Cathing the Holy Ghost, Speaking in tongues, and casting demons?

Hello, today in my band class, there were these kids who were at their regular protestant Sunday service. Anyways, they were talking about people who were “catching the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues, and that their preacher was casting demons.” Do I think this is true, probably not.

These were black gentlemen, and the black protestant services are little bit, more rambunctious than others. (Not to be racist at all, some are very calm)

But what does the Church say about “cathing the Holy Ghost”, or speaking in tongues or casting demons? Casting demons would probably be an exorcism but I doubt it is someone who is ranting about stuff.

The Church has almost nothing to say about these things, except (as you noted) the Rite of Exorcism.

I’ve never heard the expression “catching the Holy Spirit.” It makes the Spirit sound like some sort of disease (or plaything).

Some Catholic communities and groups practice “speaking in tongues.” The Church has never officially encouraged or discouraged the practice. However, it is not an authentically Catholic practice - it did not originate with any Pope or Saint (it originated with a Methodist Holiness preacher named Charles Fox Parham in 1901). There is no evidence that any Pope or Saint since Biblical times has spoken in tongues.

Catching the Holy Ghost would probably be similar to Confirmation or being filled with the Holy Ghost and/or His Gifts.

Speaking in tongues is actually a genuinely true gift. Yes, the apostles and many disciples were given this gift, but there are actually those who possess this gift in modern times and can speak another tongue without actually learning it or being around it.

Casting out demons can take many forms, but the Rite of Exorcism is the most elaborate method of doing so. Other ways include deliverance prayer and other types of spiritual warfare.

Confession is a big way to cast out demons, but it is a sacrament, not necessarily a gift of the Holy Spirit, as far as that is concerned.

There are some in the Catholic church who are attempting to revive the Charismatic movement. I do know from experience in the protestant church that there are times when you can feel the ‘spirit’ moving. Is it authentic? I think some people are very sincere in it. I know that when I was in those services I often got a feeling of warmth that spread from my head to my toes. I get the same feeling in the presence of the Eucharist, but much more often.

So I don’t discount that God can be there. It said that anywhere two people gather in his name there he will be also. Some of them likely are experiencing something. Are all of them experiencing God? Maybe, probably not. Some of them are probably doing it because that’s all they’ve ever known. God can use every service, protestant or not to lead people to him. The protestant church is what lead me to the word, and the word led me to the Catholic Church.

*I do want to say that there are some of those groups out there that are doing some weird things. There are groups that are ‘barking’ like dogs. That get ‘glued’ to the floor. That laugh. They don’t preach… just laugh for an hour. That is disturbing to me. I read a testimony of one woman who got ‘glued’ to the floor and the entire time she was full of fear. She couldn’t move. She was being held down by something, and it wouldn’t let her go. The congregation told her that was God… but I don’t believe that.

Ah! Sounds exactly like my gentlemen here. Black did you say? Africans? Sure. After the question “Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and saviour?” comes, “Do you speak in tongues?” It is almost like a prerequisite for being a spirit filled christian to them. I think that even if it is a gift of the Holy Spirit as they claim, it can’t be the only or the most important one (see 1 cor.vs 12 ff to 14 end). As for the exorcism part, I think that most of the time they are chasing after imaginary spirits. Seldom has there been a true case of possession and there are many false prophets so people are a bit skeptical. It got so bad that “miracles” were banned from public viewing when there were increasing testimonies of falsehood and deceit on the part of the pastors which could not be verified. It will be more useful I think to focus on the gifts of the Spirit that can promote love and understanding and not confusion.:shrug:

Catching the Holy Ghost? Well that’s a new one. Maybe it’s just some little rite in that one church?

Speaking in tongues isn’t referring to “ooommmshaclkadockla oohhmm blalbalblablanununumum” in the Scriptures, though that’s the kind the protestant churches get on with. What is means is the gift to speak in other languages.

I haven’t a clue for the exorcism bit, though. It’s probably not real as well. This is typical with a lot of evanglical-protestant churches. The only Exorcism I know of is the Rite of Exorcism which is carried out by the one TRUE Church.

I’m curious, when a person speaks in tongues, does it actually make any sense? Eg if a person suddenly speaks in German (for example) would a German speaker be able to interpret it? Or would it be gibberish? Has anyone ever translated tongue-speaking?


I’ve never been to a charismatic service with mostly african americans, but I’d like to point out that there is nothing about charismatic service that is black or white or asian.

