Interview With Author Roberta Grillo
MILAN, Italy, 1 MARCH 2007 (ZENIT)
People who enter alternative
religious movements or sects are often seeking that "something which is
lacking," says the president of Milan's Socio-Religious Research Group.
Roberta Grillo, who is also a religion professor, is the author of "Attenti
al lupo. Movimenti religiosi alternativi & sette sataniche" (Beware of
the Wolf: Alternative Religious Movements and Satanic Sects), published
in Italian by Edizioni Ares.
In this interview with ZENIT, Grillo explains the incompatibility
between the practice of Reiki and Christianity, and the difference
between alternative religious movements and the ecclesial movements
recognized by the Church.
Q: Do you think that people who frequent these new alternative religious
groups would be at ease in the Church?
Grillo: The reasons that impel a person to enter one of these groups are
many, while that which enables them to remain in them is due in part to
the massive mental conditioning always exercised on the victim.
At times, the triggering factor that has caused their joining is a lack
of acceptance, or serious incomprehension on the part of a relative,
friend or teacher.
Other times it is curiosity or the desire to acquire instruments that
give power, success ... but it is always the desire for happiness.
I believe that the Church, precisely because she is "mother," should
make it easy for these people who are "searching" to find acceptance and
charity, joined to science, good guidance and discreet and wise
Q: Sometimes, the fear of some parents as regards new alternative
religious movements makes them also mistrust new movements in the
Church. How can this confusion be resolved?
Grillo: There is an essential difference between these two realities.
Alternative religious movements always create a very strong, binding
mental conditioning. The ecclesial movements, on the other hand, are
such because they are based on the Gospel, and the Gospel is a proposal,
not an imposition.
At times the Church might seem to be too large a family. People can then
choose that ecclesial movement or community in which they can find those
charisms that are more suited to themselves. Not to speak of the
religious orders, committed already for centuries to the Church, each
according to the charism received
contemplative prayer, dedication to the poor and suffering and
Q: In your list you include Reiki and state that one cannot be a
Christian and practice Reiki. What is it and why do you consider it
Grillo: It is about a universal energy, possessed once by the prophets
and Jesus Christ.
The pity is that instead of referring to Jesus Christ, the Bible and the
Gospels, these "therapists" draw their power from Buddhist spirituality
and the doctrine of the "chakra," known by yoga philosophy and practiced
by Hinduism and Buddhism.
Proposed as a positive instrument, useful for one's own and others'
well-being, Reiki is in reality a secret discipline in its symbols and
contents, associated with health therapies that have no scientific basis
such as crystal therapy and therapeutic astrology, aromatherapy and
Not to speak of the relationship between Reiki and Christianity. There
can be no compatibility for the Christian, other than the loving
acceptance owed to every person, according to the word of the Gospel.
Hence, there can be no "dual belonging," which includes adherence to
this pantheist, Gnostic and occultist system, diametrically opposed to
the Christian. ZE07030101