Fr. Richard Rohr is not a trustworthy spiritual guide and often teaches things that are against God and the Catholic faith!
He’s known for his writings, his lectures and his retreats; however, in spite of the fact that there are some truths in his books and that he makes good spiritual points, many of his teachings are filled with problematic theology, heresy, and dissidence against the Church.
I went to an Episcopalian church once to hear Fr. Richard Rohr speak. Nobody knew me there, and I just went to hear what he had to say. As he began, he did the same thing that he does in many of his books: he disparaged the Catholic Church and clergy, and he dissented from traditional Catholicism in a mocking manner.
Many liberal, new age priests do just this: they make fun of true Catholicism and put down our Church for their own “enlightened” Christianity, conveying that they know more than Holy Mother Church or the Holy Spirit who has guided the Church for 2000 years.
Since he speaks about the Catholic Church and other priests so negatively, readers of his writings are led to conclude that it is the Church that has problems and that he, and he alone, is the solution. Yet, what he offers is flawed theology and faulty teachings.
However, contrary to his modernist claims, the Church is not “wrong,” as it is guided by Christ and by His Spirit. But this is not what he presents. Nor does he employ or invite anyone to speak at his retreat centers who will speak this truth about the Church. Instead, people at his retreat centers explicitly disagree with Catholic teachings and even teach outright heresy through their New Age ideologies.
For example: he has invited Marianne Williamson to speak. As you may recall, she recently ran for president of the United States of America. She is also hailed as the worldwide expert in a Course in Miracles (which we have debunked on our YouTube channel (click here to view). To summarize a Course in Miracles, it teaches this: Jesus’s crucifixion has no meaning and needs to be undone because it was wrong. It was wrong because, it asserts, there is no such thing as sin; therefore, because human beings have no sin, there’s no need for salvation. Hence, there was nothing that Jesus needed to do for us on the cross and this is why His crucifixion needs to be undone.
This literally undercuts the entire core foundation of Christianity and what we believe.
Marianne Williamson’s inaccurate assertions are the exact opposite of what Catholics believe.
Why would Fr. Rohr invite someone like Marianne Williamson, who is clearly not Catholic, to speak, unless he himself subscribes to many of the same things that she does? Why would Fr. Rohr, a Catholic priest no less, invite anyone who doesn’t believe in sin or in the real Jesus, who blasphemes Jesus, and who says that salvation and redemption are unnecessary and need to be undone?
Fr. Richard Rohr also holds to a more “New Age version” of Jesus. Fr. Rohr postulates that Jesus and Christ are two distinct beings; that Jesus was a man who lived 2000 years ago, and that Christ is an eternal being. Fr. Rohr believes that Jesus the man ended up becoming the Christ. This is also fundamentally contrary to the Church’s teachings.
He says Catholics and Protestants have primarily been preoccupied with the “historical Jesus,” the one who lived 2000 years ago, and the result is that we are totally missing out on the “Christ.” In this, Fr. Rohr falsely claims that Jesus found “Christ consciousness,” which is the same heresy we mentioned in a previous blog on Deepak Chopra. Chopra also claims that Jesus became the Christ and found divine enlightenment, or God consciousness, as he calls it.
Fr. Rohr also promotes the “Cosmic Christ,” asserting that Jesus entered the world 13.8 billion years ago at the moment of the Big Bang. The Big Bang, he claims, was the birth of the Cosmic Christ. However, this is unfounded, New Age nonsense.
Saying that Jesus and the Christ are two separate people is heresy. Saying that Jesus “became” the Christ is erroneous. Fr. Rohr expands on this notion saying that we can all become “the Christ.” This is also heresy; it is neither a Catholic, nor a Franciscan teaching. It is new age teaching. Furthermore, it’s blasphemy because it takes away from the deity of who Jesus Christ is in His hypostatic union.
The hypostatic union of Jesus means that He is one divine person with two natures (human and divine); one person with two natures, not two different, unique people or one transformed to another. The word “Christ” just means “anointed one,” and was the term for Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus is the Word of God eternal who took on human flesh. Thus, Jesus and the Christ are not separate and unique, and Jesus didn’t evolve to find divine enlightenment.
There are many other erroneous teachings that Fr. Richard Rohr professes as well. Here are a few:
As mentioned above, Fr. Rohr goes so far as to say that there’s not just one Christ; that all of us can be divine and that we can all be Christ. He invites Marianne Williamson to his centers, as we mentioned above, who promotes this shared blasphemy. He endorses her teachings. In her teachings in A Course in Miracles, she teaches that we are all in heaven right now but that we just don’t realize it because we haven’t found that enlightenment yet of “God consciousness.” It claims that when we do and we become spiritually awakened (or as they would say in 2021 in America, when you become “spiritually woke”), then we are going to realize that we never left heaven. How can he support this?
An additional falsehood he promotes is that God is father and mother, “He and She.” But the Church teaches that God is beyond and surpasses all earthy attributes rather than embodying them.
Fr. Rohr also talks about the “divine Self” and makes a distinction between “our true divine Self “and “our false self.” The “false self,” he teaches, needs to find God-consciousness. He emphasizes the “true Self” with a capital “S,” for the purpose of elevating the individual to a god-like status.
Another problematic area with Fr. Rohr is his endorsement of the Enneagram, which is a pseudo-scientific and spiritually dubious personality system that we will discuss in the future.
His many other misguided teachings include ideologies such as syncretism (all religions basically are valid ways to God, a concept that the Church condemns), monism, the third eye (a Hindu concept), and many problematic teachings on sexuality, homosexuality, and transgender.
There are so many problems with Fr. Richard Rohr proclaiming things that are not Catholic and which go directly against the Catholic Church that he claims to be part of. It’s troubling and unreasonable to state that he is a trustworthy spiritual guide.
Sadly, there are many people in the Church like Fr. Rohr who are misled and continue to mislead. To learn more, here are reputable resources on this topic: The New Age Counterfeit by Johnnette Benkovic, and my book, Counterfeit Spirituality: Exposing the False Gods on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or on Our Sunday Visitor. Through these resources, readers can accurately know what is true and what is false, what is Catholic and what is not.
The bottom line is this: many of Fr. Rohr’s teachings are not Catholic and not of God, so beware!