@JamesMartinSJ and “downward-facing dog”

In 2015 Pope Francis said:

“You can take a million catechetical courses, a million courses in spirituality, a million courses in yoga, Zen and all these things. But all of this will never be able to give you the freedom” of being a child of God.”

The long-time chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, Fr. Gabriel Amorth, was convinced that yoga summoned and opened people up to demons.  If there is the slightest chance that he was right – and he seems to have known his stuff – yoga should be avoided.

The CDF issued a document some years back in which yoga is mentioned in the context of “New Age” issues.

This showed up in my email this morning.  A screenshot, clearly, from someone’s mobile Twitter app.  From the feed of homosexualist activist James Martin SJ (just try to imagine St. Peter Canisius’ reaction to the news of this “retreat”):

Perhaps Martin is into “downward-facing dog”.

On the other hand, he doesn’t say that he is involved with this Jesuit Yoga Retreat, does he.



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  2. Br. Ambrose OSB says:

    Seems like he is more into “downward facing Dogma.” So sad to see.

    [I could kick myself for not seeing that one.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  3. Julia_Augusta says:

    I am not aware of the danger that yoga poses to our souls. Yoga, as practiced in Western countries, has been stripped of its original meaning. It’s no more than physical exercise – stretching. People who teach yoga and those who practice it, do not invoke Hindu deities. I admit that I do yoga regularly because it helps my lower back and completely takes away the pains in my legs (I hike and run a LOT). In addition, I do a lot of work on the computer and I used to get regular shoulder and neck aches. Yoga has greatly diminished these pains.

    If, however, the Church tells me to stop doing yoga, I’ll stop.

  4. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Researchers have clearly shown that modern yoga has nothing to do with the yogis of ancient Sanskrit texts. It was Swedish exercises and English calisthenics, adapted by Indian revolutionaries after taking classes at early 20th century Indian YMCAs. They decorated these exercises with some very superficial Indian mysticism, and hey presto! Instant ancient tradition!

    However, anybody invoking Hindu gods is playing with fire, and there are also variants of yoga that are supposed to stir up sex drives (which seems rather foolhardy in an exercise class, unless you’re a creepy teacher!). There are also all kinds of occult junk that gets attached to yoga. So I’m sure there are all kinds of reasons to avoid non-sanitized forms of yoga.

    [Or… to avoid yoga.]

  5. rbbadger says:

    I am not sure why some Catholics, especially Catholic religious, feel the need to explore different Eastern religions and meditation practices. We already have a very rich tradition of spirituality. Each year, I and my brother priests go on retreat at a retreat center owned by the Redemptorists.

    It’s a beautiful center and we have been lucky so far in having solid retreat masters. But I find it a bit disconcerting that one of the Redemptorists who was there, who has since passed on to his eternal reward, was a Zen Master. There is a Zen meditation hall on the grounds of the retreat center.

    The Redemptorists also have a very rich tradition of prayer. Their founder, St. Alphonsus Liguori was one of the Church’s great teachers of prayer. It’s a tradition worth re-discovering.

  6. Fr. Reader says:

    “I am not sure why some Catholics, especially Catholic religious, feel the need to explore different Eastern religions and meditation practices. We already have a very rich tradition of spirituality.”
    In many cases (not all of course) it is a way to search a shortcut to arrive to mysticism avoiding many of the difficulties of Catholic spiritual life (for instance, a personal God, personal sins. etc.)
    I think the famous Thomas Merton had a bit of this mixing religions.

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