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Re: New Age Catholicism #183335 06/15/05 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by harmon3110:
Here is a link (which I found at Spirit Daily) ...
Just wanted to add - I check the headlines at Spirit Daily from time to time. There are some interesting articles, but there are also links to some very disreputable sites. I would take anything written there with a huge grain of salt. smile

Re: New Age Catholicism #183336 06/15/05 08:43 PM
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One of the things I notice about this article is how generalized the accusations are- a Jesuit did this, a Franciscan priest did that-without offering any specifics at all, nothing, in fact, to back up any claims the author is making. Another thing I question-are the Catholic authors referred to in the article still Catholic, and trying to point out some inconsistencies being practiced by some within the church, or have they left the church? That would tell more about the point of view of those making these accusations. Also, centering prayer is not inherently evil or New Age, but is probably abused in some cases. Finally, I came across a book by Sue Monk Kidd recently, who has been very well respected in Evangelical circles,in which she talked about finding "the goddess." Since she is a Protestant , does that mean that Protestant Chrisitanity is being taken over by New Age practices?
Just my 2 cents,
Michele

Re: New Age Catholicism #183337 06/15/05 09:21 PM
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Fr. Mitch is an awesome man of God, and what you see on EWTN is what you get for real. Many times when I am over at EWTN, I observe him sitting in the chapel quietly writing away. So I assume he is preparing many of the teachings he gives. The people at St. Elias love him, and Cor-Bishop Richard certainly keeps him busy when he has time to spare. He loves the Eastern Churches and is truly a blessing to have in Birmingham.

Also, as I have shared before, we had a Southern Baptist preacher who use to write his sermons in the chapel at EWTN. He said he knew we were all pegans, but it was the quietest place in town to pray and write. Boy did he get surrpised biggrin He was ordained to the priesthood four years ago. He is a mighty preacher of the Gospel and is one of the largest Catholic Churches here, St. Peters, kind of fitting huh. Jesus always present before him in the Eucharist called him deeper into himself(Jesus), so much deeper than Scripture alone. Glory to God!

Re: New Age Catholicism #183338 06/15/05 11:25 PM
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harmon3110 Offline OP
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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Friends,

Personally, I think that article is out to lunch.
Dear Alex,

I respectfully disagree with your post.


First, Fr. Pacwa.

You wrote:

Quote

Her diatribe against Fr. Mitch Pacwa, who is very devoted to the Rosary and is a star on EWTN, immediately raises suspicions with me.


I didn't take the author's discussion of Fr. Mitch Pacwa as a diatribe. I took it as recommending Fr. Pacwa's writings as resources which evidence and support the author's contention that there are New Age influences in the Catholic Church.

Here are the passages from the article referring to Fr. Pacwa:

Quote

Mitch Pacwa is a Jesuit priest who became involved in the New Age when he was in the seminary. He wrote "Catholics and the New Age". (If you search for the book at Amazon.com you can see nine pages on-line.)

According to Pacwa, some Catholic parishes give workshops on astrology, channeling, and the enneagram (a New Age system of personality analysis). Pacwa had extensive personal experience with the enneagram. He became proficient, and taught it to other priests. [Note 2]

[ . . . ]

The following information about Matthew Fox comes from an article by Catholic priest Mitchell Pacwa. It is entitled "Catholicism for the New Age: Matthew Fox and Creation-Centered Spirituality". This article is on-line. Information about Fox's organizations comes from web sites and phone conversations. [Note 6 gives addresses of Pacwa's article and related web sites. It also gives the address of a transcript of an interview with Fox which was done by a New Age group which is enthusiastic about him. This will enable you to see for yourself the kinds of things that Fox believes and the way that he expresses himself.]
Those quotes referred to two notes: Notes 2 and Note 6. Here are those notes:

Quote


2. Mitch Pacwa, "Catholics and the New Age" (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant Publications, 1992). Some reviews and summaries of this book are available on-line.

http://www.catholicmart.com/catnewage.html (1 ˝ pages)
http://www.tiberriver.com/covers/089283756xz2.jpg (Shows the back cover of the book)

6. Mitchell Pacwa, "Catholicism for the New Age: Matthew Fox and Creation-Centered Spirituality". This article is on-line. The author is a Jesuit priest.

http://www.equip.org/free/DF105.htm

Now, what therein constitutes a diatribe?

I don't see a diatribe. I see references. And, when those references are consulted (including the reference to amazon.com in the quoted text), there are the following results.

According to the references (I have not read the book myself), Fr. Pacwa's book is his discussion and criticism of New Age. Specifically, it is Fr. Pacwa's discussion of his own involvement in New Age, his disillusionment with New Age, the existence of New Age in the Catholic Church, and his opinion that New Age is incompatible with Catholic belief.

Fr. Pacwa's online article is his discussion and criticism of Fr. Fox's New Age views.

So, in conclusion, I do not find a diatribe against Fr. Pacwa by the author of the article. Instead, I find references to his writings as evidence and support of the author's contention that there is a New Age influence in the Catholic Church.


Next, you wrote:

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Fr. Thomas Merton is up for canonization. He was a very devoted Catholic who had a wide understanding of other religions and could carry on a dialogue with them. He was instrumental in bringing many Buddhists and Hindus into the Church and has inspired a generation of North American religious scholars of all traditions.
I didn’t know he is up for canonization. However, I do know that Fr. Merton is not yet canonized. And, there is good reason why he is not yet canonized. At one point during the latter part of his monastic career, the priest-monk Fr. Merton had a mistress. Probably he is not the first monk to have done this; and probably he was not the last; and he did repent; but this is hardly the "heroic virtue" that is looked for in the canonization process. Etc. As for his writings, they were Catholic at first. Later, however (for example, "New Seeds of Contemplation" especially his chapter on “Pure Love”), he perhaps was tending more toward a Buddhist view of reality than a Catholic view. Now, I am not a student of Merton's life and writings; and I might be wrong; and I have even found some of his writings to be inspirational (for example, “Seven Story Mountain” and “No Man Is an Island”). Yet, I find his earlier work to be commendable and his later work to be questionable and his personal moral development to be --to put it politely-- uneven. Personally, I find the writings of the monks in the Philokalia to be much more substantial, orthodox and holy than Fr. Merton's writings.

