02 February 2009

Fr. Richard Rohr O.F.M.

I naively  found another heterodox author: Fr. Richard Rohr O.F.M. I started reading his book Jesus' Plan for a New World last June. After a couple of chapters, I took a little break from it so that I could read the new translation of John Paul the Great's theology of the body, Man and Woman He Created Them. After completing Man and Woman He Created Them and a couple other books, I picked up Jesus' Plan for a New World again. I've now read the fist half of it, but have no desire to read the rest.

I was very enthusiastic about Jesus' Plan for a New World as I read the Introduction and the fist chapter. I even thought of someone that I should suggest this book to. However, as I continued I thought to myself, "This book could be very easily misinterpreted to support an anti-hierarchical position against the Church." After a few more pages I realised that it would be a bad idea to suggest this book to the person I was thinking of because he would likely come to some wrong conclusions about the Church. A couple of chapters later I realised it was I that was misinterpreting the first section of this book. The anti-hierarchical message found in this book is not a misinterpretation, but deliberate theme that begins subtly, and grows until it is overt.

Once I realised that this book may not be orthodox, I checked the internet to see what I could find on Fr. Rohr. On his Wikipedia page, I found out that he does not accept the Church's teaching on contraception, nor the teaching that only men can be priests. He also wrote a letter of support to Soulforce, a homosexual advocacy group. Judging by his chapter in Homosexuality and the Christian Faith by Walter Wink, Fr. Rohr believes that God views homosexual relationships as acceptable as heterosexual relationships.

Despite Fr. Rohr's claim that he is in good standing with Rome, his Franciscan Superiors and the Archbishop of Santa Fe, his views are at odds with orthodox Catholic teaching. I would not recommend any of his works to faithful Catholics.