Why stop there? Why not go hyper charismatic. Why not ask what does the catholic church say about men, women and children who levitate, fly, heal the sick and injured, feed towns with food that seems to never end, and receive secrets from Mary? Some of them are not even Catholics! For ever saint (and there are over 10,000) you will find at least 3 miraculous events. And not all miraculous events are attributed to only saints. Every apparition of Mary is also attributed to at least some prophecy or miracle. The House of Mary herself where she died was shown to a woman in Europe on her death bed by an angle and today we now pray inside it–it had been lost to time itself on a hill in Ephesus and the woman described it to detail. Nuns were told of future events by Mary! St Joseph of Cupertino flew a cross to the top of a church. St Nicholaus fed a town with food then refilled the vessel to exact weight. About 15 St’s are said to have levitated. Martyred saints are said to have endured unbearable torture and pain, even surviving burning oil as if they had taken warm bath. Let’s not forget incorruptible corpses of saints like St Bernadette for over 129 years she lays as if she was still alive; same for St Silvan who died 1,500 years ago but still lays as if alive. There are many such corpses so here’s a link on that: Then we have St Anthony of Padua’s resurrection miracle. There’s also St Pio’s stigmata’s! Then there’s the miracle of the sun from 1917 witnessed by 100,000 people when Our Lady of Fatima kept her promise to shepherd children–the children had been laughed at and their claim of a sun miracle on Oct 13th was part of a joke in the newspapers but to all’s amaze the sun danced that day to those who witnessed the event.

So if you think casting out demons, calling the holy spirit and talking in tongues is amazing you have seen nothing yet!

Some suggest there is a Angel language. Some say it’s a real language. The key here is that normally with true charismatic gifts they are not called upon and manipulated to appear by the individual consistently all the time. They are typically something that may happen and may never happen again. But the point is they do happen!

St Anthony, St Paul of the Cross (1694-1775), and St Dominic all spoke in tongues.

Also the Catholic Church in Vatican II did issue a dogmatic constitution on the church called Lumen Gentium which deals directly with and acknowledges Charisms officially adding it to our church Dogma. This dogma did not change or add to our faith, but rather made it more explicit.

Here is one paragraph that can help but I recommend reading it all:

t is not only through the sacraments and the ministries of the Church that the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God and enriches it with virtues, but, "allotting his gifts to everyone according as He wills,(114) He distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. By these gifts He makes them fit and ready to undertake the various tasks and offices which contribute toward the renewal and building up of the Church, according to the words of the Apostle: “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for profit”.(115) These charisms, whether they be the more outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation for they are perfectly suited to and useful for the needs of the Church. Extraordinary gifts are not to be sought after, nor are the fruits of apostolic labor to be presumptuously expected from their use; but judgment as to their genuinity and proper use belongs to those who are appointed leaders in the Church, to whose special competence it belongs, not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to that which is good.(116)

couponfit, congratulations on sussing where I was going with this.
I am sure that genuine speaking in tongues exists, but I also suspect that most of what is demonstrated is staged and gibberish.


Yeah probably. The reason I don’t go out and call it is two fold:

1st, I don’t like to deny the Holy Spirit unless it is clear that such a denial is necessary and that the Holy Spirit is clearly not involved and that failure to intervene and denounce this event would result in spiritual death or loss of salvation. Other wise I don’t usually call someones answered prayers, epiphany’s, or tongue speaking a false or exaggerated event. That’s not the case with other things like speaking to the dead in rituals, or using witch craft or other demonic elements that can have supernatural results. So calling someones tongues in church an exaggeration is not necessary but calling a teenager who speaks in tongues while performing witch craft requires my immediate attention!

2nd, There’s no necessity to discern this. The Catholic Church does not have the capabilities to discern the likely millions of people who claim to speak in tongues or the 10s of millions or 100s of millions who have claimed to feel the presence of the Holy Sprit. I mean I feel the Holy Spirit in every liturgical mass and during adoration. I’m not the unofficial source of Catholic Discernment because I’m not that arrogant and prideful! Further, in most of these cases the event is really minor with no miracle associated to it. Proving it and equally disproving it would be impossibly difficult, time consuming, and unnecessary from the church’s perspective. Major miracles can take decades or even centuries to discern, so imagine something small with little to no evidence. Rather such events are deemed personal, such as when a person prays and the prayer is answered. The other day I prayed for lightning as a sign to donate a car, and it flashed before my eyes on what had been a clear day. And when it flashed I was inside and saw it through a small crack in the blinds that had been closed. My point is that discerning these kind of events whether they are answers to individual prayers, or simply speaking in tongues is not really necessary at this level.

Beg to differ - again. Are you claiming that the charisms are not in the catechism? The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is 100% Church approved for those who have an interest in deepening their faith via use of the charisms.

For those who prefer information to opinion, here are two links.

Please note that the preacher of the Papal household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, is a charismatic Priest.

Are you trying to put words in my mouth? I have maintained that speaking in “unknown tongues” as practiced in some modern Charismatic communities is not authentically Catholic, as it originates within protestantism. You cannot find it mentioned in the Catechism or any offical Church document.

This does not include other charisms, such as healings and prophesy, which have been in continuous practice in the Church since the beginning. But tounges have not. The Catholic Church does not inherit legitimate theology from protestants.

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is 100% Church approved for those who have an interest in deepening their faith via use of the charisms.

I’m not sure what you mean by “approved.” The Church has never officially approved of this practice of speaking in tongues. I’m not talking about the “Catholic Charismatic Renewal” - I am talking about tongues (which, concidentally, is what the OP asked about). Unfortunately, it seems impossible to separate the two - I see why you get it mixed up, thinking they are the same thing.

For those who prefer information to opinion, here are two links.

Ah, yes, the NSC. A lay orginization. It’s charter has been sanctioned by Rome. However, the charter does not mention speaking in tongues, nor could you prove from the NSC website that such a charism actually exists - it is not mentioned anywhere. Remember, I’m talking about tongues, not the Charismatic movement (though I can see why you get them mixed up). There’s nothing whatsoever on NSCs website or in their charter that I find objectionable. Because the NSC is simply a veneer of orthodoxy for some unorthodox practices (speaking in tongues).

Ah, another website that does not mention speaking in tongues! (well, in a personal testimony, one person who attended the Duquesne weekend retreat (where “Charismatic Catholicism” was first invented in, umm, 1967) says that other people were speaking in tongues, but not her. That’s as close as the site gets to mentioning it.)

Charismatics sure do have a lot of websites that don’t mention speaking in tongues. Too bad they don’t have one single worship service that excludes this activity. Don’t you think it’s kinda odd that it is done at each and every Charismatic worship service, and yet there is absolutely no mention of it on Charismatic websites??? They make no secret of other things that happen in these services.

Please note that the preacher of the Papal household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, is a charismatic Priest.

Yes, I’ve heard that also (not that it matters). Funny he doesn’t mention it on his personal website (or on his old site (link at top of new site) which has more biographical info). I’ve never seen verifiable evidence to support this claim (I was hoping that you would provide a link - alas). He’s on an ecumenical outreach committee to protestant pentacostal churches - maybe that’s what you meant to say. At any rate, even if he were a “charismatic priest” that doesn’t mean he speaks in tongues (though I can see how you would automatically assume that a “Charismatic priest” speaks in tongues - it’s an easy mistake to make).

I have no objection to “Charasmatics.” That’s just a label. It’s what they DO that is disturbing.

(forgive any spelling errors - at the moment I’m on an old Linux box with no spell-checker plugin, and I’m a horrible speller).

There are actually, according to St. Paul, two different gifts of tongues given by the Holy Spirit. Most of the time, posters refer to the common gift distinguished as in praying in tongue. When a person uses that gift, she or he speak to God, no need for anyone to listen in.

I believe that Charles Fox Parham is part of the history of Pentecostalism? Is that correct?

The history of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal dates to St. Paul. For information about Catholic history, please read this book.

Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Evidence from the First Eight Centuries
ISBN 0-8146-5009-0
by Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B. and George Montague, S.M.

[FONT=Arial]This book is [FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Arial][size=2]a thorough study of “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” and the charisms in the early Church. It includes; Tertullian in his Catholic years, Hilary of Poitiers, Basil, Gregory Nazianzus, Cyril of Jerusalem, John Chrysostom, Philoxenus, John of Apamea, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Severus of Antioch, and Joseph Hzaazya. They represent Latin, Greek, and Syrian cultures, almost the whole of the Mediterranean seaboard.[/size][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

[FONT=Arial][FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Arial]Blessings,[/FONT]

“The shepherds sing; and shall I silent be?”
From the poem “Christmas” by George Herbert

Note: Some of the Nine Classical Gifts of the Holy Spirit listed by St. Paul have survived. All of them could have survived in small areas. It is definity time for the Holy Spirit to renew His gifts within the Catholic Church.[/FONT][/FONT]


He is not part of the history, he is the inventor of the history. Charles Fox Parham was a Methodist preacher in the Holiness tradition (a type of theology embraced by Charles Wesley in his early years, which he later abandoned). Parham established a school in Topeka, Kansas in 1900. He had this unique idea that “water Baptism” and “spirit baptism” were not one in the same event. Until Parham, every single Christian had said that water Baptism imparted spirit Baptism - the two could not be separate events. Every Christian had said that Our Lord’s Baptism was a prototype of Christian Baptism - the Spirit descended upon Our Lord immediately after he was Baptized. But Parham had other ideas.

