“Why are we letting heretics teach this crap in our churches?”

The title of this post comes from the blog The Recovering Dissident Catholic. Mordant commentary to be sure.  Dead on.

My emphases and comments.

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I find it interesting that supposed Catholic parishes charge up to 3 figures for yoga, enneagram, tai-chi, labyrinth, channeling, reiki and other New Age non-Catholic (and in my opinion and in the opinion of other like,oh ,the USCCB) “classes” held on parish grounds or in the Church. I once attended yoga classes in the main church itself. It was a church with moving chairs so they moved them and set up the mats. I’m not kidding.

Yet Bible studies, RCIA, marriage prep are free or low cost – read they charge less than the fees collected by the New Age “experts”.

Don’t forget Confession and Mass don’t cost you any money except may cost your mortal soul – priceless

I don’t get why these New Age practitioners are making money in our parishes teaching stuff that in my personal experience flirts with powers and forces that should be left alone and encourages people to believe they need these “fillers” because Catholicism is lacking. [NB….] Or, it cements the belief of those who think Catholicism is lacking by telling them they are right. [Bullseye.] I maintain that anyone, and I used to be one, who thinks Catholicism is lacking really has not even begun to scratch the surface of the treasury of the Faith.

Let me be even more frank: Why are we letting heretics teach this crap in our churches? Why not just hand Satan the keys and walk away?


Well done.

I don’t think there is any harm to learning how to stretch and strengthen through moves or stances of yoga or tai-chi so long as nothing of the religion/world view is given any “energy”.  (Sorry… I had to.)   The enneagram and labyrinth and reiki stuff is just silly, though that reiki thing is on the edge from what I know about it (which admittedly isn’t much). Channeling?  If you go anywhere near that you are out of your ever-living mind.

Most people who do this rubbish in their churches are not actually trying to give Satan a toe-hold.  But when these activities are permitted in church you can bet the pastor’s grasp of the Catholic thing is pretty thin.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. tealady24 says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself! The Church has allowed all these things, because when it comes down to a particular parish or college (and I know this as I am a graduate of a Catholic U. ), who really is calling the shots? Where are the bishops to put a stop to this?

    Catholic parishes want to embrace the world! Unfortunately, (and I think someone needs to inform the pastors), this is not the way to win souls. And if the Got-Rocks with his or her big bank account walks away, because you no longer do things their way, that’s ok. God will provide.

    New Age is everything old and pious made to look modern and devoid of God. All it does for certain is to make those who promote it, very rich. In the eyes of the world, of course. But, isn’t that all that counts?

  2. jbas says:

    “The Church itself is being engulfed and shaken by this tidal wave of change, for however much men may be committed to the Church, they are deeply affected by the climate of the world. They run the risk of becoming confused, bewildered and alarmed, and this is a state of affairs which strikes at the very roots of the Church. It drives many people to adopt the most outlandish views. They imagine that the Church should abdicate its proper role, and adopt an entirely new and unprecedented mode of existence. Modernism might be cited as an example. This is an error which is still making its appearance under various new guises, wholly inconsistent with any genuine religious expression. It is surely an attempt on the part of secular philosophies and secular trends to vitiate the true teaching and discipline of the Church of Christ.” Pope Paul VI in Ecclesiam Suam

  3. Paul says:

    While I was still in the process of conversion from Anglican to Roman Catholic, I was in New York City on business. Having a free hour, I slipped into a beautiful, old, Catholic church to sit in the quiet and pray. Imagine my surprise when I found in the space between the first pew and the sanctuary, a full on yoga class in progress!

    I prayed for a bit and sadly left, checking to make sure I hadn’t accidentally gone into an Anglican church. I hadn’t. :-(

  4. shane says:

    Paul, on a few occasions in NY I have the exact opposite experience of slipping into what I thought was a Catholic Church, only to later find out that it was Anglican, and being so arrested by the beauty that I found it hard to leave. (Liberal Anglicans seem to have a better sense of taste and decorum than liberal Catholics.)

  5. Supertradmum says:

    The Church has not allowed these things.

    Individual priests and nuns may do so, but not the Vatican. I have used the 2003 document found here for years when teaching against such New Age practices.” Jesus Christ the Bearer of Water” is a great document covering all of the above things mentioned by the questioner. Reiki is also mentioned in the document. I am sure that the readers would agree that the Teaching Magisterium of the Church covers such documents and not merely encyclicals.

