Catholic Charismatic Renewal, an effective response to Charismatic Evanglicals?


Does anyone know much about this highly exuberant and evangelical, yet completely catholic sub-denomination of our faith?

how did it come about and was it after Vatican II liberalized mass more?

Is it literally the catholic church’s response to the growing evangelical protestant churches which were gaining members who were ex-catholic because the church wasn’t evangelical and charismatic enough?


the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a response to the action of the Holy Spirit within the Church. The Catholic Church does not need to “respond” to other denominations by changing itself, its doctrine, its governance or its practices because in all of these it is guided and protected by the Holy Spirit, sent by Christ to guide the Church he founded.

there are easily 100 threads here on the topic. it is hard to believe any further discussion of a general nature on the topic would be fruitful.

Yes it is a legitimate spirituality and means of renewal and worship, and has its place in the rich variety of spiritualities embraced by the Church. No, it is not a means of competing with other denominations by focusing on outward aspects of charismatic style such as certain emotional expressions. Yes it is motivated by a desire and acceptance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as described by Paul and yes those gifts are and always have been active in the Church. No, it is not a “competition” with other spiritual expressions or a rebellion against the norms for worship.


The dead worst thing anyone can do is to try to be what someone else is.

The Catholics need to stop trying to be anything but Catholic.

The Charismatic movement was an attempt to "bring all of us together’ and blur the lines between Catholics and others.

The places where The Catholic Church is growing is the places where orthodoxy reins. As soon as people realize that Protestants do Protestantism so much better than the Catholics and get back to the orthodoxy, we will grow again. and are in some places

But if you could walk into a wonderful Protestant Community of Charismatics or a wishy washy waterdown version of it at the Catholic church, what would you do?


Exactly! Isn’t it interesting that growth occurs in churches that are authentically what they are, rather than trying to mimic someone else?

I didn’t really know that about the history of the Charismatic movement, but it doesn’t surprise me. And with respect to orthodoxy, we have at least 3 parishes in our area with the ability to show the fruits of authentic Catholic teaching, in the areas of increased attendance and vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Been there, done that. I don’t want a pale imitation of Protestantism (after all, I left the real thing for a reason), but rather, a strong expression of Catholicism.


These attitudes speak volumes about the modern Roman Catholic Church and about Catholic Answers.

  1. It wants to be considered “Bible Believing”, but if people do biblical things, accepted by various popes, such as using the charismatic spiritual gifts, they are accused of being “Protestant”. Conclusion: Bible Believing=Protestant

  2. It is at least as diverse as the Protestant churches. The charismatic debate has raged in evangelical circles for years. Yet much of charismatic practice is now commonplace in the Evangelical world. Not so in the Roman Catholic church. Officially accepted, charismatics are subject to suspicion within the Roman Church.

  3. Catholic Answers is American centred and focused. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal has done wonders in places such as Brazil to slow the outflow of worshipers to evangelical churches. Shame on you for your myopic viewpoint.

I pity my good friends in the Charismatic Renewal here in Spain if this is what they are up against.


Perhaps you need to read more carefully. We said nothing of the exercise of charismatic gifts, which are scripturally valid and in practice today. We’re speaking of some of the problems associated with the movement in general. So your conclusion is based upon faulty reasoning, as we fully accept the validity of charismatic gifts.

(and your snap judgment speaks volumes of your attitude toward Catholics. God bless your dear wife).

No, their movement is rightly subject to careful investigation.

Shame on you for your myopic viewpoint here and in the other thread, in which your European evangelical focus and your personal acceptance of Catholics as validly Christian has clouded your judgment, and dismissed our experiences with evangelicals here who believe nothing of the sort. Forgive us for being suspect when our experiences with this movement have often been less than positive. Those of us who don’t place an emphasis on the gifts are often looked down upon as “not having the Holy Spirit,” “you must not really be Christian,” and “pity… you don’t know what you’re missing.”

If there are no abuses, then there are no objections. In the US, historically, we’ve seen abuses in the Catholic Charismatic movement.


Listen, perhaps, the charismatic renewel movement has kept people in catholic buildings, but have they kept them in the church. I have only been to one charismatic group and my view is certianly myopic in that sense. However, that group is practically protestant.