But, as for the article's references to Fr. Merton, they were weak. They did not refer to Fr. Merton's writings; instead they referred to another book which the author cited frequently.


Quote
Aelred Graham's book, "Zen Catholicism" is brilliantly written and I recommend it to the most traditional Christian/Catholic.
I have not read the book nor have I heard of it before reading the article in question. Hence, I cannot comment on it.


Quote
The Indian Orthodox Church itself calls her monasteries "ashrams" and adapts itself to Hindu religious values, for example, Indian Orthodox monks won't wear gold or silver crosses - only wooden ones.
And the point is? Acculturation? That is not a problem.

The problem is when religious lines are blurred in an attempt to find common ground. The different religions are different. Also, practices represent and reinforce beliefs. Well, when religious practices from one religion are adopted or adapted from other religions, the underlying beliefs are adopted or adapted too.

That is bad enough if a person believes that all religions are fundamentally the same. Under such an assumption (which I do not hold), the different religions represent complete systems for acquiring spiritual truth. Mixing and matching parts usually does not add to those systems; usually, it detracts from the specific purposes of those systems.

However, if a person believes that one religion is better than the others --such as I do about Christianity-- then adopting practices (and hence beliefs) is really dangerous. First, it undermines the claim that one religion is better than others. Second, it dilutes the practices of that religion and it can even contradict the tenets of that religion.

In short: To what extent can one religion receive influences from another religion before those influences dilute or even contradict the tenets of that religion?

This, really, is the rub of the article. It is not a perfectly written article, but it raises a very good point. Catholicism *is* being influenced and effected by the practice of New Age. That by itself is bad. New Age is a plate of warmed over gnosticism with some witchcraft on the side. But the influence of New Age on the Catholic Church also raises the bigger issue: How much can Catholicism be influenced by other religions before its own beliefs and practices are threatened? This issue goes back to the Rites Controversy and beyond. And, vice versa. The topic is already being discussed (at other threads at the website) in terms of reunion of the Orthodox Churches and the Catholics Churches. This article raises the topic in terms of with non-Christian influences on the Catholic Church. And that is well worth consideration.

--John

Re: New Age Catholicism #183339 06/16/05 01:43 AM
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Originally posted by RayK:
Oops...

Of course I forget about West coast catholics who seem to have lot thier minds biggrin

-ray
Objection, objection. Not over ruled. biggrin

From a western coast Catholic. We have not lost our minds here anymore than you have lost your minds there.

Mary Jo...trying to take this in good humor...and praying for the uninformed... :p

Re: New Age Catholicism #183340 06/16/05 03:18 AM
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Pani Rose wrote: Fr. Mitch is an awesome man of God, and what you see on EWTN is what you get for real. Many times when I am over at EWTN, I observe him sitting in the chapel quietly writing away. So I assume he is preparing many of the teachings he gives. The people at St. Elias love him, and Cor-Bishop Richard certainly keeps him busy when he has time to spare. He loves the Eastern Churches and is truly a blessing to have in Birmingham.


Thank you, Pani Rose (and also Alex), for defending Father Mitch. Don't know him personally, but I have been inspired many times by his witness on EWTN. It's true, EWTN doesn't offer a great deal of programming on the eastern Rites, but what they DO have - I'm sure it's due to Father Mitch. As a Slav who attended a wonderful Maronite parish for several years a decade ago, I truly value Father Mitch's and the Maronite witness!

Let us support and embrace this Man of God!

Stojgniev

Re: New Age Catholicism #183341 06/16/05 09:42 AM
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harmon3110 Offline OP
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Originally posted by stojgniev:
[b]Pani Rose wrote: Fr. Mitch is an awesome man of God, and what you see on EWTN is what you get for real. Many times when I am over at EWTN, I observe him sitting in the chapel quietly writing away. So I assume he is preparing many of the teachings he gives. The people at St. Elias love him, and Cor-Bishop Richard certainly keeps him busy when he has time to spare. He loves the Eastern Churches and is truly a blessing to have in Birmingham.


Thank you, Pani Rose (and also Alex), for defending Father Mitch. [/b]
Who attacked Fr. Mitch, that he needs defending? The article I posted a link to did not attack the man. It *cited* the man's writings.

--John

Re: New Age Catholicism #183342 06/16/05 12:54 PM
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Let's be careful to make a proper distinction. Catholicism is not influenced by the new age.

There are individual Catholics, however, who have been influenced by the new age, and insofar as they do this, they do this contrary to the Catholic Faith.

Catholicism itself though, teaches only the doctrine of Jesus Christ as passed down through the Apostles and by the Holy Spirit.

Quote
Originally posted by harmon3110:
This, really, is the rub of the article. It is not a perfectly written article, but it raises a very good point. Catholicism *is* being influenced and effected by the practice of New Age. --John

Re: New Age Catholicism #183343 06/17/05 03:20 AM
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Dear John,

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you attacked Father Mitch. I just thought some vague accusation was left hanging out here - but not from you.

Peace,

Stojgniev

Re: New Age Catholicism #183344 06/17/05 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by stojgniev:
Dear John,

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you attacked Father Mitch. I just thought some vague accusation was left hanging out here - but not from you.

Peace,

Stojgniev
Peace, and thank you. smile --John

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