Over the past few years I’ve noticed a very disturbing trend regarding an invasion of New Age activities within Catholic environments. Many of us have taken notice.
New Age activities include things such as reiki, enneagram, earth spirituality (eco-spirituality), drumming circles, smudging, medicine dolls, tarot, polytheistic labyrinth meditations, buddhist chant, feminine God, etc, etc, etc…
Such activities are being promoted in quite a number of “Catholic” retreat centers, parishes, and convents. I’m afraid the number isn’t small, either. I did a quick web search and found many (many!) of these Catholic places practising and/or supporting the New Age.
I realized that this must be a vast problem when I relocated to another town and found that the nearest parish had things like “autumnal equinox celebration” “labyrinth meditation”, and “enneagram” listed in their parish activities calendar.
In fact, it’s so easy to find these many Catholic places that practice New Age activities because they boldly and proudly mention them on their websites.
A while ago I read the document from the Vatican which specifically addressed the new age. Long story short, it’s forbidden.
“Thank God!”, I thought. “The Church does not approve of this.” The document gave me hope, and made me glad that the Catholic Church does not approve of such things. But as the months and years have passed, the new age trend continues, and it continues to be very disturbing…
I have noticed religious communities, nuns, and priests promoting this sin of New Age. Reiki master nuns, parish enneagram workshops… and a strange practice of “spirituality”, with vague, polytheistic definition. These things continue.
They continue regardless of what is written in the Bible, in the Catechism, by church fathers, and by the Vatican. Sad sisters still continue to have their little pagan retreat centers. Parishes continue to have their enneagram workshops. Pagan philosophy abounds.
I’ve seen a website of an archdiocese that is having a workshop at a Passionist Earth and Spirit Center… and the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center has things in their activities such as “Eastern spiritual traditions”, “transpersonal psychology” and “Enneagram”, among others.
I’ve seen Catholic nuns gonging a bell in Buddhist Chant. I’ve heard nuns refuse to call God “Father”, and instead call Him “mother”.
I’ve read about a list of convents that supported an earth spirituality conference (hosted at a Catholic college) where an actual witch was a part of the guest speakers.
I’ve even run into unorthodox experiences myself. When I attended a Catholic dominican college, I attended a prayer meeting. The prayer meeting turned out to be anything but Catholic. I went there to pray to Jesus with other people, but the next thing I knew I found myself being swirled in a whirl of confusion when a lady lead everyone to ask the four corners to bless us, and then she smudged us the Native American way with an incense bundle. And just recently I even had a hard time at confession… not because it was hard to confess my sins- I was glad to… the problem was the priest said my sins weren’t sins! Yet I know they were, because the catechism says so.
I’m a Catholic convert. I converted to the Catholic church because I believe it is Jesus’ church. But now I find myself saying I converted to be Roman Catholic, not Pagan Catholic. It becomes hard for me to defend the church to protestants. I find it troubling that I even have to say that. I worry that Jesus will be angry with me for being part of the Catholic Church, when so many leaders within the church (priests, nuns, bishops) practice or allow idolatry and other paganism. Are their sins on my head too? It was never about them, though, it was and is about Jesus.
And you know, I look back over the years, and I see the moral relativism and the paganism still exists. And I find myself asking why. Why? Why aren’t these new age “Catholic” retreat centers and convents shut down? Why are some parishes still pushing liberal theology? Why do so many parish activity calendars have Reiki and Enneagrams? Why do some diocese do nothing about these places that dabble in New Age? If the bishops and archbishops do nothing, and thus such is tolerated, does that mean they approve? Does that mean it’s okay with the Catholic Church too?
If this is Catholicism… if this is the new face of Catholicism, I feel that I would be betraying Christ to be among such heterodoxy. I would feel it would be a mortal sin to be Catholic.
Please tell me, that the fact that this New Age pervasion is being tolerated (tolerated in that it still exists), that it does NOT mean that it is Catholic or approved by the Church.
*Please tell me this is not Catholicism.
*I wonder what Jesus would say about all of this…