    If readers here are not familiar with this document, I highly suggest they should become so. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new-age_en.html .

    Some quotations:

    “Cabbalism, early Christian gnosticism, Sufism, the lore of the Druids, Celtic Christianity, mediaeval alchemy, Renaissance hermeticism, Zen Buddhism, Yoga and so on(15)” are listed as New Age influences…among others.

    Here is another quotation from the text:
    “Yoga, zen, transcendental meditation and tantric exercises lead to an experience of self-fulfilment or enlightenment. Peak-experiences (reliving one’s birth, travelling to the gates of death, biofeedback, dance and even drugs – anything which can provoke an altered state of consciousness) are believed to lead to unity and enlightenment. Since there is only one Mind, some people can be channels for higher beings. Every part of this single universal being has contact with every other part. The classic approach in New Age is transpersonal psychology, whose main concepts are the Universal Mind, the Higher Self, the collective and personal unconscious and the individual ego. The Higher Self is our real identity, a bridge between God as divine Mind and humanity. Spiritual development is contact with the Higher Self, which overcomes all forms of dualism between subject and object, life and death, psyche and soma, the self and the fragmentary aspects of the self. Our limited personality is like a shadow or a dream created by the real self. The Higher Self contains the memories of earlier (re-)incarnations.
    move from a mechanistic model of classical physics to the “holistic” one of modern atomic and sub-atomic physics, based on the concept of matter as waves or energy rather than particles, is central to much New Age thinking. “…..and more….
    –” New Age imports Eastern religious practices piecemeal and re- interprets them to suit Westerners; this involves a rejection of the language of sin and salvation, replacing it with the morally neutral language of addiction and recovery. References to extra-European influences are sometimes merely a “pseudo-Orientalisation” of Western culture. Furthermore, it is hardly a genuine dialogue; in a context where Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian influences are suspect, oriental influences are used precisely because they are alternatives to Western culture. Traditional science and medicine are felt to be inferior to holistic approaches, as are patriarchal and particular structures in politics and religion. On this level, the New Age has become populated with strange and exotic beings, masters, adepts, extraterrestrials; it is a place of psychic powers and occult mysteries, of conspiracies and hidden teachings”.(55)

    There is a lot more excellent critique of a New Age practices in this text. I assure you, the Church has taken a strong stance against these evil alternatives to Christ and His Gospel

    Do not blame the Church, blame disobedient leaders.

  6. catholicmidwest says:

    One word answer = confusion.

    People are confused because there has been no systematic real catechesis for decades. This appears to be changing in some places now, which is a great thing. I think the many of the leaders in the Church have FINALLY seen the writing on the wall. ==> If she does not tend to the members of the church and help them with their faith, they will wander off.

  7. ray from mn says:

    A jenuwine “Cathy Rant” from the Recovering Dissident Catholic. And one of her best!

  8. Supertradmum says:

    And, just in case one doesn’t click on Fr. Z’s links, here is the summary of the 2009 USCCB document on reiki. “Since Reiki therapy is not compatible with either Christian teaching or scientific evidence, it would be inappropriate for Catholic institutions, such as Catholic health care facilities and retreat centers, or persons representing the Church, such as Catholic chaplains, to promote or to provide support for Reiki therapy…”

  9. shadowat says:

    Love the OP’s frankness. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  10. Tradster says:

    Yes, the Church can and indeed should be blamed. [The Church? Individuals. Holy Church is the spotless bride of the Lord.] Toothless, unenforced rules and recommendations are little more than fig leaves to try to hide the culpability.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    Father Z,
    Just in case some readers do not know what channeling is, it is being a medium for demons, or necromancy, condemned by God in the Old Testament in many places, as well as by the Holy Catholic Church from the Fathers of the Church up to the present day. I am astounded that any priest would allow that in a parish. As to labyrinths, these are connected with the kabbala and with the Masons and the Gnostic idea of inner illumination from the self, not from God. All this is condemned in some form by the Church in Her Wisdom.

    Again, when the shepherds are blind or worse, depraved, the sheep are scattered.

