Pope Francis has roundly criticized people who claim to be Christians, but who actively seek out fortune tellers and sit for tarot card readings.
The pope said true faith is abandoning oneself to God “who makes himself known not through occult practices but through revelation and with gratuitous love,” he said during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Dec. 4, reported CNS.
“How is it possible, if you believe in Jesus Christ, you go to a sorcerer, a fortune teller, these types of people?” Pope Francis asked.
“Magic is not Christian! These things that are done to predict the future or predict many things or change situations in life are not Christian. The grace of Christ can bring you everything! Pray and trust in the Lord,” he said.
The comments came as the pope continued his series of catecheses on the Acts of the Apostles, focusing on St. Paul’s ministry in Ephesus, an ancient city located in what is now Turkey and which was famed for the “practice of magic.”
He said St. Paul exposed exorcists in the city who attempted to cast out demons without spiritual authority; and he exposed the weakness of magic.
He also said St. Paul angered craftsmen making idols by baptizing many local people.
The pope called the apostle’s speech to Ephesus’s elders “one of the most beautiful pages of the Acts of the Apostles,” and called on people to read chapter 20.
It includes an exhortation by St. Paul to the elders to “keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock.”
Pope Francis said he, as well as bishops and priests, should stay “close to the people to guard them and defend them,” rather than maintain a distance from them.
“Let us ask the Lord to renew in us his love for the church and for the deposit of the faith which she preserves, and to make us all co-responsible in the care of the flock, supporting in prayer the shepherds so that they may manifest the firmness and tenderness of the Divine Shepherd,” the pope said concluding his homily.