Can We Use Medicine Wheels in Church?

M&AH write: “Our parish priest is setting up a devotional shrine to St. Kateri Tekakwitha inside the parish. On the wall in the shrine of St. Kateri there is going to be a medicine wheel. The pastor says that the wheel is a symbol of unity among the Lakota people and is approved for use in Catholic ceremonies. To our understanding, the medicine wheel is a pagan symbol of which St. Kateri would have renounced upon being baptized Catholic. Could you please tell us if this is approved for use in Catholic ceremonies and if having this medicine wheel in a Catholic church is permitted?”

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Seekers Beware! The New Age can be Deadly

In what should serve as a warning to many who follow after the mostly non-credentialed gurus who populate the New Age self-help industry, the once popular James Arthur Ray, a favorite of Oprah Winfrey,  was sentenced to two years in prison for the grisly deaths of three people during a New Age sweat-lodge ceremony near Sedona, Arizona in October, 2009.

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What’s Wrong with Wearing Occult or Native American Symbols?

JE asks: “Would you consider the presence of a Dream Catcher an open door to the occult? I’ve never been comfortable with their use for children  . . . I have a necklace & earring set of Dreamcatchers sitting in my jewelry box. . . . (A)fter reading about some of your other posts about jewelry I’ve been thinking that in addition to pitching the “Mary Poppins” book set I never got around to reading, I should pitch the Dream Catcher jewelry as well. Could you maybe tell us a little more about what to look out for in jewelry? Or would that be a whole ‘nother Learn to Discern book?”

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