The Question: My small independent church is now pastored by a man who is active in Tres Dias. He not only has been to Tres Dias, he teaches at the location in our state and sponsors people to go. Recently he sent out requests for members of the congregation to write "love notes" to the lady he is currently sponsoring to go soon to this "retreat." Another couple whom I did not know also recently sent me such a note for a couple who no longer go to our church. …What are your opinions and experiences with this thing?
The Response: Tres Dias seems to be another poorly-disguised device developed to support the Catholic Church's ecumenical activities. I also agree that, “holy language” notwithstanding; it is unbiblical and, therefore, draws the gullible and easily bamboozled away from sound biblical doctrine and toward the heretical teachings of the Roman cult.
Can Tres Dias accurately be termed a cult? Tres Dias is a charismatic group and some might consider it to be cult-like. One writer informs that:
Individuals who become involved in a religious cult or radical political group may do things that puzzle and dismay their friends and family…Strange as these transformations in attitude and action are, they can be understood in terms of psychological principles. These principles in turn can be explained and illustrated by recent research findings from seemingly diverse groups that share a 'charismatic' quality. Charismatic groups are highly cohesive. They impute transcendent powers to the group's leader or its mission, and they strictly control members' behavior by means of a shared system of beliefs. Among these groups are cults and zealous religious sects; some highly cohesive self-improvement groups; and certain political action movements, among them some terrorist groups.--Marc Galanter, Cults: Faith, Healing and Coercion; © 1989 Oxford University Press, Inc., p.3
What is it about Tres Dias that brings into question its claim to be a Christian movement? To begin with, it appears to be an iteration of Catholicism's Cursillo movement dressed up in ecumenical clothes. A religious movement with that pedigree surely must be carefully examined.
The TRES DIAS Movement endeavors to bring Christians to a closer, more personal walk with their Lord Jesus Christ and encourage them to Christian leadership and Apostolic Action in their environments. TRES DIAS is based on the principles, the method, and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Cursillo movement initially proposed by Bishop Juan Hervas, Eduardo Bonnin and their fellow Christians.
--Essentials, United Tres Dias home page
How close are the ties between Tres Dias and the Catholic Church? They are very close:
Tres Dias is the Protestant counter-part of the Catholic Cursillo movement. However, many Catholics are active in both organizations, and this also assists in the breaking down of denominational walls as Christians find they can share in those areas that bind us together in Christ, while downplaying areas of disagreement! Open communion is practiced, and anyone who acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord is welcome to partake.
-- West Point Post Chapel
Still not convinced that Tres Dias is little more than a Catholic wolf in sheep's clothing? Consider that the Mid-Hudson chapter of Tres Dias Held its retreats in a Catholic monastery for a period of 32 years.
From the very first weekend in November, 1972 through June, 2001, the Mid-Hudson Chapter of Tres Dias held the retreats at the Oblate House (a Catholic Monastery) in Balmville, NY, just a bit north of Newburgh. We are currently holding them at the Graymoor facility in Garrison, NY while we look for a more permanent home. - Ibid.
Some might wonder what the Graymoor facility is. That's easy. Graymoor is:
The home of the Franciscan Sisters and Friars of the Atonement--Graymoor home page
How Catholic is Tres Dias? The movement's web sites freely acknowledge that Tres Dias has its roots in Catholicism's Cursillo movement and conforms to the formats and guidelines of groups such as Cursillo. Knowing this led me to learn just how much Catholic heresy is involved in Cursillo, the wellspring from which other off-the-wall movements sprang from:
The Cursillo Movement began on the Mallorca Island, we could say “at the foot of the Shrine of Our Lady of Luc”. All of its the reflections, consultations and reunions have always been entrusted to the care and custody of Our Lady. Bishop Juan Hervas, one of the founders of the Movement, formulated it in this way: “The Cursillo Movement was born in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Our gaze has always been directed towards her, and so the Movement spread serenely beneath her protection. From its birth to our times, Mary has always had an important role in the life of the Movement and in the life of its individual members. She is always present in the Cursillo.--Frances Ruppert, [Cursillo World President] Mary in the Cursillo Movement
Whoa! It appears that Cursillo is a Marian movement. Since Tres Dias grew out of and claims conformance with, Cursillo I would argue that Tres Dias also is a Marian movement disguised as a Christian organization.
What have we got so far? Tres Dias appears to be nothing more than Catholicism's Cursillo movement dressed up in Christian trappings. I learned that Tres Dias actively recruits new adherents, which must be introduced to the group by a mature member and only permits admission to the body following a period of preparation/conditioning. I learned that Tres Dias conducts gender specific gatherings and does not permit husbands and wives to attend together. To ease any difficulties that may arise due to one spouse being out of the home for a long weekend, Tres Dias provides a 'helper' to provide those services that the missing spouse normally would be expected to perform.
I believe that Tres Dias is actively involved in ecumenical activities in support of the Roman cult's program to gain hegemony over world religion. I believe that, to that end, Tres Dias plays a game that seems very much like brainwashing and thought control.
If Tres Dias conforms to Catholic formats and guidelines, then Tres Dias cannot, by definition, be Christian or biblical.
I am not alone in believing this:
The Cursillo movement is one of the newest of Rome's successful plans to fool sleepy Protestants and others. The Roman Catholic Church has replaced the mailed fist approach to non-Catholics with the Trojan horse of infiltration by guile, intrigue and deception. The Cursillo Movement is an example. A pamphlet from their Louisville, Kentucky, office says, 'Although it is Catholic in origin and setting, now Protestants and Catholics can have an encounter with Christ together.' This retreat revival weekend is called a Cursillo.--Alex Dunlap, Cursillo Movement, quoted in Beware of Cursillo the Cephas Library,
The Cursillo Movement is a program within the Roman Catholic Church to bring "renewal" and work as an instrument of "evangelizing" non-members. The May 20th issue of the Vatican's L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO reported the pope's reminder to its participants of the inseparable link between "evangelizing" and submitting to the Roman yoke: "To evangelize means bringing the Good News of Christ 'into all the strata of humanity' ... But there is no new humanity if there is not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism and by lives lived according to the Gospel. The Cursillo weekend retreats appeal to Catholics and non-Catholics alike so a word of warning must be given to its basic purpose--Catholic evangelization and indoctrination (M.H. Reynolds, Jr., Fundamental Bible Church Bulletin, Los Osos, California, June 2, 1985)