Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Reiki Ban And The LCWR Investigation Go Hand In Hand

Not to be confused with Catholic nuns using Reiki. Can be confused with Catholic bishops making more bishops.

A couple of weeks ago, when the USCCB came out with their denunciation of Reiki, I wondered why they were bothering with Reiki. It's not like there aren't other more pressing issues for them to deal with, oh say, like the loss of over 1/3 of their practicing flock. At the time I wrote that I thought it was a swipe at New Age spirituality, which it was, but now it looks as if it might have been the opening salvo in the investigation of American Women Religious.

According to this article in the NCR, a number of religious communities use Reiki as part of retreats or in their health centers, and most of these are run by congregations of sisters affiliated with the Leadership Conference of Women's Religious. The letter from the USCCB on Reiki came out at the end of March and the letter sent to the LCWR from the Vatican announcing this latest investigation was received on March 10. Interesting timing. Our bishops sure do seem to be on top of things.

This following excerpt from today's NCR article amply demonstrates how little regard the clerical system has for anyone other than the clerical system:
Capuchin Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices, commented on the Cincinnati Mercy Sisters’ interpretation of Reiki, saying, “If you try to turn it into something that’s authentically Christian, then it’s no longer authentically Reiki. But it seems that if you keep it anywhere authentically Reiki, then it’s incompatible with Christianity.” (It's a technique for hands on healing, a tool, a spiritually neutral philosophy, as such it can be used in a Christian context. A wrench is still a wrench even if it's used as a hammer.)

He said that the classical Reiki literature reviewed by the bishops’ doctrinal committee places Reiki therapy in a philosophy and theology of “New Age pantheism hugging into the cosmic forces, that sort of thing, that has nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s purely a Gnostic kind of therapy.” (I wonder what Fr. Weinandy thinks about theoretical quantum physics and those notions of cosmic forces.)

Gnosticism refers to a number of heresies in various periods of Christian history that focus on esoteric human knowledge rather than divine grace as a source of salvation.

When asked to compare it with other relaxing techniques offered by alternative therapies, he said, “We don’t condemn relaxing techniques, but this is not just a relaxing technique.”

When NCR asked Weinandy if the committee’s research included any interviews with Catholic practitioners of Reiki, he said it did not. He called the committee’s investigation an “academic study” of how Reiki therapy is understood by its adherents. He said the committee based its conclusions about the incompatibility of Reiki with Catholic teaching on “a purely academic type of research, in the sense that we read books and went to Web sites and we amassed a huge amount of material, but we didn’t interview anybody.” (Of course they didn't interview anybody. They never do. That might expose them to the fallacy of their academic conclusions. How do they claim to know how Reiki is understood by it's Catholic adherents if they never interviewed any?)


I hate this kind of ecclesiastical teaching. You know, the kind that's based on searching through material to support the answer you already have in mind. They weren't engaged in an academic study of Reiki. They were engaged in damning Reiki in order to get at those orders of religious women who use Reiki. How do I know that? Further along in the article Fr. Weinandy insinuates it: "He also said that “it’s obvious, isn’t it?” from Web Google searches that most of the Catholic retreat centers targeted by the doctrinal committee’s statement are run by Catholic orders of women religious."

This whole Reiki thing looks to me as if it was designed to put the LCWR on the defensive and get them off balance. I suspect it's having it's intended effect as the NCR was unable to get any comment from any order who uses Reiki as a part of their retreats or medical care. Nice job boys. I bet Fr. Weinandy is well on his way to bishop Weinandy.

I guess if a Catholic nun invoking the name of Jesus in the laying on of hands using a Reiki technique is superstitious nonsense, then turn about is fair play. So much for the laying on of hands that consecrated Archbishop Dolan yesterday, it's superstitious nonsense with no scientific validity and I don't have to pay one bit of attention to anything that regular ole human man might have to say.

I think I'll start with this totally bogus 'academic' study on Reiki, as I have reams of files and scientific data which show something totally different about the efficacy of Reiki and other forms of 'gnostic New Age' healing modalities. Some of those files even include statements from real live doctors who certified results they had no explanation for and were in awe of, and oh, by the way, referred their patients to us because they could offer no other hope.

But in the end I guess it isn't about hope, it's about orthodoxy and spiritual authority and who gets to wield it and who doesn't. I guess it isn't enough for the Vatican to get all pissy about women priests, they now have to get all pissy about women healers. God can't seriously be expected to work through any woman other than Mary. It's been the Tradition since forever.


  1. Amy Welborn provides a solid analysis on the LCWR.:

  2. Elastico, I found Amy Welborn's take predictable. The really good thing I got from it was the link to the Catholic Key and more coverage of the speech from 2007 LCWR meeting.

  3. The USCCB etal have bitten off more than they will be able to swallow with this one. This may very well be the final nail in their coffins.

