The Salesians and Psychology,
Oswald Cardinal Gracias and New Age psychologist Carl Rogers
The following is the reproduction of the printed matter in a full-page color advertisement on the back cover of The Examiner* issue of January 28, 2012. The Examiner is the official weekly of the Archdiocese of Bombay. The advertisement is by Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications, Matunga, Mumbai 400 019 for their “new book release”. The facsimile of the new book’s front cover gives the title, “Nurturing Presence” and the sub-title, “A Spirituality for Educators” followed by the blurb, “based on the Pedagogical Insights of Don Bosco and Carl Rogers“. The author of the book is given as “Kenneth Pereira SDB“. Price: Rs. 250.00.
While much has been written on the means of bringing about the integral growth of the young, comparatively little has been written about the concomitant growth of those who regularly deal with them, namely parents, educators and youth workers. This book will hopefully fill that lacuna. The growth-oriented vision that this book offers is a blend of ideas and insights from Don Bosco and Carl Rogers, tracing their origins to the Bible itself. The common thread that runs through the entire book is the theme of nurturing presence.
Again, from the advertisement, a strong recommendation from the Cardinal Archbishop of Bombay:
“Written in elegant language, this book navigates through various disciplines: Spirituality, Scripture, Philosophy, Theology, Psychology and Pedagogy, weaving them into a ‘seamless robe’
for all educators to wear. This book shows how the pedagogical insights of Don Bosco, the great educationist of the nineteenth century, can be made relevant for our times and circumstances (marked by religious plurality) by supplementing them with some of the ideas of Carl Rogers, the famed 20th century American psychologist.” +Oswald Card. Gracias
MATUNGA, FEBRUARY 06, 2012: The book entitled “Nurturing Presence – A Spirituality for Educators based on the Pedagogical Insights of Don Bosco and Carl Rogers” by Kenneth Pereira sdb** was officially released by Rev. Fr. Edwin D’Souza, Rector of the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna, Matunga, during the mass celebrated on the occasion of Don Bosco’s feast at Matunga. This book is authored by Fr. Kenneth Pereira, a Salesian priest who holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy, Theology and now earned a Master of Spirituality degree at St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute in Bangalore. This book is a reworked version of the dissertation that he submitted there. **Salesians of Don Bosco
*Separate article chronicling New Age and other errors in The Examiner 2003-2011 issues coming up.
Speaking on this occasion Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, Director of Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications appreciated the painstaking efforts of the team involved, namely: Ms. Verona Vaz (Proof-reading), Ms. Rochelle Rodricks (Formatting, Layout and DTP) and Mr. William Fernandes of Intouch Graphics (Designing the cover and printing the book). I wish to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to our Provincial Rev. Fr. Micheal Fernandes sdb for forwarding Fr. Kenneth Pereira’s dissertation to our department and to disseminate the publication for the secular world. I like to thank Fr. Edwin D’Souza, Rector of the Shrine for giving us the opportunity to release the book on the festive day. My heartfelt thanks also to the staff of Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications.
The catalogue of Tej-Prasarini books is available at
http://tejonline.com/others/OthersCat.asp, all of sixteen in number. A couple of years ago, a Salesian bishop had sent me an old print of the inspiring “Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco”. One wonders why such books are not re-printed by Tej-Prasarini. Don Bosco, or St. John Bosco, is the founder of the Salesian order of priests. I am a Salesian alumnus, having spent all eleven years of my schooling [’50s and early ’60s] nurtured on the true spiritualities of Don Bosco and St. Dominic Savio, his pupil. The Tej-Prasarini books are, to put it simply, different; and “Nurturing Presence” takes the cake.
To favourably compare the “ideas of Carl Rogers” with those of Don Bosco is grossly absurd, like attempting to “supplement” [to borrow the term used by the Cardinal] chalk with cheese. We will see why.
