What is so amazing about the recent banning of a religious symposium in Sedona, AZ. in a Catholic church is that the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy would have allowed the event to take place were it not for an ex-Catholic nun named Barbara Mayer participating.
The program, according to organizers, is called “Woman: Creation to Compassion – A Multi-Faith Celebration.”
According to the Sedona Times Website, the program will feature Rev. Ann Johnson, Vicar, St. John’s Episcopal Lutheran Church in Williams, AZ representing Wisdom Tradition; Woman: Creation to Compassion – A Multi-Faith Celebration.” Vida Khow, founder, Walking in Beauty LLC, representing Native American tradition; Rev. Mary Piotrowski, Rector, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, representing Christianity; Rabbi Alicia Magal, the Jewish Community of Sedona/ Verde Valley representing Judaism; Jacqueline Freeman-Ennaffah representing Islam; Roshi Anne Seisen Saunders, Abbot, Sweetwater Zen Center in National City, CA. representing Buddhism; Bette Venkateswaren of Sedona representing Hinduism; Jeanne Crane, Unitarian Universalist addressing Celtic Tradition; and Sarah McLean, director, Sedona Meditation Training Company addressing Modern Mysticism.
It will now be held elsewhere in Sedona.
With all these different religions being featured why would the Catholic hierarchy ban the program from its local church simply because an ex-nun was also included in the program?
The answer is simple. She dared to write a book titled Beyond Religion, where she writes about having a more personal relationship with God than religion provides.
This rubs against the grain of the Roman Catholic Church because Catholics must go through Jesus in their relationship with God.
Having attended Catholic School from grade school to high school we were was taught only through the blood of Christ can we enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those of us baptized in the Church ever stood a chance of Salvation.
What Mayer is saying is one does not have to be a practicing Catholic to be saved. Plus, she left the Church and, quite frankly, is lucky not to have been excommunicated for her writings.
On her Web site she writes: “With a background of thirteen years spent in a convent as a Roman Catholic nun, and years of study of world religions, meditation and spirituality, I offer a new perspective on religious affiliation – past or present – and new understanding of the God Presence not simply as an old man in the sky, but as that Divine Presence within each individual.”
Old man in the sky? As Catholics we were taught God is in the sky always watching, knowing all things and our deepest thoughts. In the Old Testament He drowned a planet because we displeased him. He sent his son to redeem us. We killed his son on the cross, thereby forgiven for disobeying Him when our first ancestors bit the apple. In so being forgiven, we could now go to Heaven when we die.
Mayer also claims God is within us. That too is a no-no with the Catholic Church. God is omnipresent, but only on the outside. One can see why they would ban her from teaching in their church.
So, the event will be held somewhere else, all because a lone women dared to express her perspective on spirituality and human relation with the Divine.
Who is wrong? Who is right? Only God knows for sure.