  12. catholicmidwest says:

    Fr. Z and Tradster,
    The missing piece here is one of working definition. To an average parishoner, what goes on at the parish IS what the church teaches, and this stuff does go on sometimes at the parish level.
    And if that’s not the case, then what is the case? Looking to the diocese? And yet we know how that has sometimes worked.
    Or does everyone look directly to Rome to ratify every single activity?
    Not trying to disrupt anything, but this is a valid question. And one that touches this question in a very pertinent way. People are confused.

  13. Matthew78 says:

    Can we not also add to the list the Pentecostal revivalist spirituality, the Charismatic Renewal, which has no roots in our Catholic faith or tradition, yet finds its way in so many parishes and dioceses throughout the world? While I was a Lutheran (ELCA), I met one lapsed Catholic after another who joined the ELCA because the Renewal was more “powerful” and “inspirational” than the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Our leadership has continually supported this purely Protestant spirituality to play a numbers game, and to keep millions of faithful (especially Hispanic), from leaving the Church. Yet it seems that when the emotional highs aren’t “high” enough, adherents to the Renewal leave anyways. Aside from the current liturgical crisis there is perhaps no greater sign of our loss of an authentic Catholic identity than the continued acceptance and reception of the Charismatic Renewal.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    Why blame the Church, when we are the Church and in this day and age have no excuse for ignorance? We have the Catechism and 2,000 years of teaching at our fingertips. We only need to blame ourselves for stupidity and sin. As to the priests and nuns who are involved with the occult, for that is what most of the list is, we can pray for them, and, if they are open, point out their errors.

  15. Supertradmum says:

    Bishop Paul J. Cordes in 1984 was appointed by Pope John Paul II to head the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service, which started under Pope Paul VI in the late 1970s. The ICCRS is recognised by the Holy See. In September of 1993 in a decree from the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Vatican made this formal recognition. In many countries, including the United States and Great Britain, there are Vatican appointees over the movement. Even in the early 1970s, Catholic Charismatics had representation in Rome, which was and is a good thing. This does not mean that there are not problems in some, and perhaps, many of the groups,but the movement is in a formal relationship with Rome nonetheless.

  16. catholicmidwest says:

    The traditional Catholic model has the priests & nuns teaching us, for they are supposed to be employed by the Church for such reasons and know the church better than us, and yet you have it the other way around. I don’t disagree with you, mind you, but it’s an interesting idea.
    Also, these religious orders that have sisters et al that are so ignorant that we have to teach basic Christianity to them — why do we support them financially again? I’m confused on this point. Maybe we should stop that.

  17. KAS says:

    Not the Church who preserves the deposit of faith but faithless leaders and spineless leaders who permit the creeping new age junk into the parish.

    An orthodox priest is not going to put up with such garbage but will insist on good catechesis and good fellowship. If you need an activity, get together for the Rosary or praying the Liturgy of the Hours! Work your way through the catechism. Or have socials made up of pot lucks where Catholics come together to simply get to know each other better. Or encourage the musicians in the parish to get together and jam with church music– not to use non-traditional instruments in the Mass, but to sing good hymns and play them and maybe visit nursing homes together if your jam group gets good. There are a lot of good deeds a group of people who come together around a wholesome activity can do!

    I am amazed that people will do Reiki, but nobody wants to get together and learn a new sewing skill or share their ability with knitting. People have so much to share, but we don’t share it! WHY? We need to fellowship outside of Mass.

    I blame all of us for the state of the church with these activities happening. People long to socialize together and if we the laity are not sharing what we have that is wholesome, then that void will be filled by things like new age stuff that somebody wants to make money doing.

    I’d show up for a Saturday jam session– I’m not good with my instrument but in a group I might improve!! I might show up for a sewing club, or a weekly get together for ballroom dancing. If there were a donations box at the door to cover cost of opening the building and turning on the air, with a note that anything over what is needed will go to charity X, Y or Z– that would be cool too. Would love to see donations for the local Gabriel or other pregnancy outreaches.

    But the new age in our parishes is all our faults, that of a flawed leader, and that of everyone else because there is a need not being filled.

    anyway, my $.02 worth.

