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New Age: Conference affirms need for new analysis/response

VATICAN CITY, JUN 21, 2004 (VIS) - An international conference on the New Age celebrated in the Vatican on June 14-16, an initiative of various dicasteries interested in studying sects and new religious movements, has come to a close. Delegates from episcopal conferences from twenty-two countries, members of the Roman Curia and a representative from the General Union of Superiors participated in the study session.

During the conference, the episcopates' answers to questions on the document, "Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the 'New Age'" (2003), were examined and, in addition to the summary of these answers, two fundamental aspects were studied: the discernment of the techniques and finalities of the New Age, and the comparison between Christian spirituality and the mystical experiences proposed by the New Age.

With respect to the techniques of the New Age, certain criteria to identity them, in nature and religion, specifically in Christianity, were highlighted. The need for new analysis was reaffirmed.
In terms of spirituality, the workshops were focused on perspectives that offer the New Age with respect to the expectations of men and women in our age. In particular, "the solid richness of the spiritual, ascetic and mystical patrimony of Christianity, which many Catholic do not know adequately," was highlighted.

At the end of the discussion on these aspects of the New Age, a summary was presented of the doctrinal and pastoral evaluation, enriched by the contribution of participants in the plenary sessions and in particular in the linguistic groups.

The workshops concluded with pastoral indications where are considered important and urgent about the foundation of the elements that came up during the conference in order to put them at the disposition of the episcopate in response to their requests.

"The utility of continuing an exchange of information" was reaffirmed, "in order to respond in a rich and articulate way to the silent request for help made by so many people faced by the phenomenon of the New Age which is so complex in its ideas and manifestations."

VIS – New Age: reaffirmation of richness of Christian spirituality

22 Jun 2004