At Midnight on February 24th, a group of witches cast on spell upon President Donald Trump. The ritual must be repeated at Midnight on the date of every waning crescent moon during his presidency. Witchcraft is nothing new; they have been casting spells on men and women for many centuries. What makes this mass spell unique is that it has taken on a “viral” quality with the rite being posted online with an attempt to take it to a wider community. For most of us, the thought of witches in black hats around a bubbling cauldron with broomsticks in hand casting a spell on Donald Trump is somewhat ridiculous. But for those who are actively engaged in spiritual warfare they know how serious this can be. In openly declaring their intent to cast a spell, battle lines have been drawn and Catholics must step into the breach to engage in this spiritual battle.
Regardless of whether one is a card-carrying member of the Donald Trump Fan Club, as Christians we have an obligation to pray for him as the leader of our country (1Tim 2:2). In other words, we should bless him rather than, as the witches propose, curse him. These prayers of blessing protect him both from harm and from doing harm. Despite protestations to the contrary that the witches merely wish to “bind him”, the intent of any spell or curse is to do evil to the person.
Curses and Divine Providence
Whether the curse is effective or not is left up to Divine Providence. God may allow it to happen or He may actively oppose it. Not recognizing this can often be an obstacle in understanding how someone becomes “infected” by the demonic. Most of us understand that by dabbling in the occult we can open ourselves up to falling victim to demonic activity. It does not happen in 100% of the cases, but the likelihood increases as the frequency of contact increases, especially for a person who has fallen out of a state of grace.
What is often not understood however is that it is possible, through no fault of the person, that they come under the control of the devil and his minions. We can become spiritually sick in much the same way that we can become physically sick. It may be that we do things that jeopardize our physical health (like drug abuse, overeating, etc.), but this is no guarantee that one becomes sick. Likewise, many people become sick with some disease through no fault of their own. Certainly, suffering in the innocent, especially at the hands of the demonic, stretches our capacity to understand, but it is still possible for it to occur.
Satan: The Great Ape
One of the most common ways in which this can happens is through the invocation of a curse. Satan is the great ape, constantly trying to mimic God’s power. Think of the curse as an “anti-grace.” Grace seeks to aid a person through divine intervention, while a curse, according to the recently deceased Chief Exorcist of Rome, Fr. Gabriele Amorth, is defined generally as “harming others through demonic intervention.” Satan apes God’s power that He exercises through the Sacraments by creating curses.
Like the Sacraments, curses usually require a minister. This is where witches and wizards enter the picture. They act as ministers once they are commissioned and perform a ritual on a given material object that is somehow connected to the victim. In this case, there are several objects including an image of the President.
Not all people who practice or commission witchcraft are consciously worshipping Satan. What they are consciously doing is invoking a supernatural power. There is no denying this. The source of that power does not require them to acknowledge him and may in fact prefer that they don’t. Still, they are acting as his ministers and, in borrowing from his power, will end up falling under his power. Access to that power comes with a price. This is why the viral nature of the spell placed upon the President is so dangerous. It may never touch the President personally, but most assuredly it will do harm to those who dabble in it. This is a win-win situation for the evil one. He is sure to gain power over someone because of this.
What to Do
The Church as the custodian of the Real Thing—the Thing that blesses and never curses—has an obligation to act in this case. The problem is, as Fr. Amorth pointed out, priests do not take curses and witchcraft seriously. They are not alone as most of the Faithful also see witchcraft as some antiquated superstition rather than a real threat to souls. If they did, then both clergy and laity would be offering Mass for the protection of the President and for those who act out of ignorance in performing the rite. They would have recourse to the Rosary and its inherent power to crush the head of the serpent. They would go to the Sacrament of Sacraments, that is the Precious Blood of Jesus, and seek protection there. The Litany of Precious Blood is perhaps one of the most effective prayers against curses and demonic activity in general as most Exorcists will attest.