21 January 2011


I. Your humble correspondent is currently preparing an article on the Catholic blogosphere and the Church in Canada. Yet, as it often turns out, more rumination and research are necessitated than originally anticipated. As per usual, I'm hoping it will prompt some apparatchiks to execute cartwheels throughout the offices of their variegated bureaucracies. You see – and I must confess, it gives me much joy to annoy such people by introducing them to harsh reality. The screech of a hippy heretic, the laments of a chancery apostate, the wailing of a habitless hussy... these are wonderful, harmonious sounds. Like the celestial choir of angels.

II. Now judging by the blunt and bombastic writing style found at this blog, it could logically be deduced that yours truly is a cold–blooded scoundrel. Perhaps. But know that the degree of outrageousness found herein is directly proportional to the pathetic state of affairs I regularly witness. If it's any consolation, I did cry when, in the made–for–TV movie, the castaways were finally rescued from Gilligan's Island. I was especially happy for Mr. and Mrs. Howell. They were getting on in age and I did not want them to spend their remaining few years in that palm tree hell. You can get the DVD here.

III. So in the mean time, let's make a brief detour and visit our old friend Fr. Ron Rolheiser. I've fisked/posted on Rollie a few times in the recent past, which you may peruse here, here and here. One reason for repeatedly being tough on the poor fellow is likely attributable to my guilt. Rollie, although currently US based in the great state of Texas, is a Canadian. Consequently, I feel a kind of Canucki–culpability for his subtle and slyly watered–down kitsch Catholicism, gaining wide acclaim, especially amongst that galley of aging baby boomers so easily bamboozled by cornball pop–theology. Let alone the syrupy, inwardist emotionalism that constitutes much in Rollie's tracts, now syndicated globally in 70+ newspapers. I have experienced the dire effects of this emotionalism first hand. One day at my parish a lady mentioned to me, in a genteel Dutch accent – with hand on heart and eyes gazing aloft – that she found great inspiration in Rollie's newspaper columns. "Dear lady", I responded, "the man reads like Schopenhauer on amphetamines"... Well, I didn't say that. But I wanted to. And how could I betray this innocent creature? Minutes prior, she had just shared with me the most delicious home–baked cookies I have consumed in probably a decade. The dilemma's the good God puts me in! Honestly, I do believe Rolheiser has done significant damage. The only other comparable V2–theo–pop Canadian effectuating similar harm is the ex–Anglican cleric Tom Harpur. However, today he even contends that Christ was not a historical person. If wanting to punish yourself, read my book–long post on this rascal here. But enough rambling...

IV. Just before Christmas a reader of this space kindly advised this blogger of a conference that started just yesterday. So I clicked the link sent to me and then this suddenly appeared:
Oh my... what's going on down here in the peanut gallery? Just look at those smiling faces. Seems interesting. Let's investigate...

V. Now with a title like that it has to be either an advertisement for a Saturday afternoon program on PBS or else – you guessed it Catholic peoples – Ron Rolheiser just got a brilliant idea. Or at least he and his two friends did. So, then, who do we have behind Door No. 1? Looks like it's Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM. In New Age circles, word has it he goes by name Lucidus Enneagramus. But don't tell that to St. Francis. Take a gander:
He considers the proclamation of the Gospel to be his primary call and the related themes he addresses include eco–spirituality, scripture as liberation, the integration of action and contemplation, community building, peace and justice issues, male spirituality, and the Enneagram.
Hmmmm... I'm getting suspicious. That descriptor is to be found at the website for the Center for Action and Contemplation, an organization founded by Rohr, sponsor for the aforesaid conference. At this point I am going to ask readers to pause momentarily and retract any food or beverages in close proximity to keyboards as below you will find some titles/topics of past conferences held at CAC:

---------------------------------------o Creation as the Body of God
---------------------------------------o Emerging Church / Naked Now
---------------------------------------o Laughing and Weeping
---------------------------------------o How Do We Breathe Under Water?
---------------------------------------o Holding the Tension: Prague

