Sunday, February 25, 2007
TAKING ON THE CENTER FOR ACTION AND CONTEMPLATION
A bit of good news...
New Age spirituality is particularly seductive when it apes Christian language or adopts Christian elements for its own uses. A blend of novel and familiar offers a stimulating kick of a 'spiritual experience.'"
Those are the words of Stephanie Block, a writer for "Los Pequenos", a newspaper published in New Mexico, used to open an article at Spero Forum critical of Fr. Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC).
In the article she evaluates the spiritual program offered by the center and finds it wanting of Catholic beliefs and cosmology while being steeped in New Age, including the Labyrinth, the Enneagram identified as New Age in the Vatican document "Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life", Zen meditation, centering prayer, and a new cosmology, none of which reflects Roman Catholic doctrine.
She also documents the association between CAC and Call to Action. The article is a thorough review of the faults and deceptions of Fr. Richard Rohr, and notes that Fr. Rohr "delivered an address as part of the World Community for Christian Meditation Way of Peace initiative, and at a John Main Seminar. Both of these organizations feature the Rosicrucian birdbath on their website. A red flag to be sure.
Fr. Rohr's intentions may be good, but he falls short in his syncretistic approach to religions. The executive director of the U.S. episcopal conference's Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Fr. James Massa said recently in an interview for Zenit:
there is dialogue, which requires that all the participants be knowledgeable and fully committed to the tenets of their own religious tradition.
If the Catholic participant is conflicted about this or that particular teaching of the Catholic Church, then he or she is not an adequate representative of the tradition. Dialogue becomes a farce. I have been in attendance at such meetings, and they are not terribly edifying.
I keep in mind no. 36 of the John Paul II's encyclical: "With regard to the study of areas of disagreement, the council requires that the whole body of doctrine be clearly presented. At the same time, it asks that the manner and method of expounding the Catholic faith should not be a hindrance to dialogue with our brothers and sisters.
The spirituality of Fr. Rohr is anything but a presentation of "the whole body of doctrine".
But I've labeled this "good news". The reason for that is that here is a lay Catholic journalist who is calling Fr. Rohr to account. Others have done so as well, of course. Each instance of a new voice added to the pool of those who have figured out the heresy is good news that is worthy of note.
We members of the laity can take back the Church from those who would pervert her doctrine. We must do it one journalist and one article at a time. It will take an army of journalists committed to Christ and His Church. It will take a flood of articles to turn the tide, but with the help of God it can be done.