STOP the Yoga! STOP the Reiki! STOP the Tolle! Or...maybe not.

Are “New Age”, Eastern, and occultic practices creeping into your parish? If so, do you welcome this, oppose it, do nothing? If you do nothing, is it because you are afraid of getting hit over the head as “narrow minded”? Many Catholic churches sponsor Yogic prayer sessions. Some churches invite “Interfaith Instructors” to assure parishioners that Oprah’s neo-gnostic cleric, Eckhart Tolle, is “A-Okay.” Priests at Catholic institutes of theology tout their practice of Reiki.

What are your stories? Do you agree with the exorcists like Father Gabrielle Amorth and Father Jeremy Davies that this stuff is dangerous? Or do you agree the quite common response, “well, if this get’s people interested in spirituality, that’s good, right?”?

Given the pronouncements from the Vatican, linked to below, are Churches just ignorant of these teachings, do they simply not care, or do they believe they have reconciled their practices with the guidance and caution in these documents?
October 15, 1989, from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation, ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfmed.htm
and
February 3, 2003, from a joint project of various Pontifical Councils, Jesus Christ, Bearer of the Water of Life, A Christian Reflection on the “New Age”, vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new-age_en.html

I know that the Church in the United States has its hands full dealing with sex scandals, women becoming “ordained” as priests, and scandal of all types. But why don’t we see more (any?) Diocesan leadership on these issues? Do our pastors really think that Catholicism is so bereft of spiritual tradition that we must resort to these New Age, Eastern, pseudo-Eastern, and occult practices?

Do you support importing into Catholic churches these traditions that draw no distinctions between good and evil? Do you see no dangers in fusing Christian meditation with that which is non-Christian? Does reading anything that raises these questions make you angry because you really like your Yoga, or your Reiki, and do you find a little voice saying, “I don’t care what the Vatican says about this, if my priest allows this in my parish, it must be fine.”? If so, what are your reflections on your own defiance, and what do you think it means?

If you are in a leadership position in a parish that lets this stuff go on, I’d be really interested to know why you think your parish allows or promotes it. Thanks for any comments, stories, flames, arguments, etc.

Super - you mind checking out my thread? Because, i’ve talked to a whole bunch of people offline (and even in the clergy) and they literally are giving me the “Pass the Buck” speech.

Wow, I just posted on your thread and came back here and there you were. Check out what I gave you.

What do you mean by “pass the buck”? Are they saying that the Diocese is not forbidding it? Are they saying that the Church does not forbid it?

I think a lot of these pastors are 1) not well educated on the deep, contemplative prayer traditions that so richly bless the Catholic Church, and 2) are not well-educated on Eastern mysticism, “new age” stuff, and the occult. That’s a double whammy that makes facing these issues intimidating, even if the priest has a vague sense that something is not quite right. And they are too busy to self-educate. And then they might have a layperson on whom they rely for other things who is really pushing this stuff. So, all in all, it’s better to keep the head in the sand.

“Pass the Buck” - well, its kind of hard to trash your own colleagues right?

In other words, they don’t make a decision, the matter is “deferred.”

Deferred to what of course - i mean, give this a shot for a second - try writing to head of your Diocese about this matter.

What your going to get back in all likelihood is the prettiest little letter that you’ve ever seen…in the most evasive language possible.

Sounds like the voice of experience. What type of practice did you write to your Diocese about?

FYI, for those interested. Alopen has thread addressing some intersecting questions here
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=245252

Claim no credit, was not me. However, i did get a look at it.

Basically it quoted the Pope Benedict’s letter back when he was Cardinal Ratzinger.

…and that was it. There was no even the least bit of force or confirmation either way.

I figure this was done to give the neutral political answer - which is essentially not to give an answer.

Well, without naming the Diocese or anyone involved, can you be more specific about the practice that was a source of concern or the specific question that was asked?

That’s simple.

It was Yoga.

Don’t ask me the type or whatever, i don’t know - not really into that stuff.

From what i understand of the situation, it was Yoga being taught on Church grounds. And it wasn’t the simple Exercise Yoga like all that “Yoga for Getting Fit and Looking like a South Beach Super Model.”

It was the weird chanting mumbo jumbo.


I am the OP. Most of the discussion on this topic is going on over at this post,

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=245252

so I’m going to suggest that people go there.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.