  18. Central Valley says:

    Here in the diocese of Fresno, we have a local parish with the labyrinth experience going on: they also have a “banner” ministry…..yes felt 70′ banners in 2011. At another local parish school PE has been replaced with Yoga. The suffering continues

  19. LisaP. says:

    I wonder if the tabernacle being moved into side chapels has had a strong effect on this sort of thing. I would feel very strange doing yoga poses in front of a tabernacle.

  20. Melody Faith says:

    I can attest to the extreme confusion and harassment that can result from messing with reiki like practices. My sister was involved with it and moved on to pranic healing, which involved calling on on different entities, Angels , and Mother Mary, even Jesus, but it treated them all like they were on the same level. It had some Christian trappings, but it was certainly not Christian. My sister had some severe emotional, and possible mental problems and I believe this made her particularly susceptible to the demonic harassment that resulted. She could not sleep for weeks at a time out of fear of the loss of control over her body. She could not extricate herself, and I did not help her effectively. I wish I had taken it more seriously. She took her life 6 months ago, out of desperation. May God be merciful, to her and to me. If you know anyone involved in this stuff, pray like you never have before.

  21. To answer the original question, “why are these people making money in our parishes?” perhaps we need to look at the collection basket and ultimately ourselves. If the basket is empty after Mass, a pastor may get sorely tempted to rent out the church or a meeting hall just so he can make ends meet. He may also get tempted to overlook what is being done and whether it is compatible with Catholic teaching. If we put more money in the basket, maybe the temptation will be lots less. Also, if the church and its meeting rooms already have a full schedule of well-attended Catholic activities, there will be no room for interlopers. The lesson is that if one sees a vacant space on his church grounds, start a Bible study group, perpetual adoration society, or something before it’s too late.

  22. Matthew78 says:


    I never have denied nor questioned that formal recognition of the ICCRS by the Holy See exists, but rather stated my disgust at such a recognition. The blame for such un-Catholic and even demonic movements that have infiltrated the Church should be placed on the laity and episcopacy alike. If certain people like the Ranaghan’s at Duquesne University attempt to transplant a heretical movement such as the Renewal from Pentecostalism to the Catholic Church, the rightful authorities in the Church should be there to guide them in prudence and correction. The acceptance of the Renewal by the Holy See is simply a numbers game. There is no other explanation as to why learned, orthodox pontiffs would choose to accept a movement that not only lacks any roots in the tradition of our faith, but also promotes ideas that are directly contrary to our faith. It is no different than many of the disastrous “exceptions” and “concessions” in liturgical practice that are overlooked or even accepted by the Holy See.

  23. wmeyer says:

    In my parish I am sad to say, the catechists’ favorite “theologian” is Fr. Richard Rohr (a champion of enneagrams, and more recently of some sort of bizarre male-focused self-realization thing which apparently involves getting naked and mutual touching.) Worse, when my wife asked advice on locating a spiritual advisor, she was put in touch with a nun who is also involved with enneagrams.

    As Pope Paul said, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church.

  24. Christo et Ecclesiae says:

    Bold. I like. However, I must comment on the labyrinths. As we know, there were, or are, labyrinths on the floors of many of the great cathedrals – Chartres for instance! As an ancient way to meditate in prayer, innocuous; in the presence of “New Age” ideas, potentially dangerous.

  25. bookworm says:

    “there is perhaps no greater sign of our loss of an authentic Catholic identity than the continued acceptance and reception of the Charismatic Renewal.”

    I dunno about that. When I was growing up in the 70s and early 80s, my mom and I were very involved in the charismatic renewal. We frequently attended charismatic retreats and prayer groups. At that time — the height of the post-Vatican II silly season — it seemed to us that the MOST orthodox and loyal Catholics we knew were charismatics. We NEVER met a charismatic Catholic who insisted upon women being ordained priests; who denied the reality of the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection or any of Jesus’ miracles; who denied the existence of hell or of demons; or who regarded the Eucharist as merely symbolic. They were VERY opposed to anything that even hinted of the occult, and never tolerated any New Agey stuff. Yes, there were some who left the Church for Protestant sects that seemed to provide more “fellowship” but for the most part, the charismatic movement was, for us, actually a refuge from the type of liberal nonsense and claptrap that was rampant at the time.

