Catholic Charismatic Movement?


I had some questions regarding what the Church accepts as part of the Faith. I was advised by my Counselor to goto the Catholic Charismatic Center, and my question is this: do they really speak in tongues? Is it true that this is really accepted by the Church, why?

I’m sorry if I’m coming off as shallow and judgemental, I don’t mean to offend anyone. I simply would like some guidance on this. I’d be interested to attend one of their masses, but I’m afraid I’ll get freaked out.


I’m interested too. They’re having a Mass for first Friday in the evening associated with the charismatic movement. I would like to go; but I too am afraid I might get freaked out.


Comments from a Catholic Bishop…

"I am aware that some of the experiences of some people involved in the Charismatic Renewal may be more psychological than a grace from God. But when I examine my own experiences, I do not find them to be in that mode. I believe that they are truly spiritual experiences, gifts from God. And the basis for this would be the fruit flowing from this grace event from God. I am well aware that not everything that is said to be of God is of God. And maybe that’s where the psycological unconscious comes in. This is where correct discernment is needed.

But at the same time to imply that the source of the experience is psychological would deny the Word of God, the promises of Jesus, the gifts of the Spirit, and the graces given. The signs and wonders experienced in Jesus’ life, the life of the early Christians, Christians throughout the centuries even to this present time are real, not because their source is the psychological unconscious but the source is the Holy Spirit." Bishop Sam Jacobs


Bishop Jacobs has been a speaker at several Catholic Charismatic Conferences that I have attended here in NJ. All of these conferences have been very spiritually up-lifting experiences for me (especially the Euchartistic procession, adoration and benediction on Saturday evenings) and are very Catholic. I have also found a very holy and prayerfully supportive group in my parish charismatic prayer group.


How was that experience like? Did you feel out of place?


My first experience was not so good. But I’m not an anti-charismatic. I was freaked out too. But later after I attended a few time, I could see them that they have good spirituality. But there are some people there who are a little bit arrogant with their spirituality. But for the inner healing, they are very good. I just attended their inner healing retreat last week.


You might want to explore


Shortly after really starting to explore the Catholic Church, I ran across a Charismatic Catholic Parish (they had a 24/7 Adoration Chapel). While it’s taken me a bit to get used to speaking in tongues, I REALLY appreciate that this parish is VERY faithful to the Vatican (and on top of that, some of the ordinary is sung in Latin!). Now my fiance and I are starting RCIA there next week! YAY!

I’ve never been much of a “charismatic” myself, and I’m still thrown a bit by the speaking in tongues, but I love the charismatic movement and the way they remind us about the presence and working of the Holy Spirit (where at other times I’m tempted to forget about that person of the Trinity). I also appreciate the reminder to believe in modern-day miracles.

I’d say find a catholic charismatic group that is faithful to the Vatican and try it out. Even if it weirds you out the first couple of times, its definitely worth it!


I went to my first charismatic mass last night. I still am not quite sure what to make of it. It was very lively and the people were great. I definitely have reservations about the speaking in tongues, if that’s what all the buzzing was about at the beginning. It sounded like a Hindu or Tibeten chanting drone, which can be mesmerizing. The music, oh the music. Not quite gospel, a bit on the pop side and too loud. I felt like I was at a Protestant prayer meeting except for the basic elements of the Mass. Somehow, to me, snare drums don’t seem to belong beneath an image of the Virgin Mary. There was absolutely no space for contemplation. It all seemed to be about the attendees and what they had to say or sing. There was no listening to a quiet to discern anything at all. I’m sorry.
I’m mixed up about it. It left me with a good feeling and then later I felt disturbed by it. I do agree with the comment about spiritual arrogance.
However, Catholicism is universal and embracing this element. Different things inspire different people.


Perhaps you are over analyzing it all?


I do have a tendency to analyze, true. Since my post, I’ve found an article by a priest about it on the internet. So I no longer think along the lines of, “whatever floats your boat”.


I understand, Rosalie, that you “just happened” to find that really good article and just thought it would be good to share here, since it supports your opinion in every way …

… EVEN IF it came from the hand of an SSPX website, from those who are not in communion with the Church.

… AND, you would have us believe this anti-CCR article, rather than the three last Popes who have all approved the movement with solid documentation to the faithful? I think not. It rather makes me wonder about the integrity of your first post, whether it was true, or just bait.


So I no longer think along the lines of, “whatever floats your boat”.


On second thought, I am convinced it was bait, after reading your statement above. I also took a peek at the closing section, since these statements usually summarize an author’s discourse.

Since the Charismatics’ beliefs and practices are undeniably based in heresy, one may be allowed a legitimate doubt concerning the orthodoxy of those who profess affiliation to the movement. Of course, only God can judge souls, but one cannot, out of motives of so-called charity, call someone orthodox whose actions and words reek of heresy. To do so would be an injustice as well as a lie equal to that of those who maintain an attitude of religious indifferentism.


The Catholic Charismatic Movement is a blighted tree bearing poisonous fruit, sown by the Devil among Protestants and transplanted into the Church after Vatican II.

I’m sure the article has more of the same in the interior of it, but obviously I have no intention of reading it, and I do not commend you in the least for presenting this in a Catholic forum, by one who by all outward appearances claims to be Catholic, yet denies the authority of the Magisterium.


