Archdiocese of Ottawa — Back At It Again

As Socon or Bust readers know, last month the Archdiocese of Ottawa promoted a talk by known dissenter and excommunicated priest, Gregory Baum.  You can read some of the details here.  The respondent to Baum’s talk was retired Bishop Remi De Roo.  You can check out Bishop Remi De Roo’s website here, Enneagram, Development & Peace and all.  The talk was part of the Diocesan Faith Formation program.

And speaking of Enneagrams, I notice that the next instalment of the Diocesan Faith Formation Program  is going to be put on by Sister Rosemary O’Toole, the spiritual director of The Upper Room Home of Prayer.  Details of the presentation can be found on the Archdiocese’s website here

DIOCESAN FAITH FORMATION: Discernment as a way of life. Often in our spiritual journeys we seek to know God’s will. There are four pre-conditions that prepare one’s heart to discern wisely. Properly framing your discernment question is the next important step. Then praying daily with the question and listening. Over time, God will indicate through signs (7) that help the mature Christian confirm in faith that a spiritual direction has emerged. Discernment is a wonderful gift of the Spirit that can bring such peace and harmony into our daily lives.   Sister Rosemary O’Toole, CSJ has been a spiritual director at The Upper Room Home of Prayer for 25 years. At St. John the Apostle parish, Sat., December 12, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.   Please pre-register at least one week in advance.  Cost: $15/please bring a lunch. Pre-registration required: (; (613-738-5025, ext. 217).  (Source)

The Upper Room of Prayer has some interesting spiritual direction…

Spiritual direction is a listening together to the God-within the directee that offers nourishment and encouragement for the human/spiritual journey. Are you searching for a deeper meaning to some of life’s perplexing situations? Do you experience the need to sit with a spiritual director awaiting Spirit wisdom and ‘direction’? We need to expect our spiritual growth to be like a “Divine Therapy” that releases and heals the patterns of our mental and emotional problems (purification) and awakens our consciousness of the Divine Presence within (transformation). (Source)

Do you know what “the God-within the directee” is?

Me neither.

But if you google the phrase, you get to learn all about it.  You can also learn about the Emmaus Enrichment Program which features…

Enneagram series – 5 evenings

At Kanata Upper Room with Sr. Marjorie  Myles as facilitator. Beginning in January, 2010.  More details to follow.  Contact Guy and Marian Brethour. 613- 270-9019.  


In a 2003 document from the Pontifical Council for Culture & Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Jesus Christ, The Bearer of The Water of Life A Christian reflection on the “New Age”, the Council warns Catholics against the enneagram:

An adequate Christian discernment of New Age thought and practice cannot fail to recognize that, like second and third century gnosticism, it represents something of a compendium of positions that the Church has identified as heterodox. John Paul II warns with regard to the “return of ancient gnostic ideas under the guise of the so-called New Age: We cannot delude ourselves that this will lead toward a renewal of religion. It is only a new way of practising gnosticism – that attitude of the spirit that, in the name of a profound knowledge of God, results in distorting His Word and replacing it with purely human words. Gnosticism never completely abandoned the realm of Christianity. Instead, it has always existed side by side with Christianity, sometimes taking the shape of a philosophical movement, but more often assuming the characteristics of a religion or a para-religion in distinct, if not declared, conflict with all that is essentially Christian”.6 An example of this can be seen in the enneagram, the nine-type tool for character analysis, which when used as a means of spiritual growth introduces an ambiguity in the doctrine and the life of the Christian faith. (1.4)

Enneagram: (from the Greek ennéa = nine + gramma= sign) the name refers to a diagram composed of a circle with nine points on its circumference, connected within the circle by a triangle and a hexangle. It was originally used for divination, but has become known as the symbol for a system of personality typology consisting of nine standard character types. It became popular after the publication of Helen Palmer’s book The Enneagram, but she recognises her indebtedness to the Russian esoteric thinker and practitioner G.I. Gurdjieff, the Chilean psychologist Claudio Naranjo and author Oscar Ichazo, founder of Arica. The origin of the enneagram remains shrouded in mystery, but some maintain that it comes from Sufi mysticism.

Judging by Fr. Muldoon’s commentary about the future of the Diocesan Adult Faith Formation program at the Archdiocese of Ottawa, it appears that the program is dying a rather sudden death – likely because of lack of interest.  Still, I thought it would be illuminating to inform Ottawa-area Catholics of the dangers posed by these programs.

If the Archdiocese of Ottawa will not do its job in preserving the Faith and heeding Holy Father’s warnings, Socon or Bust will.

9 thoughts on “Archdiocese of Ottawa — Back At It Again

  1. Hi John,

    I believe the discernment process they use at the Upper Room Home of Prayer is based on Ignatian discernment. I have a pamphlet from them on discernment which doesn’t seem to have anything unorthodox in it. Presumably thats the subject of the talk.

    As for enneagrams, thats certianly another story.


  2. Hi Neil,

    You are correct, but I have been informed by concerned Catholics that the Enneagram was featured at workshops at St. John’s in past sessions.

    This is to be expected given this group’s use of this unorthodox technique.

  3. Also, Neil, I suggest you read the link I referred to in the article by EWTN. You’ll see that the technique is not overtly anti-Catholic, but that’s what makes it very dangerous.

  4. Hi John,

    Did you ever find out who invited Gregory Baum? Who in their right mind thought that an excommunicated priest should be called upon to instruct the faithful? Inquiring minds need to know.

  5. Thank you John. I think that if people want some spiritual discernment they can start off right by volunteering some time with the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, who are “a group of people committed to maintaining a loving and prayerful presence outside of the abortion mills, where God’s children are put to death.” My wife and I have found many graces while volunteering to pray outside the abortuary on Bank Street for just one hour during the last 40 Days for Life Campaign. More information is available at, both in English and in French.

  6. I am so glad you are warning the so-called Catholics (perhaps innocently ignorant) of the New-Age stuff. The document from the Vatican is very good and I sent it to the Director of Education a couple of years ago with a covering letter stating that it is disappointing and wrong that the Catholic Continuing Education offers New Age courses. I tried to explain that many do not understand the underlying danger. Unfortunately I did not get a response and it is still offering them. I also went to a funeral reception once and sat a table where this person and I discussed about this “enneagram”. I didn’t realize that that person was a spiritual director and did not offer to tell me until the end that they taught it. I guess I was a little bold but did it with gentleness. They were very defensive and looked at me as if I belonged to a nut house. Praise the living God. I think they need to speak about that at the pulpit as long as it is done with love and charity.

  7. A good friend of mine was part of the Upper Room House of Prayer for over 10 years. After much prayer and soul-searching, she has sadly had to leave the community due to their continued foray into this type of material. Their group has been studying one of Eckhart Tolle’s books and my friend just didn’t feel comfortable with the direction the group was going.

  8. Hi John,

    Appreciate the information. I do know a Deacon that gives spiritual direction at the Upper Room who is “right
    on.” Knowing the Deacon made me wonder if this Upper Room had changed but guess it hasn’t.

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