The saintly Don Bosco [1815-1888] whose life was filled with miracles and supernatural occurrences, and who was canonized in 1934, employed “teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method known as the Salesian Preventive System” [Wikipedia]. He believed in Jesus Christ and in the concept of sin and the eternal punishment that awaits those who die unrepentant. Dominic Savio’s motto, something every Salesian student imbibed, was “Death Rather Than Sin”.
Carl Rogers was none of that and his school of psychology and its influence on people was as far removed from Don Bosco’s spirituality and educational reforms as hell is from heaven. No, I have not purchased and read a copy of “Nurturing Presence”. I am confident that I do not need to. I have witnessed the deterioration in the spiritual formation of students in Salesian schools including my alma mater where one of my sons had the misfortune to attend for one difficult year*.
The beautiful chapel with its Italian icons has been replaced with an inter-faith prayer room and a rentable community centre — like the book, “marked by religious plurality” I suppose, and by commercialism.
Very recently, a student stabbed a teacher to death in her classroom in a Salesian school in this city http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/shockwaves-as-student-stabs-teacher-to-death-in-chennai/1/172969.html, and a day or so later, another student committed suicide in yet another Salesian-run city school http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/article2880221.ece.
are leaders in the Indian church in the fields of psychology and counseling!!!!!
*I have good friends and confidants among Salesian seminarians and priests and at least one Bishop.
What we need to know is exactly what type of counseling and psychological assessment is done by these priests. This ministry’s website has around twenty articles on the subject of psychology, one of them being a report [THE SANGAM INTEGRAL FORMATION AND SPIRITUALITY CENTRE, GOA – NEW AGE PSYCHOLOGY, ETC.*] that gives detailed information on the myriad New Age psychology courses and psychological counseling “services” offered by Catholic religious houses in India, especially the Salesians, pages 37-39**.
On pages 45 through 48, I have documented the prominent role that The Examiner and the Archdiocese of Bombay play in the popularisation of these New Age pseudo-psychologies among Catholics.
I reproduce a portion of page 48 of the referred report:
The New Leader, November 1-15, 2004, Letter to the editor.
Christianising Psychology by R. P. Coelho, Bangalore 560005
I read the article on psychology with great interest, particularly because on the cover it was “Mental Health and Religious Faith”.
I was disappointed that spirituality is dismissed as an enhancer, and God is not mentioned.
I hoped he would go beyond the statement that religious involvement exhibits both preventive and healing effects on mental health… Fr. Parappully wrote as an expert, limiting himself to a psychology devoid of moral dimension.
This limited or truncated view of the human person in professional psychology is extensively applied in our Marriage Preparation Courses. R. P. Coelho
Coelho was referring to the Cover Feature of the October 1-15, 2004, issue of The New Leader, “Ways to avoid mental illness and enjoy mental health” by “Clinical Psychologist
Fr. Jose Parappully, SDB., Founder-Director of Bosco Psychological Services, New Delhi, on the occasion of World Mental Health Day observed on 10 October.”
As Coelho noted and remarked, God was completely missing in this Catholic priest’s four-page article.
But New Age psychologist [the Vatican Document on the New Age lists him as New Ager number 2]
Carl Gustav Jung
gets an honorable mention in his article.
And that is the reason for this report. The humanistic psychologies espoused by our Catholic psychologist-priests are just that – humanistic. The spiritual aspect is completely obfuscated.
As the series of articles on Psychology reveal, in secular psychology there is no sense of guilt and sin as Christians understand it. And the devil naturally does not figure in their scheme of things. UNQUOTE
If Carl Jung is New Ager number 2, then psychologist
Carl Rogers is New Ager number 4 [see below].
**The report cost me an invitation to speak on the New Age at the Salesians’ Don Bosco’s church in Panjim, Goa. The day I arrived in Goa, I was informed that the Salesians had withdrawn the permission given to me to conduct a day-long seminar in their parish after a complaint was made to them [by a senior member of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal!] that I had “written against the Salesians” in the referred report.
WHO IS CARL ROGERS?
Carl Rogers (1902-1987) was the son of a minister who rejected Christianity.
