AA & SA Groups
#1
I have a question about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). Just how "Catholic" are these types of groups? They also seem to have some cult-like tendencies.The reason I ask is because from what I have been told about them they seem too ecumenical and genericize Christianity. Now, I know they have helped many people overcome their problems, but I am from the school of thinking that our Catholic faith has what we need to overcome these types of vices. We have the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, Penance, great devotions. Our Faith in an ocean of grace. So why join these groups? Or am I wrong here?
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#2
I thought there was a Catholic version of at least AA. Don't know anything about SA (sigh).
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#3
It might seem cult-like but that's just because they're all on a coffee buzz, bless them.

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#4
Marian Wrote:I have a question about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). Just how "Catholic" are these types of groups? They also seem to have some cult-like tendencies.The reason I ask is because from what I have been told about them they seem too ecumenical and genericize Christianity. Now, I know they have helped many people overcome their problems, but I am from the school of thinking that our Catholic faith has what we need to overcome these types of vices. We have the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, Penance, great devotions. Our Faith in an ocean of grace. So why join these groups? Or am I wrong here?

I'm not an alcoholic but I attended a meeting. I didn't find it cult like except for the "Hi my name is 'Bill' and I'm an alcholic"... response "Hi 'Bill.'" I don't think every priest is equipped to deal with alcoholics. Plus, being with other alcoholics or being with anyone who has been in a similar difficult situation and hearing their stories of how they overcame whatever they had is inspriring and let's one know that such a goal is attainable.
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#5
Am I wrong in thinking that the Mass, Eucharist, Confession, etc. Is BETTER than these groups for overcoming addiction? After all many saints overcame their  sins (addictions or what ever you want to call them) by the means of the Church not these types of groups.
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#6
from sspx website

http://www.sspx.org/Catholic_FAQs/cathol..._anonymous

Quote: Is Alcoholics Anonymous penetrated by the principles of naturalism, and if so, how can it be justifiable for a traditional Catholic to belong to it?

There can be no doubt about the essential accusation of naturalism, nor that it is penetrated by the principles of syncretism, that theory that regards all religions as different aspects of one world religion. It is certainly true that AA has never pretended to be anything else but this. It openly encourages all to believe in their god or power, as they understand it. As such it is a danger to the Faith of the weak. In this way it is penetrated with the ideas of Freemasonry. However, it cannot be equated with this condemned organization, which truly is a secret society and has a hidden purpose. AA’s purpose is not to promote anti-Catholic philosophies, but to help alcoholics, albeit by purely naturalistic means.

I always feel uncomfortable recommending our faithful to attend AA. However, sometimes there is simply no choice. A purely spiritual solution does not work, for these people have a severe personality disorder that requires a natural and psychological help. Anybody who maintains that confession and the spirit of penance suffice to cure alcoholism have absolutely no medical understanding of the condition at all. They are necessary, but not sufficient. The weak character, filled with self-doubt, lack of self-confidence and poor self esteem also needs help. There can be no denying the fact that Alcoholics Anonymous is particularly effective in providing this psychological help. Innumerable are the traditional Catholics who owe their sanity and their ability to live in the state of grace to the psychological support that this organization has given. In actual fact, we have no serious alternative to AA, with the sole exception of regular weekly professional counseling, which can be prohibitively expensive, and often times not nearly as effective.

Consequently, I maintain that it is permissible to use AA, in cases where the alcoholic has a strong faith, and provided that the danger to the faith be avoided by regular reception of the sacraments and spiritual direction.   [Answered by Fr. Peter R. Scott]


 

cC

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#7
Marian Wrote:Am I wrong in thinking that the Mass, Eucharist, Confession, etc. Is BETTER than these groups for overcoming addiction? After all many saints overcame their  sins (addictions or what ever you want to call them) by the means of the Church not these types of groups.

Of course you're right... we have only to reach out to Him honestly and contritely and His mercy is upon us.
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#8
DarkKnight Wrote:I thought there was a Catholic version of at least AA. Don't know anything about SA (sigh).
 It is not a 'Catholic version' but a Catholic adjunct to AA. It is called the Calix Society, 'Calix' being 'Chalice' in Latin. 
Quote:"A.A. restores your health and keeps you from an early grave. Calix saves your soul and puts you on the road to heaven."  William J. Montroy, a founder of the Calix Society
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#9
Thanks everyone.

Anyone know about the SA group? Is it similar?
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#10
I worked as a substance abuse counselor for 11 years and I've been in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction for almost 20 now. I can safely say that if it weren't for AA I wouldn't be Catholic (or probably alive for that matter). Not that AA is a Catholic organization, of course it isn't, but that's where I started my journey that brought me to the Church.
The principles that AA operates by are not explicitly Catholic and I think the program would be stronger if they were but that's not likely to happen anytime soon.
Nonetheless, the 12 Steps are based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius and contain basically Catholic principles faith, examination of conscience, confession and atonement, community and evangelization.

AA has changed with the late modern era too. If you read the original AA book, it's very plain that the God to which it refers is the God of the Bible, it is more protestant than Catholic perhaps but it's nowhere near as indifferent as most modern AA members would like to think it is.

Quote:Am I wrong in thinking that the Mass, Eucharist, Confession, etc. Is BETTER than these groups for overcoming addiction? After all many saints overcame their  sins (addictions or what ever you want to call them) by the means of the Church not these types of groups.

I don't know about that, I think addiction is largely a modern phenomena, it goes hand in hand with a lack of faith. Addiction and sin are not the same thing though inter-related - drunkenness is a sin, addiction in and of itself is not. There's a lot more too it, more than I can really get into here. I will continue to recommend AA to anyone with a substance dependence problem because I know it works.


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