New Age Attacks My Parish


My parish is becoming more and more involved in new age philosophies. My parish priest is greatly influenced by Richard Rohr. In reading some of the quotes attributed to these new age philosophies I have found that it appears they often support homosexuality, the primacy of conscience concerning sexual matters such as abortion, using feminine pronouns for God, and abusing the liturgy. I found sources that attributed quotes to the Center for Action to include heterosexual and homosexual men nude and physically touching each other in areas of hurt. If any of the above statements need clarification or are incorrect please assist. My parish priest went so far as to state in his homily that one does not need to have Christ as ones personal savior. He took this statement beyond the scope of “Invincible Ignorance” or the “Anonymous Catholic”. He stated one only has to fully love his fellow man. Please assist with books, tapes or guidance how one can fight this new age philosophy spreading throughout my parish. Many within the parish have been outraged; however, many have not studied our faith and have a properly formed conscience to know the issues this philosophy will create.

Please help!


You aren’t going to be able to do much besides contacting the bishop, whic I’d recommend. :frowning: Sorry to hear.


Hi Perry,
I’m really sorry to hear about this. The only advice I can give is that as Newbie2 said, contact your bishop and also if you are brave enough, it takes a lot of knowledge and bravery, confront the priest- in a loving way of course (not angry or billiigerantly- remember we battle against evil, not people themselves as God wishes them to be saved.) Bring with you evidence in the Church’s teachings from the Catechism (Baltimore, or the new), Pope’s writings and encyclicals- anything as evidence that what he has just spoken of is pure fraud. Question him. Tell him you are concered of what he spoke of and ask him to defend what he has taught using evidence of Church teaching. If he doesn’t listen to you, or tells you that there is no reason for him to explain himself to you, you have **every right **to leave. (I think you will find that most of these sorts of new agers will just wave off serious issues- a sure sign of their total ignorance of truth- they are lost to the devil, seriously -pray for them all the time- if you spent just 10 seconds in hell you’d fear for anyone’s soul-even those you hate.) Find another parish and go there instead. Warn every Catholic you know of this man’s dedication to heresy (that is if he doesn’t repent of it).
Its very frightening when one starts to see this pop up especailly in their own parish. Now is the time to do battle (not physical that is, but spirtual)- my advice for you and for everyone who loves truth- that is Christ Jesus- to start studying, really know The Catholic Faith, the only true faith. There is coming a day of total apostacy- from what I read from people’s responses on this message board, we are already in the midst of it- such total ignorace of the true faith. Don’t be one to get caught up in it. How much do you love God to defend Him? Study the lives of the Saints- we know we can live by their example. Many of them were chastised and ostracized for speaking against heresy. Read about those saints who fought against heresies in the Church throughout the ages- ask for their prayers and intercession.
Remember, admonishing the sinner IS LOVE, no matter who a person is. We are our brother’s keeper. Remember though to be kind and considerate though- no bad mouthing, slamming. Once can always just leave after one has tried everything they honestly could.
Sorry to hear this. Its sometimes just gets too much for me to hear about this sort of thing. I was devistated to find new age in the Church- and when I told my pastor he ridiculed me for speaking up! One can barely hold on to, let alone find truth as it is anymore, and then to have new age garbage in the sanctuary it is harder yet. Hang in there. PRAY PRAY PRAY. Seek and you shall find. God bless you.
-Anne Elizabeth


I would find a new Church with wich to go to Mass with. I would also tell the priest why you are going.


I agree with AnneElizabeth’s sentiment, but not all of the tactics. I believe it’s inappropriate to “tell every Catholic” of the priest’s “dedication to heresy”; that would constitute the sin of detraction. Rather, go to the priest and offer him an opportunity to answer for these issues, and then go to the bishop if that is ineffective.

In any case, once it’s in the bishop’s hands, it’s out of yours. It is not for individuals to spread the “bad news”, even if it is true.



The Father of our parish sent an e-mail encouraging the men of my Men’s Ministry group to start reading Richard Rohr. Would it be a sin to share information such as websites that show his New Age philosphy within the Men’s Ministry? His books and site appear to be heretical? Again if I am wrong about his teaching please tell me.

I welcome the input to leave the parish; however, should we not stand for Christ within the parish. Can we lose one more parish to this rehashed philosphy? Can we stand to lose a Priest to this rethoric?

Thank you for your help


(From Latin detrahere, to take away).

