Some Reflections On The Enneagram

I have read "An Enneagram Guide - A Spirituality Of Love And Brokeness" by Eilis Bergin and Eddie Fitzgerald (1993) and perused "The Enneagram And Prayer - Discovering Our True Selves Before God" by Barbara Metz SNDdeN and John Burchill OP (1987). ("Group A" publications below).

I have also read "Conversations With Richard Rohr", Parts 1 and 2, Enneagram Monthly, Oct. and Nov., 1997 and various articles and book promotions from the Internet authored by one or more of Jerome P. Wagner, Don Richard Riso with Russ Hudson, Richard Rohr, Clarence Thomson, Robert Nogosek, Bernard Tickerhoof ("Group B" publications below).

Lastly, I have read the following articles and pamphlets and listened to the following audio tape ("Group C" publications below):

"The Enneagram or Nine Faces of God - The Devil's Workshop"', Parts one and two, by Thomas Eades, Gospa Missions, Nov. 1997; "The Enneagram - Psychic Babble'by Mary Jo Anderson, Crisis, Sept. 1997; "The Enneagram Versus The Catholic Church" by R. Kephart, 1994; "Astrology", Catholic Answers (Internet:; "Ungodly Rage", by D. Steichen, 248-249; audio tape: "The Enneagram", Fr. M. Pacwa SJ, 1991.


1. The Enneagram is an industry; books and workshops abound. The Group A and B publications are attractively packaged gibberish with little definition, no connection to traditional Catholic teaching and practice, and no clear recognition of personal sin and the sacraments, specifically the Eucharist and the sacrament of reconciliation. The Enneagram, despite disclaimers, is anchored in gnosticism and presented as a power unto itself--and thus is a form of the occult.

2. The Group C publications clarify definitional aspects and give insights into the occultic origin of the Enneagram, its gnostic development, and background/character of proponents. In such light the Enneagram is "fruit of a rotten tree" (Lk 6:43) and to be rejected pursuant to CCC 2116.

3. The highly introspective nature of the Enneagram will tie one up in mental and emotional knots and distract from traditional Catholic practice. Psychologists say the Enneagram has no scientific basis and therefore can be pychologically damaging. Father Mitch Pacwa SJ, an early practitioner, now includes the Enneagram among New Age occultic and gnostic practices and suggests it has led to the loss of many Church vocations.

4. Enneagram study is addictive. Why spend any time on it, given the richness of our traditional Catholic centers of spirituality such as the Eucharist, the sacraments, scripture study, magisterial documents, Marian apparitions, the lives of the saints, and devotions to the Sacred Heart, Mary and St. Joseph? Where you put your time is where you put your life,"--Clayton Barbeau). And Our Lord invites us to come to Him for help in life's struggles, not to the Enneagram.

by Patrick C. Baker 1/5/98 rev.2

Return to Previous page.