Conferees Highlight Need to Understand "New Age" Better

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 21, 2004 ( An international conference on New Age, convoked by the Holy See, emphasized the need for a more comprehensive understanding of New Age in order to offer more appropriate Christian answers.

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The International Conference on New Age, held in Rome from June 14-16, was called by a Vatican commission on sects and new religious movements.

Participants included representatives of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and the pontifical councils for Promoting Christian Unity, for Culture, and for Interreligious Dialogue. Also attending were delegates designated by the bishops’ conferences of 22 countries, and a representative of the Union of General Superiors.

The conference aimed to analyze the answers to in-depth questions sent to the bishops’ conferences along with the 2003 Vatican document «Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the ‘New Age.'»

According to a statement issued today by the Vatican press office, the participants emphasized the need to analyze the elements of New Age vis-à-vis Christianity.

They also highlighted «the solid richness of the spiritual, ascetic and mystical patrimony of Christianity, which many Catholics do not know adequately,» the statement clarified.

The meeting concluded by formulating some pastoral guidelines to help bishops’ conferences.

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