Fr. Richard Hunt, (edited: now former) chaplain at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and others like him have become more the norm than the exception in the Rochester area. Some notable items about Fr. Hunt:
- He is a Reiki Master-Teacher
- From a description of one of his programs [emphases mine]:
This workshop on Spiritual Clearing will cover both the theory and practice of clearing detrimental spiritual entities that can be in the human energy field. We will explore a wide range of possible spiritual interferences and treatment options for removing them. This is a hands-on workshop, where you will be trained to do spiritual clearings by working with other participants. A two volume workbook set is necessary and is included in the cost of this course. This will be your class notes and reading material for after the workshop. Basic Spiritual Clearing is something any dowser can do. Be sure to bring your pendulum and/or rods.”Fr. Richard D. Hunt, S.J. is Director of Catholic Campus Ministry at the Rochester Institute of Technology. With fifteen years of clinical practice as a psychotherapist – he has studied healing for 35 years with various teachers: he is a Reiki Master-Teacher, uses kinesiology and dowsing. He has spent a lot of time studying Buddhism and practicing that form of meditation in a Christian spiritual context. A trained musician and artist, Fr. Richard has studied and practices Tibetan, and Chinese healing methods, Therapeutic Touch, esoteric and psychic healing methods, he has trained as a shaman with a Native American healer, uses color, sound and music healing methods, Cymatics, Radionics, Rapid Eye Technology, EMF Balancing Technique, Spiritual Clearing, various healing instruments, as well as some methods he developed. He teaches workshops on Healing with Sound; Healing with Light and Color.
- He celebrated the Holy Mass at RIT in the not-so-distant past wearing Mickey Mouse ears during the processional and spraying the congregation with a super-soaker filled with blessed water.
There is plenty more interesting information but I think the above points have probably given you a clearer picture than you imagined possible.
The USCCB released a document on March 26, 2009 about Reiki therapy. Some excerpts worth noting from their media relations office letter:
- The U.S. bishops have issued guidelines that call Reiki therapy, an alternative medicine originating in Japan, unscientific and inappropriate for Catholic institutions.
- For Christians the access to divine healing is by prayer to Christ as Lord and Savior, while the essence of Reiki is not a prayer but a technique that is passed down from the 'Reiki Master' to the pupil, a technique that once mastered will reliably produce the anticipated results.
- For a Catholic to believe in Reiki therapy presents insoluble problems
- To use Reiki one would have to accept at least in an implicit way central elements of the worldview that undergirds Reiki theory, elements that belong neither to Christian faith nor to natural science. Without justification either from Christian faith or natural science, however, a Catholic who puts his or her trust in Reiki would be operating in the realm of superstition, the no-man's-land that is neither faith nor science
- 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
UPDATE: December 2009:
Fr. Richard Hunt is no longer listed as an instructor of Reiki at the local 'healing center'. It is my hope that prayers were answered and he is adhering to his role as Catholic Priest. Interestingly, the center he is no longer visibly affiliated with now offers an ordination of its own - ORDINATION to the ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK (Rev.) by Dan Chesbro $175. If you complete that, you can take the follow-up course, Performing Sacred Ceremonies (you must be ordained already as Rev. $85.
This blog entry remains popular as people land here after having entered the search term Fr. Richard Hunt into various search engines. I did so myself and found a listing from 2006 where his extensive study list includes "Tibetan, and Chinese healing methods, Christian laying-on-of hands, Therapeutic Touch, esoteric and psychic healing methods, he has trained as a shaman with a Native American healer, uses color, sound and music healing methods, Cymatics, Radionics, Rapid Eye Technology, EMF Balancing Technique, Spiritual Clearing, various healing instruments, etc. as well as some methods he developed." Amazing that so many people struggle with turning from sinful associations yet it appears that Fr. Hunt has dropped his varied interests. Perhaps he has taken a second look at Christianity and that would be a good thing.
Fr. Richard Hunt belongs to the same community you'll find in this entry about McQuaid Jesuit School allowing a same-sex attracted 'couple' to attend their high school prom.