led to leave the organised church we'd been a part of for the last 18 years and have since not been involved with any such group, apart from remaining friends with those who are still there wherever possible.
The reason we left was that we were bored and tired of the empty religion without experience, the power games, hierarchies and meaningless traditions which had gradually built up over the years. We couldn't see any scriptural basis for it, and we wanted a deeper relationship with God.

For the last 9 months I've been getting together regularly with a mixed bunch of Buddhists, New Age spiritual seekers - among them a girl who makes her living reading tarot cards and calls herself a witch.
From the first time I was there - and it was due to a 'coincidence' that I found myself there - we have talked about Jesus almost every time. At least three of the folks there are hungry for God/spiritual reality and on the way to coming to know Him.
They would never have been able to accept me if I had been part of an organised, traditional, even Free Church, but because I'm not, they don't feel threatened that I'm going to drag them along to a church service and convert them. We are friends and if God draws them to Himself, that's His affair. I'm just watching Him work and it's fun. They are lovely people and I enjoy being with them.

I think it's such a shame that most of us Christians, (and I'm a recovering Pharisee from that viewpoint) see the church as an organisation. We feel uncomfortable with those who don't believe what we do and shut them out unless they come onto 'our side'. No wonder people who don't share our faith so often feel sick when they come across our isolationism, lack of love, insecurity...

We need to be going out to them... not hogging our precious buildings which cost the earth to pay for - get out from behind the walls, onto the streets and start spending time with these precious people, made in God's image and SHOW them that He loves and loved them enough to come and die for them. They're all hurting and in need. And if they don't open up to His love, LOVE THEM ANYWAY. God loved us before we loved Him and loves people even if they reject Him, though it breaks His heart.

Follow Jesus. Forget the religious twaddle and get real.

19 June 2009 at 12:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who have no religion, they think all religions are the same. For those of us who think Jesus is the son of God and our Saviour, every other religion is false. Making laws to force people to comply to atheistic norms will lead to bad things in the future, of that I am sure.
I am tempted to say 'Burn the witches'.

john in cheshire

19 June 2009 at 17:12  
Anonymous Got the Guts to wear God said...

Wicca is rather like the old Celt religion…they celebrate the earth. They worship Nature and don’t need a particular building to do so. The old pagan argument was invoked by the church. It was an excuse to murder anyone who didn’t worship in church, and only church. We need to delve into the past with this one. Pagans were villagers that tended the earth…the whole witchcraft connection was purely churched based; a deception that gave control and more control to the church. Witches are not to be feared…they have not caused any problems. Look around at the world. Which religions are the ones to be feared? Wicca is probably not even on the list.

I agree with Catholics standing up for what believe etc, and they have a right to say whom they let in and out of their buildings, but do they really believe these people are a threat?

I hope the witches don’t make a mountain out of a molehill with this by suing on the grounds of religious discrimination. I’ve had enough of this kind of BS to last me a lifetime. Respect differences and move on. That way there may be some semblance of a chance that eventually the human race will be able to live together peacefully together with all its diversity.

Does it matter how we choose to elevate consciousness? One person chooses the bible, another celebrates nature. There are many avenues to God.

19 June 2009 at 17:31  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Let all of us who bear the name of Christ stop being bound by custom, religous ceremony & tradition. It's these three ugly sisters that can make church & church services boring & irrelevant.
But we must not forget the message that the Lord delivered to us to share with the world, that He shed His Blood & died so that we sinful creatures could have the easiest way of being accepted by God without the Father being compromised. When the church gets serious about its job & asks the Father for the power of the Holy Spirit to preach this message With GENUINE love for those that are perishing there will be no boredom or yawns in church.
However we must remember that God does give ALL Human beings a choice, that's what freedom is all about, He also tries to warn of the self inflicted consequences of ignoring His Love.
Light & dark cannot dwell in unity together, compromise is no answer, it's just another of satans lies to make the weak bretheren ineffective & lull more souls into Hell.
A prophecy for the present time could well be " Wake up Western Christians, Coffee's ready".

19 June 2009 at 19:31  
Anonymous len said...

I think if you stroll up one of the many paths leading to god (as some are suggesting)you will find yourself with the god of this world- lucifer who will welcome you with open arms.
Witches, don`t burn them, convert them!
The Holy Spirit that dwells within me is greater than any witch or demon.
Demons flee before a Holy Spirit filled believer.
In these last days Holy Spirit filled believers are going to do mighty works!

19 June 2009 at 19:53  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Amen Len, If any are interested in the difference that exists between witchcraft & Christianity, the testimony of Doreen Irvine in "From Witchcraft to Christ" or the sequel "Set Free to serve Christ" could prove enlightening.

19 June 2009 at 20:32  

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