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OfflineZahid
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Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism
    #2834770 - 06/27/04 11:28 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Catholics urged to fight off New Age religions

Independent, via The New Zealand Herald (UK), June 19, 2004
By Peter Popham


Catholics from more than 25 countries have been in Rome this week to hammer out a strategy for combating the threat posed to Christianity by "New Age" religions and fads.

"Astrologers believe that the Age of Pisces - known to them as the Christian age - is drawing to a close," explained an exhaustive report on the New Age produced by the Catholic Church last year.

And as priests around the world watch their congregations die out and dwindle away through boredom or plain disbelief, the church believes the moment has come to fight back.

Monsignor Peter Fleetwood, one of the authors of that report, said those at the closed-door conference include priests and lay-people from Latin America who are "worried they can be pushed out by something that has come from abroad", from Asia where "a lot of traditional religions are reviving".

But for Fleetwood the greatest challenge may be in England and North America, "where the New Age began ... and where it has become such a part of everyday life that we don't notice it". That makes it harder to attack, he says. "Where one sees a threat, it's easier to battle it."

This enemy has dozens of heads: the version of the Jewish Kabbalah espoused by Madonna, the Enneagram personality-reading cult, ancient Egyptian occult practices, Sufism, the lore of the Druids, Celtic Christianity, medieval alchemy, Renaissance hermeticism, yoga, Zen Buddhism, and many more.

And despite the rank exoticism of so much of it, it is also the Enemy Within.

As the report acknowledges, "In Western culture, in particular, the appeal of 'alternative' approaches to spirituality is very strong. New forms of psychological affirmation of the individual have become very popular among Catholics."

Under the liberal dispensation of Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council, intrepid Catholic missionaries explored the religious traditions of lands where in the past their task would have been restricted to converting the heathen.

In Japan, one Jesuit missionary became a Zen Buddhist roshi ("master"), without ceasing to be a Christian priest, becoming a reverse missionary, implanting Zen Buddhist ideas and practice in Catholic groups in Germany and elsewhere, where they continue to thrive.

But Pope John Paul II's church is far less tolerant about practices that the Pope's so-called "enforcer of the faith", Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, has dismissed as "spiritual auto-eroticism".

New Age is getting a grip on Christians because many are failing to find authentic spirituality in the church.

They are failing to find, as the report put it, "the importance of man's 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".

But while one of the two "pontifical councils" involved in taking up the challenge is for "inter-religious dialogue", suggesting that the New Agers be dealt with on a similar footing to Muslims, Jews and indeed Anglicans, the Pope appears to see the issue as a simple matter of right and wrong.

"We cannot delude ourselves," he says, that "this return of ancient Gnostic ideas will lead toward a renewal of religion."

It is, he said, a way of distorting His Word, and is "in distinct, if not declared, conflict with all that is essentially Christian".

The time for a decisive battle is clearly fast approaching. And the message to the faithful in the report's conclusion is plain: quit "shopping around in the world's fair of religious proposals".


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Anonymous

Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Zahid]
    #2834847 - 06/27/04 11:59 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

psssssssshhhhhhhhhhhht.


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OfflineTodcasil
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Zahid]
    #2834957 - 06/28/04 12:46 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

sounds like the catholics are getting scared.


--------------------
Men look at themselves and they see flawed humans, we look at women and we see perfect
GODDESSES
Women look at themselves and they seem utterly human, when looking at men they see proud
GODS.


~Casil



:cactus:


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OfflinePositronius
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Todcasil]
    #2834960 - 06/28/04 12:46 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

those new age religions suck so much, at least with Catholocism you get Catholic school girls.


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and you know it like a poet, like....babydoll


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Todcasil]
    #2835077 - 06/28/04 01:40 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Well, what's interesting is that this is a knee-jerk response to 'Pop Culture Spirituality' which is slowly making a mockery of real Kabbalism, real Sufism, and now Gnosticism. Some people have managed to take a timeless tradition of self-awakening and turned it into a popular fad.

This is sort of my after thought. Some people who learn that I'm a Sufi think of me as some hippie kid who finds Sufism to be "cooler" (what with the dancing, chanting, and marijuana) than my Protestant upbringing. They are always somewhat shocked when I tell them I gradually became a Sufi after my conversion to.. *gasp*, Islam! Now, is there any difference between the Sufi who prostrates towards Mecca, and the Sufi who wears a leather jacket with a Winged Heart on the back? Is there a difference between a Mekubbalim Kabbalist and a Madonna fad-follower?

I'm just curious, that's all.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Zahid]
    #2835121 - 06/28/04 01:58 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

If congregations are dwindling it is because the Church can no longer fill their need. Christianity has drifted far from it's roots. Attending a Christian church is far more of a social and political event than a spiritual one. Many are left feeling empty by this.


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OfflineTodcasil
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Zahid]
    #2835124 - 06/28/04 01:59 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

i think because of the reference to zen buddhism implies that they are officially getting worried about the other religions gaining all of the cathilic "fanbase". they do mention the pop-culture side of it, but that is a big deal as well, its popular! so people do it, just because. so catholics are losing because people are deciding they dont benafit from it & because its just not cool, unless your a porn star.


--------------------
Men look at themselves and they see flawed humans, we look at women and we see perfect
GODDESSES
Women look at themselves and they seem utterly human, when looking at men they see proud
GODS.