That first bullet has a twang of emanationist pantheism to it. But to be sure I'll astrally project into the 6th dimension and get confirmation from Meister Eckhart. The second is creepy in a sweaty–frolicking–fruitcake–at–a–nudist–camp kind of way. The third sounds like a 1970s Argentinean soap opera viewed at 2 am on Telemundo. The fourth evidences that Richie is either oblivious of basic hydrodynamics or else he has a thing for Aquaman. The fifth... well, can you think of a better phrase that characterizes homely Oprahesque surrealism? Oh, I forgot to mention that he was on the "Oprah and Friends" radio show. Though I really need not elaborate further. Rohr is widely known for his admixture of Pelagianism and paganized Catholicism, let alone his advocacy of the enneagram and homosexualism.[1] Unfortunately, he's got quite a following.

VI. Behind Door No. 2 we have Ms. Edwina Gateley and, goodness gracious, it looks like we have just entered the Twilight Zone. The bio at her website states that she is "a poet, theologian, artist, writer, lay minister, modern–day mystic and prophet". This must be true because the National Catholic Reporter also references her as both a "mystic" and (bonus) "a living saint in our midst".[2] Edwina's subjects of interest include "her own Faith Journey, Discipleship, Women in Scripture, Justice, Mission, Spirituality, Mysticism, and the Feminine Divine". She's also into women's ordination n'stuff.[3] But there's more! A book entitled A Warm, Moist Salty God. Yuck, sounds to me like a vulgar preoccupation with biologic immanentism. Yet the pro–biotic icing on the tofu cake is that Ms. Gateley has been "publicly commended" by Bill Clinton (oh oh) and (oh no...) the late archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin (ding ding ding ding... those would be tiny little bells). Bernardin, you may recall, appointed Gumby the Gallivanting Bishop, another friend of Gateley.[4]

VII. Behind Door No. 3 we have the star of the show, namely Ron Rolheiser. No introduction needed. Indeed, Rollie did well in befriending Lucidus Enneagramus and the Manchester Muffin. Two of a kind: a gnosticized Franciscan and, as one writer noted, "an eccentric feminist whose performances resemble English music hall comedy more than religious presentations".[5] But fear not you people whose demographic likely is 55+ years in age. Rollie and friends are here to teach and guide you on your path to inner enlightenment – so long as you cough up $225 plus hotel costs and other expenses. Come, listen to the wisdom of the elders:

As a society, we have not been taught the art of loving our mortal lives every step of the way... in fact, we have largely lost the art of living. Thankfully, the wisdom of the elders is in our midst. Join Fr. Ron Rolheiser, Edwina Gateley and Fr. Richard Rohr, who will help us to clarify and embrace the two halves of life...Called to a further journey, we will look within ourselves to see that the wisdom of the elders is not only in our midst, but is within each of us
The conference is currently underway. Anyone in the area thinking of attending should learn from Bugs Bunny's mistake: Take that left turn at Albuquerque.

No offense to the memory of Ms. Carpenter. Actually, she is quite enchanting in the video.


1. See B.A. Sibley, "The Fr. Richard Rohr Phenomenon", New Oxford Review, March 2006, vol. LXXIII, no. 3. This article is available online at the Catholic Culture website. LINK

2. J. Dear, "Edwina Gateley's Big God", National Catholic Reporter, September 15, 2009. LINK

3. M.J. Maguire, "'Pink smoke' portrays growth of women's ordination movement", National Catholic Reporter, October 8, 2010. LINK

4. R.J. McClory, "35 years on 'the prophetic edge'", National Catholic Reporter, July 16, 2004. LINK

5. D. Donna Steichen, "A Church They Didn't Expect", Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission, June 2006. LINK This periodical is now known as the California Catholic Daily. LINK



Larry Denninger said...

I saw that post title, and I thought you were talking about me!

