Is this Mass or yoga?

I have written a lot about what some observers like to call “therapeutic” Christianity – where churches are only nominally Christian and instead behave more like pop psychology self-help gurus. A major component of this phenomenon is becoming more casual in worship and beliefs. Show up at church however you want. Building a family is not that important. God is actually cool with free sex and abortion. In fact, God doesn’t demand anything from you at all. Religion is all about you and what makes you feel good. At least as far as religious belief is concerned, therapeutic Christians are narcissists.

Pope Francis rocked Catholicism recently by putting a lid on the observance of Mass in Latin because he thought the people who sought out the Latin rite have become too “rigid.” I think more or less everyone groks that this decision was all about politics and not wanting conservative Catholics to become too powerful in the Church. But it is interesting to look at the degree to which some bishops are pushing in the other direction.

This video is worth watching. This is the bishop where we live, here in South Florida – the Diocese of Venice. His Mass is seriously indistinguishable from a yoga routine. When was the last time you saw breathing exercises worked into the Mass?

I don’t know what to say about this except… wow.

5 thoughts on “Is this Mass or yoga?

  1. I grew up being warned about 1) Catholics ( not real Christians, ya know) and 2) ecumenism. What I’ve come to decide lately is that there are real Christians in various denominations and that parts of the Bible seem pretty ecumenical. I didn’t watch the video . Was his theology solid? Does he preach that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected and is the son of God and is coming back to judge the world ? Those are the things I’m looking for nowadays. Progressive churches aren’t just doing yoga, they’re obliterating the basic Christian doctrines . I think God is doing a thing. He’s shaking out the churches and the false converts are falling out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are right, there’s a lot of very subtle and not-so-subtle sorting going on.

      Beyond citing the Nicene Creed and a short homily, there’s not a lot of theology in the Mass, per se. The main emphasis of the Mass is the ritual re-enactment of Christ’s sacrifice in the Eucharist and experiencing the physical presence of God. The bulk of the Mass is the same prayers and preparations to receive the body of Christ that have been repeated across millennia. That’s what’s so gross about what the bishop was doing. Where he’s supposed to be doing the Penitential Act (a group confession of having sin), he gets into these weird breathing exercises. Like you are going to take a deep breath, okay exhale the sin or whatever. And this is not some run-of-the-mill priest, either – it’s the bishop, who serves at the pleasure of the pope. Just bonkers to see. Bishops control an entire region, so if the bishop is cray cray, you don’t have any real choices to escape his decision-making.


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