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  #1  
Old Jun 27, '10, 8:29 am
sk98 sk98 is offline
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Default Necromancy???

I've hear people say that Catholics practice necromany? What would be an example of necromancy? How can someone communicate with the dead? If someone dies and is a saint their spirit is still alive, but their body is dead. How would it be possible to talk to a dead body? There is no life in a dead body, so how could you talk to it?
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  #2  
Old Jun 27, '10, 8:33 am
Desertsailor Desertsailor is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

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Originally Posted by sk98 View Post
I've hear people say that Catholics practice necromany? What would be an example of necromancy? How can someone communicate with the dead? If someone dies and is a saint their spirit is still alive, but their body is dead. How would it be possible to talk to a dead body? There is no life in a dead body, so how could you talk to it?

Protestants think that praying to saints is necromancy because they believe in soul sleep. They believe Heaven is empty except for God. They believe lots of other false stuff too.
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  #3  
Old Jun 27, '10, 8:51 am
thenobes thenobes is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

A dead body is one thing, a dead soul another.

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Originally Posted by sk98 View Post
I've hear people say that Catholics practice necromany? What would be an example of necromancy? How can someone communicate with the dead? If someone dies and is a saint their spirit is still alive, but their body is dead. How would it be possible to talk to a dead body? There is no life in a dead body, so how could you talk to it?
Someone can corect me if I'm wrong but I understand thet the soul is the spiritual organizing force of the physical body. The soul itself posses certain power which are particular to man, that is, the soul has the powers of free will and intellect (and memory also if I remember correctly ).

Thus after death the soul has the ability to communicate.

peace
steve
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  #4  
Old Jun 27, '10, 9:15 am
Nita Nita is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

The definition of "necromancy" given by the Wordnetweb dictionary:

sorcery: the belief in magical spells that harness occult forces or evil spirits to produce unnatural effects in the world
conjuring up the dead, especially for prophesying
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

This is totally different in manner and purpose from what we do when we pray to the saints.
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  #5  
Old Jun 27, '10, 11:00 am
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Ponyguy Ponyguy is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

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Necromancy

Communication with the dead, usually in order to obtain insight into the future or to accomplish some otherwise impossible task. Such activity was current in ancient times among the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Etruscans; in medieval Europe it came to be associated with black (i.e., harmful, or antisocial) magic and was condemned by the Church

"Necromancy." © Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.. 27 Jun. 2010. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Necromancy>.
Consequently, not only do Catholics not participate in necromancy, but they outrightly condemn its practice. Those whom you heard accusing Catholics of the practice are obviously in error.
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  #6  
Old Jun 27, '10, 11:13 am
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EricFilmer EricFilmer is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

To fully understand the criticisms concerning necromancy and Catholicism, we need to understand the basis for the criticism. What usually gets cited in these cases is Deuteronomy 18:9-14, which tells us:

“There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his sons or daughters as an offering, anyone who practices divination, a soothsayer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord; and because of these abominable practices the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.”

Because necromancy means communicating with the dead, people accuse Catholics of doing that when we pray to the saints. The question is, does the above passage from Deuteronomy truly apply to Catholics praying to the saints? Let us examine the biblical quote in light of the context of that particular passage. As we can see, what is being condemned in Deuteronomy are the occult practices of the various Canaanite pagan cultures. In term of necromancy, the Canaanites believed that a person could communicate with the spirits of people who had died, and that these spirits could provide secret knowledge ("Where is buried treasure located?", "How can I conjure a lightning bolt to kill my enemies?", "Is my spouse cheating on me?", "What exactly was the golden light in Lost?" - that sort of thing).

The big concern in Deuteronomy was that the Jews were about to enter the Holy Land, and therefore they could be influenced by Canaanite occult practices (and end up replacing their traditional Jewish doctrines with pagan ones). In other words, the Jews may think that there was something to all this necromancy business because lots of pagans were doing it. Practicing necromancy involved many problems. First of all, instead of contacting the spirits of dead humans, you could end up contacting demons (who could deceive you and ruin your life). Plus there is the attitude of seeking guidance from dead spirits instead of seeking guidance from God and the Law of Moses. And there is also the prideful attitude of thinking that one is entitled to secret knowledge to begin with.

Having said all this, we can now see why the ancient custom of necromancy is not the same thing that is involved with Catholics praying to the saints in heaven. The saints are not dead, but are more alive than they ever were on earth. We do not communicate with the saints in heaven to gain secret knowledge or to get guidance apart from God. We understand that any intercession they do is done in conjunction with God (i.e., they can ask God to help us, and God can help us through them).