    That being said, however, I have found that a lot of the Catholics I knew from that era who have stayed with the Church have moved on to more traditional forms of devotion such as Eucharistic adoration, the rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I think the papacy of John Paul II and the rise of Mother Angelica’s EWTN, which did much to restore interest in traditional devotions, played a big part in this. I myself haven’t been to a charismatic prayer meeting in 20 years and don’t have any interest in going back, because the kind of support and fellowship I used to get from those groups is now available elsewhere (including at blogs like this!).

  26. bookworm says:

    Also, every Catholic charismatic I ever knew personally was staunchly pro-life. No “personally opposed, but” types among them!

  27. RichR says:

    Radical relativists would look at Satanists and say, “At least they are worshipping a higher being.”

    Although you. An finds a grain of truth in any philosophy, if you have to shovel a truckload of cr*p to get to it, then it’s not worth your time. Beyond that, many of these eastern philosophies are completely incompatible with a Catholic world view.

  28. MargaretC says:

    I’m not familiar with reiki. Enneagrams are just pseudoscientific fluff; I’m not sure they would hurt anybody, although they might unsettle someone who was developing a serious mental health issue and delay them from getting more appropriate treatment.

    But doing yoga in the sanctuary?!! This is what parish halls are for. Anybody wanting to start a yoga or exercise class should be doing it there. The priest needs to put his foot down, firmly and charitably.

    Full disclosure: Yes, I do yoga. I do it because my job requires me to drive a computer for most of the day, and that stiffens my middle-aged frame like nothing else. I attach no spiritual value to it.

    By the way, somewhere I read that in real life, many Indians do yoga, not for spiritual reasons, but out of a vague sense that it’s good for health.

  29. wmeyer says:

    Enneagrams may be only fluff, but when passed off as more than that, and by a nun or a priest, then I can’t say I view them as anything but evil. And as to the nun or priest promoting such nonsense, I think they are in need of some very serious reflection, to say the least.

  30. Christo et Ecclesiae says:

    @ Supertradmum

    Thank you for the words of truth regarding the Charismatic Renewal! While it may not be most people’s cup of tea, it is in union with Rome and certainly founded in the biblical reality of the Holy Spirit. (The apostles spoke in unknown tongues on Pentecost.) Others, please do not stereotype. As a charismatic, I can tell you that this type of devotion and spirituality calls for a deep, interpersonal relationship with Christ whose Eucharistic Presence is the center of our lives as any good Catholics’. Depending on the group, it can become a roadblock to healthy liturgical renewal, but I personally know none more faithful to the Church and her liturgy than my community and those we are close with – including very learned priests, even one who routinely celebrates the Extraordinary Form.

  31. Jerry says:

    @Christo de Ecclesiae – “[the Charismatic Renewal is] certainly founded in the biblical reality of the Holy Spirit. (The apostles spoke in unknown tongues on Pentecost.)”

    When the Apostles spoke in tongues on Pentecost, it was so those listening could understand what they were saying. What purpose does speaking in tongues serve at most Charismatic Renewal services?

  32. everett says:

    Oh, goody, a discussion regarding the merits of the Charismatic renewal. I’m sure this will go well…

    In theory, the tongues at most services is what they would hopefully distinguish as “praying in tongues” which is suggested as that which is spoken of in Romans 8 regarding unutterable groanings. This would be different from speaking in tongues which occurred in at Pentecost and is literally speaking in other earthly languages with some form of interpretation (at Pentecost, speaking in the actual languages of the listeners). Speaking in tongues as Paul mentions in Corinthians, or as occurred at Pentecost, would be an example of some form of teaching or prophecy that has an interpretation of some sort accompanying it.

    There is certainly room for debate about the appropriate place of this “praying in tongues” and whether its practice in many circles in the CCR is inline with scriptures and Church teaching. At the very least, properly understand it should be the absolutely least important thing in the entire renewal, as all it really is/should be is another manner in which to pray. Unfortunately there are those who overemphasize it or use it as some sort of a proof of faith.

  33. Supertradmum says:

    I suggest, again, reading the document listed above against New Age practices and philosophy. Also, there are many good priests who have come out against reiki, (USCCB), enneagrams, mazes, etc. including the following and note the date, folks. Critiques of this stuff is not new: “The enneagram is a circular diagram on which nine personality types are systematically represented at nine equidistant points on the circumference. Lines connect various points to each other. It is this diagram itself which is the enneagram, and it is used as a psychological tool of self-discovery. Each of the nine personality types (numbered 1 through 9) is described negatively by some compulsion, fixation, or basic driving force to avoid something unpleasant. This compulsion is seen as one’s basic psychological orientation. To discover your number, you have to realize what you seek to avoid, what your compulsion is….

