Wednesday 12 February 2020

Witchcraft, Sorcery and Magic - J.B. Midgley - CTS Explanations

Witchcraft, Sorcery and Magic:
Catholic Teachings on their Origins and Dangers
CTS Explanations 
J.B. Midgley
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860823831
CTS Booklet EX21

This was the tenth book by J.B. Barry Midgley that I have read. I was so impressed with the few that I have been trying to track down all of his books. I believe that he has written 28 books and that 26 of them are from the Catholic Truth Society. This book is out-of-print but well worth tracking down. In the last few years I have read over 100 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society, this is the first in the Explanations Series. Based on the CTS number EX21 and the list at the back of the book there are at least 21 books in this series. With all the books I have read from CTS I am surprised I have not come across this particular series and some of the other titles look as fascinating as this volume. 

The description on the back of this book is:

“There is mounting evidence that satanic cults are a fast-growing phenomenon in many modern ‘civilised’ societies, despite media reports of their shocking activities. This booklet explores the origins, nature and creeds of modern witchcraft; sorcery, Satanism, superstition, idolatry, the occult, magic, Wicca, kabbala, voodoo, Gia, and certain elements of ‘New Age’ and creation-centered spirituality. The author explains, in a clear and thoroughly researched text, the teachings and beliefs of the Catholic Church in relation to these phenomena.”

This book in many ways made me think of the book, 20 Answers Witchcraft & the Occult by Michelle Arnold, from Catholic Answers. And in fact comparing titles in the series this book comes from with the 20 Answers series and there is a lot of overlap. I feel that this book bit off more than can be covered in a volume this size. I believe it could easily have been split in 3 or 4 volumes with clearer focus. Now, don’t get me wrong. It is a great little volume. I was also a little nervous approaching this volume. Due to family history, and negative personal experiences of divination, occult, Satanism, and Free Masonry. But this book did an excellent job or outlining some of the history of these organizations and practices. And was fairly balanced in reporting on witch hunts and trials. But the last section of the volume was an excellent teaching on why to avoid these things. 

I think one of the great focuses of this volume is the subtitle of the book, ‘Catholic teachings on their Origins and Dangers’. The book outlines clearly why certain things are not to be done if you are a practicing Catholic, and I would go so far as to state if you call yourself a Christian. The sections in the book are:

Tip of the Iceberg
Elements of Witchcraft
Witches, Witchcraft and Sorcery
Modern manifestations
Fascination for the Mysterious
Evidence of Scripture

Overall a very good read. Another by Midgley I am glad to have tracked down, and one more book from the Catholic Truth Society that I have read!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by J.B. Midgley:

Advent & Christmastide with the Saints
Antonio Rosmini
Benedict - Patron of Europe
Bernard of Clairvaux – CTS Great Saints
Charles Borromeo  - CTS Great Saints
Companion to St. Joseph
Companion to the Feasts of Mary
Companion to Saint Peter
Companion to Saint Paul
Companion to the Angels
Companion to the Feasts of Our Lord
Companion to the Passion of Our Lord
Dominic - CTS Great Saints
George: Patron of England - CTS Great Saints
Dewi Sant: St David Patron of Wales
Francis de Sales – CTS Great Saints
John Baptist de La Salle – CTS Great Saints
John Vianney – CTS Great Saints
Lent with the Saints
Nurturing the Young
Robert Bellarmine
Saint John the Baptist 
Stations of the Cross and Resurrection with the Saints
The Eucharist with the Saints
The Four Evangelists
Thomas Becket – CTS Saints of the Isles
Vincent de Paul – CTS Great Saints
Witchcraft, Sorcery and Magic

Contributed to:
First Fridays and First Saturdays The Devotions Explained 

Books in the CTS Explanations Series:
Marriage Annulment in the Catholic Church
Jehovah’s Witnesses
Does the Church oppress Women?
Organ Transplant – and the definition of Death
Be Yourself An Explanation of Humility - William Lawson SJ
Gene Therapy – and Human Genetic Engineering
Prenatal tests
Gift of life and Love
Cloning and Stem Cell Research
Contraception and Chastity
Freemasonry and the Christian Faith
Intelligent Life in the Universe
Spirits, Mediums & The Afterlife

No comments: