OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - On the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the Church reflects on witchcraft

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Madang (Agenzia Fides) - "The Church and Media: A Reflection on witchcraft": as reported to Fides, this is the central theme of the day, organized by the "Commission for Social Communications", at the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Island. The event is scheduled for tomorrow, 24 January, on the occasion of the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers and journalists. For the Church in Papua, the feast is an opportunity to meet and discuss with the world of media and the Bishops have chosen a critical issue: witchcraft. Fr. Franco Zocca SVD, professor at the "Melanesian Institute" in Goroka, will talk to local journalists, experts and photojournalists, civil society leaders, theologians about the relationship between the Church, magic and the media.
According to Fr. Zocca, in the struggle with the beliefs and practices of witchcraft, the contribution of the Churches is crucial in order to bring real change in people's mentality. Fr. Zocca is also critical towards the churches that so far, he says, "have failed to eradicate the belief that magic and witchcraft cause diseases, natural disasters and death". In Papua, in fact, still many Christian leaders continue to believe in witchcraft, therefore the "Churches can operate more effectively, in addition to public institutions, to eradicate the esoteric beliefs". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 23/01/2014 )