We have to also understand that there is a big difference between the concepts of practicing magic and practicing prayer. The magician decides what he wants in life and tries to do magic to make it happen. He believes that if he says the correct words and performs the correct rituals the spirits are forced to comply with his desires and fulfill his needs. A Christian, however, tells God what he wants through prayer, and then adopts the attitude of “God’s will be done.” And just as we can ask one another to pray for us, we can ask the saints in heaven to pray for us. The concept of Christian fellowship on earth is simply extended to include the saints in heaven, which makes sense if you consider that we are all one in the Body of Christ to begin with (heaven, earth and purgatory combined).

To all this, we can point out that if people on earth should not communicate with saints in heaven, I doubt if Jesus would have spoken to Moses and Elijah during his Transfiguration in full view of Peter, James and John.

And finally, the act of seeking the help of saints through prayer is a doctrine of our Faith, and therefore, as far as Catholics are concerned, it has a divine origin and likewise divine approval. To put this in a simpler way, we pray to the saints because God told us we can.
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  #7  
Old Jun 27, '10, 11:19 am
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tabbey48 tabbey48 is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

Quote:
Protestants think that praying to saints is necromancy because they believe in soul sleep. They believe Heaven is empty except for God. They believe lots of other false stuff too.
SOME Protestants may believe in "soul sleep." Many do not.
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  #8  
Old Jun 27, '10, 4:00 pm
sk98 sk98 is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricFilmer View Post
To fully understand the criticisms concerning necromancy and Catholicism, we need to understand the basis for the criticism. What usually gets cited in these cases is Deuteronomy 18:9-14, which tells us:

“There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his sons or daughters as an offering, anyone who practices divination, a soothsayer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord; and because of these abominable practices the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.”

Because necromancy means communicating with the dead, people accuse Catholics of doing that when we pray to the saints. The question is, does the above passage from Deuteronomy truly apply to Catholics praying to the saints? Let us examine the biblical quote in light of the context of that particular passage. As we can see, what is being condemned in Deuteronomy are the occult practices of the various Canaanite pagan cultures. In term of necromancy, the Canaanites believed that a person could communicate with the spirits of people who had died, and that these spirits could provide secret knowledge ("Where is buried treasure located?", "How can I conjure a lightning bolt to kill my enemies?", "Is my spouse cheating on me?", "What exactly was the golden light in Lost?" - that sort of thing).

The big concern in Deuteronomy was that the Jews were about to enter the Holy Land, and therefore they could be influenced by Canaanite occult practices (and end up replacing their traditional Jewish doctrines with pagan ones). In other words, the Jews may think that there was something to all this necromancy business because lots of pagans were doing it. Practicing necromancy involved many problems. First of all, instead of contacting the spirits of dead humans, you could end up contacting demons (who could deceive you and ruin your life). Plus there is the attitude of seeking guidance from dead spirits instead of seeking guidance from God and the Law of Moses. And there is also the prideful attitude of thinking that one is entitled to secret knowledge to begin with.

Having said all this, we can now see why the ancient custom of necromancy is not the same thing that is involved with Catholics praying to the saints in heaven. The saints are not dead, but are more alive than they ever were on earth. We do not communicate with the saints in heaven to gain secret knowledge or to get guidance apart from God. We understand that any intercession they do is done in conjunction with God (i.e., they can ask God to help us, and God can help us through them).

We have to also understand that there is a big difference between the concepts of practicing magic and practicing prayer. The magician decides what he wants in life and tries to do magic to make it happen. He believes that if he says the correct words and performs the correct rituals the spirits are forced to comply with his desires and fulfill his needs. A Christian, however, tells God what he wants through prayer, and then adopts the attitude of “God’s will be done.” And just as we can ask one another to pray for us, we can ask the saints in heaven to pray for us. The concept of Christian fellowship on earth is simply extended to include the saints in heaven, which makes sense if you consider that we are all one in the Body of Christ to begin with (heaven, earth and purgatory combined).

To all this, we can point out that if people on earth should not communicate with saints in heaven, I doubt if Jesus would have spoken to Moses and Elijah during his Transfiguration in full view of Peter, James and John.

And finally, the act of seeking the help of saints through prayer is a doctrine of our Faith, and therefore, as far as Catholics are concerned, it has a divine origin and likewise divine approval. To put this in a simpler way, we pray to the saints because God told us we can.
When Jesus spoke with Moses aand Elijah, were all 3 on earth or were they in heaven? Off topic I know.
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  #9  
Old Jun 27, '10, 4:08 pm
Desertsailor Desertsailor is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

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Originally Posted by tabbey48 View Post
SOME Protestants may believe in "soul sleep." Many do not.
You're right. Some believe this some believe that. There's no telling what they'll come up with next.
I think the ones who are accusing Catholics of necrmancy are the ones who are anti-Catholic to the extreme.
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  #10  
Old Jun 28, '10, 7:15 am
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Default Re: Necromancy???