He presented his novel idea to his eight students at his Bethel Bible College. He challenged them to come up with the defining charism of his newly-invented “baptism of the spirit” (a unique baptism which has nothing to do with what every other Christian, both Catholic and protestant, had previously defined). His students returned the verdict that speaking in “unknown tongues” (per the Corinthians) was the mark of this new type of baptism.

On New Years Day in 1901, one of Parham’s eight students (Agnes Oszman) became the first Christian since the Corinthians to “speak in tongues.”

The history of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal dates to St. Paul. For information about Catholic history, please read this book.

No, thanks. I do not care to read yet ANOTHER book that does not mention speaking in tongues. This is the ONLY charism that I have objected to. It is not mentioned in ANY Charismatic website that I can find, yet it is an integral part of EVERY Charismatic service.

This book is [FONT=Arial]a thorough study of "Baptism in the Holy Spirit[/FONT]

If this book distinguishes between this Baptism (in the Spirit) and Christian water Baptism then it is ABSOLUTE HERESY. If it makes this distinction, then the author is a HERETIC. If you promote these teachings, then YOU ARE A HERETIC.

The Early Church Fathers are the dead “Authors” of the Book referenced in Post 16.

Included in the book are Tertullian in his Catholic years, Hilary of Poitiers, Basil, Gregory Nazianzus, Cyril of Jerusalem, John Chrysostom, Philoxenus, John of Apamea, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Severus of Antioch, and Joseph Hzaazya. They represent Latin, Greek, and Syrian cultures, almost the whole of the Mediterranean seaboard.

What this means is that the writings of the Early Church Fathers regarding the protocol of the initiation Sacraments have been collected and presented in the book titled

*Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit
*Evidence from the First Eight Centuries
ISBN 0-8146-5009-0
by Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B. and George Montague, S.M.

Instead of yelling the four-letter word heretic at me, would you please calm down so that I can make a general observation. Thank you.

Having read a number of posts regarding the term “speaking in tongues” I find that some, not all, people who do not like the concept of “speaking in tongues” – and by all means people are free to do so – tend to misunderstand the basic purpose of the two different gifts of tongues. Even those who do understand the basic purpose of the two “tongues” gifts have difficulty understanding what was happening in the Church of Corinth. In my humble opinion, this is due to the fact that the English translations of the Bible will use the word “speaking” for both gifts. Technically, this is correct if one can logically follow St. Paul’s writing. We need to realize that St. Paul’s audience in the Church of Corinth knew exactly what he was talking about in regard to the “classical” gift of speaking in tongues and the common gift of speaking in tongues, better known as praying in tongues. We are a long way from the Church of Corinth.

My apology to you David.

I am misunderstanding this sentence (about speaking in tongues) in your post. “This is the ONLY charism that I have objected to. It is not mentioned in ANY Charismatic website that I can find, yet it is an integral part of EVERY Charismatic service.”

May I respectfully ask you what you do know about “speaking in tongues” so I can intelligently discuss it with you. It would be helpful to know what general source you are using. Refer to CAF posts if you wish. Or refer to the information you have about
Charles Fox Parham.


The quest for truth is worthy of the adventures of the journey.

“Catching the Holy Ghost” is a poor choice of words. The Holy Spirit is not like some disease; we don’t catch him. Scripture speaks of Him filling, falling upon, being poured out upon, and overshadowing people. Scripture does not speak of the Holy Spirit being tossed around like a hot potato.

However, what was probably being referred to by those black gentlemen was the human response (physical and emotional) to being in the Holy Spirit’s presence. Pentecostals sing a song which sort of describes the feeling:

"It’s just like fire shut up in my bones . . . I got that Holy Ghost fire shut up in my bones . . . "

No. I asked a question.

Have you read CCC2003?

The bible is an official document of the Church, is it not?

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