Blog Post

Beware of Those Who “Channel” Catholic Saints

One of our readers recently alerted us to a channeler who has been luring Catholics into attending online sessions in which she “channels” the Archangel Michael, Padre Pio, and other saints who deliver personal messages. Is this ever possible?

Of course not! As I document in my book, The Learn to Discern Compendium, God would never allow his saints to be “channeled” by a medium because He specifically condemns this kind of activity.

"Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortune-teller or soothsayer, charmer, diviner or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead. Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord." (Deut 18:10-12)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says we must reject all forms of divination, including "recourse to mediums" (CCC, No. 2116), which are psychics who channel spirits of the dead in order to get information.

"In channeling, you're basically invoking spirits and allowing them to use your person, your body, your voice, to speak through you," Father Lawrence Gesy told me. "Therefore, what you're going to get may appear to be of God but it isn't."

The Pontifical Councils for Culture and Interreligious Dialogue agree. In their document, Jesus Christ: The Bearer of the Water of Life, they say that people who have witnessed mediums go into trances and channel spirits "would willingly acknowledge that the manifestation are indeed spiritual but are not from God, despite the language of love and light which is almost always used."

It’s even more disconcerting when mediums bill themselves as Catholic and claim to be able to glean private messages from the Our Lady and the saints.

For example, the famous psychic, George Anderson, who was born a Catholic, claims to be able to channel saints such as St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Rita and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

John Edward, another famous psychic who had his own TV show on the Sci Fi Channel, claims to have priests and nuns as clients and often prays the rosary and meditates before making contact with the spirits.

Many Catholics fall for these ploys, mostly because they don't understand Christian prayer, Father Gesy says.

"Meditation is praying to God or to the saints for their intercession. We're not channeling them. The difference is that we're invoking and praying to them. A medium is inviting the spirit to enter them and speak through them or use them."

The channeling of saints is never of God, Father Gesy said.

"We don't channel saints. We cannot ask a saint to come and use us and our voice to speak through us. A saint won't do that. It may appear to be a saint but remember, Satan is an angel of light and he can appear to be of God. You may think it's God, but God is not channeled nor are the saints."

According to an article by Catholic author Mark P. Shea entitled "You Can Trust Me, I'm A Psychic," he explains: "It is one thing if a person is made the recipient of a supernatural insight or gift (as for instance, St. Bernadette was when the Blessed Virgin appeared to her at Lourdes). It is quite another if a person defies God's express will by seeking supernatural knowledge and power in ways the Lord has expressly forbidden in the First Commandment.

"And of course, the mere fact that someone has an unsought dream or supernatural insight about the future still does not mean that person is necessarily being visited by God. As Saints Peter and Paul say, your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. And he 'disguises himself as an angel of light.'" (1 Pt 5:8, 2 Cor 11:14)

That these spirits can be evil and harassing is attested to by plenty of psychics themselves.

"As I became more psychically proficient, I actually began to see angels and demons," Noonan wrote in her book, Ransomed From Darkness. "I saw so many things, most of which I didn't want to see. Demons, after all, don't approach one gently, asking 'Do you have time for me now?' Once the door is open, they bombard you. I eventually found it hard to sleep because my mind was always rushing, without interruption . . . Ask anyone who's been a psychic, especially a clairvoyant. They will tell you the same thing: They have no peace."

Regardless of how convincing and even pious a channeler may sound, they are engaging in an activity that has been condemned by God. The best thing you can do – besides walking away – is to pray for them, that their eyes may be opened to the machinations of Satan to whom they have, either wittingly or unwittingly, surrendered themselves.

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