Website Review: Children of Hope
A review based on: http://www.childrenofhope.org/
The Children of Hope website and program promotes instructional materials regarding a new approach to Eucharistic Adoration for children based loosely on the Fatima apparitions. The program sells a variety of materials, including books and videos, which are designed to teach pastors and parents how to encourage adoration among the youth. The site includes a biography of its founder, a brief history of the new movement, instructions for introducing the program into a parish or Catholic school, and detailed information on various resources.
A first encounter with the site presents a confusing photo of children and the group’s founder, Father Antoine in an unexplained and greatly modified orans prayer posture, in the general direction of the Sacrament on the altar. It is highly unclear what the “hand scooping” gesture is meant to signify, and why the traditional Catholic use of pews and kneelers is absent. Several other photos reveal the signature posture of Children of Hope as identical to the Muslim sajdah posture meant to signify the creature’s “nothingness” before God. This posture, referred to alternately as a “prostration” or a “bow,” encourages children to adopt a prayer posture that is not consistent with Catholic discipline. This program requires young children to crouch with their heads on the floor before the Blessed Sacrament. The posture that Children of Hope dictates is not a prostration or bow and bears no resemblance to any Catholic prayer posture.
The content of the video and written materials also raises questions. The instructional booklet contains a detailed program of “prostrations,” while the CD for youth consists of songs written by the group’s founder (set to Biblical texts), and contains no traditional Eucharistic hymns. It is frankly incongruous that the site should advertise a DVD devoted to explaining the intricacies of the Holy Mass, even including explanations of various priestly vestments and gestures, yet simultaneously reveal an apparent unawareness of the necessity for the same attention to detail regarding key elements of adoration for children, infants, and youth.
In fairness to the spirit of the group, there appears to be a genuine attempt at times to root children’s adoration in the teachings on the Mass, and in the words of Scripture, as several of the “resources” attest. However, the deliberate and misleading misuse of liturgical terms such as “prostration,” combined with the unjustified and undisciplined introduction of Muslim, Eastern Orthodox, and other gestures and postures, make the program misleading and ecumenically dangerous to the innocent faithful, particularly the very young.
Review Ratings what do these ratings mean?
First Evaluated: 06/02/2005; Last Updated: 09/16/2013
- Fidelity: Caution
- Resources: Fair
- Useability: Normal
- Quotes from the saints on Eucharistic Adoration Resources
- Short Prayers of Adoration to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament Resources
- Fidelity: The Children of Hope program needlessly confuses young children as to proper behavior in a liturgical or para-liturgical setting Example(s)
- Other: Hostile towards those who are critical of their viewpoint Example(s)
- Fidelity: Misrepresentation of the message of Fatima Example(s)
- Fidelity: The theology of body language involved in the program is questionable Example(s)
- Fidelity: Program appears to be more concerned with process of performing the "prostrations" than with traditional Catholic customs Example(s)
CategoriesCatholicism > Sacraments
Catholicism > Customs & Devotions
Brothers of St. John
11223 W Legion Hall Rd
Princeville, IL 61559
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