Determinism is socially destructive. Selections from The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) on Astrology:

“From the start the Christian Church strongly opposed the false teachings of astrology. The Fathers energetically demanded the expulsion of the Chaldeans who did so much harm to the State and the citizens by employing a fantastic mysticism to play upon the ineradicable impulses of the common people, keeping their heathen conceptions alive and fostering a soul-perplexing cult which, with its fatalistic tendencies created difficulties in the discernment of right and wrong and weakened the moral foundations of all human conduct. There was no room in the early Christian Church for followers of this pseudo-science. The noted mathematician Aguila Ponticus was expelled from the Christian communion about the year 120, on account of his astrological heresies. The early Christians of Rome, therefore, regarded the astrological as their bitterest and, unfortunately, their too powerful enemies; and the astrologers probably did their part in stirring up the cruel persecutions of the Christians. As Christianity spread, the astrologers lost their influence and reputation, and gradually sank to the position of mere quacks. The conversion of Constantine the Great put an end to the importance of this so-called science, which for five hundred years had ruled the public life of Rome. In 321 Constantine issued an edict threatening all Chaldeans, Magi, and their followers with death. Astrology now disappeared for centuries from the Christian parts of Western Europe.”


“This deterioration of astrology is not surprising if we bear in mind the strong tendency of all Semitic races to fatalism and their blind belief in an inevitable destiny, a belief which entails spiritual demoralization.”



“The influence of the Copernican theory, the war of enlightened minds against pseudo-prophetic wisdom and the increasing perception of the moral and psychical damage wrought by astrological humbug at last brought about a decline in the fortunes of astrology”



“The rapid growth of experimental investigation in the natural sciences in those countries which had been almost ruined, socially and politically; by the Thirty Years War completely banished the astrological parasites from society. Once more astrology fell to the level of a vulgar superstition, cutting a sorry figure among the classes that still had faith in the occult arts. The peasant held fast to his belief in natural astrologist and to this belief the progress of the art of printing and the spread of popular education contributed largely. For not only were there disseminated among the rural poor “farmer’s almanacs”, which contained information substantiated by the peasant’s own experience, but the printing-presses also supplied the peasant with a great mass of cheap and easily understood books containing much fantastic astrological nonsense.”


“The remarkable physical discoveries of recent decades, in combination with the growing desire for an elevated philosophico-religious conception of the world and the intensified sensitiveness of the modern cultured man — all these together have caused astrology to emerge from its hiding place among paltry superstitions. The growth of occultistic ideas, which should, perhaps, not be entirely rejected, is reintroducing astrology into society. This is especially true of judicial astrology, which, however, by its constant encouragement of fatalistic views unsettles the belief in a Divine Providence.



“Co-incident with the spread of old astrology in old Israel and the decline of the nation was the diffusion of demonology. The Jewish prayers to the planets, in the form in which they are preserved with others in Codex Paris, 2419 (folio 277r), came into existence at the time when Hellenism first flourished in the East, namely, the third and second centuries B.C. In these prayers special angels and demons are assigned to the different planets; the greatest and most powerful planet Saturn having only one angel, Ktetoel, and one demon, Beelzebub. These planetary demons regulated the destiny of men.”



“The lower the Jewish nation sank in the scale of religion and civilization the greater was the power gained by the erratic doctrines of astrology and the accompanying belief in demonology. The earthly labours of the Saviour purified this noxious atmosphere. The New Testament is the opponent of astrology, which, by encouraging an apathetic fatalism, prevents the development of and elevating and strengthening trust in a Divine Providence. “



Pasted from <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02018e.htm>


From The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913.

Pasted from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia>