The word sorcery in the Old Testament
is translated from the word pharmakaia,
or something like that, which is the exact
origin of the word pharmacy. That
said, there's really no difference between
some witch putting together a potion from
natural substances to effect health and other
human affairs, and a professional business
man putting together a potion from natural
substances to effect health and other human
affairs (like anti-depressants or aphrodisiacs).
So why did the Church persecute tons of
witches but let pharmacies and doctors
get away with their drug making and usage?
Was the Church simply going through a
very corrupt period of time and, out of
greed, supported the doctors because they
made money out of their healings and biological
(and|or) natural manipulations, while witches
gained no such worldly reward and thus
couldn't financially profit the Church?
Is it not a fact that the Crusades and
witch hunts occurred?
I keenly await your replies for I find this
Thank you for your time!
Why did the Church persecute witches but let pharmacies and doctors get away with drug making? }
Pharmakaia was the word used to describe
what people who made potions did.
Many of them were witches.
Doctors also used herbs and diet
but physicians were sworn not to
give herbs for abortion, so people
went to witches for abortion-inducing
herbs and for herbs that would prevent
pregnancy. Along with the herbs came
words and tokens, because that was
the magic that the witches
dealt in, so the word, pharmakaia,
became also identified with what
witches did, which we call sorcery.
Divination and magic
2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.
The Church did not persecute tons
of witches and there were no Church
witch hunts. Read some good history.
There was some witch hysteria by
Puritans in Massachusetts, and the
governments in Europe punished some
witches, but the myth of thousands
of witches being burned is a myth.
The Church still believes that witchcraft
is evil. It is a sin against the
It opens one to demonic influence.
Many witches are indeed knowingly servants
of satan. So-called white witchcraft is
a modern invention that attempts
to return to a mythical pagan matriarchal
The Crusades were not bad things,
though the inter-Christian sacking
of Constantinople was deplorable.
You have been greatly misled by
elements of the Black
Legend: myths invented after
the Reformation. Check out this article from the EWTN web site: