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
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.