Q. Are Reiki practitioners allowed at Catholic hospitals?
A. Unfortunately, Catholic hospitals have often promoted Reiki and other questionable practices. In 2009, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a statement clarifying that Reiki has no place in Catholic medical care. It’s called “Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy.”
A few of the document’s most important insights:
Though Reiki proponents often claim that it is not a religion, it has several aspects of a religion: “spiritual healing,” “sacred ceremonies,” references to a god or goddess or “divine consciousness,” “universal life energy,” and more. These aspects are rooted in Eastern religions rather than the Christian faith. So is the notion that healing “energy,” rather than a gift of divine grace bestowed by God at His discretion, is in fact capable of being manipulated and used by the practitioner, who has been trained in techniques to do so.
The non-Christian religious elements of the practice are not the only problem with Reiki. The document notes that its claim to “universal life energy” and the ability to manipulate it have not been accepted by modern medical science. Reiki lacks scientific credibility and tends toward superstition.
The document concludes that “Reiki finds no support either in the findings of natural science or in Christian belief. For a Catholic to believe in Reiki presents insoluble problems. … 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 provide support for Reiki therapy (10, 12).”