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Friday, May 08, 2009

Catholic Reiki masters group rebuts bishops guidelines

A group of Catholic Reiki masters has responded to the controversial new guidelines on Reiki issued in March by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issuing a point-by-point rebuttal and calling for further dialogue with Reiki-practicing Catholics.

"Catholic Reiki Masters do not agree with the Bishops Guidelines about Reiki," the Catholic Reiki masters said in a statement published at MilwaukeeReiki.org.

"In preparing their document the bishops did not consult any Catholic Reiki practitioners, but instead based their evaluation purely on research and the internet . . . Many Catholics who use and practice Reiki find it to complement their Catholic spirituality not contradict it."


The Catholic Reiki masters' statement explains that "Catholic theology as it is done by the bishops is almost exclusively based on a western philosophy of the world. This is largely based on the classical Greek philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. . . In this worldview there is no concept of "'universal life energy.' 

"Eastern philosophy has a very different view of the world and humanity. The concept of a basic energy force (chi) that is responsible for the health and well-being of all living things is an ancient idea that originated in China over 5,000 years ago. In Japan this concept is called Ki. . . . Coming from a completely different worldview it is easy to see why the bishops fail to understand the basic premise of Reiki."

In response to the bishops' claim that "Reiki lacks scientific credibility. It has not been accepted by the scientific and medical communities as an effective therapy," the Catholic Reiki masters wrote, "They do not support this statement with any evidence. The document is not short on footnotes but they do not cite a study that shows Reiki as ineffective."

The Catholic Reiki masters go on to cite evidence that Reiki is frequently used in hospitals along with several studies. "The large number of hospitals who have Reiki programs indicate that while Reiki is not completely embraced by the medical community it is far from rejected by it. The on-going study and research of Reiki will continue to provide valuable insight into this healing modality. . . .

"For Catholics who practice Reiki, Jesus is the source of healing," the group said in the statement.

"The medical practices and studies illustrate that one cannot merely claim Reiki is only 'superstitious.' Catholics who practice Reiki believe that Reiki can help them on their spiritual journey, not provide a dangerous exposure to evil forces. To claim that the worldview, which helps one to understand 'universal life energy,' is a 'no-man's land that is neither faith nor science' is a prejudiced view against Eastrn philosophy and belief. The bishops' document is merely a guiding document to help bishops discern the appropriate use of Reiki in Catholic institutions. The concerns expressed in the document can and should be adequately addressed in dialogue with Catholic Reiki practitioners."

The statement does not list its authors by name, but the site where it was published, MilwaukeeReiki.org, is owned by Reiki Master Jeffrey Montoya.

Two weeks ago we reported on the American Holistic Nurses' Association's response to the bishops' denunciation of Reiki, last week we told you about the fallout from the decision and some of the Reiki programs that have been discontinued as a result. For those just joining us,or readers who want to see all our articles on this topic on one page, click here. The latest articles will be on the top.

The bishops' guidelines and their impact will be among the topics we'll be discussing on Tuesday, May 19, in our first BlogTalkRadio discussion. You'll be able to call in and comment, or just listen, and/or chat, all in real time. And if you aren't able to join us live, you can listen to the archived version anytime. Stay tuned for more details next week.

Meanwhile, we welcome your comments: just add a comment to this post on our web site, or email editor@thereikidigest.com.

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