Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that a pope known for highly controversial views and statements would invite pop star Katy Perry to the Vatican to lecture on Transcendental meditation. After all, Pope Francis tweeted that the way to peace is to “ban all weapons so we don’t have to live in fear of war,” has insisted “Muslim terrorism does not exist,” and recently even seemed to question the existence of hell.
Thus, at the recent Vatican Conference 2018, Perry was given a platform to promote her beliefs, alongside Bob Roth, her teacher and mentor in the practice of the Eastern meditation practice first popularized decades ago by the Beatles at the feat of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Ironically, as the Washington Post reported in an article headlined “Vatican Warns Against Practicing Eastern Meditation,” and specifically singling out Transcendental Meditation,” both Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, strongly cautioned Catholics regarding the Eastern religious practices.
TM, as it is popularly abbreviated, boasts online of being “an effortless technique for ‘recharging your mind and body’ – and creating a brighter, more positive state of mind,” and claims that “hundreds of published research studies have found that TM is highly effective on stress and anxiety, brain function, and cardiovascular health.”
It costs between $500 to about $1,000 for training in the practice, which has been praised in publications like the Huffington Post, where Jeff Halevy described “conclusive proof” TM works.
Get Joseph Farah’s take on Vatican development: “So, the pope meets Katy Perry and …”
“This writer recently learned the technique at the New York City TM Center and has been pleased with the results. … One sits comfortably, closes his or her eyes, and repeats a mantra (in Sanskrit) without moving the lips or making a sound for about 20 minutes, two times a day. Yes, that’s just about it. The only other crucial piece of information one must know to do the technique correctly is to not ‘force’ anything. That is, allow thoughts to come and go …”
It’s gushed over by the likes of Perry, who boasts of being raised in a Christian household by her traveling minister parents.
“Our body is a temple,” she explains. “I think if our body truly is a temple, we have to take care of it, mind, body and soul.”
When she meditates, she explains, it “feels like a halo is ignited around my head.”
She is, she said, “finding new neuropathways to ignite.”
Now, her message apparently has a new sponsor: Pope Francis.
See her promotion of TM at the Vatican’s events. Her promotion starts about the 18 minute mark of the video:
The conference had sessions on “health care systems,” “fake news” and Perry’s appearance, labeled “Children’s health through meditation globally.”
LifeSiteNews explained the “high-level, no-expense-spared” event was held just days ago by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the CURA Foundation, a global health movement.
“Conference collaborators also included the Vatican Secretariat of State, the Vatican Secretariat for Communications, and the Pontifical Academy for Life,” the report said.
Other speakers were New Age guru Deepak Chopra, golfer Jack Nicklaus, British singer Peter Gabriel and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Perry’s segment opened with a promotional video by Mehmet Oz, famous for his Oprah show appearances, promoting Roth as a TM expert.
Later Perry explains, “I meditate just like so many of us, we are busy with our personal lives, with our careers. For me I am executive multi tasker.”
She described how, even before fame, she would be driving, eating a cheeseburger and applying lipstick “all at the same time.”
But she found herself doing a “short-circuit,” kind of like an iPhone occasionally does when it abruptly shuts down, she said.
“I knew that I had to take care of my mental health. Bobby was able to teach me meditation in India. The stillness that I found is beyond anything that I’ve ever experienced.”
Roth immediately credited her influence on young people with saving “thousands and thousands of lives.”
On the issue of whether TM is a religion, Perry said, “If it’s religious to take care of your temple then sign me up.”
LifeSite reported the gathering “has upset many Catholics who are scandalized that the Vatican is giving a platform to those promoting non-Christian practices, and particularly the participation of controversial pop-star Katy Perry who took part in a discussion on promoting Transcendental Meditation among children.”
“‘For Katy Perry to speak about Transcendental Meditation from the same seat used by the Pope during major Church meetings is symbolic of the chaos, disorientation and scandal that marks this pontificate,’ a source close to the Vatican told LifeSiteNews. ‘It would be one thing to have her presence moderated by a church leader, but to have the podium given over to celebrity TM proponents with no church voice to counter them is unconscionable,'” the news outlet said.
The report said the plan was to have guests hear about the meditation and then have those ideas “robustly challenged,” but the panel discussion didn’t include any challenge.
The report said Perry’s appearance was particularly disturbing because she rose to fame 10 years ago with the “lesbian-themed single, ‘I Kissed a Girl.'”
She even boasted of doing “more than that,” while accepting a Human Rights Campaign award for LGBT activism.
Perry also has been in a heated battle with the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary over their California convent. She reached agreement with the archdiocese of Los Angeles to buy the 8-acre property – even as the nuns who owned the property opposed the move.
But the archdiocese needs permission from the Vatican to finalize the sale.
“In 2016, Perry donated $10,000 to abortion provider Planned Parenthood and urged her followers to do the same,” LifeSite reported.
Perry’s dive into the occult became most prominent in her truly bizarre Youtube video “Bon appetit,” in which she is cooked, basted, and served up on a table. It ends with her sitting at a table before a plate with various body parts.
Be advised the following video has a cannibalism theme:
There are television shows featuring exorcisms as entertainment, Lucifer as a crime-fighting hero on television, and occult symbols used in music videos.
At the time, Karl Payne, author of “Spiritual Warfare: Christians, Demonization and Deliverance,” argued that America is becoming desensitized to images of evil promoted by the mass media.
“Yes, pop culture is glorifying occultism and demons, and you would have to be living under a rock to deny this current reality,” he told WND. “And if a person had WiFi, the Internet or cable television, he could still find it in the desert, under that rock.”
Payne, the pastor of Leadership Development and Christian Education at Antioch Bible Church and the former chaplain of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, argued the promotion of demonic imagery is troubling because it hinders believers’ ability to avoid spiritually dangerous things.
“Familiarity can deaden inhibitions,” he explained. “Curiosity can shorten the life of a cat. It can also draw naïve, curious or bored human beings into the world of spiritism or the occult that can have very real and dangerous consequences. The entertainment industry’s decision to glorify the brutalities of spiritism and occultism has steadily moved the profane into something popular within at least a growing percentage of listeners and viewers.
“The Third Reich of Nazism clearly demonstrated that if you tell a lie loud enough and often enough some people will believe it, even if that lie results in the justification of murdering millions of innocent people. I still think it is more than an irony that some of the same entertainment pundits that view evangelical Christianity as extreme, and conservative Christians akin to dangerous terrorists for their pro-God and pro-life convictions, view and promote occult baloney as harmless, healthy entertainment.”