Advisor worried about penetration of New Age
Advisor to the Argentinian Bishops' Conference Josť Baamonde has warned that the New Age movement poses "the great challenge of the present century," because "it raises [unchallangeable] flags such as pacifism, universal brotherhood and ecology" to mask its process of self-divinisation.
Zenit reports that Dr Baamonde heads the Service for the Elucidation of Sects and New Religious Movements (SPES) Foundation's documentation and research section.
He told a Madrid conference at the weekend that one of the most worrying elements of the New Age is the tendency towards self-divinisation, which he explains as the belief that "God is within me; God and I are one same conscience; I am God."
Baamonde, who is a professor of psychology at Madrid's San Pablo-CEU University, also warned against "the capacity of New Age concepts to subtly impregnate even those who practice classic and traditional religions, including the Catholic" faith.
He recalled Pope John Paul II's words to a group of US bishops in 1993: "At times New Age ideas make headway in preaching, catechesis, congresses and retreats, and thus succeed in influencing even practicing Catholics, who perhaps are not aware of the incompatibility of those ideas with the faith of the Church."
He concluded by expressing concern that the movement seeks to erase essential lines between existing religious faiths by appealing to universal truths and ideals.
"New Age gains followers day by day with the final objective, they say, of erasing universal borders to achieve the creation of a supra-religion where man is the alpha and omega, the beginning and end of all things, thus achieving a caricature of religion: It is no longer man who is created in the image and likeness of God but God who is created in the image and likeness of man."
New Age Seen Penetrating Catholic Circles (Zenit 18/7/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian reflection on the "New Age" (Pontifical Council for Culture)
Wollongong bishop takes stand against new age healers (CathNews 20/9/05)
New Age: Conference affirms need for new analysis/response (CathNws 22/6/04)
Vatican deals with Inquisition and New Age in same breath (CathNews 16/6/04)
Vatican's 'proceed with caution' on New Age Movement (CathNews 4/2/03)
Editorial: Harry Potter and the Bishops of Rome (Online Catholics 20/7/05)
20 Jul 2005