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Is Ancestral Healing Okay for Catholics?

JL writes: “I recently read that Meghan Markle is involved in something called ancestral healing. Is this something Catholics can do?”

Catholics should not get involved in ancestral healing because this therapy is based in animism and utilizes techniques such as guided trance, dreamwork and other practices in order to make contact with the dead.

According to this article, Meghan Markle introduced her husband, Prince Harry, to this practice after learning about “generational trauma” from her mother, Doria Ragland. Ragland used to take her to weekly services at Agape International where they learned the spirituality of Michael Beckwith, a promoter of what he refers to as “New Thought-Ageless Wisdom.” In a nutshell, this is a nondenominational spirituality that recognizes the reality of a god who might be called Jesus, Great Spirit, Hasham, or Allah, and that this being is the source of our life. It does not recognize Jesus as the only savior but does include some early gnostic Christian teachings about him along with contributions from Emmanuel Swedenborg and transcendentialists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and others.

Ancestral healing is just another byproduct of Beckwith’s mishmosh of beliefs. As this website explains, “Ancestral lineage healing is a spiritually-grounded, ritual process that empowers you to connect, repair and nurture relationships with your own wise and loving ancestors.”

The underlying premise is that humans carry burdens from their ancestors within their own families and bodies and that undergoing a "lineage repair process” we can be relieved of these burdens and open to receiving the blessings from our ancestors.

“This approach is an effective, securely held form of ritual work (unlike conventional therapy) which assists you to directly access the supportive guidance of your own ancestors of blood. The process is experiential and combines ritual, guided trance, dreamwork and offering practices. There are no prerequisites, however, prior experience with inner work and relation with spirit guides are both helpful.”

A pioneer in this field is a man known as Daniel Foor, Ph.D., who refers to himself as a cis-gendered white American “ritualist and educator focused on helping others to reclaim their innate capacity to relate with their ancestors and with the greater web of other-than-human kin.”

According to his bio, his training “draws from the guidance of living mentors in diverse lineages of ritual arts; his academic work as doctor of psychology and student of history and religion; his clinical experience as a marriage and family therapist; his time outside the U.S. as a student of language and culture in the Czech Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, Egypt, Morocco, and Nigeria; the rigors of pandemic parenting and marriage while being a public figure; and his 25 years of experience implementing the teachings of earth and ancestor reverence in his personal life.”

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Ancestral healing is a pagan practice that flirts with necromancy, a combination that makes it off-limits to Christians.

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