FD asks: “Can you please tell me why Fr. Richard Rohr is so popular among Catholics? I have read some of his stuff and it is definitely new age. Also, can you say something about Fr Diaumid O’Murchu who is even more far out and deals more with religious. I know the bishops of Spain issued a condemnation about his views of religious life.”
I have no idea what people see in Fr. Richard Rohr’s teachings, but he is indeed popular on the Catholic speaking circuit. This blog outlines the troubled background of this priest.
As for Fr. Diaumid O’Murchu, you are correct in that the Doctrinal Commission of the Bishop’s Conference of Spain issued a Doctrinal Note to draw the public’s attention to erroneous teachings contained in his book, An Expanded Vision for the Future. In this book, he apparently advises religious men and women to “leave the Church and take on a non-canonical status” since “the values of the Religious life belong to a more ancient pre-religious tradition”.
As the Doctrinal Note states, O’Murchu’s book encourages religious to leave the Church, and to abandon Catholic belief that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of all. He rejects the belief that the Triune God is revealed in Jesus Christ and instead “suggests a conception of God that fluctuates between pantheism and animism,” the Note explains. “God is envisioned as the internal energy of the cosmos, and the world as the ‘incarnation’ of God,” according to O’Murchu.
He also urges religious to “come back to itself”, that is, to return to paganism from where it supposedly originated. Religious should forge alliances with “socio-political networks such as Worldwatch, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and several feminist groups,” he suggests, and says spirituality is not exclusive to human beings and has nothing to do with one’s relationship with God. Instead, it should be defined as one’s “power to connect” and “we encounter it in the behavior of the subatomic world, in the tripartite structure that dominates te rrestrial life and even in the foundational imprint of the curvature of space-time itself” (whatever that means).
Even more bizarre, as the Note points out, O’Murchu’s book also bashes the Church’s stance on celibacy, saying that “intimacy is linked neither to monogamous matrimony (which according to O’Murchu is a Medieval and Tridentine construct) (p. 106), nor to reproduction (p. 108), nor to a dualism of the sexes (p. 110). Religious men and women with their vows ‘for relatedness’ are supposed to work towards a sexual life that is not repressed by Christianity or Patriarchalism and which will be ‘mediated in a breadth of relationships, rather than in a depth of relatedness’. This will be ‘more about the release of creativity, passion and spirituality than about human reproduction’ (p. 109), and about the assimilation of the ‘creative upsurge taking place in the inner being of many persons’ that O’Murchu calls the ‘androgynous experience’ (p. 110), in other words: homosexuality,” the Note explains.
The Commission concludes that O’Murchu’s book is based on the fact that religious life is in crisis. “In response to this stark reality he attempts to present a solution for the future. What he offers, however, is an efficient formula for the progressive distortion and destruction of Religious and consecrated life, separating it little by little from the Church, divorcing it from the service of mankind and dissolving it in a world that does not know Christ (cf. Jn 1:10).”
I could continue this blog, but this should be enough to prove to you how much this priest is in need of our prayers.
O Mary, Queen of Clergy, please intercede for him!