    “The basic premise of the enneagram is that there are nine and only nine personality types; this is simply given as true, it is nowhere demonstrated as proven. To my knowledge, there are no scientific studies to determine whether enneagram theory can be integrated with other typologies; but that would not really bother some advocates one way or the other…. The more you read about it, the more it begins to resemble a college-educated horoscope; and that is not compatible with Catholic doctrine or practice….

    “As a tool for spiritual direction, it seems to me most deficient, even dangerous. The enneagram is really built on a theology (?)-perhaps ideology-of self-renewal and self- regeneration that is a far cry from (perhaps contradiction of) the Gospel teaching: ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit’ (John 12:24)….

    Moral theologian Msgr. William B. Smith March, 1993 issue of Homiletic & Pastoral Review.

    Also note, Cardinal Georges Cottier has said that New Age is “incompatible with Catholic doctrine.” What are the reasons for such an explicit condemnation?

    Father Olivieri Pennesi: It’s true. The cardinal says that “the main theses of New Age are incompatible with Christianity, what is more, they are antithetical.”

    According to the Vatican document “Jesus Christ, Bearer of Living Water. A Christian Reflection on the New Age,” “It is difficult to separate the individual elements of New Age religiosity — innocent though they may appear — from the overarching framework which permeates the whole thought-world on the New Age movement.

    “The gnostic nature of this movement calls us to judge it in its entirety. From the point of view of Christian faith, it is not possible to isolate some elements of New Age religiosity as acceptable to Christians, while rejecting others. Since the New Age movement makes much of a communication with nature, of cosmic knowledge of a universal good — thereby negating the revealed contents of Christian faith — it cannot be viewed as positive or innocuous.” These texts may be found on the EWTN and other websites. The Vatican document I quoted above is again at the Vatican website, as well as the following:

    Father Alessandro Olivieri Pennesi, a professor at the Mater Ecclesiae Higher Institute of Religious Sciences of the Lateran, gave that warning against enneagrams in an interview with ZENIT.
    . . .
    The 1989 document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church on certain aspects of Christian meditation, is a reference text on the attention that must be given to updating the ancient Gnosis, in which salvation takes place through the conscience, [and is] esoteric, for the few.


  34. Supertradmum says:

    In addition, these things are not innocuous, as they lead to more serious occult practices. As to Yoga, the positions are all based on Hindu gods and the philosophy of energy is one criticized in the 2003 Vatican document. Two priests and I on a retreat for catechists many years ago stood apart while the rest of the group did this stuff. We three agreed that the glories of mystical, meditative and contemplative prayer in our own Catholic Tradition were good enough for us, and we did not need Eastern philosophies to enhance our spiritual lives. The confusion is in a lack of thinking, and feeling. I also suggest the great FSSP priest and exorcist Father Chad Ripperger for insights into such things. If I could afford his great work, I would buy it, but here it is to help sort out some of the thinking surrounding these so-called helps to personality and insight development: http://www.sensustraditionis.org/psychology.html

  35. Banjo pickin girl says:

    The problem for us with pentecostal Protestantism is that the pentecostals do what they do because they have no valid baptism or confirmation. When you import practices from an invalid ecclesial community into the Church it is like (analogy for computer nerds) trying to run two incompatible software systems together. People involved with the “charismatic movement” are saying that their baptism is invalid and therefore they need the “baptism of the spirit” to complete it. Also they are saying (without realizing it because they have never been Protestants and don’t know any better) that confirmation has no effect. The hierarchy of the Church made a huge mistake letting this go but of course they are “cradle Catholics” who don’t know any better. You find relatively few converts who accept this because this is part of what we rejected when we became Catholic.

  36. Cephas218 says:

    “Channeling? If you go anywhere near that you are out of your ever-living mind.?”

    Love it.

    Now, the philosopher asks: if a yoga class is all turned towards Christ in adoration, intending to worship him according to the Catholic mindset, is yoga still wrong or is it redeemed?