~Casil



:cactus:


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OfflineTodcasil
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #2835130 - 06/28/04 02:01 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

huehuecoyotyl, thats exactly why i left my christian roots behind.

i saw that it was a social status symbol to be in the church, it meant i was "better" than others. i thought that was a load of crap (thats the shorthand version). it doesnt fulfill my needs (which were educationally based), it doesnt make me feel better about myself or about others.


--------------------
Men look at themselves and they see flawed humans, we look at women and we see perfect
GODDESSES
Women look at themselves and they seem utterly human, when looking at men they see proud
GODS.


~Casil



:cactus:


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #2835144 - 06/28/04 02:12 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Well, the focus of the post here is not on the Catholic Church but the New Age religions he mentioned, in particular popularized versions of very real mystical traditions in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Zahid]
    #2835256 - 06/28/04 02:47 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

The focus of the thread is where the discussion takes it, not where you want it to go. The signifigance of your post to me was the abandoning of organized religion.


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #2836917 - 06/28/04 05:54 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I'm not here to bash Catholics, just to discuss the New Age religions mentioned. It would not be in my position to nit pick at a group of literalists (like for example the Catholic leadership) when fundamentalists [although more like brain-washed political fanatics] on my side of the pond are blowing up innocent civilians.


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Anonymous

Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Zahid]
    #2837049 - 06/28/04 06:40 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I really don't see a problem with the rising popularity of New Age religions as long as it brings some sort of spiritual awareness to the populace. Zahid, I can understand your concern for the bastardization, if you will, of ancient belief systems. Nowadays people misunderstand the roots of the beliefs and they are looking for spiritual shortcuts where there are none. However, I see the organized religions analagous to outdated scientific theories. They cling to outdated beliefs, which were bastardized to begin with by distorting the teachings of the wise persons they are based upon.

I would personally like to see every church, mosque, and synagogue empty. I would like to see people searching out spirituality for themselves rather than following any belief system already in place. If they then find beliefs that match with others, then they can gather with other people knowing that they have found answers for themselves rather than someone else providing them. This is how it should be. It should not be that one searches out others with beliefs and joins them, but that one seeks out answers first and then joins with those people who have found the same thing.

In general, I don't approve of spiritual shortcuts, because there aren't any. You can't expect to go to church or mosque or synagogue every weekend and suddenly "get it." You can't expect to practice wicca, yoga, buddhism, qigong, whatever, and suddenly "get it" either. Divine truth is not going to form inside you because of good attendance or patience or strict rituals. It doesn't work that way.

I see this article as good news though. It shows me that people are not satisfied with the old systems of seeking out "God". People are finding that going to church every sunday isn't bringing them closer to the answers they seek. So people must seek out answers their own ways.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Zahid]
    #2837438 - 06/28/04 09:18 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Religion is and has always been a popularity contest.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: silversoul7]
    #2837756 - 06/28/04 11:19 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Why?


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: ]
    #2838025 - 06/29/04 01:06 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I disagree; there are many people who are fulfilled by organized religion and for them it is a good thing. I have known many Mormans and several Seventh Day Adventists and found them to be very spiritual and genuine. Their religion gives them hope and helps them cope with life. There are also those who are unfulfilled by it. I don't wish to see churches, synogogues, temples, and mosques empty, but everyone is entitled to the freedom to walk their own path. I find much of the new age stuff to be garbage, but if someone finds it useful more power to them. That doesn't mean I agree with it, only that everyone should have this freedom.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Zahid]
    #2838109 - 06/29/04 01:37 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Because it's all about how many people you can get to follow your faith. The more followers you have, the more it legitimizes your beliefs. Just another means for power-mongers to feed their egos.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineTodcasil
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: silversoul7]
    #2838377 - 06/29/04 02:48 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

spiritual shortcuts: id say that when someone decides there going to use a "spiritual shortcut" than they arent really intersted in spirituality at all.

just social acceptance or maybe ego-boosting. any number of things unrelated to deeper truths.

rambling

peace
Casil


--------------------
Men look at themselves and they see flawed humans, we look at women and we see perfect
GODDESSES
Women look at themselves and they seem utterly human, when looking at men they see proud
GODS.


~Casil



:cactus:


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Anonymous

Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #2839395 - 06/29/04 12:32 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Well I agree there are people whose lives have been positively affected by their religion. For example, my mother is a fairly devout Christian. She is generally very happy and is one of the few Christians I've known who actually act by Christ's teachings. She is almost selfless. Now, would she be the same person if she were not indoctrinated as a child by her parents and left to discover spirituality on her own? I think so, because I don't think it's the religion having the impact on one's life so much as it is basic personality traits. The personality traits however fit with the teachings of the religion so the person feels at home with that group or religion.

As an aside, most "new age" teachings aren't new at all and actually precede the patriarchal religions historically. These types of teachings were rooted in paganism and the ancient mystery schools, and after many hundreds of years of being suppressed resurfaced again.


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OfflineMAIA
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Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: Zahid]
    #2839627 - 06/29/04 01:40 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

The catholic church is to Microsoft what the "new wave" religions are to Linux distros.
I would choose to make my own OS but that's not possible with Microsoft....
If things were as easy as this.

MAIA


--------------------
Spiritual being, living a human experience ... The Shroomery Mandala



Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
Voltaire


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Anonymous

Re: Rome slams Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mysticism [Re: MAIA]
    #2840100 - 06/29/04 04:06 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

LOL

Computer nerd. :smirk:


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