Detraction is the unjust damaging of another’s good name by the revelation of some fault or crime of which that other is really guilty or at any rate is seriously believed to be guilty by the defamer.

An important difference between detraction and calumny is at once apparent. The calumniator says what he knows to be false, whilst the detractor narrates what he at least honestly thinks is true. Detraction in a general sense is a mortal sin, as being a violation of the virtue not only of charity but also of justice. It is obvious, however, that the subject-matter of the accusation may be so inconspicuous or, everything considered, so little capable of doing serious hurt that the guilt is not assumed to be more than venial. The same judgment is to be given when, as not unfrequently happens, there has been little or no advertence to the harm that is being done.

The determination of the degree of sinfulness of detraction is in general to be gathered from the consideration of the amount of harm the defamatory utterance is calculated to work. In order to adequately measure the seriousness of the damage wrought, due regard must be had not only to the imputation itself but also to the character of the person by whom and against whom the charge is made. That is, we must take into account not only the greater or lesser criminality of the thing alleged but also the more or less distinguished reputation of the detractor for trustworthiness, as well as the more or less notable dignity or estimation of the person whose good name has been assailed. Thus it is conceivable that a relatively small defect alleged against a person of eminent station, such as a bishop, might seriously tarnish his good name and be a mortal sin, whilst an offence of considerable magnitude attributed to an individual of a class in which such things frequently happen might constitute only a venial sin, such as, for instance, to say that a common sailor had been drunk. It is worthy of note that the manifestation of even inculpable defects may be a real defamation, such as to charge a person with gross ignorance, etc. When this is done in such circumstances as to bring upon the person so disparaged a more than ordinary measure of disgrace, or perhaps seriously prejudice him, the sin may even be a grievous one.

There are times, nevertheless, when one may lawfully make known the offense of another even though as a consequence the trust hitherto reposed in him be rudely shaken or shattered. If a person’s misdoing is public in the sense that sentence has been passed by the competent legal tribunal or that it is already notorious, for instance, in a city, then in the first case it may licitly be referred to in any place; in the second, within the limits of the town, or even elsewhere, unless in either instance the offender in the lapse of time should have entirely reformed or his delinquency been quite forgotten. When, however, knowledge of the happening is possessed only by the members of a particular community or society, such as a college or monastery and the like, it would not be lawful to publish the fact to others than those belonging to such a body. Finally, even when the sin is in no sense public, it may still be divulged without contravening the virtues of justice or charity whenever such a course is for the common weal or is esteemed to make for the good of the narrator, of his listeners, or even of the culprit. The right which the latter has to an assumed good name is extinguished in the presence of the benefit which may be conferred in this way.

The employment of this teaching, however, is limited by a twofold restriction.

The damage which one may soberly apprehend as emerging from the failure to reveal another’s sin or vicious propensity must be a notable one as contrasted with the evil of defamation.
No more in the way of exposure should be done than is required, and even a fraternal admonition ought rather to be substituted if it can be discerned to adequately meet the needs of the situation.
Journalists are entirely within their rights in inveighing against the official shortcomings of public men. Likewise, they may lawfully present whatever information about the life or character of a candidate for public office is necessary to show his unfitness for the station he seeks. Historians have a still greater latitude in the performance of their task. This is not of course because the dead have lost their claim to have their good name respected. History must be something more than a mere calendar of dates and incidents; the causes and connection of events are a proper part of its province. This consideration, as well as that of the general utility in elevating and strengthening the public conscience, may justify the historian in telling many things hitherto unknown which are to the disgrace of those of whom they are related…


…Those who abet another’s defamation in a matter of moment by directly or indirectly inciting or encouraging the principal in the case are guilty of grievous injustice. When, however, one’s attitude is simply a passive one, i.e. that of a mere listener, prescinding from any interior satisfaction at the blackening of another’s good name, ordinarily the sin is not mortal unless one happens to be a superior. The reason is that private persons are seldom obliged to administer fraternal correction under pain of mortal sin (see FRATERNAL CORRECTION). The detractor having violated an unimpeachable right of another is bound to restitution. He must do his best to put back the one whom he has thus outraged in possession of the fair fame which the latter hitherto enjoyed. He must likewise make good whatever other loss he in some measure foresaw his victim would sustain as a result of this unfair defamation, such as damage measurable in terms of money. The obligation in either instance is perfectly clear. The method of discharging this plain duty is not so obvious in the first case. In fact, since the thing alleged is assumed to be true, it cannot be formally taken back, and some of the suggestions of theologians as to the style of reparation are more ingenious than satisfactory. Generally the only thing that can be done is to bide one’s time until an occasion presents itself for a favorable characterization of the person defamed. The obligation of the detractor to make compensation for pecuniary loss and the like is not only personal but becomes a burden on his heirs as well.


