Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Superstitious Catholicism

Written by Rev. H. Bergsma
Many Catholic Italians believe in magic and superstition. Italy has 40,000 magicians and mystics operating in an underground economy, totaling $100 million a year, the Philadelphia Inquirer said. Soothsayers, fortune-tellers, palm readers, professional dreamers, astrologers, psychics, and wizards flourish in the country, which is 84% Catholic. Italians are Catholic, but "they also believe in reincarnation, visit witches, and watch out for the evil eye," said Cecilia Gatto Trocchi, a cultural anthropologist at Rome University. "The church and magic are the double creed of the Italians." A survey by the Catholic University in Milan revealed that 30.4% of Italians feared the malocchio, or evil eye, a bad-luck hex cast by jilted lovers or other enemies. More than 31% of 6,500 people surveyed believed their futures are told in the stars, and 28% thought it was possible to communicate with the dead. Sixteen percent trusted palm readers, and wizards scared 8.7% of the population. The Catholic Church denounces the mixing of magic with Christianity, but does little to stop it, the newspaper said. In the United States, 53% of people say they are a little superstitious. (From Religion Today)

Superstition might feed an underground economy, but it also feeds an above-ground economy, even here in North America. One wonders why the Roman Catholic Church does little to stop it. Is there perhaps a profit to be made in the name of "religion"? We know that the Bible is the best antidote for superstition. Is this perhaps one of the reasons why Rome does not acknowledge the Bible as the supreme authority?

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