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VATICAN RELEASES "NEW AGE" POSITION PAPER  THESOCI-@aol.com
 Feb 04, 2003 00:23 PST 
   VATICAN RELEASES POSITION PAPER REGARDING “NEW AGE” SPIRITUALITY

                                  by
                           James Roger Brown
                         thesoci-@aol.com

The Vatican has just released a document of major importance to the
Christian world.

Buried in the self-serving and self-justifying verbiage is yet another
admission of failed responsibility. “New Age” culture does meet human
spiritual needs that are not being met by the Catholic and Protestant
Churches. Good things exist and occur in the “New Age” culture.
Substantial danger also exists, because a person submerged in the
culture can harm themselves by engaging in practices that are not
spiritual and other practices that are rooted in pagan or Satanic
history which are spiritually damaging. The bottom line is that anyone
going to “New Age” sources for spiritual enlightenment must distinguish
that which is from God and that which is from man. Use that which is
from God and discard that which is from man before incorporating
anything into your spiritual life. Caveat emptor (Let the [spiritual]
buyer beware). The Catholic and Protestant Churches should be providing
a Christ-based context in which spiritual seekers can acquire the
experiences and skill that can currently only be obtained from “New Age”
sources.

The admission occurs in the Foreword:

“It should be recognized that the attraction that New Age religiosity
has for some Christians may be due in part to the lack of serious
attention in their own communities for themes which are actually part of
the Catholic synthesis such as the importance of man' spiritual
dimension and its integration with the whole of life, the search for
life's meaning, the link between human beings and the rest of creation,
the desire for personal and social transformation, and the rejection of
a rationalistic and materialistic view of humanity. . . .

It is hoped that this work will in fact provide a stimulus for further
studies adapted to different cultural contexts. Its purpose is also to
encourage discernment by those who are looking for sound reference
points for a life of greater fulness. It is indeed our conviction that
through many of our contemporaries who are searching, we can discover a
true thirst for God. As Pope John Paul II said to a group of bishops
from the United States: “Pastors must honestly ask whether they have
paid sufficient attention to the thirst of the human heart for the true
'living water' which only Christ our Redeemer can give (cf. Jn 4:7-13)”.
(PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE and PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR
INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE. JESUS CHRIST THE BEARER OF THE WATER OF LIFE: A
Christian reflection on the “New Age”: Foreword. February 3, 2003.)

For decades the leadership of all Christian denominations squirmed in
discomfort at the issues of failed spiritual responsibilities raised by
young people voting with their feet and flocking to the “New Age”
movement. The Catholic Church failed centuries ago when the leadership
decided to set aside their spiritual responsibilities to become a world
political power. The spiritual responsibility it set aside was to
transmit to future generations the Holy knowledge and skills Christ
taught the disciples. The only people management tool the Catholic
Church had available for political control was to convince the masses it
held the keys to the Heavenly Gates. If this is how your “citizens” are
controlled, it would be inconvenient for them to acquire spiritual
awareness and get the unfiltered news straight from the Source.

The Protestant Denominations could not teach their members spiritual
awareness skills because the various seminaries and church leadership
had bought into the mental health model and applying corporate
management principles to running their churches. You simply cannot have
people publicly talking about having visions, speaking to spirits,
healing the sick, or casting out demons in connection with the church,
let alone teach people how to do it. Any such demonstrations or skill
teaching programs would be bad for the image of the church in the
community. The mental health model dictates that people having or
believing they have these types of experiences should be on the proper
medication to block any unfortunate repetitions.

The main purpose of the Report was to provide instructions to local
priests and bishops on how to deal with the “New Age” threat to the
Catholic agenda. It eventually arrives at “Practical steps” that can be
taken. The first entry again recognizes that a major reason the “New
Age” movement is attractive to so many is that it meets human needs that
the Church is not meeting:

“First of all, it is worth saying once again that not everyone or
everything in the broad sweep of New Age is linked to the theories of
the movement in the same ways. Likewise, the label itself is often
misapplied or extended to phenomena which can be categorised in other
ways. The term New Age has even been abused to demonise people and
practices. It is essential to see whether phenomena linked to this
movement, however loosely, reflect or conflict with a Christian vision
of God, the human person and the world. The mere use of the term New Age
in itself means little, if anything. The relationship of the person,
group, practice or commodity to the central tenets of Christianity is
what counts.” (PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE and PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR
INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE. JESUS CHRIST THE BEARER OF THE WATER OF LIFE: A
Christian reflection on the “New Age”: 6.2. Practical steps. February 3,
2003.)

The remainder of the “Practical steps” provide detailed tactics for
distinguishing components of the “New Age” that are consistent with
Christianity from those that are inconsistent. The closer one gets to
the end of these steps, the more closely they resemble instructions for
reestablishing the corrupt parishioner control mechanisms that filter
the information approved for “free” access.

For those who may want to read the entire document, various Catholic
sites have posted notices of printed copies available for prices ranging
from $10 to $20 dollars. As an added benefit of reading material written
by a sociologist who leaves no stone unturned, you will know to go to
the Vatican website and download a free copy
councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new-age_en.html)
while other people are contributing to the
bail-out-the-pedophile-priests fund to read it.

© Copyright by James Roger Brown, February 4, 2003. All rights
reserved.
	
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