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A Christian Reflection on the New Age – Wikipedia

Background and Overview: – The document was prepared in response to requests from Catholic bishops for clarity on the compatibility of New Age practices with […]

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Background and Overview:
– The document was prepared in response to requests from Catholic bishops for clarity on the compatibility of New Age practices with Roman Catholic doctrine.
– It criticizes the New Age movement as incompatible with Christianity.
– Cardinal Paul Poupard stated that the New Age is a misleading answer to human hopes.
– The document emphasizes the differences between Catholic teachings and the New Age movement.

Structure and Content:
– The document consists of 6 main sections, including an appendix and glossary of New Age terms.
– Sections cover topics like the context of the document, overview of New Age spirituality, and New Age practices associated with healing and meditation.
– The document contrasts New Age ideas with Christian faith, emphasizing the importance of a relationship with God.
– It highlights that Christian prayer is a dialogue of love and not self-contemplation.

New Age Places:
– The document criticizes key New Age initiatives like Esalen Institute in California, Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, and Monte Verità in Switzerland.
– It mentions the Open Center and the Omega Institute in New York as objectionable New Age places.
– Monte Verità’s yearbooks suggest an intention to create a new world order.
– The Vatican directive warns against the practices promoted by these New Age initiatives.

Criticisms of New Age:
– The document criticizes the New Age movement’s attempt to blur the line between good and evil.
– It argues that New Age practices are not genuine prayer and criticizes elements like Eastern meditation.
– The New Age is portrayed as promoting ethical relativism and an inability to distinguish between right and wrong.
– The document warns against accepting some elements of New Age religiosity while rejecting others.

Response and Impact:
– The document received general agreement from Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention.
– It was presented at a Vatican conference in June 2004 attended by representatives from 22 countries.
– Alessandro Pennesi reiterated Vatican warnings that the New Age is based on ethical relativism.
– The document’s relevance to Catholic women in religious institutes was noted by the Jesuit magazine America.
– The Vatican directive aimed to provide pastoral guidance against the New Age movement.

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