CHRHP retreats, Dangerous elements
#1
My parish is holding a CHRP retreat. I will not be attending, just from the way the registration form is set up, but I just did a little googling and the picture emerging from the search results is not at all pretty.

"CHRP" is a loosely organized system of bonding events offered within parishes that does not appear to have a highly centralized structure, but is a model recommended by the US Bishops.  I don't know if the "spiritual telemarketing" element is common to all groups, but the one in my parish asks people to list a number of friends and family phone numbers so that the trainers in the program can call them and ask them to "pray" with you while you are in what amounts to an adult pajama party.

That list alone is enough to shut me off from going.  There is absolutely NO reason on God's green earth that the Holy Spirit needs telemarketing help to get other members of anyone's family to pray for them. It is also very clear to me that the nest of nastiness that such a cluster of phone calls can start up is not in anyone's best interest.

What does the word "retreat' mean, anyway? Certainly you are not retreating into any kind of spiritual contemplation when you are not only closing yourself in with people inside your parish but also involving your extended family and friends in a gossip circle run by the group leaders.

I don't know how new this group is, but it emphasizes "parish unity" while having all the earmarks of a highly invasive and disruptive practice that has the effect of replacing your own witness to your family and friends with a group of people who are most likely strangers to many of your family and friends who will be presenting themselves as people who are "helping" you.

The only good thing I saw about this retreat system is that it appears to be purely American (started in Ohio *wink wink* ) and so there is hope that Pope Benedict will stomp it out right quick.

It is pure cult-building, and very very dangerous.  IMHO.
Reply
#2

they don't just ask for a list so that they can call those people and ask them to pray for you. 

they call them and ask them to write down what they think about you, and all those statements are then read aloud in the retreat in front of everybody. 

of course they ask them to write nice things about you but it's still stupid, reminds me of junior high slam books. 
Reply
#3
Well there it is: Blackmail.  Total and complete. They do not say anything about that in the form because they claim it is for the prayer aspect without the info-gathering aspect, although I was aware of that kind of thing happening in similar programs used by the lesbian activists in other denominations.

It is actually a criminal act to do that kind of thing, since it involves deception right there in the sign-up form. And it is set up to permit the Church hierarchy to remain innocent of actually participating in or knowing about the criminal use of that information.

But I would like doctrinal ammo to use against it.  Seems to me there are elements of our required faith and practice that should provide strong protection in any confrontation with this type of activism. What about humility, sins of pride, etc? If we have done nice things for our family and friends, we are not supposed to be soliciting praise. Off the top of my head that is the first thing I can think of, but I'm sure there is more.

Help me put together a good doctrinal rebuttal to this practice, because one thing I do know about them, once they have established a core group inside aq parish, they go on the offensive against all the other members who prefer private-style  Catholicism.
Reply
#4

i did a search and there's not much out there, is there?  you probably saw the thread at Catholic Answers.  a man said CHRHP destroyed his marriage and family.  another person said he or she was leaving the parish because of the bad experience with CHRHP, that it was all about a clique, etc.  he or she also said something about not being able to put things back in the black box, sounded pretty devastated by the experience.  i think it's too much like the T groups of the Sixties, too much digging into people's private thoughts, too much analyzing people without proper clinical training for analysis, nothing like a retreat should be.

priests may not know about the abuse of privacy involved in soliciting comments about people or anything else out of line since they don't spend the entire weekend with the CHRHP retreat group. 

Reply
#5
(04-05-2010, 01:10 PM)littlerose Wrote: Well there it is: Blackmail.  Total and complete. They do not say anything about that in the form because they claim it is for the prayer aspect without the info-gathering aspect, although I was aware of that kind of thing happening in similar programs used by the lesbian activists in other denominations.

It is actually a criminal act to do that kind of thing, since it involves deception right there in the sign-up form. And it is set up to permit the Church hierarchy to remain innocent of actually participating in or knowing about the criminal use of that information.

But I would like doctrinal ammo to use against it.  Seems to me there are elements of our required faith and practice that should provide strong protection in any confrontation with this type of activism. What about humility, sins of pride, etc? If we have done nice things for our family and friends, we are not supposed to be soliciting praise. Off the top of my head that is the first thing I can think of, but I'm sure there is more.

Help me put together a good doctrinal rebuttal to this practice, because one thing I do know about them, once they have established a core group inside aq parish, they go on the offensive against all the other members who prefer private-style  Catholicism.