When preparing her book “The Aquarian Conspiracy”, a manifesto on the New Age Movement, in the 1980s, New Ager Marilyn Ferguson surveyed the influence of prominent New Agers on the thinking of the individual. Ferguson calls them “Aquarian conspirators”. Named in order of frequency: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (Jesuit priest-palaeontologist) (at number 1), C. G. Jung (at number 2), Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers (existential humanists, at 3 and 4), J. Krishnamurti (theosophist at 7), Paul Tillich (Lutheran theologian), Martin Buber (Jewish theologian), Sri Aurobindo, Thomas Merton (Trappist monk), etc. (cf. the February 2003 Vatican Document on the ‘New Age’, notes 15).
It is a matter of great concern that priests and theologians were in the vanguard of the New Age Movement.
They still are.
What We Need: A Reasoned Education for the New Age by Fr. Francis X. Clooney SJ
May 2004 issue no. 201 of Jeevadhara, the voice of the “Indian Theological Association”:
Footnote 15 lists an array of figures whose works are counted as influential by New Age practitioners: “When respondents were asked to name individuals whose ideas had influenced them, either through personal contact or through their writings, those most often named, in order of frequency, were de Chardin, C.G. Jung, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers…
It was Carl Rogers, an American psychologist who first defined the concepts of humanist psychotherapy and detailed the technique:
Another major contributor to humanism and psychiatry is Carl Rogers, the father of Rogerian counseling. Roger’s basic presupposition was that mankind is basically good and the answer to a person’s problems lies within himself:
Located in California’s Big Sur area, Esalen, the world’s leading New Age center, “helped mid-wife much of what came to be known as the human-potential movement. Seminar leaders in Esalen’s first three years included Gerald Heard, Alan Watts, Arnold Toynbee, Linus Pauling, Norman O. Brown, Carl Rogers, Paul Tillich, Rollo May, and a young graduate student named Carlos Castaneda.”:
The Aquarian Conspiracy, page 137
Carl Rogers’ influence on Werner Erhard, founder of Erhard Seminars Training or EST, a New Age programme and on Indian Jesuit Tony de Mello whose books were banned by Rome
[Erhard] became part of the self-help movement after hiring Robert Hardgrove, who introduced Erhard to the work of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers:
As a result of his studies in the U.S. during the 1970s, de Mello was influenced by a variety of figures in the field of psycho-therapy, particularly the Rogerian school. Among these were Carl Rogers himself and Eric Berne1: YOGA – A PATH TO GOD? By Louis Hughes, OP, Mercier Press, 1997 http://www.bodymindmeditation.ie/yoga.htm
1As pointers to how de Mello was influenced by the Rogerian school see for example Carlos Valles, Mastering Sadhana [London, 1988] 123, 125
…psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers (whose humanistic psychology also finally catapulted him into spiritism) 2:
http://www.ankerberg.com/Articles/new-age/NA1000W1.htm by Dr John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon
2Carl Rogers, A Way of Being, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1980, pp. 88-92.
Psychology – The Trojan horse
Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, B.F. Skinner, etc. None was a believer. Most were violently opposed to Christianity and most had strong metaphysical beliefs…
A true science deals with data. It can predict and control. But the foundations of psychotherapy are not scientific but philosophical. If we look at the founders of modern psychology, we see Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, William James, Alfred Adler, Erich Fromm, Carl Rogers, F. B. Skinner,
there is not a godly man among them. This list is a Who’s Who in humanism!
Their view of man is totally humanistic and their psychological views are nothing more than humanistic religion at its worst.
They not only get into occultism and Eastern Religion, it springs from New Age thought.
The focus is self – self actualization, self image, self fulfillment, self esteem, self worth, self-improvement, in short the God of “SELF”.
This is a religion of self-worship. It is self-centered and self-inflated. Contrary to what Christian psychologists say, man has no problem loving himself and he is therefore urged to love God first and then his neighbor as himself.
The so called human potential movement leads right to the deification of man.