    Reiki is universal life force energy. One of the characteristics of it is that it ALWAYS returns to the sender what is being sent, but magnified. That is the reason Reiki practioners are so very careful about their attitudes and intentions during attunements and treatments. If ones attitude, motives and intentions are properly aligned then the results are quite dramatic. If they are not, there are different, but equally dramatic results.

    The USCCB etal have chosen to deceitfully attack, villify and denounce the energy as demonic. That is exactly what will be returned to them - magnified. This is not magic, not demonic, simply the natural way of the energy. It is a natural law. Whatever is the underlying intent ALWAYS returns magnified.

  4. Carl, I keep thinking about Benedict forming his army of exorcists, and the New Apostolic Wave and their notions of spiritual warfare.

    I wonder if it will ever dawn on them that they are creating that which they fear. In a very real sense the battle is with the energy they themselves create.

    That was probably the hardest lesson Michael ever had to get through to me. The whole topic is too complicated to go into in a comment, but you're right about one thing, energy operates predictabley and human intent has huge influence on the quantum level.

  5. Thank you so much for this. It was very obvious to me that the USCCB had not done thorough research, but I was appalled to learn they'd not interviewed anyone who actually practiced reiki, Christian or otherwise.

    It's frightening to me that the Bishops are behaving very much like the Pharisees who accused Jesus of healing people by the power of the devil.

  6. Rose, this isn't surprising when you think about it. The Pharisees couldn't heal anybody either.

    Reiki practioners can take heart though, the Institutional Church didn't exactly treat Padre Pio nicely, (or with open arms) until he began bringing in so much money they had no choice.

    His was truly a case of the People of God affirming a true healer over the persecution of the heirarchy.

    Or to put it another way, a case of the 'simple people' refusing to be protected 'for their own good' by the clerical intellectuals. A real victory for Faith over reason.

  7. I had a small chuckle on your Welborn comment. After sporadic visits to your blog, much the same could be said about yours. Very predictable,too. Vatican bad.(Male) hierarchy, very bad. Bishops, not so good, either. Traditionalists, medievel. Pro-lifers, tunnel-visioned. Lots of negative stuff for a blog claiming the mantle of enlightened. Or is that the true nature of enlightened Catholicism? Or can the enlightened Catholic not make their case without a negative contrast as a prop? Must tear down before can build? Strikes me as a peculiar way to wake up every day, hunting for the negative headline when one believes they have the truth or at least a viable alternative.

  8. I agree with you elastico, this blog is predictable as well--most of the time.

    I follow Amy Wellborn and American papist not because of their theological approach, but because of their links. All bloggers are mostly predictable, it's why we blog and why core audiences read the blog.

    As to the title of this one, it's mostly a pun, which is why I spend a great deal of time finding photos which are also puns or just funny.

    My big issue is clericalism. Especially a form of clericalism which is unaccountable to anyone except itself and it's own self description of God. This is why I am not particularly onboard with te women's priest movement. Substituting women in dresses for men in dresses does not deal with the underlying issue of how authority is exercised in the Church.

  9. Maysoon Ramadan has initiated over 22,050 people to Reiki. Initiating people at festivals at open booths for free is now occurring everywhere in order to accelerate the speed of raising the spiritual vibration and to lift people out of such ignorance.

    Yutaka Wada has given over 10,400 people Reiki initiations also.

  10. Michael the Archangel
    Defend us in battle
    Be our defense angainst
    the wickeness and snares of the devil
    May God rebuke him
    We humbly pray
    A may thou, prince of the heavenly hosts
    cast into hell satan and
    all the evil spirits who prowl about world
    seeking the ruin of souls

  11. Should not this quote from that a reiki website ( directed me to, send up some kind of alarm within the Christian:

    "The Nature of Reiki Healing

    One of the first things I noticed after I took my first Reiki class and began to practice Reiki is that Reiki healing energy directs itself. I was unable to direct it with my mind or will and realized this wasn’t necessary as Reiki had its own form of guidance that was superior to my own. This experience has been verified by other professional Reiki practitioners and forms the basis of one of the important keys to using Reiki: If you want Reiki to provide the best healing experience, it’s necessary for the practitioner to set their own desire, will and ego aside, and allow the Reiki energy to guide itself."

    What is this "reiki energy"? It may be precisely this that have many Christians, including Catholic Bishops, leary about Reiki. It is not because of the apparently "healing" that comes from this practice; which itself may be a mere emotional experience. It is true though, that we "in the West" have lost the sense of touch and are actually scared out of our collective mind about "touch". BUt we shouldn't have to turn to emotional "feel good" practices to answer the glaring problem in our society. Reiki will not heal our broken society, our shattered families. But actually listening, hearing and embracing all who need us so desperately to reach out to them. How's about instead of worrying if Reiki heals or not, we ourselves can help the healing begin by walking away from our computers and actually talking to our neighbors. By turning off the TV's and talking a walk OUTSIDE.