Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Hi everyone

I’m rather confused about this whole Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the church.
As I understand it, this movement in the church began in 1971, when a group of Catholics experienced a “baptism of the Holy Spirit”, like on the day of Pentecost. Eversince, the movement has spread all over the world in our church, and one of their main messages is that they are now “complete” Catholics, enjoying a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit and Jesus.
They believe that the gifts of the Spirit such as prophecy, tongues speaking and interpretation, healing etc., are the birthright of every Christian and should be part of every day Christian living and worship. They really focus on the personal, emotional experiences, and vibrant masses, and miracles. Also, they hold many events with Pentecostals,
which makes the whole thing questionable for me. Historically speaking, we know the early church was accompanied by many miracles, tongues and so on, but these became less over the centuries and these gifts were not granted to all but to the few to whom the Holy Spitrit willed, and they were given where they were needed. And I think if you always want miracles to happen in order to believe, then perhaps your faith is not so strong.
Now what bothers me the most is that their ideals strike me as very Protestant, and their idea of being “complete” is incompatible with Catholic Christianity as it seems to undermine the aspect of sacraments(as though they were mere procedures and the Spirit wasn’t really active within them) and, to quote from a Catholic priest’s article on the matter,this “baptism of the Holy Spirit is an obvious mockery of Confirmation.”.
What’s even more confusing is that Pope John Paul II approved of them, and he reminded them that these gifts were “for the benefit of the common good,that is, the whole Church.”
Now, what exactly is the Church’s position on this movement? And do you think it is compatible with Catholic Christianity?

Thanks in advance!

Yep, another grenade thrown at the hornets nest that is the Traditional Roman Catholic forum.

I tell you, I am personally cheesed off at finding out how many of the ‘new, invigorating’ things that have happened in the past 60 years have in fact been copied from protestants. Like, they’re really working for them, taken as a group. Not.

There is a moratorium on the discussion of the charismatic movement in the Liturgy and Sacraments forum. With that in mind:


I ask this every time this topic comes up, and every time I do not receive an answer:

The Companions of the Cross are a Society of Apostolic Life (pontifical), who received their status in 2002. Becoming a Society of Apostolic Life does not happen overnight, and the approvals come from some of the highest levels within the Church. Is it an exercise in infallibility? Probably not, but it sure is an exercise in authority.

One of the Companions’ four pillars is charismaticism.

I’d like to know, if charismaticism is so bad and so protestant, why did the Companions get approval?

I’d also like to know why it’s acceptable for people to slam one of the pillars of the Companions, yet they rush to the defense of a group that has no canonical place within the Church?

I’d also (also) like to point out that protestants often take what is Catholic and make it into their own. Several protestant services look very similar to Lectio Divina, for example. Yet there are several people who would look at Lectio Divina and say “this seems protestant” if they didn’t know any better. Some of the reading I’ve done would indicate that charismaticism was practiced by some religious houses (I lost my sources when I moved, I will try to find more of them) before the 60’s and 70’s.

Look, I understand it’s not for everyone. I get that, and that’s fine. What I don’t understand is the lakc of respect, the fear, and outright hatred some people have for it. Some people need to stop to consider; maybe the charismatic renewal didn’t come out due to the “70’s”, maybe it actually came about as a counter-reformation to oppose what the 70’s stood for, and it stands now to oppose what the 90’s/2000’s stand for today.

When you consider orthodox people within the Vatican, orthodox schools, orthodox parishes, orthodox Societies, orthodox religious households are all involved with this movement, plus the personal approval of three Popes, that should tell you something.

Finally, I find it hilarious that people are fine with the Anglican Use, which is cribbed DIRECTLY from a protestant service, and they are fine with the Eastern Rites which were essentially cribbed DIRECTLY from the Orthodox, yet have a problem with the charismatic renewal.

Here we go.


I think there is one guy at our Latin Mass who is charismatic. He sits in the first row and always raises his arms at both elevations.

Why does the neocatechumenical way get approval when it has some questionable practices?

If I were to guess the answer to both, I’d say the Church welcomes movements that have the potential to bring people into the Church.

This is why we have Eastern Carholic Churches, , the Anglican ordinariate, and do on and so forth.

Why does the neocatechumenical way get approval when it has some questionable practices?

If I were to guess the answer to both, I’d say the Church welcomes movements that have the potential to bring people into the Church.

This is why we have Eastern Carholic Churches, , the Anglican ordinariate, and so on and so forth.

In my IMHO, recognizing the charismatic movement helps to retain and attack those who prefer emotion based worship. The same souls would be bait for Pentecostal evangelists if this movement did not exist in the CC.