Your last sentence is right on. The  local parish has 2 CHRPS a year and cannot believe when we continually refuse this nonsense. (Because of work schedules we cannot attend TLM every week). To top it off, the woman who cuts my hair is a "team member" at another local parish and is continually inviting me to their CHRP. They will not let one alone. I am not about to subject myself and my spiritual life to an Oprah-like atmosphere. They just cannot accept that I don't want the T-shirt, to hold hands, and to bond. Give me a good old fashioned silent retreat.
Reply
#6
I feel dumb asking, but what does CHRHP stand for? Do you mean "Christ Renews His Parish?" I attended one at my parish over 30 years ago and it was very instrumental in my re-conversion and coming back to the Church after my reckless teen and early-twenty years. It was also where the priest introduced me to the devotion to the Sacred Heart. I'm not saying there weren't questionable elements about it. I just ignored those. But it's like I always say: "groups" are made up of individuals who are simply seeking God. When God looks down he sees those who are seeking him, and he can bust through these silly structures and tuck these souls under his wing.

I didn't even know they held CRHP retreats anymore.
Reply
#7
(04-05-2010, 03:15 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: I feel dumb asking, but what does CHRHP stand for? Do you mean "Christ Renews His Parish?" I attended one at my parish over 30 years ago and it was very instrumental in my re-conversion and coming back to the Church after my reckless teen and early-twenty years. It was also where the priest introduced me to the devotion to the Sacred Heart. I'm not saying there weren't questionable elements about it. I just ignored those. But it's like I always say: "groups" are made up of individuals who are simply seeking God. When God looks down he sees those who are seeking him, and he can bust through these silly structures and tuck these souls under his wing.

I didn't even know they held CRHP retreats anymore.

Yes, you are right.

But 30 years ago might have little resemblance to today. For one thing, your priest was involed. This group is a lay group. Did they do the phone gossip thing 30 years ago?

The Lutherans do this with a program called "DeColores" and there is another Catholic one called "Road to Emmaus" which might be similar. It was closesly entangled with DeColores. Both of those that I encountered were dominated by lesbian activists  and they push woen who are not married into the lesbian cliques, and attack those who resist that pressure.  I actually had to point out to the ones running it that I am not a musician and so plueeze stop telling me I neeed to start spending time with the music group (that was clearly the central clique running the show)

You have to understand the seriousness of what is going on.  This is not a "retreat". These people are already set on a path to accomplish some kind of social control. They talk a lot about "unity" without saying what is being unified. They do not provide bilingual material so it certainly is not about uniting the very large Spanish part of the parish with the rest of us. That tells me the people not participating arre going to be depicted as outsiders. It also tells me that only people of a lower class aqre going to be comfortable because the educated classes never allow their families and friends to be contacted for gossip that can affect their professional life.  Everyone knows even the most innocent story can be twisted in a different setting.

Traditional Catholics don't go for this at all. We likely will be the scapegoats.  I think we will come out ahead because the Spanish leadership is wise to these tricks and our new bishop is Mexican American. He might be too busy to see what this group is doing beyond that it is yet another social theology movement out of Ohio and bishops do have to be tolerant of silly lay movements. I am sure we will have strong support, those of us who may have to face off with them. I know I am on their list because of my solitary lifestyle and my art. But this time, i am prepared.
Reply
#8
What you're describing is not at all what I experienced 30 years ago. No, there was definitely no "spiritual telemarketing." And yes, the pastor was involved the entire time. I only went that one time, it was a Lenten weekend "retreat" in 1979. I believe ours was the first parish to hold CHRHP. I'm in Cincinnati, OH.

Basically we brought our sleeping bags and camped out at the school from Friday night to Sunday morning. We prayed and divided up into small groups in the classrooms and "shared" - there was hand holding and the Kumbayah stuff that the one poster talked about. We were also asked to write something about ourselves; I can't remember the details of it.

But like I said, the priest was there. He heard individual confessions and we had Mass. He introduced me to the devotion to the Sacred Heart, which ended up changing my life. But I never went back the following year. There was no pressure. These "retreats" were held every year during Lent, and then every other year, until by the late 80s it was phased out and gone. What you're describing doesn't even sound like the same program.
Reply
#9
Well, in googling on it what I found was that it is largely unorganized which of course leaves it open to trendy errors and I also noticed that several parishes are claiming the "home site" of the group, so it is entirely possible that two separate groups could be using the same name. But several point to Ohio which always alerts me to watch out for the Steubenville cults. That mix of charismatic elements with "us-them" so-called "unity" seems to come out of that center a lot.

We don't really have to have a name to research if we can see that the form itself contains something as dangerous as the telemarket technique and also that there is an absence of clear ecclesiastic authority along with the "unity" propaganda.  That is what good catechesis does: gives us tools for discernment even if it is only at the "something doesn't smell right" level.
Reply
#10
I'm relaxing. I just got an email from a trad friend who laughs at the "fuzzy-wuzzies" in the parish and so I don't have to fear isolated encounters with them. I have a big art project I am starting this week, a portrait of one of our priests with the whole altar scene around him. I told my friend I need to be left alone to work on it, so she has my back.

*sigh* this is why Jesus sends us out in two-by-two, because it is hell to be separated from the flock when the wolves are prowling about. I am soooooo blessed! 

Quis & Voxclemantis, this forum is a blessing, thank you,  and my few trad friends in 3D are blessings, too.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)