Bishops’ Syndrome is sweeping the Reiki community. Perhaps you or someone you know has been infected by it.
This unfortunate malaise is marked by the following symptoms, each of which develops quickly into the next:
- incomplete information
- inadequate investigation
- illogical conclusions
- arbitrary lines drawn in sand.
All the above symptoms were first evidenced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), whose Committee on Doctrine issued a statement last month with this conclusion:
“Since Reiki therapy is not compatible with either Christian teaching or scientific evidence, it would be inappropriate for Catholic institutions, such as Catholic health care facilities and retreat centers, or persons representing the Church, such as Catholic chaplains, to promote or to provide support for Reiki therapy.”
WHAT’S A REIKI PRACTITIONER TO DO?
I propose seeing this apparent obstacle as a call to arms — or hands — and creating a Bishops Relief Effort — a community-based effort to relieve the suffering related to Bishops’ Syndrome.
A comment in the bishops’ statement speaks to all of us:
“While sometimes people fall into superstition through ignorance, it is the responsibility of all who teach in the name of the Church to eliminate such ignorance as much as possible.”
Those of us who teach in the name of anything–church or Reiki–have the responsibility to eliminate our own ignorance before we set out to eliminate that of others. The bishops failed to do this, therefore their statement is misguided. If Reiki practitioners can avoid making the same mistake, we can capitalize on the bishops’ error.
What if each of us who practice Reiki committed ourselves to eliminating ignorance about our practice? We could start by examining the accuracy of the “facts” we share about Reiki, and evaluating the skill and clarity with which we represent our practice to the public.
THEY USED OUR OWN WORDS AGAINST REIKI
The bishops’ statement was built from information that has been circulated about Reiki by the Reiki community itself. Many of the rebuttals to the bishops’ statement repeat the inaccuracies seen in the Catholic document. This doesn’t make for an effective counter-campaign, does it?
Rather than waste time in outrage, we can accept that it was just a matter of time before something like this happened. In fact, this is evidence of the rapidly growing popularity of Reiki practice, an uneducated power response to how deeply Reiki has already been embraced by mainstream health care. We can use this to move forward.
Beware apathy: Bishops’ Syndrome is spreading. Some hospital Reiki programs have been pulled. We need to engage.
Skillfully. And now.
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