  37. Supertradmum says:

    I know some will disagree with me, but both the philosophy of the energies of the yoga position (that type of belief in energy condemned at length in the above Vatican document for various reasons), and the positions themselves are based on Eastern ideas of the self and the gods. For example. the common lotus, is the pasmasana, the pose of Buddha; the supta virasana, another exercise, is based on the bad psychological theories of self I mentioned with regard to Fr. Ripperger’s teaching about false interpretations of self. In another example, Tantric Yoga is based on the idea that we have an inner consciousness which must be freed and that truth and rebirth come through the exercises, bringing one into contact with the Hindu idea of divinity, a consciousness which is also based on a dualism of energies from various gods and not The Holy Trinity. I do not know about you, but that is all pagan philosophy and pagan ritual for another religion which is false. Western Catholic philosophy and ideas of salvation have nothing to do with this and one cannot separate the poses, the postures from the ideas behind. Just run, exercise, walk, eat less, play with your kids or the dog. And please read the Vatican document I mentioned above twice, which specifically mentions yoga.

  38. Cephas218 says:


    While I fundamentally agree with you about the deviant source and finality of Yoga, my question is along the lines of: since all creation comes from God, can’t we somehow turn this too towards him? even if we’re actually in front of him trying to?

    Your response raises another question for me: on the “energies of yoga”. If we don’t believe their view of energies, and if a pose is really something healthy for the human body, shouldn’t we claim it, akin to St. Boniface claiming the trees for God?

  39. Supertradmum says:


    Why claim a theory on energies which is fundamentally wrong? If the Hindu believes that energies come from the interplay of the gods and humans, we have a problem. If the Hindu believes that energies come from dualism in the universe, we have a problem. If energies or energy are from the self, and only need to be discovered, we have a problem. If energy is male and female, or left and right brain, we have a problem. If the Hindu believes that each soul is a continuation of a divine consciousness and not an individually created human soul. we have a problem. If Energy is itself a god, we have a problem. And, but not lastly, as the list goes on and on, if there is a physical connection with this consciousness other than Jesus Christ, we have a problem. I have taught comparative religions and the key to all of this is recognizing that the thinking behind the physical movements is so flawed that the movements themselves are flawed and cannot be separated from the paganism. What we believe and think is what we do. Eastern philosophical systems are not those of our religion, based on the Judeo-Christian Tradition, which includes Greek and Roman philosophies , to a point, and not those of the East, which come from a view of the world, gods, humans, the universe, etc.

  40. Supertradmum says:

    I should have added, that the whole purpose of yoga is to get in touch with, harness or relieve those energies….one cannot separate the postures from those beliefs, or why do it?

  41. benedetta says:

    Cephas218, I understand your point however many yoga studios feature Hindu statues, incense and Hindu wisdom or teachings to go along with the poses or stances, as well as meditation before these statues. However in a gym or a y these are de-emphasized (though not always totally eliminated). Even assuming one can strip these practices of all these elements drawing worship away from the Living God present in the Trinity, the question is not really “what’s wrong with yoga” as a general matter but rather “why yoga,” or the teaching of these practices in the parish, or other things, to the exclusion of or the pushing aside or the lesser (sometimes much less) priority given to the essentials which people are hungry for and do need at this time.

  42. Christo et Ecclesiae says:


    Yes, the events at Pentecost were different than those “groanings” of the Spirit which Paul speaks of. Like everett said, it’s just another form of prayer. My experiences with the “Renewal” have been in its late stages (I am a college student and became introduced in my senior year of High School). It’s been nice to attend prayer meetings on a weekly basis. And it has served to expose me to the deep faith that I have now, rooted in the Eucharist.

  43. jaykay says:

    Here in Ireland we’re unfortunately prone to a lot of the “Celtic Spirituality” sort of nonsense:


    Delving into the articles on the site you’ll find the usual misconceptions about the early Irish church being basically a group of hippy tree-huggers (probably with free love as well) until they were taken over by the evil Roman hierarchs. He seems to have a lot of time for Pelagius, which says it all really. There are also the standard errors about the nature of the early Mass e.g. it was a meal with no real priestly role, blahdy-blah yadda yadda.

    It’s really self-parodying, except it’s also sad that an obviously intelligent man would so delude himself and, more importantly, others.

  44. Matthew78 says:

    @ Christo et Ecclesiae,

    The fact that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal had introduced aspects of the sacramental life of the Church does not in and of itself validate the movement. Fundamentally, the movement in protestant, and more specifically, is of the revivalist movement within Pentecostalism. This is exactly why we see a contradiction between the ideas of the renewal (baptism in the spirit, speaking in tongues, a complete hijacking of the liturgy) with the Catholic faith. I would welcome any adherent of the renewal to investigate the history and development of it, you will see it is purely a protestant movement that was transplanted into the life of the Church. Why bother to try to adhere to a protestant movement by attempting to redeem it with the sacraments and devotions, rather than simply using the beautiful and true spiritualities (Carmelite, Ignatian, Benedictine, Opus Dei, etc.) that are rooted in our long and rich Catholic tradition? It simply makes no sense to flirt to protestantism, or even worse, to allow its smoke into the Church.

    We constantly acknowledge on this blog and many others the hermeneutic of continuity in regards to the sacred liturgy. Can we not also apply the same hermeneutic to our spiritual theology? I think that we obligated to. Any successful, valid movement in the Church, while new, always grew and developed from the Catholic tradition. St. Francis was considered somewhat of a radical in his mendicant spirituality, yet it was nevertheless rooted in Catholic tradition. The same can be said of the Carmelite reforms, or of Opus Dei. These movements shocked the Church in the sense of their newness, but were nevertheless rooted in the Catholic faith and tradition. The renewal shocks the Church today not only due to its newness, but due to the fact that it was blatantly transplanted from a protestant sect. There is no continuity there, only rupture.

  45. Christo et Ecclesiae says:


    Thank you. I am aware of the history of the movement in the Church and the older, protestant counterparts. I am extremely traditional and orthodox in my beliefs and am aware of the richness of the various spirituality that you have mentioned. However, as our Lord said to those casting out demons, “He who is not against us is for us.” While we must remain adherent to the fullness of Truth as manifest in Christ’s spotless Bride, the Church, we must remember that our protestant brethren have some small share in the Truth which flows from Christ. Above all, we must respect the Holy Spirit, whose moving in various Christian sects is clear, and whose mission to reveal the Truth of Christ burns in the hearts of all baptized Christians.

  46. Frances M says:

    Twenty-some years ago in a diocese far, far away, some friends and I passed out flyers detailing the sinister background of the Enneagram to the mothers arriving for a presentation on that pimple on the ugly face of new-agism given at a Catholic high school. Two religious sisters were the “expert” presenters. My friends and I couldn’t attend because we didn’t have children at the school, but we subsequently learned that our little handouts caused the congregated mother to divide into camps and caused the sisters a bit of grief. Hehehe.

    More recently I managed to “liberate” a book by Fr. Richard Rohr on the Enneagram before it made it into our parish library collection. What is my penance to be, Father Z?

  47. dominic1955 says:

    The Charismatic Renewal is problematic from its outset. Has anyone read “Catholic Pentecostals”? The founders of the movement got their “speaking in tongues” at a heretical “service” at the hands of Pentecostal/Protestant “ministers”. How is this not contrary to the Catholic Faith and if not, why have we not seen this stuff before? Oh wait, I guess we had something similar in the 18th Century with the Convulsionaires. Hmm…but they were Jansenists…Well, we had something earlier with, nope, that was Montanism…

    Like a priest friend of mine once opined, if it is just about devotion to the Holy Ghost, why not mine the rich patrimony we already have in this way? Instead of lame P&W music, we have good hymns like Veni Creator Spiritus. Instead of writhing on the floor muttering nonsense like fools, why not novenas to the Holy Ghost and all sorts of other properly Catholic things? Why do we need to muck up good Catholic things like Benediction or rosaries with Protestant (and backwoods provincial Protestantism at that) garbage?

  48. Denita says:

    @Melody Faith, my heart and prayers go out to you.

  49. MikeM says:

    I was working on a volunteer project at a Catholic halfway house kind of place. They invited me to join them for reiki, which I hadn’t heard of before that. When they explained that someone was channeling energy, I immediately declined the invitation.

  50. Brad says:

    This absolutely repulsed me when I saw the flier in my church’s vestibule:


    Having just read Fr. Amorth’s exorcism memoirs, certain things about this…caught my eye.

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