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“An Ancient Structure to Beckon Gods”

Fr. Pat McCloskey, O.F.M., the Editor of St. Anthony Messenger (SAM), published by the Franciscan Friars in Cincinnati, knows he’s in trouble.

When Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J., Editor in Chief of the Jesuits’ America magazine, was in effect sacked by the Holy See’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in May, Fr. McCloskey was quoted in a Boston Globe story (May 10) as saying, “It would be hard for any Catholic editor not to say, ‘Well, if this can happen to America magazine, perhaps it could happen to others.'” Well, yes, McCloskey could be next.

An editorial in SAM (Aug.) bellyached about the sacking of Fr. Reese. The editorial says he was let go because he published dissent and orthodoxy in an equal way, with the editorial claiming that when “treatment is noticeably unequal [in favor of orthodoxy], today’s well-educated Catholics know the deck is being stacked.” Actually, most Catholics are ill-educated, by the likes of the Jesuits and the Franciscans, and are unable to discern error and recognize the objective truth of the Catholic Faith.

Apparently, SAM is going to keep doing what it’s been doing. The cover story for the August SAM is “Labyrinths: The Inward Journey” by Gerilyn Wartonick Herold. Ms. Herold visited La Providencia Spiritual Retreat Center in Alpine, Calif., where Sister Pat and Sister Millie constructed the first labyrinth (which is walked in) in the U.S. Ms. Herold says that when she first saw the outdoor labyrinth, “It looked like an ancient structure to beckon gods. It frightened me.” An apt response. She should have turned around and gone home. But she didn’t. She got hooked: “As I started the walk…, with each step, I was listening, settling and drifting into a pleasant place of peace.” It’s too bad Ms. Herold didn’t read the Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, signed by Cardinal Ratzinger, where it is stated: “Some physical exercises automatically produce a feeling of quiet and relaxation, pleasing sensations, perhaps even phenomena of light and of warmth, which resemble spiritual well-being. To take such feelings for the authentic consolations of the Holy Spirit would be a totally erroneous way of conceiving the spiritual life” (#28).

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