Close-Ups of the Charismatic Movement book - please refute


I was hoping someone here could refute the claims made here against Charismatic Catholics in this book, which is written by extreme Catholic Traditionalists:



As someone without a foot in either camp, it seems that the more truth-seeking question would be to ask if it’s true or not.


This one starts off by combining Catholic and Protestant charismatic.

paragraph 3
No, we have wandered into a session of a charismatic celebration,

And mind you the description given would have been considered an abuse by the charasmatic protestant church I went to much less a Catholic one.

paragraph 4
Certainly it is much easier in most Dioceses around the country to find a charismatic renewal event to attend than a Latin Tridentine Mass.

And? Sounds like sour grapes to me. That whole paragraph does not cite one abuse, but bemoans the endorsement of people about the CCR.

The movement, faddish in so many Catholic circles today, is nonetheless not Catholic.

This statement is contrary to what the Church states. An opinion stated as fact with as yet no evidence yet to back it up.

Mr. Vennari’s methodology is ingenious and fits the problem comfortably. What he did was to attend several of the large charismatic extravaganzas where Protestant Pentecostalist speakers,

So it is not even Catholic events that he was critiqueing?

Not something I would choose to do if I were going to participate in a Charasmatic event, it would need to have Catholic speakers, no matter what bishop endorsed it. No offense to the Protestants, but I am not Protestant anymore for some very good reasons.

Why not actually go to Catholic events with Catholic speakers if they really want an accurate view of something and not just what those who are willing to listen to Protestants as if they are the “experts” on something.

Thus, there is no need for the Church as an institution, with her hierarchy, Priests, Sacraments and ceremonies.

Absolutely false conclusion. Nowhere have I read or experienced anyone who says that the CCR somehow makes the Church unneeded at all. Just absolutely false based on a completely biased view.

Maybe there is a book out there that actually critiques the CATHOLIC Charasmatic movement, but this book is not one of them.


Well I think the author probably does a fair job in some things, but not really in understanding it.

They’ve been with us for a long time. Probably at least the Montanists.

It’s been a part of a lot of groups, a whirling dervish refers to a person dancing this way. And other groups have it to Hindu’s, Wicca’s.

At it’s root, it’s as contrary to Protestantism with sola Scriptura as it is to Catholic Tradition.

Some would refer to it as a gospel of Experience. They feel good and they judge by their feelings. They don’t judge by the church, they don’t judge by scripture, they use themselves.

And it can be quite pleasant, hence the common term of ecstatic utterances for speaking in tongues.

Now I don’t believe it’s demonic, it seem to be something wired into people, somewhat like a trance but it’s a different part of the brain that lights up. It’s right on the top of the head.

And people do utterances, could sound kind of like speach, could sound kind of like animals, that’s at least partly in control of the person, and they have jerky movements, often breaking into a dance, which could be seen for years in black Baptist churches and in Pentecostals and so on.

Now the modern roots go at least back to the Methodist tent revivals, where people would get worked into a frenzy in some cases and we know that such things happened there. Then came the Azuza street revival and the Pentecostal movment. Which has gone through various waves and which we see the Third Wave today being called Prophets and Apostles and so on.

But it’s not Protestant, they don’t care what the Catholic Church says, and they really don’t care what the Bible says either, they only care for what they “know”. It’s quite similar to the time that spawned the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses in the 1800’s.

And you can go back to the Reformation and find the same thing among those that history have recorded as Anabaptists. Take the famous Servetus executed in Geneva while Calvin was there, well he was a oneness Pentecostal if he lived today. Anabaptists proclaimed they needed neither the church nor the Bible but could simply receive God’s revelation.

So back to today, the great danger is they think they are getting revelations from God. They think it’s of divine origin, the tongues for instance spoken of in Acts. That’s the great danger.


I attended a Catholic Charismatic group before I was a Catholic. My friends who were charismatic, but protestant knew my heart was Catholic and felt I would accept going to the group if it was Catholic.

The Mass was done with reverence, although I was told that the priests (Dominicans sp?) were not really happy about the group.

The leader of the group became very intoxicated with his power and finally left the group and took many Catholics with him into a protestant faith. I feel that there should be a priest or deacon leading these groups to keep them orthodox.

I am sure that many Catholic Charismatics stay faithful to the true teachings of the Church, but as with any organization there are going to be people who have problems and sometimes can abuse their positions.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary



I only read part of the review :eek:

I am sure that other posters could refute claims faster and better than myself. However, I do have sources. And if you all will pray to St. Anthony that I find my book by Monsignor Vincent M. Walsh, I should be able to answer most questions.

As a starter. “Renewal” refers to renewing the Charismatic gifts found in Acts. What is known as “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” is a deepening of our original Sacrament of Baptism which, as you know, is the first part of our Christian Initiation.

