Reiki causes Roman Catholic unease

Madeline Gianforte sees no conflict between the vows she took as a Catholic Sister of St. Agnes and her role as a master of reiki, a Japanese healing practice.

But her church does.

Co-founder of the natural healing center CORE/El Centro on Milwaukee’s south side, Gianforte employs reiki to help clients work through pain, both physical and emotional.

“It’s a very spiritual, very prayerful experience for people,” said Gianforte, one of a number of Catholic practitioners in southeastern Wisconsin. “It’s about finding balance between the body, mind and spirit.”

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Japan, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

9 comments on “Reiki causes Roman Catholic unease

  1. Words Matter says:

    [blockquote] Derived from Buddhist tradition and developed in Japan in the early 1900s, reiki is a form of touch therapy that uses specialized hand positions to stress relaxation and promote the body’s natural ability to heal.[/blockquote]

    No theological problems there.

    [blockquote] Proponents believe practitioners can facilitate healing by channeling reiki, or the universal life force, to bring one’s natural energy into balance.[/blockquote]

    Well, there’s a problem… answered by this:

    [blockquote] At issue, he said, is the notion that one can “manipulate divine energy to bring about healing.”

    “We pray for healing, but we can’t manipulate God,” Weinandy said.[/blockquote]

    All in all, however, I’m not entirely sure the bishop’s ought to be pronouncing on the medical value of practices such as this. Until one starts talking about “divine energies”, you aren’t really in the bishops’ area of competence.

  2. Branford says:

    Here is a link to the actual document (6 pages) put out by the Catholic bishops – Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy

    And the Catholic News Service story on this –

  3. libraryjim says:

    The plain fact of it is, if you take any ‘vows’ you renounce your ‘right’ to claim to be “Christian AND ….”. The vows of a religious or clergy are those of marriage to Christ.

    Thus following after any other religion, no matter how LITTLE of that religion you practice, is akin to spiritual adultery. “It was just a little kissing, honey” doesn’t cut it in marriage. “It was just a little bit of the religion, and not the theological part, Lord” doesn’t cut it with Christianity, either.

    In His Peace
    Jim Elliott <><

  4. Albany+ says:

    Whatever the merit or lack of merit in this particular case, what we all know is that there is a growth in this creature that can only be called “New Age Nun.” This creature needs to be addressed by the Bishops pronto.

  5. barthianfinn says:

    It is taking a long time for the N. American RC hierarchy to distinguish new age practices, all too common among religious, from Catholic theology and teaching. All these so called “life force” therapies promise much and deliver little. And they confuse the faithful, who continue to spend oodles of money on quacks who can hang up a shingle anywhere with fancy letters after their names. This is a business that is waiting for a really big expose.

  6. St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse says:

    I view Reiki, and other such New Age practices, as “meat sacrificed to idols.” Sure, accupressure and massage therapy have some valid uses, and can be effective, but as soon as you start crediting ‘cosmic energies’ and other supernatural forces, it becomes idolatrous. That’s this catholic’s opnion, anywho.

  7. Ralinda says:

    Thanks for the link to the bishops statement Branford. It’s very clearly written.
    We have a lot of new age Catholics here in Louisville. I’ve become aware of women who put Oprah and Eckart Tolle right up there with Mary. The Christian formation is sadly lacking in many of the parishes. Very sad. But some are finding sound teaching through BSF, CBS and similar Bible study programs.

  8. Jill Woodliff says:

    healing by channeling reiki, or the universal life force,

    Our God loves names. Once I counted the names for Jesus in the Book of Revelation and found 30-40. There is something about a nameless universal life force that rings hollow.

  9. Timothy says:

    The Catholic “expert” on Reiki is Clare Merkle. Here’s the archived Catholic Answers program wherein she describes exactly why Reiki is incompatible with Catholicism.

    CAL 060116 Clare Merkle; The Occult Origins of Reiki

    God bless…