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Melbourne Religious Education vicar echoes Pell stars warning

Melbourne's Episcopal Vicar of Religious Education has reinforced Sydney Archbishop George Pell's weekend comments on young people's preoccupation with astrology.

Dr Pell said in his Pentecost Sunday Pastoral Letter that supersition poses a greater danger to the faith of young Catholics than science and reason.

In Melbourne's Age newspaper this morning, Monsignor Peter Elliot expanded on Dr Pell's comments, with a general attack on the New Age movement and the "heavily commercialised psychics industry".

Monsignor Elliott said three forces are battling with the church for people's souls: the New Age movement, a revival of atheistic science worship, and a nihilistic postmodern deconstructionism.

He cited reiki healing as dangerous, with its emphasis on spirit guides, plus Wicca (modern-day witchcraft) and ecofeminism.

"Some naive Catholics think they can blend that with Christianity, but the two are absolutely incompatible," he said.

Stressing that the Catholic catechism explicitly rejected horoscopes, astrology, palm-reading, interpretation of omens, clairvoyants and mediums, Monsignor Elliott said many people take astrology "deadly seriously ... "and even model their lives and practices on the stars."

The Age

Pell urges young Catholics to forget horoscope (10/6/03)
Leadership: Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Light (Pastoral Letter of Archbishop George Pell, Pentecost 2003)
Catholic Education Office, Melbourne | Religious Education and Faith Development
Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian reflection on the "New Age" (Text of Vatican Document on New Age)
In a galaxy far from the Vatican, a kind of new age takes shape (Chris McGillion, Sydney Morning Herald)
Spiritual Wholeness: A Catholic New Age Site
Vatican's 'proceed with caution' on New Age Movement (4/2/03)

12 Jun 2003