So uh, this is my first post on here so I should say hi! I’m a Religious Studies student who’s been doing some work on the reaction of established traditional religion to some of the new movements that have developed over the past hundred years, but there’s one thing that puzzles me.
Obviously, I understand the practices of any other religion or even Christian denominations are unacceptable and incompatible with Catholic teachings (as much of a vague nod of respect the Catechism might give Islam and the Orthodox church). What I don’t really understand is why the New age is singled out as an especially dangerous enemy in a number of modern Catholic works.
I’ll take Wicca for an example, since I’ve had to observe a few rituals of a coven recently. I don’t believe for one moment that the goddess they pray to or invoke during the “magick” actually has any effect or that they can actually force people to fall in love, suffer bad luck or whatever it is they might ask for. Whatever the intent is or whatever they might choose to call the deity/deities in question it’s essentially a petition to the “higher being”, (whatever that might be in their minds can vary).
Now, if this is so awful (which it is or isn’t, that’s not my concern at the moment) why do the prayer methods or rituals of other faiths such as Hinduism or Sikhism not warrant half as much condemnation and public opposition? Clearly, they’re all heretical and false doctrines in the eyes of the church, but If I’m not mistaken the Catechism acknowledges prayers by Muslims to Allah are addressed to God, and the Pope Emeritus met on a few occasions with leading Hindus and Buddhists. They might be false, but unlike the new age movements do seem to have some, if somewhat begrudged tolerance.
Clearly it’s all wrong to the Church, but why do New Age movements warrant particular opposition over the others. Is it purely because they label their rituals as “Magick”, because they certainly aren’t growing as fast, are any less morally grey or with any less scandal than say Buddhism.