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You're right. Some believe this some believe that. There's no telling what they'll come up with next.
After reading some of the heated discussions in CAF and other places, the same might be said for Roman Catholics...

I don't want to be in the position of defending Protestants. But some Catholics who claim to know what Protestants believe are wrong (Just like some Protestants who claim to know what Catholics believe are wrong). Perhaps we should be more deliberate in our refusal to bear false witness against each other, even when we disagree with each other's teachings.
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  #11  
Old Jun 28, '10, 8:30 am
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EricFilmer EricFilmer is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

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Originally Posted by sk98 View Post
When Jesus spoke with Moses aand Elijah, were all 3 on earth or were they in heaven? Off topic I know.
I think the text seems to infer that they were on earth. If the Transfiguration took place in heaven, for Peter, James and John to have witnessed the event, they likewise had to go to heaven. And we must keep in mind that one of the important reasons for the Transfiguration was for the benefit of the apostles (they would soon see Jesus persecuted and executed, but in the Transfiguration they see a glimpse of the future Glorified Christ, so Jesus was basically telling them how the "story" of his earthly ministry is going to end, so don't go nuts when the crisis situation happens).

There is no mention of them actually leaving the mountain, and if they visited heaven (through mystical vision or otherwise) then I think that would warrant a greater treatment in the text. Plus, Peter offered to build booths for Moses and Elijah, which implies that he saw them as visitors who might like to continue their stay.
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  #12  
Old Jun 28, '10, 8:36 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

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Originally Posted by sk98 View Post
I've hear people say that Catholics practice necromany? What would be an example of necromancy? How can someone communicate with the dead? If someone dies and is a saint their spirit is still alive, but their body is dead. How would it be possible to talk to a dead body? There is no life in a dead body, so how could you talk to it?
you heard what people say this? with what authority did they presume to tell you what they Catholic Church teaches? Catholics do not talk to dead bodies, they speak to the saints in heaven and to their guardian angels, as well as to God himself. We have Christ's promise that those he saves he brings to heaven to be with him in union with the Trinity, if your source calls himself a Christian he will have to deny Christ's clear teaching in order to deny we can pray to the saints. Does your source understand there is a difference between body and soul? Does he even admit that? Does he confess what all Christians believe in the Creed about the resurrection of the body and life everlasting?
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  #13  
Old Jun 29, '10, 1:22 am
Ismael Ismael is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk98 View Post
I've hear people say that Catholics practice necromany? What would be an example of necromancy? How can someone communicate with the dead? If someone dies and is a saint their spirit is still alive, but their body is dead. How would it be possible to talk to a dead body? There is no life in a dead body, so how could you talk to it?
Necromancy= calling the spirits of the dead to ask questions (about the future usually). It has nothing to do with dead bodies.
Spiritism can be a form of necromancy (like when a medium 'call' your dead grandma for you)

Some protestants minsinterpret the prayer for the dead or towards saints as 'necromancy'.

However Catholics do not invoke or evoke spirit. We just believe that all who die in Christ LIVE in Christ.
The Church is not only the living here on earth but also the living in heaven.

In any case prayer for the dead or to saints has no purpuse of necromancy in any sense of the word.
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  #14  
Old Jun 30, '10, 6:24 am
JonathonofOhio JonathonofOhio is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith (Book IV) by John of Damascus Circa 730 A.D. has a great argument for veneration and prayer to the Saints. You can read it here: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/33044.htm

Read Chapter 15. Concerning the honor due to the Saints and their remains.

And if you still think Catholics are idol worshipers like most protestants I talk to claim, read Chapter 16
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  #15  
Old Jun 30, '10, 7:22 am
FredW56 FredW56 is offline
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Default Re: Necromancy???

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Originally Posted by Desertsailor View Post
Protestants think that praying to saints is necromancy because they believe in soul sleep. They believe Heaven is empty except for God. They believe lots of other false stuff too.
I do know, having a Baptist background, that most fundamentalist churches believe that, if you're "saved" at the time of death, your soul immediately goes to heaven to be with the Lord.

As for the Protestant churches you mention, I presume that you mean, Lutheran, Episcopal, etc.? I've never been too clear on exactly what they believe.
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