"Look at God's great commandments: love God with all your heart, mind and soul, love your neighbor as yourself, love one another as I have loved you. This is how they will know you are my disciples, by your love for one another."
"And any of the great saints, if you look at them, (that love) is the characteristic of their lives. So when we look at relics, or blessed or consecrated objects, it's about how they help us make the connection with those who have gone on into glory (in heaven)," he said.
In some ways, crystals are similar to relics, in that they are physical objects that can establish a spiritual connection. But it would be a mistake to think of them as anything but harmful, Orr said.
"It's far from harmless. This is thinly-veiled so-called witchcraft, which really is playing with demons," he said.
In the Vatican document "Jesus Christ: The bearer of the water of life", the Church teaches that all things associated with New Age beliefs, including crystals, must be rejected, as they claim to offer an alternative to the Word of God: "From the point of view of Christian faith, it is not possible to isolate some elements of New Age religiosity as acceptable to Christians, while rejecting others. Since the New Age movement makes much of a communication with nature, of cosmic knowledge of a universal good – thereby negating the revealed contents of Christian faith – it cannot be viewed as positive or innocuous."
Furthermore, the Catechism rejects New Age beliefs and the use of crystals: "All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to 'unveil' the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone."
Father Gary Thomas, an exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose, told CNA that relics only obtain spiritual significance because they are associated with the saints. Saints are recognized as holy through the authority of the Church, which has its authority in God through apostolic succession, starting with the first Pope, St. Peter.
Crystals can have "perverted" spiritual energy through spells or pagan rituals that are performed with them, he said.
"Crystals can be used as conjuring objects for the demonic," Thomas told CNA. "I have had people come to me for deliverance who have been involved in the practice of using crystals for demonic musterings."
Orr, who has also been involved in exorcism ministry, said he too has seen people who have established connections with the demonic through their use of things like crystals.
"The demons go along until they can get their hooks into this person, and then they turn on them, and that's when we in the ministry see them, when they finally realize what they're dealing with, and they can't disassociate themselves from the demons," he said. That's when they come seeking the help of exorcists.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
"So in that sense, that's how crystals are like relics. It's who you're creating a relationship with. The relics create a relationship with the saints and the glory of heaven; crystals create a relationship with demons."
Mary Farrow worked as a staff writer for Catholic News Agency until 2020. She has a degree in journalism and English education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.