Once during prayer, I tried ending with a “glory be” and everyone looked at me like I had two heads. Sola scriptura was rampant in that group, and everything about their style and many things about their theology is protestant. I have raraely heard an encouragement to go to confession in a Charismatic group. Mary is ignored.

There are many people who want to keep people in the catholic church, and I am one of them, but I want to keep them there as catholics. If ultimately they don’t really want to be catholics, then I see no point in keeping them in catholic buildings.

And we don’t have to do anything to be considered “bible-believing,” since my reversion, I have found this to be the most bible-believing church there here.:wink:


Nail = Head :thumbsup:




Kendy, thanks for relating your personal experience with a group that was involved in the Charismatic movement. I think this is the type of stuff to which netmilsmom and I object, not the exercise of the gifts. You described something that doesn’t sound Catholic at all… sola scriptura, no identifiably Catholic prayers, no importance of confession, and ignoring Mary? I certainly hope these dont’ characterize the movement as a whole.


I have experienced one charismatic Catholic group and found them to be very anti-Gregorian chant, very anti-Latin and very anti kneeling for communion. The first two anti-s are very interesting, since Gregorian chant and Latin were specifically affirmed by Vatican II, which as a Church Council was presumably led by the Holy Spirit in such affirmations. So where is the authentic teaching of the Holy Spirit to be found?


I have found very different Charismatics than the rest of you it seems.

Yes, sometimes these people will hold their hands up in parying, or speak in tongues, but it is not mimicing someone else. They are not trying to blur the lines between us and them either, nor are they simply trying to get emotional highs.

Many in the Charismatic movement look to the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi, or St. Therese of Lisuex (sp?) or other mystics.

That is the description of the vast majority of Charismatics I have met.

There are some who seem to want to focus more on emotion and less on “rules” and some are nearly schismatic, but the movement as a whole is legitimate. They believe the same things we do, they just express it differently.

A lone Raven

p.s.- I have no idea if it is effective, and I certainly believe it is not a response to evangelicals. Ask a Charismatic Catholic (who is in line with Church teaching, there are cafeteria charismatics too) if they do the things they do to convert evangelicals, and they will say no. They do it because that is how they worship, and how they believe they should worship.


The leader of the charismatic prayer group at my parish stands during the consecration at every mass. He’s tall and sticks out like a sore thumb, but he refuses to kneel.


Interesting—yet I as Catholic believe in worshipping as the Church intends–with the mind of the Church.


The leaders of the charismatic faction at my church are also in the forefront of an ongoing battle here against kneeling.


Thank you!

I currently go to a Charismatic Church. I am amazed on devotion that goes on in our church. Not only is there a deep devotion but a deep knowledge and yearning of and for the Church. This is our first Charismatic Church and we have only been attending for six months but I really enjoy being in a church where I am not in minority of actually knowing Our Lord is truly present in the Holy Eucharist.

I hear so much negativity on the Charismatic Church, and I must say I was one of them, but I most say that if you haven’t been to a true Catholic Charismatic movement than you really shouldn’t judge.

My two cents!




no, it wast not an attempt to blur the lines between Catholics and others, it was, as I said, a response to the genuine movement of the Holy Spirit within the Catholic Church

the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is orthodox and ecclesial. Yes, some who participated in it did go off the rails, as did some participating in the worship and life of the Church in general in the last few decades. The excesses of a few do not condemn the entire movement, which is now among those who remain involved in it, one of the most orthodox groups within the Church.


Excuse me puzzleannie—but there has always been a genuine movement of the Holy Spirit within the Church—the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within Her. She can well go forth in Her mission— without all these movements pulling Her this way and that—Overshadowing the true indwelling of the Holy Spirit.


We of the inbetween generation and younger have the best of both worlds, I think. We have the zeal and drive of the charismatic movement, coupled with the gifts of the Spirit for the purpose of evangelization, with the orthodoxy, love of the traditional aspect of the faith many of the hippie generation and up reject.

Some of the young, charismatic priests are packing them in like sardines. All done with reverence, humility, and orthodox to the letter.

This is why I despise labels. It puts everyone in a box. There are pros and cons to every point of view. Personally, I have combined the heart of the charismatic style with the orthodoxy of the traditional style. I believe that makes a perfect combo. The renewal is all about that, and I believe it is the future of the church. Sorry, traddies, but you’re just a fad, and frankly your cynicism and contstant harping gets old to people after a while. It makes it all so disingenuous.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit