Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Park Place or Dark Place?

I seem to have become immersed in a welter of posts concerning non Christian activities within the borders of the Catholic Faith.

In truth, I have been surprised and shocked to find all these goings on going on.

My Catholic life, for the past 23 years or so, has been largely one of a Catholic in exile, awaiting the return of.......the King the Latin Mass. Romantic notion eh? But true.

Blogging has brought me out of my shell and, combined with the renewed life that is flowing out from Rome, I have found that I am much more aware of the good things taking place within the Church and certainly much more aware of the very bad things that are also taking place.

This is Park Place. What is going on? Answers on a postcard please

There is an order of nuns in sleepy, rural Hampshire, who operate their convent as a retreat and conference centre. Bully for them. I'm all for that sort of thing.

Except that.......they welcome in Buddhists, Taoists and all sorts of other 'ists' I should imagine (except Fascists, they would not stand for those would they?).

And would they, I wonder, welcome Occultists with open arms to enjoy (quote):
"The tranquil beauty of Park Place"?

After all, if you state that you welcome all, as they say they do ("we welcome approaches from organizations who wish to hold a retreat or spiritual course at Park Place") then, presumably, you must accept all.

The question is: Should this be an acceptable practice in an establishment that exists in accord with the teachings of Jesus Christ?

Are not Taoism and Buddhism faiths that, in many aspects, are in direct contradiction to the one true Faith?

The nuns are a Franciscan order from South India (I still can't get my head around that one) and, of course, Park Place happens to be in the Diocese of Bishop Philip Egan, Portsmouth.

Now I wish Bishop Philip nothing other than God's good graces in his episcopal role, it is just coincidence that these activities keep cropping up in his diocese, or is it?

As a commentator has said, Portsmouth has been a hotbed of nutty Catholic shenanigans for a long time now and it's asking a lot for + Egan to turn things around overnight.

And, to prove that I am not picking on him, here is some news regarding a similar operation to Park Place (wouldn't a Catholic saint's name be good instead of something that sounds as if its part of a Barratt Homes development?).

This one is in Northampton Diocese and the place is Turvey Abbey run by a community of Benedictine nuns.
At least they have got a good name to their operation - the Priory of Our Lady Queen of Peace but, sadly, they appear to be just as touchy feely as their Hampshire counterparts.

These nuns organise all sorts of events including, can you believe:-

Meister Eckhart: Inner Silence and Awakening. A contemplative inter-faith (Christian-Buddhist) weekend meditating with Eckhart’s texts through the medium of Benedictine Lectio Divina.  Led by George Wilson and a Turvey Benedictine nun. Cost: £130 per person, payable on booking. (Contact: Sr Lucy)

Bloomin' 'eck, as they say north of Mill Hill, why can't Catholic organisations, convents and monasteries, just offer good Catholic contemplative studies and leave the yoga and the yogis well alone.

And as Bishop Doyle only has a few engagements up to 9th November (the rest of the month is blank), perhaps his lordship would like to drop in on these topsy Turvey nuns and see what they are playing at.

Picture from Park Place website:  www.parkplacecentre.org.uk

Turvey Abbey site: www.turveyabbey.org.uk

My thanks to my two blogging friends who pointed me in the direction of these two establishments.


  1. The picture? She's just kinda chillin' out, man! Like tantric Catholic spirituality. Yoghurt, tofu, joss sticks......

    This kind of thing is ridiculous beyond satire.

    And now I must check my blood-pressure. God bless!

  2. Richard, you have become rather splenetic of late. I recommend the next Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course at Park Place.


  3. Genty, had to look that one up, more in sorrow than in anger, peace, friend.
    Chris, JD is not helpful re blood pressure but much more pleasant than statins.

  4. This totally mystifies me!It is as though catholiscism is not enough,that it is lacking in certain areas,and that those areas must be filled with thoughts and ideas from the eastern religions.I think it is dangerous.

  5. I have to say that Bishop Philip is probably just getting to grips with problems caused by the previous incumbent.

    In one example my friend's mother attended a Marriage Care multi-denominational Mass in Reading which was during a marriage Care conference.

    My friend's mother clearly states that all denominations were allowed to take communion.

    Now, to go one step further I was actually led to believe that this in fact was an inter-faith event with members of other faiths being allowed to also take communion. As this was such an extreme action I tried to get confirmation of this latter action from Marriage Care in Reading, but they would not answer.

    Now in terms of Turvy I know one cradle Catholic who is shocked by what is happening there and now refuses to go on retreat there.

    I find it particularly worrying that they subject Catholics to the Enneagram. I thought that this had passed its sell by date a long time ago.

    The Enneagram is a serious no, no for Catholics because its result show that peoples lives are pre-destined. Which is of course totally anti-Christian, because if peoples lives are pre-destined then that would mean that people would either end up in heaven or end up in hell, and that would be the end of it. There is no space for salvation in this system. It is a New Age concoction and as I always say "St. Paul would definitely not be happy with it being used in the Catholic Church."

    Funnily enough I have been thinking of doing some stuff on this for a while now. James Preece discussed this a while back (click below):


  6. Yes Ora Pro Nobis,I too am worried about the appearance of the Enneagram on the Turvey site.Then there is the item in a certain newsletter of last week,in which catholics are pointed in the direction of a course entitled.."Learning to Heal".I investigated the website and discovered that it is a sort of online church....evangelical hell fire sort of thing.To be fair the person directing the course is a minister of the C of E and just affiliated to the online church.I just do not understand why catholics are pointed away from the church,instead of towards her.