Sorcery is the manipulation of the spiritual realm (or occult natural laws) through rituals and words to obtain a specific result in the physical world. When a certain formula is performed and a certain result is automatically achieved, that is sorcery. Some call it magic.
In the Roman Catholic Church there are certain rituals where following a specific formula has a specific result. Here are three quotes from official Roman Catholic sources that demonstrate a type of sorcery. Let's take a look.
- The Sacraments contain grace:
- Trent, Session 7, Canon 6.--If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law do not contain the grace which they signify; or, that they do not confer that grace on those who do not place an obstacle thereunto; as though they were merely outward signs of grace or justice received through faith, and certain marks of the Christian profession, whereby believers are distinguished amongst men from unbelievers; let him be anathema.
- The Sacraments confer grace:
- CCC 1127 Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify.48 They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies. The Father always hears the prayer of his Son's Church which, in the epiclesis of each sacrament, expresses her faith in the power of the Spirit. As fire transforms into itself everything it touches, so the Holy Spirit transforms into the divine life whatever is subjected to his power.
- The sacraments work by simply being done, CCC 1128
- This is the meaning of the Church's affirmation that the sacraments act ex opere operato (literally: "by the very fact of the action's being performed"), i.e., by virtue of the saving work of Christ, accomplished once for all. It follows that "the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God." From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them.
We can see from the three references above that the sacraments 1) contain the grace which they signify, 2) confer grace, and 3) that by the mere act of performing a sacrament (a ritual), there is a specific result (more on this later). So, when the sacraments are properly done by a priest in a certain manner, they automatically achieve, by virtue of the methodology used and the authority of the church and the priest, the intended result. Is this not what sorcery is? Isn't it exerting control of spiritual forces through ritual(s) with the goal of effecting certain, precise results in the physical realm? Let me say it a different way. Sorcery is the attempt to control the physical realm by invoking a ritual that effects the spiritual realm--every time it is done.
The Roman Catholics may object and say that prayer gets a result from God as does reading the Bible and going to church. But these are not sorcery. They might also say that when Christians partake of the sacraments, God is acting through them as he does through our prayers, reading the Bible, and going to church. However, none of these objections have yet fallen into the category of sorcery. Such responses completely miss the point.
Again, sorcery is the practice of performing a certain supernatural ritual that gets a certain supernatural result with manifestation in the physical world--and this in a regular and predictable manner. Take, for example, the Roman Catholic Mass and the Eucharist. When the priest elevates the wafer and follows the specific ritual set forth by the Roman Catholic Church and makes his pronouncement, it becomes the body of Christ--automatically, every time! The ritual has a specific generated response in the supernatural realm, with an effect in the physical, every single time the ritual is repeated. The priest is exercising control of the spiritual realm through the ritual. Why is this so? Because as the Catholic Catechism says in paragraph 1128, by performing the sacraments there is a certain result "by the very fact of the action's being performed."
In contrast to this ritual-response procedure, when we pray to God, he may or may not answer in a way we desire. We don't recite a certain prayer and "by the very fact of the action's being performed " get a certain result. Likewise, reading the Bible and going to church are not formulas that get a certain result "by the very fact of the action's being performed." Regarding the true practice of the sacraments in Christian Churches (not the ritualized formulas of the Catholic Church), when they are administered, God voluntarily works through them as he wills and desires. There is no specific result "by the very fact of the action's being performed."
But what about the idea that the effect of the sacrament is wrought by the power of God--not by the ritual? This still doesn't deal with the issue. Whether the result is from God or some other supernatural source, the point is that a specific formula is used in a specific ritual to get a specific result from the supernatural realm that is manifested in the physical one. This is exactly what sorcery is.
Instead of depending on the Spirit of God to work as He wills in the manner He chooses, the Roman Catholic Church uses ritualized methodologies to exercise control of the spiritual realm in order to gain physical results. The Roman Catholic Church needs to repent of yet another error.