TH2 said...

I was thinking about you when writing it, but figured to give you a break this time.

Anita Moore said...

Aaaaaaaaauuuuuuugh!!!!!!! Edwina Gateley!!!!!! The very title of that book ought to be wrapped in brown paper.

I did an expose on her a few years ago, after Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, that roaring lion of two-fisted cool, put the kibosh on her giving a retreat to Franciscan sisters in his diocese.


TH2 said...

I'll check out your post. Thx.

Anonymous said...

Oh Richard why do you Rohr
whilst beating drums Nakedly?
Or perhaps it's a Scream
from a very bad Dream
of the moistish Ms. Gateley.

UM1 said...

Am psyched up for the next conference: "God As Us! the Sacred Feminine & the Sacred Masculine" I always KNEW there was something special about meee!

I encourage anyone who finds books by these authors in their local Catholic library to "forget" to sign them out (if you have an honor system as we do) and then dispose of them by rifle fire.

Left-footer said...

Yikes! What next, drum circles?

TH2 said...

Anon: Interesting poem.

UM1: A very good idea.

Lefty: Add acoustic guitars to that.

Optimusmastro said...

I'm sending this post to my aunt in Calgary,..very liberal and a huge fans of 'FR' Richard Rohr,..(Actually I've sent your link before, and I think your bibliography scares them,..too much Truth..

TH2 said...

Much appreciated, Marco.

Left-footer said...

Marco - Right on! Everyone should read this. I'd like to send it to a certain Sister B---- I worked with in London. She'd probably swallow her teeth.

TH2 - Great post - please keep 'em coming!

TH2 said...

Ditto to you on your posts. Readers: be sure to check Left's blog on a regular basis. LINK

Al said...

With everything going on, I haven't had a chance til now to read this.

1: "Schopenhauer on amphetamines" ROTFLOL

2. As you said, Ronnie is in Texas. Sadly as president of Oblate School of Theology he is insuring a new, if small, generation of heritics are being raised.

3: Rohr & Ronnie together at 1 event, talk about a "New Age Harmonic Convergence". As for Gateley, I am not familiar with her. But between what you said & the fact that, as Anita mentioned, Bishop Olmsted said no to her is enough for me to know that she will fit in well with the 2 other heresiarchs. The fact that she puts "her own Faith Journey" at the head of the list of topics is a pretty good clue as to who she really sees as the Feminine Divine, herself. As for her book title, I cringe at it, it sounds somewhat pornographic, & so I agree with Anita's brown paper wrapper.

4: Anyhow, talk about an unholy trinity.

%: Refresh my memory, but I seem to remember something about Rohr promoting nudity in some situations & not just in the title of that talk.

BTW are there times when after a post like this you feel like you need a shower to clean off the filth? I know I do just reading about them.

TH2 said...

Al: In response to your question on Rohr's promotion of nudity, take a gander at this comment:

"Father Rohr is well known for his 'Wild Man Retreats' where men sometimes take their clothes off and touch each other in certain parts of their bodies — to release the demons."


Anita Moore said...

Ew yuck ew yuck ew yuck ew yuck!!!

TH2 said...

Yes, my dear lady, there is something very very wrong here.

Anita Moore said...

All I can say is, the world's going to hell in a bucket.

Al said...

TH2, I guess i should say Grazie for confirming that my memory isn't going. In this case, I echo what Anita said.
Somehow or other, I doubt St. Francis would approve of 1 of his so-called followers doing what he does. Yes, St. Francis did take off all his clothes, but as a symbol of rejecting the world. & the Bishop quickly covered him up. Rohr's garbage has nothing to do with anything validly Franciscan.

Patrick Button said...

$225 a pop? Talk about MasterCard Marxists!

TH2: Once again a great job poking fun at heterodox hooligans.

Unknown said...

Your pants, they bother me. Take them off! Hey, i am looking for an online sexual partner ;) Click on my boobs if you are interested (. )( .)

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