Do any of you like Fr. Richard Rohr?


Why articles? Let’s go to his writings themselves.

I have several books. Let’s discuss one. I am currently reading “Just This”.


Thanks but no thanks.


Then again, I am pretty much on the edge of defined orthodoxy. I think we get too caught up in what we think we know. I look for readings that help me break out of all I think I know and open me to wonder.


Are you merely asserting that he hasn’t formally been charged with heresy? Yes, you’d be correct in saying that.

Does he teach an orthodox Catholicism? Not so much. :man_shrugging:


So much comes down to a basic difference in emphasis on world views that few can seem to reconcile. Rohr speaks of Non-Dualism. In other words, a fundamental, ultimate unity of creator and creature. Our traditional Catholic mystics have often spoken of this also but have taken care to keep it in the context of our Creator/creature distinction. That is all part of the mystique of our existence. How can we be both distinct and yet in unity? Well, kind of like the TRINITY, How can it be both three and one?

It comes down to the transcendent/ immanent capabilities of God. How can God be both totally transcendent and seemingly infinitely beyond us and yet at the very same time totally immanent and the Being in whose being we share?

Our tradition has over emphasized the transcendence and otherness of God. So someone like Rohr speaking of Non-Dualism, unity, sounds like a heretic. He calls for a reconsideration or a balancing of that view with the immanence of God all around us and within us. I think it was St. John of the Cross who spoke of God as the center of our soul. Rohr tries to reclaim that view.


No, I judged him based on the information I gathered from sources which directly cited his own work, and explained why it was out of keeping with Catholic teaching.

I do try to see Christ in everyone, but when a person it teaching things which directly contradict Christ’s Church, I’m not going to listen to them, and neither should you.


I read an answer to a question about a book that was fielded on the Woman of Grace site in which the reviewer admitted to not having read the book being reviewed. I think that borders on unethical. If you haven’t read the book, don’t write a review on it. Don’t encourage people to read it and don’t discourage people from reading it, because you literally do not know what you’re talking about.

As for what Fr. Rohr or anyone else publishes, I would think a prudent Catholic always realizes there is a duty to be particularly vigilant when reading anything that does not have a imprimatur and even then realizing that only teachings of the Church are teachings of the Church. Everything else has to be tested against whether or not it is consistent with the teachings of the Church.

Even when reading Doctors of the Church, we have to be aware that there is a difference between the way we might take a section of writing and what a Church censor would take the same section to mean. We all know, after all, that even Holy Scriptures can be taken the wrong way and used to draw the wrong conclusions. That doesn’t mean the faithful shouldn’t read the Bible! It means that the faithful ought to test what they learn against the teachings of the Church and bring any questions to those with a more trustworthy education when they are in doubt.


Fr. Rohr reviewed the book, Called-Women Hear the Voice of the Divine (October 25, 2010) in this way:
We are assured in the New Testament that we ‘enjoy the glorious freedom of the children of God’. Well here is a woman-and an issue-that takes that freedom seriously, and with the groundedness, scholarship, and courage that the entire church deeply needs today. The issue of the ordinantion of women to leadership in the church will not go away-nor should it. (from the book cover reviews)

Pope St. John Paul II wrote “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women” in Ordinatio sacerdotalis, issued at Pentecost in 1994. There is zero point zero zero zero zero chance that Fr. Rohr was unaware of it when he reviewed that book (which I’m not going to review because I have never even cracked it open). No, the Pope did not choose to promulgate the pronouncement ex cathedra, but the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith left no doubt that it was to be definitively held. (

This is an example of what I mean by Fr. Rohr dancing on the edge of what he is allowed to say, and a case where in my opinion he clearly went across the line. He didn’t come out and say women ought to be ordained, but he came out and said there ought to be an ongoing conversation about it. Still, he hasn’t gone as far as Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who was expelled from Maryknoll, laicized and excommunicated latae sententiae for directly participation in the attempted ordination of a woman and the simulation of a Mass with a woman claiming to have been ordained. I think Fr. Rohr realizes that if he does anything like that, his excommunication will be known around the world in very short order. He does not want to be excommunicated, and he knows that nothing he says is going to go unnoticed or unquestioned.

Read what he writes with care. He is a priest with a heart for mercy, he has had a lot of experience in dealing with people who have been incarcerated (as an example), he has things to say that are worth hearing, but he sometimes wishes out loud that the Church could be what she ought not ever be and he sometimes goes over the line of what the Church teaches. We all have our blind spots, and he is definitely no exception. That doesn’t mean that nothing he writes or says has any merit.

I actually have an old talk he gave many years ago on the topic of obedience of all things–this is so far back, it is on a cassette tape!!–and it is actually very good!


Neither one of these facts is a guarantee of orthodox Catholic teaching.


I love Richard Rohr’s writing. It is not for everyone, as he pushes limits and requires his readers to move out of their “comfort zones”.

I had the wonderful privilege of meeting him about 10 years ago when he and Timothy Radcliffe, OP came to my diocese. He is a delightful man, with a deep spirituality and I imagine, is much like his Brother, Francis.

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