Curses and Spells?

Q. What does the Catholic Church say about curses and spells? Can they be real? 

A. Here’s a reply from Father Reginald Martin:  

Most of us are familiar with one curse, the eternal punishment Christ warns us we will suffer should we willingly reject the salvation he offers. Paul calls Jesus’ adversaries “accursed” (1 Cor 16:22), and Jesus curses an unproductive fig tree (see Mt 21:18-22; Mk 11:12-14). But Jesus is a source of blessing in the Gospel, and the Book of Revelation describes heaven as a place without “any accursed thing.” Sadly, these good examples have not stopped fallen humankind from seeking to lay curses or cast spells upon individuals, created things, and even God himself.

A curse is a calling down of some evil, and may involve some form of magic. Spells may be cast for good or evil; these likewise involve recourse to magic. The Church acknowledges such deeds and condemns them because they attempt to gain control over other people or God’s creation.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church expresses this very clearly “All practices … 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” (No. 2117). If we embrace spells and curses, we violate the First Commandment, placing ourselves before God.