“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” St Paul asks. (Acts 19:2) And just as Timothy was urged to “fan into flame” an earlier gift, all of us are challenged to awaken our Baptismal gifts through an ever-deepening conversion to Jesus Christ. Our continual conversion to Jesus Christ is the heart of the Charismatic Renewal. Deepening our Faith, giving strong roots to our Catholic practices, is the heart of the Charismatic Renewal. Becoming evangelizers is the heart of the Charismatic Renewal. Service in our parish is the heart of the Charismatic Renewal.

By now, you have noticed that the Charismatic Renewal has a very big, expansive heart :thumbsup:

For the record: Classical Pentecostals (Protestant Pentecostals) did not invent the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Actually, it belongs to the integrity of the early Church. One of the books I have presents the evidence from the first eight centuries. This book is technical and the reason I have it is because it is the basis for a tiny precis. Here is a quote from my tiny, but readable book: “Once again, accepting the Baptism in the Spirit is not joining a movement, any movement. Rather it is embracing the fullness of Christian initiation, which belongs to the Church.”

Monsignor Walsh tells why it looks like the Charismatic aspects of our Faith seemed to disappear until they were restored to the Catholic Church in America. We Americans like to call such things movements etc.

I spotted one line in the Seattle thing which is very important. It refers to the Catholic teaching regarding discernment of spirits.
Discernment is essential in any Charismatic group or event. When proper discernment is missing, weird things can happen.


All human life is worthy of profound respect.
Refuse FOCA


I don’t really have a dog in this fight since I am not Charismatic, but I would consider the source here. Tradition in Action and Seattle Catholic both get red ratings from Catholic Culture for lack of fidelity to the Church.


I did not read the books. I am a very traditional and conservative catholic but to many traditionalists I don’t stack up as catholic enough. I try to do what the pope says and I make a little effort to find out what he says and wants. If I do that I am on sure ground. I have found many traditionalists lack charity. I really understand why their angry but the most important virtue is charity. I know charity takes many forms but should we not incorporate all those forms into our lives. I personally don’t want to get involved with the charismatic movement but it’s supported and promotted by the popes and so who am I to condemn it. I would like to see some changes though. But then am I the pope?:thumbsup:


The Popes have made a number of statements over the years accepting and praising this movement. Here is one more recent one:

I will be happy to link to other statements for whoever wants to see more.
There may have been abuses over the years. But that is the state of humanity now. There are weeds growing along with the grain, where ever there are people, sin along with even the best things.


They are ultra traditionalists but do hit the nail on the head sometimes as some of the charismatics especially in the earlier days tended to get out of hand and could be seen as more protestant than catholic in orientation…although most retain the faith well.

Check out this lady’s blog. She is not a traditionalist but was a charismatic for decades, felt she had to almost relearn the faith…and is faithful to the magisterium. She has much other info on her site about other slightly questionable things that have arisen since vatican II.

There are comments on her site questioning papal acceptance of this movement…as he may not have been aware of certain of their activities and even the then cardinal ratzinger had to rein them in with strong statements and guidelines. The church itself of course has always acknowledged charisms but there has been no official approval or acceptance of this movement by the Church.


I am not pro charismatic as it stands but I know these charisms are real and do have a place in the church. They can and are given to many catholics and not just charismatics. Did the last post say it was not approved? I’m confused. I think it is approved of and has the blessing of the popes.
See the following links for proof-

And I know PJP11 gave it his blessing.

Perhaps we are nit picking here. We may not like it and that’s probably because it’s new and in it’s infancy but you cannot say the popes disapprove. I think it has the churches official blessing even if there was a particular document unsigned.



Right from the moment it began among Catholics at Duquesne University 2/18/1967 all looked to remain faithful to the Church and sought direction from the Magisterium. This renewal movement is recognized among the Ecclesial movements in the Church today as evidenced by the invitation by Pope Benedict in 2007 on the Eve of Pentecost when he gathered all Ecclesial movements in Rome for this awesome presentation. since it’s beginning the leaders have been in contact with all the Popes. Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa,Preacher to the Papal household, writes of his experiences in the Charismatic Renewal in “Come, Creator Spirit”, Fr.Francis Martin- world renowned Scripture scholar has been Charismatic since 1968, Fr. Michael Scanlon-Past president of Franciscan U of Steubenville, Charismatic since 1967 and responsible for the renewal of that University and a student body dedicated to their faith, Ralph Martin, founder of Renewal Ministries and Professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary was one of the first touched by the Renewal… The list can go on and on and Renewal movements are to be judged by their fruits and the Renewal has produced countless vocations to the priesthood and religious and consecrated life. Read books by Sr. Ann Shields, Fr. Francis Martin, Patti Gallagher Mansfield - “As by a New Pentacost”, Fr. Cantalamessa - “Sober Intoxication of the Spirit” and “Come,Creator Spirit”, Check out the Renewal sites like,, to name a few.Be assured those involved in leadership for 42 years have always remained faithful to the Magisterium and under teh authority of the Pope and local Bishops. Most Diocese have a Liason from the local renewal groups.The Charismatic Renewal has always been obedient to the Church’s Authority. I have been involved since 1971 and remain active.Join us for a weekend retreat at Franciscan U on July 17th. Check it out at


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