I’ve written several books and published them. I truly enjoy writing and all my books are meant to serve and help others but they are secular in nature. Becoming a “Catholic” author has been intimidating because I am held to a much higher standard.
Actually, as an educator, God says that teachers are judged more strictly, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness.” James 3:1.
I take it very seriously when I say that any Catholic should do XYZ because I could be responsible for damning their soul based on my advice. Not only that, the publics perception of me (who read my books/blog), also needs to align with the Truth of my faith. I certainly can’t be a part of the Girl Scouts as a Catholic (due to their Planned Parenthood ties).
Last August, I was hit hard with humility when a woman admonished me for a blog post I had written. She’s an amazing woman and I am thankful she had the courage to reach out to me and admonish what I wrote. You can click on her blog in the previous sentence. I wish we lived closer so we could meet in person.
It turns out that the way I phrased my blog (men lactating), it appeared as if I was reducing the dignity of motherhood and the woman’s role. I was horrified. Instead of becoming defensive, I prayed and re-read what she was sharing. I could clearly see there was an error and was able to modify what I wrote so that no other person would fall into sin by asking their husband to lactate to feed their baby.
So when a woman shared her “Catholic” book in one of my Catholic groups, I felt courageous enough to reach out to her and tell her that she could be responsible for leading Catholic’s astray. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in the same space spiritually and I was blocked though she did private message me and referred me to The Educated Birth website so I could read about the pagan (Mayan) bone-closing ceremony. The Educated Birth website is full of anti-Catholic, non-science based information; ie. men can have babies and uses the terms birthing person. Do not visit this site.
I find that very sad so this post is an effort to bring attention to an error in the book A Catholic Postpartum: A Plan for Catholic Mamas by Julie Larsen. I do not want to link to her book because I do not want anyone to buy it. It contains a Pagan ritual called “bone-closing ceremony,” which the author denies is Pagan.
This isn’t a “review” of A Catholic Postpartum. I have not read it as I will not pay over $25 for a 113-page, unedited, non-researched “Catholic” book. What I write here is a warning for those who may read it and believe that a bone-closing ceremony is something Catholic’s can do/did do.
I was able to find an email for Julie and I reached out to her and apologized for offending her with criticism about the pagan ritual in her “Catholic” book though I was met with hostility. She shared some information with me on her thought process. For instance, she admitted that she did not even read the information about a bone-closing ceremony on the website that she referred to me.
I was quite shocked! This website is the only place she got her “research?” She also shared, “I thought the bone closing was a Mexican tradition and that’s the only reason I put it in the book – most Mexicans are Catholic.” She also stated, “I don’t know any theologian to ask – I should[sic] have to consult someone to write a book – I based it on my own personal research. It doesn’t have an Imprimatur – ok?” Unfortunately Julie, if you are going to put a Catholic name to this, you DO need to consult someone. At the very least, consult your pastor.
It appears A Catholic Postpartum is not Catholic at all and is Catholic in name only. As a doula and childbirth educator, I am aware of the spiritual dangers that line of work can lead to. Doula’s are all about holistic ideology. The word “holistic” is actually died to pantheism. Despite being a Catholic, when I worked as a doula, I was led to energy fields/healing energy, acupuncture, Mayan abdominal massage, card reading, oils from witches and pagan shops, and all sorts of things that led me AWAY from God.
It seems as if Julie is there, navigating this pagan world with the Catholic one. I really had hoped she would prove me wrong that a bone-closing ceremony was an ancient Jewish practice that we lost. After all, there must have been something that women experienced during the 40 days after birth. Did the local women tend to them?
That is a question I am now asking my Catholic network to answer. There must be something? For now, we do not know and there is nothing that shows the bone-closing ceremony was a part of Jewish tradition or early Christianity/Catholicism. It is wise to avoid this book for now and pray for Julie to be open to doing the research required for this book to be amazing. She has a responsibility as an author to ensure her work is inline with Catholic teaching.