Ask your priests questions and express your concerns. I have read one of Richard Rohr’s books and did not find the things you speak of. I once struggled with a recommended book by my pastor until I finally had to ask him explain to me why he guided me to it. After his explanation, I realized how I missed the point completely. Just give him a chance to explain. If your concerns prove correct, than I would contact the vicar.


Dante- I’m still not sure that what I said constitutes as detraction. Can you help me out? By the way, I said “warn” not “tell” as you quoted me as saying… while this is probably just semantics, my implication was that if the topic is brought up you may go ahead and share your concerns about what this priest said with other Catholics. I don’t see how this is detraction as long as this is done in a loving way with respect for souls. ???

How loving is it to let other Catholics hear that which might be detrimental to their salvation if they do not know any better? There is nothing more fatal than heresy… eternally fatal- and many Saints DIED to their earthly life so that others could be protected from heresy and the True Faith to live on. What are we doing now about it???

PerryJ, I’m just as concerned as you are. Sorry, I can’t help anymore than I have, if I have. I could be wrong. I welcome admonishment. I share the same concerns.


OP still has not describe exactly what new age philosophies and activities are being promoted in his parish, nor has he provided a link to those specific activities with the works of priest in question. What book or other theory of Richard Rohr’s is being promoted? What activity, retreat, bible study or other problematic program is being introduced.

it is a huge stretch to say “I saw something on Richard Rohr’s website that is objectionable” to “my pastor and parish are promoting this specific thought, activity or program”.

please provide specifically the link or citation to Richard Rohr’s work where he promotes or condones homosexuality, which is the claim you make against him, and against those promoting objectionable activities in OP’s parish.


Ouch! :crying:


To puzzleannie examples I believe may be objectionable for Richard Rohr are his letter of endorsement to His lecture to New Ways Ministry Conference in which he is attributed with saying “this whole recognition in the homosexual person that 'I am Man/Woman; I am a Male/Female; I am the inclusion; I am both. I have no doubt that eventually that will be seen, even in western culture, as a tremendous gift.” His retreats appear to be cult like in methodology; however, one may go to to read more about them. My parish also fully supports centering prayer; which, the last two Popes have stated should not be used unless the prayer is focused upon Christ. They warn that centering prayer may lead one away from a Christ focused center to a personal focus. Our parishioners are not taught centering prayer to be focused on Christ. Our method focuses on the individual person. This can lead people astray. In total I see new age methodolgy’s within our parish leading our priest to state that one does not need to accept Christ to be saved. As stated his message was beyond “invincible ignorance”. This request for assistance is not focused on Richard Rohr or centering prayer or any other new age action by itself. This request concerns the accumulation of areas of thought that may be leading our parish and priest down a very slippery slope. Richard Rohr, centering prayer and new age teachings will fade as all things that go against our Church. They can not withstand just as they didn’t the first several time they have been used against the Church in history. My concern is for my parish and priest.


I have only read “The Wild Mans Journey” by Richard Rohr. What I got from it was we have to maintain balance between what he describes as the male/female side of humanity. That is not suggesting a confusion with sexuality. I use our parish pastor as the example of unbalance. While he is deeply caring and compassionate, he is not authoritive and does not hit hard with his homilies for fear of losing parishioners. He often speaks of living with his mother and sisters without his father. He is definitely more feminine with his interaction (again not speaking of sexuality). I think women would read this easier than men because in general men will not accept the possibility of having a feminine side.


Forgive me; I didn’t read the 78 pages you posted. The first line or two was sufficient.

How would it not be detraction to tell/warn (whichever) people that someone else is sinning? That’s the black-letter definition of it!

You have to remember that the priest’s sin in heresy is on his shoulders. Those who are misled are not necessarily lost. You have a duty, furthermore, to report it to the bishop if the priest won’t change his ways, and then let the bishop sort it out. After that, it’s out of your hands, and to do more would be unwise and probably disobedient.

Finally, with all due respect, it’s poor forum etiquette to post a gigantic article when all you need is a few points. If you really want someone to read the whole article, post a link to it.



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