What is the Church’s position on the witch of Endor? Demonic apparition or did God actually allow Samuel to appear to Saul?
I’m not sure if it is an official teaching, but according to the footnotes for this scripture in the Saint Joseph Version of the NAB, it was God allowing Samuel to appear to King Saul.
In the Book of Sirac, the author mentions that Samuel appears to Saul from the grave. That’s 1 of the books Protestants argue is not inspired.
My Navarre commentary says: "These ceremonies for evoking spirits do not work; it is Samuel who takes the initiative and appears before Saul as a supernatural spirit (a “spirit of Elohim”) to speak not on his own behalf but in the name of God.
Specifically, it is Sirach 46:20, where Samuel’s after-death appearance to Saul is mentioned:
Even after he had fallen asleep he prophesied
and revealed to the king his death,
and lifted up his voice out of the earth in prophecy,
to blot out the wickedness of the people.