New Age Thought Alarms Christian Leaders in RP

Feb 11, 2003 01:43 PM EST

The increasing number of Catholic youth joining the New Age Movement alarmed bishops and church leaders in the Philippines describing the group's teaching as "incompatible" with Christianity.

Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, in his introduction to a CBCP primer on the New Age movement, said the Catholic Church is "particularly and strongly concerned" about the prevalence of the "new" teachings.

"Occult practices aim to enable humans to know, activate, and control the hidden forces and influences outside them, and the potentialities or energies that lie dormant in their own selves," read the CBCP primer.

The primer, which will be distributed to the Catholic laity and clergy, was the product of a year-long study done by a task force of Jesuits and lay people that was completed last month.

The task force was created to review the literature on New Age teachings and see if these contradicted the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The research showed that many New Age teachings on God, Christ, the human person, salvation, redemption, resurrection and religious experience were not in accordance with the teachings of Christianity.

"Catechesis is urgently necessary." Quevedo said, adding that many of the spiritual concerns raised by the New Age movement were relevant to Catholics. "Its re-interpretation of Christianity and use of Christian religious symbols, including language, to explain its religious and philosophical beliefs lure many Catholics into erroneously thinking that New Age is compatible with the Christian faith." the archbishop said.

"Given the present generally uninformed and merely ritualistic quality of our Filipino Christian faith, our pastoral concern for adequate catechesis to meet the challenge of New Age becomes even more urgent," he said.

The CBCP has identified Jaime Licauco and Alex Orbito as among those propagating the New Age belief on occult practices.

By Y.Hilado, ChToday Philippines
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