"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Disclaimer: Posts This Week

A regular reader has pointed out that my posts this week regarding the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph may lead some souls to the New Age Movement.  There could be nothing farther than my actual intention so I must thank the reader for his/her concern.

It would not be proper for anyone but the Magisterium (i.e. local Ordinary, a Vatican Congregation) to condemn anyone featured this week or otherwise.  When we fraternally correct a brother or sister it must be done with charity and humility as there is no guarantee we'll arrive in Heaven one day either.

We need to know not only the faith but also the threats against it.  We need to realize clergy sometimes stray.  St.Athanasius (or was it St. John Chrysostom?) said the floor of Hell is littered with the skulls of bishops. It's been reported that during the Arian Crisis eighty percent of the Church's clergy didn't believe in Christ's Divinity. Luther was a monk.

So, no I'm not endorsing the Guelph Jesuit Centre, the Elderberry Connection or anyone else unless stated otherwise. All my posts are intended to inform and hopefully help rebuild the Church from recent damage.

For your consideration, here is what the Vatican teaches about the New Age Movement:



A Christian reflection
on the “New Age”


"1.4. The New Age and Catholic Faith

Even if it can be admitted that New Age religiosity in some way responds to the legitimate spiritual longing of human nature, it must be acknowledged that its attempts to do so run counter to Christian revelation. In Western culture in particular, the appeal of “alternative” approaches to spirituality is very strong. On the one hand, new forms of psychological affirmation of the individual have become very popular among Catholics, even in retreat-houses, seminaries and institutes of formation for religious. At the same time there is increasing nostalgia and curiosity for the wisdom and ritual of long ago, which is one of the reasons for the remarkable growth in the popularity of esotericism and gnosticism. Many people are particularly attracted to what is known – correctly or otherwise – as “Celtic” spirituality,(5) or to the religions of ancient peoples. Books and courses on spirituality and ancient or Eastern religions are a booming business, and they are frequently labelled “New Age” for commercial purposes. But the links with those religions are not always clear. In fact, they are often denied.

An adequate Christian discernment of New Age thought and practice cannot fail to recognize that, like second and third century gnosticism, it represents something of a compendium of positions that the Church has identified as heterodox. John Paul II warns with regard to the “return of ancient gnostic ideas under the guise of the so-called New Age: We cannot delude ourselves that this will lead toward a renewal of religion. It is only a new way of practising gnosticism – that attitude of the spirit that, in the name of a profound knowledge of God, results in distorting His Word and replacing it with purely human words. Gnosticism never completely abandoned the realm of Christianity. Instead, it has always existed side by side with Christianity, sometimes taking the shape of a philosophical movement, but more often assuming the characteristics of a religion or a para-religion in distinct, if not declared, conflict with all that is essentially Christian”.(6) An example of this can be seen in the enneagram, the nine-type tool for character analysis, which when used as a means of spiritual growth introduces an ambiguity in the doctrine and the life of the Christian faith."


  1. Hi again,

    I appreciate this post.

    I must point out for clarification, I am not simply making my own claim here. Fr. Thomas Berry, the founder of the "Green Mountain Monastery" worked with Fr. Matthew Fox and Brian Swimme (The evolutionist on this "Creation Spirituality"). These teachings have been officially condemned by the Catholic Church.

    Now I did not realize that this was the position of Jesuits in Guelph. Reading it through, it does seem to be the case that they have adopted at least some of these teachings, especially with their "Stations of the Cosmos".

    I do plan to write a letter to the local Bishop about this matter now. It would help if you can direct me to where they explicitly mention or promote the Green Mountain Monastery or Evolutionary Christianity. I cannot see it in their site? Is it during their talks?


  2. JB, Good for you in taking action. It may be more appropriate to write to the Guelph Ignatius Centre first, then to the Bishop. If you write His Excellency be patient, he's a busy man and the Church moves at its own speed. If you are not satisfied with the Bishop's response next step would be to write the Vatican, but I'm not sure which Congregation covers this sort of thing.

    To my knowledge, the Centre has not officially endorsed the New Age Movement. In any correspondence with the Church be very careful of your words. In all our communications we must not bear false witness. However, if you review my posts so far (there are more to come this week) you'll see Sr. Gail has led retreats there.

    Please don't make any accusations we as laity are not authorized to do. Ask the priests at the Centre, the Bishop, the Congregation (if you go up the ladder) for clarification. It's ok and often appreciated to cite Vatican teachings, Canon Law, etc in your question.

    In your communications don't take a confrontational or aggressive tone. If you believe Sr. Gail, Fr. Profit, or someone else to be in error, then as Catholics we need to pray for them and help guide them back to the Church. If the Bishop takes action it's because that's what he's trying to do too. If someone is in error it's often because Satan has deceived them - he is our enemy not our brothers and sisters in Christ.

    There are guidelines available on how to write such letters. I think Fr. Zuhlsdorf has one, LifeSiteNews has another.

  3. Hi KW,

    Thanks, this is good advice.