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Catholic Bishops on the Enneagram

[Draft from the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices]

National Catholic Reporter Online


"[I]n enneagram teaching sin is often redefined in terms of the characteristic limitations of a particular personality type. One problem resulting from this redefinition derives from the fact that according to enneagram teaching every person must inevitably choose a personality type as a basic strategy for coping with one’s environment. Since every personality type has its intrinsic limitations, sin becomes something at least in part inevitable. Personal responsibility for sin becomes very difficult to explain in this theory. A second problem is a consequence of the first. If sin is the (inevitable) result of one personality type, then the solution to sin is to be found primarily in compensating for one personality type by following the prescriptions of enneagram teaching. The remedy for sin becomes first of all a matter of greater knowledge rather than reform of the will. According to Christian teaching, sin is indeed unhealthy behavior and can be combated by an improved understanding, but it is at its root a moral problem, so that repentance before God and one’s neighbor must be the fundamental response. Enneagram teaching thus obscures the Christian understanding of sin."


Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian reflection on the "New Age"

Mitchell C. Pacwa, S.J. (1992). Catholics and the New Age: How Good People Are Being Drawn into Jungian Psychology, the Enneagram, and the Age of Aquarius. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications.

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