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Bad News December 17, 2009

Posted by Tantumblogo in Uncategorized.

Yesterday, I reported what I thought was good news regarding the women’s retreat at SEAS parish in Plano.  I had been told that the Bishop was very aware of the problems many people had with Sr. Rupp hosting the retreat, and that the retreat was ‘under review.’  This seemed like good news, andI felt that I/we had had some success in getting our concerns heard.  I did, however, ask that the parishes involved in this conference stop advertising the retreat and accepting the fees for it, as, it being under review, that seemed a sensible thing to do.

Well, I’ve been told now by the pastor at SEAS that they will not stop advertising or signing people up for the conference, as they ‘have not been told to do so.’  I do not understand why they would need to be told to do so, or who would do the telling.  Given the lack of information, I am rather suspicious.  I am told that the Bishop is ‘reviewing’ Sr. Rupp’s work.  This ‘review’ has ostensibly been going on for weeks, since I first raised concerns around the third week of November.  I think anyone who looks around Sr. Rupp’s website won’t need long to figure out that she draws very heavily on ‘new age’ practices in her seminars, that she is strongly influenced by eastern religions and pop-protestant theology, and that her theology is hardly what one can call Catholic.  In an interview on her website, Sr. Rupp describes the Catholic Church as being ‘envious’ of the New Age movement, and she says that New Age practices are ‘valuable.’  Bear in mind, Sr. Rupp has a degree in ‘transpersonal psychology,’ from a ‘new age institute,’ and uses New Age terminology and practices throughout almost all her published works. 

The Church warned against delving into New Age practices in “Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian reflection on the New Age,” released by the Pontifical Councils for Culture and Interreligious Dialogue in 2003.  New Age focuses on the self , cosmic energy, and the cosmos as an organic whole – if you read through Sr. Rupp’s online catalogue, you’ll find that she does, too. 

It didn’t take much looking to determine that Sr. Rupp was problematic, at best.  Since I have researched her writings more, I am convinced that she is not in communion with the Magisterium of the Church and that her views represent a grave danger to Catholics.  I’m just a lay dude with 6 kids and a job and generally a lot going on in my life.  If I can figure out that Sr. Rupp is a problem in a few hours, why does it take the Bishop weeks?

If I were cynical, I would say that’s because the ‘review’ is a sham and an effort to buy time, to get to a point where they’ll say, ‘oh, we agree with you, she’s probably not a good speaker, but it’s too late to cancel the retreat now.’

I’ll know more tomorrow.  Look for more updates.


1. PQHorn - December 20, 2009

So. I am by no means condoning Sr. Rupp, but what is a solid and founded in the faith, 30-year So.Baptist Catholic convert to do when interested in deep meditation upon Holy Scripture, welt schmertz, life’s problems, etc.? How does one protect against falling into “new age” practices?

If Sts. Francis and Clare were able to attain several higher levels of spiritual meditation, how’d they do that without falling off into some non-Catholic abyss?

Believe me, I’m not trying to be “catty,” but I have had several small personal glimpses or experiences if you will of true meditation. All were by “accident” and the most amazing was during prayer and adoration at St. Jude’s Chapel in downtown Dallas. It literally took me by suprise!

I truly want to know, and I cannot find a soul — priest, deacon, catechist, or layman — who is able or willing to tell me anything except, “It is for very special people.” So only cloistered nuns and priests have the time and geduld to get on with mysticism? What a crock. Ooops! Sorry. . . . .

Maybe it is time for the bishops, priests, deacons, and laity to understand why Catholics are wandering off into Protestantism, new age, yadda, yadda in search of the beauty that so many Cahtolics before us have experienced, i.e., mysticism, deeper more meaningful faith, power of prayer, a better understanding of Catholicsim, Eucharist, the Holy Spirit, manifestation of the Gifts of the Spirit — all the things that build out faith and lead us to a deep love of God.

I believe that the Christ Renews His Parish and Why Catholic programs are a good beginning, but what are those Catholics who are ready now to be weaned from the milk and get into the meat supposed to do? Are the bishops and priests afraid of the parishioners still left in the pews?

“Bring on the BEEF guys?”

tantamergo - December 21, 2009

PQHorn –

Your reply is very fair. I apologize for the lateness of my approval, and reply, I have been away for a couple of days. Tomorrow, I will change the approvals to allow replies to appear without moderation.

I agree that the kind of deep formation that you are looking for is very hard to find. Heck, even baby-food level (beyond the very basic, milk level) is not easy to find. There are a few apologetics and church history classes around in the Dallas Diocese, but I don’t know of anything on a depth that you are looking for.

And, I share your views. I have had a few occasions to be transformed during contemplative prayer to another place. I have felt a slight touch of that ecstacy some of the Doctors of the Church have experienced.

I think you can get a kind of understanding of that kind of deeply contemplative prayer through studying the works of some of the great saints – St. John of the Cross, St. Terese of Avila, the saints you mentioned. I think most priests don’t discuss that kind of mysticism and interior worship because they themselves don’t understand it. There are a few that do, or try to – Fr. Benedict Groeschel being one. There is also a priest up in Tulsa that I think tries to explore that kind of faith. You may want to try to contact him – http://vultus.stblogs.org/

I agree that probably the biggest weakness in the Church today is lack of formation. This doesn’t affect only the laity, however – you would be surprised how poorly formed in the faith many priests are. The seminaries 20-30 years ago were very experimental in areas like liturgy, but they did not teach the basics of the faith. Many priests are not well enough versed in the core teachings of the Church to teach them to others. I continue to pray that we will have increasing numbers of the coming generation of much better formed priests.

UPDATE – I’m disappointed that I forgot this, since I’ve been studying it for several months, but if you want a source for deep, contemplative Catholic spiritually, I highly recommend The Immitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. This is a medieval-era book of spirituality that is very contemplative and very challenging. I think it may be of benefit to you.

Dominus vobiscum,

2. Ellen - December 28, 2009

Here in Dallas, the Christian Community of God’s Delight, a canonically recognized Catholic fraternity borne of the charismatic renewal, has been for many a “school of prayer,” and many members have experienced the gift of contemplative prayer. The community gathers for a prayer meeting each week at 4:00 p.m. Sunday afternoons at the campus of Mount St. Michael school on 4500 W. Davis (Oak Cliff). All are most welcome to come and join this time of prayer in the Spirit, and specific formation is available through teaching series.

The members of the community are orthodox in their Catholic faith, yet open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit as described in the Acts of the Apostles — tongues, prophecy, healing, etc. — believing them gifts not just for a time, but for all time, as God’s wills.

The meetings are not a holy-roller free-for-all, but orderly, peaceful and beautiful. PQ Horn, you might try it sometime.

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