Thursday, August 17, 2006

African bishops warn priests against witchcraft
Wednesday, August 16, 2006

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) -- Southern Africa's Catholic bishops have warned priests to stop moonlighting as witch doctors, fortune tellers and traditional healers, and to rely on Christ for miracles.

The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, which represents bishops in South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana, said on its Web sites some priests were adopting the traditional African practice of calling on ancestors for healing.

The bishops ordered priests to "desist from practices involving spirits," and to steer clear from witchcraft, fortune-telling and selling spiritual powers or magic medicines.

"The belief that ancestors are endowed with supernatural powers borders on idolatry. It is God, and God alone, who is all-powerful while the ancestors are created by him," said the pastoral letter to priests issued earlier this month.
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