America’s Catholic bishops are warning the faithful against practicing or seeking Reiki therapy, saying the Eastern energy healing practice presents “important dangers” to a Christian’s faith. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the guidelines Wednesday, March 25. They also said it’s inappropriate for Catholic institutions, such as hospitals and retreat centers, to provide or support the therapy.

In Washington, D.C., the bishops said Reiki lacks scientific credibility and runs counter to Christian theology and support in Christian Scripture. Participants are “operating in the realm of superstition, the no-man’s-land that is neither faith nor science,” the guidelines say.

Reiki practitioners rebutted by stating that the lack of scientific study proves only that the medical community has yet to understand the role of energy in healing, not that Reiki is superstitious.

–The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Florida, March 31, 2009