Also, Regnum Christi had lots of dubious statutes that have been recently cheked, and they found bad things on them. Also, they have more problems regarding lack of orthopraxis. Remember that Mons. Velasio de Paolis is investigating them.

Neo Cathecumenal Way has problems with Liturgy, Confession, Catechetics. Maybe they are seen in positive light because the work they do to attract people, and the pro-life and numerous family focus they have.

I know about some lesser known movements that have lots of questionable practices. In fact, one of them was denounced by two Bishop’s Conferences, an Archbishop, and some laymen.



The only thing the Charismatic movement accomplished in my area was scaring young Catholics away from Mass. They were quite successful. Oh well.


It’s had the opposite effect in my area, and a few other places I have been. Several large, young families as well.

*]Catholic parishes don’t do fellowship very well. Protestants do. That will take you a long way in a cult. But then, I think, comes the implosion. Hence 20,000 protestant sects.

*]I would wait and see if the cult lives more than 3 generations. Or even 2.

*]The Charismatic movement has one big problem: quality control. Ohhhh, how easily people can be drawn by even the hope of contact with mystical phenomena.

e.g. Medjugorje, spiritualist churches and your local savant everyone’s talking abut.

Yes, that’s true. I’ve heard it is successful in some areas. Unfortunately the effects of the movement in my area has made finding Catholic friends extraordinarily difficult. Alas, there’s always the Internet.


You’re saying I’m a part of a cult? And that the Vatican approved a Society of Apostolic Life founded by a cult?

Clearly traditionalist circles have zero issues with quality control (Bishop Williamson, the entire SSPX website).

This is not a traditional catholic topic and should be moved.


I wouldn’t normally respond to such topics, but since it has been posed in the Traditional section of the forum I will say this;

I have never understood the urge for a “Charismatic Renewal”. What motivates it escapes me completely. I find nothing from Church history and tradition which would explain it. As for the Vibrant Masses etc - I have always been taught, and have read Saints teach, that we should behave at the Mass as we would if we were standing at the foot of the Cross on Calvary, beside our Blessed Lady and St John. I can only think of one way to behave if this is our philosophy at Mass - to be silent and kneel with reverence etc. I can’t understand the clapping and drum kits and dancing. They seem to want to focus on the joy of Christ rising, forgetting about the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary’s Cross. I hear people say; " I wish Mass was more like in the movie “Sister act” with all the clapping and singing etc. I can’t help but think they do not fully understand the Mass. We should take the example of the Saints.

Regarding the speaking in tongues - what I have heard from priests and laity speaking “in tongues” at Charismatic Masses was mere babble. This is nothing like the Apostles and saints who could speak and everyone understood in their own language. It disturbs me when I see people rolling on the ground babbling. I feel it is not setting good example for non-Catholics who see this behaviour.

I do think however that the Charismatic movement is dying out to a certain extent - perhaps as people get older the “rolling in the spirit” is harder on their hips!:smiley:

A couple points of interest;

This is swell, but off-base. You’re basing this off of a perception, without actually asking people.

How do you know what I focus on?

Could it not be said that some traditionalists set a poor example with reliance on external signs and external piety as a measurement of one’s faith? The lack of looking at the interior? The legalism that sometimes happens? The emphasis on optional practices and customs, rather than looking at the Death & Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ?

All traditionalists are not like this, I don’t paint them all with that brush. But you see what I’m getting at here? You make the claim “setting a poor example” but there’s poor examples in all movements.

I’m thirty years old. My wife is twenty eight. The oldest of my friends is thirty five. Most of the movement in my city are all youth or young adults, and punching out kids like movie tickets. The Companions now run five parishes in my diocese (speaking of which, no one has responded to my question about their elevation to a SoAL).

So unless you want me dead early or even more of a cripple than I am already, this is a pretty sad statement you just made. Actually, it’s a terrible thing to say, and it’s not even true. Can you imagine if I said the same thing about traditionalists?

The charismatic movement actually has no beef with the EF. The Companions just celebrated a chanted OF using A.O, and will probably do a EF soon.

Why so much fear and unease, when there are good fruits and positive words coming from Church authorities about it?

And away we go… again… :rolleyes:

I was not judging anyone’s intentions. I am just going off what I have seen and experienced myself, as well as those in the movement I have corresponded with - which is all I can do. For me it just simply does not fit in with Catholic tradition or the practice of the Popes and Saints so I avoid it - which is why I “hang out” at the traditional section of the forum. I did not mean to offend anyone in particular - just giving my opinion.

Oh, it’s done for. Heresies don’t last long:

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