Thursday, August 9, 2012

Neomodernism vs. Religious Life (conclusion)

That’s a credit to him, that he at least had pangs of conscience; whereas these other orders, like the Jesuits, even when they saw that the IHMs were almost extinct, neverthe­less they invited the same team in.
Oh, yes. Well, actually we started with the Jesuits before we started with the nuns. We did our first Jesuit work­shop in ‘65. Rogers got two honorary doctorates from Jesuit universities…. A good book to read on this whole question is Fr. Jo­seph Becker’s The Re-FormedJesu­its. It reviews the collapse of Jesuit training between 1965 and 1975. Je­suit formation virtually fell apart; and Father Becker knows the influence of the Rogerians pretty well. He cites a number of Jesuit novice masters who claimed that the authority for what they did—and didn’t do—was Carl Rogers. Later on when the Jesuits gave Rogers those honorary doctorates, I think that they wanted to credit him with his influence on the Jesuit way of life.

But do you think there were any short-term beneficial effects? Did it seem as if you were getting some­where in the good sense?
Well, priests and nuns became more available to the people that they worked with; they were less remote.... But we didn’t have a doctrine of evil. As I’ve said, Maslow saw that we failed to understand the reality of evil in human life. When we implied to people that they could trust their impulses, they also understood us to mean that they could trust their evil impulses, that they weren’t really evil. But they were really evil. This hit home again for Rogers in the 1970s, when rumors began to circulate about a group that had spun off from ours. By then we had become the Center for Studies of the Person in La Jolla, having spun off from WBSI; and at the same time there spun off another group called the Center for Feeling Therapy in Hollywood. Well, charges were brought against the guys at the Center for Feeling Therapy—one of three founders of that, by the way, being a Jesuit who had left the or­der—and among the things that the State of California was perceptive enough to charge them with was kill­ing babies. Eleven times, women who became pregnant while they were in the compound, the Center for Feeling Therapy, were forced to abort their babies. The State of California charged them with this crime—

Was this before Roe v. Wade?
No, this happened after Roe, but the State Medical Board held that it was unethical for those men to force the women to have abortions, because those women wanted their babies.

And this is a result of psychologi­cal feeling therapy?
Yes….Humanistic psychotherapy, the kind that has virtually taken over the Church in America, and dominates so many forms of aberrant education like sex education, and drug education, holds that the most important source of au­thority is within you, that you must listen to yourself. Well, if you have a baby you’re carrying under your heart, get rid of it. Women who came into the Center for Feeling Therapy with I children were forced to put them up for adoption….

Is there an assumption in human­istic psychology, a modernist, Teilhardish kind of assumption, that human nature has altered, and therefore old values, old models, don’t apply?
I don’t think that humanistic psy­chology assumes any alteration of human nature, but rather John Dewey’s idea that because we live in times of rapid social change, what we’ve al­ways done is precisely what we should no longer do.

Now the odd thing is, we’ve been living in terms of Dewey’s theory for almost a hundred years now. We’re living in Dewey’s past, and not in our own present. That’s what makes a movement like Roger McCaffrey’s and Bill Marra’s so progressive: it doesn’t pretend that the last fifty years have worked out very well.244