I took it that this person was voicing his opinion. We do have freedom of thought, without denying the authority.
I apologize if I offended anyone. I never should have gone but I was curious and the main purpose was one of our priest’s birthday. He had a former connection with the charismatics. Sorry for posting my impression. It wasn’t “bait”. I looked for contrasting opinions on the internet. Had no idea what SSPX was or is about and I’m becoming tired of all this complexity. I’ll stick to my writing website where I belong.
God bless.


I’d like to point out that while there may be charismatic catholic groups that are not in line with the Vatican, there are also charismatic catholic groups and parishes that ARE. The one I’m attending (and joining the Catholic Church through) is VERY much in line with the Pope. (Including in their worship. I’ve never once seen a drum set, and we even sing some of the ordinary in Mass. EVERY song we sing is related closely to the readings and themes of the day. The teaching from the ambo has never once contradicted anything I’ve heard on EWTN.)

And while I have no intention of reading an article from SSPX, I would like to point out that teaching that speaking in tongues is evil would certainly be going against the teaching of the catechism:

2003 Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. There are sacramental graces, gifts proper to the different sacraments. There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning “favor,” “gratuitous gift,” "benefit."53 **Whatever their character - sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues - charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church.**54

If participating in their services isn’t for you, that’s fine. There’s no reason for you to “have” to. You apparently prefer meditation and contemplation, which you didn’t find at that particular Mass.

Oh… and SSPX is the schismatic group that broke off (if memory serves me correctly) sometime after Vatican II. A little more reading on it here and here from the Ask an Apologist forum.


O.K. Read up on SSPX. A thousand pardons to everyone. I don’t believe speaking in tongues is evil, if someone is truly doing that.
You’re right, I’m more into meditation and contemplation, which I’d obviously better do much more of. I’ve only been back in the Church two years after a long absence. I’m a “revert”. I should tread lightly or not at all on spiritual discussion boards. Thanks.


Whatever their character - sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues - charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church.

So question: someone with the gift of tongues if I’m reading this correctly should be able to interpret and understand what they are saying, correct?


There are two types speaking and praying. It is in speaking that one is interpreted. An interesting post was made on another forum, a woman is posting from her mothers journal, who has passed…

Norwood was in the hospital again to have an artificial hip replacement put in. For some reason, his hip joint was deteriorating.

I went to a prayer meeting with my Catholic friends again; and, a man was standing to the side as I prayed for several people. He seemed to be watching and listening closely to what I was doing. After I had prayed for all the people who had asked, this man came to me and also requested prayer.

After I finished praying for him, he told me he was a language professor and what I had been doing was almost impossible. I asked him what he meant. He replied, “You’ve been praying for all those people in a mixture of the Romance languages; French, Italian, and Portuguese. Every prayer has been in all three languages. I could hardly keep up with you, even though I speak all of them.” He asked me if I would make a tape for him because he wanted to interpret it. I never did make a tape for him; although, I thought much about what he said.

While I was talking about this to a friend, she suggested I call the library. She had heard that the library there are people who speak foreign languages; and, if God, in His mercy, let the person understand, then I would know for sure.

I called the public library and told them what I wanted, and they connected me with a gentleman. After listening to me, he said, “Oh, you speak Romance languages.” He said that I was speaking French, Italian, and Portuguese, but I was speaking them as though they were one language; I was mixing the three together. He said, with amazement, that this was almost impossible to do. Once again I was told the same thing.

I have heard it said that people who are filled with the Holy Ghost are not speaking a real language. Well, I know better, for sure. The Spirit of God speaks through people today, even as in olden times. We read about praying in the Holy Ghost in Jude 1:20. His Word tells us that the Spirit knows what to pray for more than we do. We know also that the Spirit speaks English, as well as all other languages.

Jude 1:20 (The Message)

**20-21But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life! **


[quote=RosalieM] I looked for contrasting opinions on the internet. Had no idea what SSPX was or is about and I’m becoming tired of all this complexity. I’ll stick to my writing website where I belong.

It makes little difference that your link came from SSPX and whether or not you knew of their schismatic position. You did provide the link, which labeled the charismatics as being “undeniably in heresy, and a poisonous tree planted by the devil.” When one submits a quote, it is usually because the person believes the content and wishes the reader to take note. You may want to read the CCC’s teaching on proper use of the media.

2497 By the very nature of their profession, journalists have an obligation to serve the truth and not offend against charity in disseminating information. They should strive to respect, with equal care, the nature of the facts and the limits of critical judgment concerning individuals. They should not stoop to defamation.

In striving to “respect the nature of the facts,” you had ample opportunity to find other opinions – the internet is full of them on CCR. Since you presented only this particular link, it demonstrated your wish to defame the movement, and present material that is clearly in opposition to the Church’s teaching – failing to offer a “charitable dissemination of information” to the reader.


There is another positive information link presented and posted in this thread and I had no intention of “defaming”. There are numerous other positive links on the internet also. I have apologized a few times here and ask that you stop throwing stones at me. I do believe I have freedom of thought and I do have the freedom to question – as told to my parish in a homily about St. Thomas (“doubting Thomas”). I wholeheartedly admit I goofed by expressing my doubt awkwardly in this forum.
For the last time, I am honestly sorry for not having read the article more carefully and critically and being careless in referring to that link in this forum. I’m done with this thread. God bless you.

Pax et Bonum

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