BlogWatch June 17: No place for the Enneagram

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Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Julian Porteous warns that the 'Enneagram has no place in Catholic spirituality and should not be promoted in Catholic circles'.

Bishop Julian Porteous wriites on his blog:

The Enneagram is claimed to have origins in the Sufi religion. However the Sufis, who are a mystical offshoot of Islam, did not develop it as it is known today. It was developed by George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, an Armenian occultist who lived in Russia from 1877 to 1947. The system was promoted by his student Piotr Ouspensky, and later by Oscar Ichazo from Chile who, in the 1960s, introduced it to the West.

It is helpful nonetheless to understand something of Sufi teaching because it does underpin the approach of the Enneagram. Sufis believe in the notion of the “Design”. This “Design” is what they consider to be God’s plan for mankind: the direction God wishes human development to take. Sufi masters claim to have access to this secret design. As Catholics we would define the Sufis as Gnostics in the sense that they believe in esoteric knowledge. They believe the “Design” is hidden underneath outward appearances which they consider to be false reality.

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Hermeneutic of Continuity blogger Fr Tim Finigan is enjoying Australian hospitality in Melbourne before the Colloquium of the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy which starts on Monday.

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Pope Francis continues to inspire discussion in the blogosphere from a variety of perspectives.

Leonardo Boff contemplates the temptations that afflicted St Francis and may affect Pope Francis:

Let us not imagine that saints are free from the vicissitudes common to human life, which includes moments of happiness and frustration, dangerous temptations and courageous stands. It was no different with Saint Francis, portrayed as "the always happy brother", courteous, who lived a mystical union with all creatures, whom he considered his brothers and sisters.

There is, however, a fact that pious Franciscan historiography hides, but that is well documented by historical critique, and that is known as "the great temptation". The last five years of Francis’ life (he died in 1226) were marked by deep anguish, almost desperation, and the grave illnesses that afflicted him, such as malaria and blindness. The problem was objective: his ideal of life was to live in extreme poverty and radical simplicity, divested of all power, and sustained only by the Gospel read to him without the interpretation that often shroud its revolutionary meaning.

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CNN blogger Daniel Burke, who has compiled a list of "six stunners" notes that "Pope Francis has challenged his flock of 1 billion Catholics not to be 'starched Christians' who chat about theology over tea," writes .

Meanwhile, Russell Shaw asks:

Is Pope Francis our first anticlerical pope?

Technically speaking, he isn't--his two predecessors also were more or less critical of clericalism--but he is well on his way to being the most outspoken one.

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Patrick Clark considers Edward Snowden's disclosure of the US NSA's mass surveillance program from the viewpoint of Catholic moral theology:

Ron Paul asked a very interesting question today: if Edward Snowden is truly threatening the safety of Americans by doing what he did, why can’t we treat him like Anwar al-Alaki and kill him with a drone strike? What is the difference between these two “outlaws” in the eyes of the government? The difference, I would submit, is that Snowden did what he did because he loved our country. We should not kill him; we should commend and thank him.

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And finally, the world's oldest serving nun, Sister Teresita Barajuen has died at the age of 105, according to Sr Maria Romero, abbess of the Buenafuente del Sistal monastery outside Madrid.

After entering the Cistercian monastery at 19, she spen the next 86 years of her life there, the Daily Mail reports.

Michael MullinsStefan Gigacz is preparing a PhD. at MCD University of Divinity, Melbourne, on the role of Joseph Cardijn at Vatican II. 


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