Do any of you like Fr. Richard Rohr?


You say. And I wouldn’t trust Fr. Rohr, if the life of my soul depended on it! But that’s just me.


You wouldn’t trust the website that hosts this forum?


Not a 100%

They were wrong on some things in the past and have changed their position.

You’re not required to stop thinking when you come into this forum



No not just you.
I have no doubt that many of these progressives would welcome Catholic “priestesses” and same sex Catholic “marriage.”



New Ways Ministry is a dissident group agitating for same sex Catholic “marriage,” right?


I heard Fr. Rohr speak years ago and what he was saying made me uncomfortable. I’ve also tried to read a couple of his books and had the same reaction. I believe as some others do that he’s “gone off the rails” so to speak and doesn’t teach orthodox Catholicism.

As far as Centering Prayer is concerned there is another book that sheds some light upon it. The book uses the writings of St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross to illustrate her thoughts. I think that since both of these Saints are Doctors of the Church their writings are reliable.
Is Centering Prayer Catholic?

Yes, New Ways Ministry is in favor of same sex Catholic “marriage”.


I am ok with most of Rohr as well as Centering Prayer. I guesss I am not a very good or traditional Catholic. I think sooner or later we get to a place where we need to break out of the box a bit otherwise we stagnate. DIfferent things help different people at different times. We all go through stages and seasons. The Holy Spirit cannot be regulated nor predicted. As long as we keep Christ as our primary relationship, the core of our life and practice awareness of his abiding presence in whatever way works best for us, we are on our own unique path with him.


I don’t know anything about Rohr so I can’t speak on his beliefs, but I was advised to do Centering Prayer by a therapist/priest as part of my practices and it has been nothing but helpful. I try to pray the Rosary, do a few minutes of Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina and an Examen daily. I have suffered from anxiety and depression and along with counseling and spiritual direction, Centering Prayer has helped to calm my mind so that I can focus more on healing and letting God in. I don’t care what all the opinions on it are. Have these people actually done it? I know all about New Age and Eastern religion, etc. and can say this is distinct enough to work with my faith and not contradict it. There will be some elements that are similar as far as technique, but isn’t this the same with many prayer practices. Buddhists and Muslims also pray with beads, are we to be fearful of our Rosary? Everyone is different but this has only been a blessing for me.


Yes! And they should be avoided like the plague!


And none of the articles speak about Centering Prayer as it is taught by Fr Keating and what it’s actually about. They try and say what Centering Prayer is, but their assessment has nothing to do with it.

They confuse Centering Prayer with New Age Centering, which are different.

The first article tries to say the Vatican condemned Centering Prayer, but the letter had nothing to do with it.

In response to then Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1989 “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation.” This was written by Thomas Keating in response to questions about that letter and Centering Prayer.

Not Directed to Centering Prayer

Cardinal Ratzinger’s “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation”, written in 1989, was not directed to Centering Prayer, which is the traditional form of Christian prayer, but rather at those forms of meditative practices that actually incorporate the methods of Eastern meditations such as Zen and the use of the Hindu mantras. The letter is chiefly concerned with the integration of such techniques into the Christian faith. It does not forbid their use and indeed, states, “that does not mean that genuine practices of meditation which come from the Christian East and from the great non-Christian religions… cannot constitute a suitable means of helping the person who prays to come before God with an interior peace even in the midst of external pressures”’s-1989-“letter-bishops-catholic-church-some-aspects-christ

Also, Connie Rossini one of the authors, does not have the experience or knowledge that the Trappists and Benedictine Monks, who are contemplative’s who know far more than she does.

Also, the article by Fr John Dreher, borders being fraudulent as he makes claims of how Centering Prayer came about which never happened as he claimed. In fact, despite only being an hour away from St Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, he never went to speak with the monks there to learn about Centering Prayer from them, before writing his article. I spoke with monks at St Joseph’s Abbey about Fr Dreher’s article, and they just rolled their eyes and say it isn’t true.

Why is it prayer like Contemplative Prayer(Centering Prayer), is always attacked in this forum just before Lent ?



I’m in total agreement with you, Jim. Centering prayer as taught by Fr. Keating is strikingly similar to St. Teresa’s mental prayer. It does not resemble what CA or Women of Grace condemn.

This is not to say that there aren’t some very “new age” abuses out there that are perpetrated by OTHER people. As with all things, one must be careful who you take instruction from. If someone is telling you to play loud music or hold hands and dance in a circle, it is not Centering Prayer as taught by Fr. Keating.


That sounds more like the Hokey Pokey dance than it does prayer :grin:.

One early notion associated with centering prayer that seemed to cause concern was the idea of “emptying the mind.” However it might have been emphasized or misunderstood in the early days, the teaching appears to have become more refined and clarified now. Letting all thoughts simply pass as they come and go during the time of this way of prayer, without engaging with them, is way I see the teaching presented now, and this is not the impossible “mind-emptying” that raised alarm bells.


No, I prefer traditional Catholic spirituality. I am related to Fr. Rohr on my father’s side, however.


Based on this information I’d say he is not a man to be trusted, and should work to repent and denounce the false teachings he has presented as true.

Frankly, if New Ways agrees with him, there’s a good chance I won’t.

Women of grace is an excellent, orthodox site. Why wouldn’t you trust them?

As for centering prayer, there are aspects of it that are good, but I’ve also seen is mixed with new age practices. It seems very easy to abuse the concepts.


Women of Grace misleads many, as they report on things they know nothing about, Centering Prayer being one of them.

One of the articles they use to link was written by a relatively new Catholic Convert who was a former Beauty Queen, who later became a CCD teacher.

Her knowledge and expertise about Centering Prayer was treated as gospel truth while attacking Fr Keating, who lived as a contemplative over 65 years as a Trappist Monk, was said to be dangerous. Who actually knew what they were talking about, a newly converted lay Catholic or Contemplative Monks who have given their lives for the vocation of prayer ?

Fr Keating and many other contemplatives teach Centering Prayer, some now call it it’s original name, “Quiet Prayer” or “Prayer of Quiet” in order to avoid the misunderstanding surrounding the title.

From the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia,

The title, Centering Prayer, most likely came from St John of the Cross, The Living Flame of Love, on a week-end retreat for religious about Quiet Prayer. They used Thomas Merton’s work on St John of the Cross and the term Center was referred to by the Saint, that the retreatants began calling it Centering Prayer. It stuck through the decades.



You’re wrongly judging Fr Rohr.

He hasn’t given false teachings and is well regarded by the Franciscan Order of which he belongs.

He’s been invited to give talks to various religious communities including the Trappists at Gethsemani.



Fr. Martin is well regarded by man people of his order, doesn’t change the fact hat I think he’s misleading the faithful. By the same logic, peer acceptance is not an accurate indicator of orthodoxy.

I know little of Fr. Rohr, so I don’t have much to add. I was going based on the articles listed, specifically the Catholic Answers article. I trust CA, so I trust them when they point out problematic statements. The shop website also links to problematic statements and articles.


I know little of Fr. Rohr, so I don’t have much to add.

Yet you judged him based merely on the gossip of others.

Try seeing Christ in everyone and everything.

St Francis of Assisi, is the prime example of this.



No he didn’t judge him merely on the gossip of others. There are many who have written about his questionable teachings. You stated that you don’t trust any of the links I posted. Well one of them is from Catholic Answers! Tell me, if you don’t trust them, why are you a member of their forum?

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