Neo Gnostics at the End of the Age
by Mary Jo Anderson, September 25, 2002
In numerous quarters Catholic monks, nuns and priests mirrored the confusion and even the debauchery of the American sexual revolution. Psychologist William Coulson would later detail the destruction of religious houses who were taught encounter group techniques, a hallmark of “humanistic psychology” pioneered by Carl Rogers. Under this man-centered system there is no place for God.
“We went to California … and found the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the IHMs. They agreed to let us come into their schools and work with their normal faculty, and with their normal students, and influence the development of normal Catholic family life. It was a disaster…. The IHMs had some 60 schools when we started; at the end, they had one. There were some 615 nuns when we began. Within a year after our first interventions, 300 of them were petitioning Rome to get out of their vows. They did not want to be under anyone’s authority, except the authority of their imperial inner selves.”
Carl Rogers had become famous in 1961 with the publication of his book On Becoming a Person. He along with Abraham Maslow, whose book Toward a Psychology of Being came out one year later in 1962, had become the two leading proponents of what came to be known as humanistic or third force psychology. […]
Before long, many of the [IHM] nuns started to feel naked as well, mainly because, as a result of the loosening of controls in the order in the name of California-style openness, they were taking off their clothes and having sex with other nuns…
As religious practice evaporated from their lives, the nuns turned to each other for support. Particular friendships flourished, and, in the atmosphere of the times, some of these friendships inevitably turned sexual.
E. Michael Jones, Ph.D. is the Editor of Culture Wars magazine, as well as author of the new book Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control (South Bend: St. Augustine’s Press, 1999, available from Fidelity Press) from which this article is excerpted.
The reformed Catholic psychologist William Coulson admits that he and associate Carl Rogers turned classroom education into group psychotherapy.
Although they rapidly destroyed religious teaching orders and Catholic schools, Coulson says their methods continued to be used in Catholic classrooms and on youth retreats3.
3William Marra, “We Overcame Their Traditions, We Overcame Their Faith,” The Latin Mass, January-February 1994, p. 14.
Pastoral Instruction on New Age, Concise and thorough study about the characteristics, practices and philosophies of the New Age http://es.catholic.net/catequistasyevangelizadores/90/1915/articulo.php?id=32065
By Archbishop Edward Anthony McCarthy, the Archbishop of Miami November 1991:
Carl Rogers is in the exhaustive New Age list released by the Archbishop of Miami.
Carl Rogers was a leading New Ager, spiritist, secular humanist and opposed to Christianity.
His methods of psychotherapy “rapidly destroyed religious teaching orders and Catholic schools“.
But the Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Oswald Gracias and The Examiner endorse Carl Rogers‘ “pedagogical insights” as beneficial for Catholic educators!
This report can also be accessed at:
http://mumbailaity.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/the-salesians-and-psychology-oswald-cardinal-gracias-and-new-age-psychologist-carl-rogers-by-michael-prabhu/, March 27, 2012
UPDATE, APRIL 18, 2012
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 8:13 PM
Subject: THE SALESIANS AND PSYCHOLOGY…
Dear Br. Michael
This is indeed frightening – “THE SALESIANS AND PSYCHOLOGY“. The Salesians meet the bulk of the brightest minds amongst our Catholic children. I was looking at the link below* and it is frightening, dear Michael. I went for so many retreats in my own Salesian school and now I realise why I did not profit very much spiritually. You are correct as usual, the quotation from the link below in the EWTN files says it all in all its danger and frightening intensity: “Who carries the day, in experiential education? If you park a group of kids in a circle to talk about their sexual experiences, who’s going to have the most interesting stories to tell? The most experienced child.“
I think once more I begin to understand why you stay overnight at this thankless job. May God reward you for bringing this to our attention.
God bless Derrick, Mahim-Mumbai/Bahrain
Derrick D’Costa, an expert in the lives of the saints and the Early Church Fathers is a Catholic apologist.
“WE OVERCAME THEIR TRADITIONS, WE OVERCAME THEIR FAITH”