In U.S., Hispanics bring Catholicism to its feet


#1

In U.S., Hispanics bring Catholicism to its feet

Church offers livelier services for a growing constituency of charismatics

NEW YORK - For a glimpse into the future of the Roman Catholic Church in America, peek inside St. Benedict’s in Queens on a Sunday after the Matsons, Mays and Cassidys have all gone home and Joan Overton has shut down the pipe organ following the sparsely attended 8:30 a.m. Mass. That’s when the pews fill up with the Durans, Lopezes and Fernandezes and the spiritual thermometer turns up a notch.

“Everyone on their feet!” cried Gladys Cardenas, a stout and fiery Puerto Rican, as a band struck up behind her. “Come on,” she shouted in Spanish. “Get ready to celebrate God!”

On cue, Monsignor John O’Brien emerged in brilliant white robes for the 10 a.m. charismatic Mass – the most popular in a parish where attendance has declined for every other Sunday service. As the band played a hymn tinged with a merengue beat, Aurora Duran, an 82-year-old Dominican, fell to her knees in throaty “hallelujahs.” A man in the front row lifted his hands toward the heavens and began to speak in tongues. Shouts of “Glory!” and “Christ lives!” echoed through the church.

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#2

Is this Catholic?
Who is the “preacher” it refers too.
It sounds very Pentecostal.

No water is used – avoiding the appearance of mimicking the sacrament of baptism, which Catholics usually perform for infants to cleanse original sin. The baptisms of the Holy Spirit are similar to the baptisms of reborn Christian faiths, which makes some Catholics uneasy.

“We know there are some people in the church who don’t fully trust it, who feel that this is a type of worship that cannot be controlled,” Malagreca said. “But not embracing this would mean ignoring the wishes of Catholics, and that we cannot do.”

Only a small percentage of charismatics – perhaps as many as 500,000 – belong to the formal organizations sponsored nationally by the Catholic Church. Instead, far more have joined informal, often fervent prayer groups at their local parishes.

One such group met two Sundays ago at St. Benedict’s, where about 100 Hispanic parishioners joined together behind the stained-glass windows of the school gymnasium. Over the course of four hours, individual lay preachers – called “animators” – took turns rousing the crowd with evangelist-style sermons in Spanish.

Sonia Rodriguez, a 60-year-old Puerto Rican, spun in the aisles as she spoke in tongues. The crowd began frantically waving white napkins in the air to symbolically purify themselves while a preacher began calling down the Holy Spirit. Moments later, one young woman began spasmodically dancing as if in a trance while group leaders rushed to her side with outstretched hands. She finally collapsed into her chair amid a chorus of “hallelujahs” from the congregation.


#3

If it brings people to Christ and keeps them in the Church, great.

Perhaps this will help spark the revitalization of the Church in our post-Christian culture.


#4

Bringing people to Christ? Protestants bring people to Christ. What about bringing folks to the Catholic Church.
Revitalization? Are you going to be talking in tongues?
That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. I’ve always been so proud of the Church for not doing this crazy stuff. What’s next? Are they going to start healing people at the Sanctuary?
That ain’t Catholic. That’s Jimmy Swaggert. Trinity Brodcast Network. Benny Hinn. Give me a break.


#5

iccrs.org/

nsc-chariscenter.org/pentecostHomily_Benedict.htm

ccc.garg.com/ccc/articles/John_Paul/John_Paul_001.html


#6

Ever heard of Lourdes?

Edwin


#7

One of the nice things about the Catholic Church is that it really is universal. A wide variety of styles and viewpoints can be comfortably accommodated.


#8

If John Paul II was supportive of the Charismatic renewal, as he most certainly was, I wouldn’t be knocking it. Fortunately as some have said like the Republicans the Catholic Church has a “Big Tent” and various forms of spirituallity are accepted. Try that kind of variation in some of our non-Catholic churches and you would be asked to leave in short order. Alleluia, Brethren and Sistern.


#9

You guys who are saying that the Catholic Church accomadates various spiritualities seem to be willing to accommodate any spirituality. I think this ‘spirituality’ that this church is promoting is very dangerous. You accomodate this. You might as well accomodate the eastern religious spirituality. You might as well accomodate the gnostic spirituality. All spiritual paths are fine. Now were relativists. Just as long as you call yourself Catholic your spirituality is fine.


#10

You have gone to the extreme here with placing words in other people’s mouths. JPII supported the charismatic renewal, so I guess you are stating that he also supported heresy? It may not be for you but that does not mean it is wrong. Some individual people may go overboard in their enthusiasm, but we cannot judge the entire movement by them just as the entire Catholic church should not be judged by a few people who have sinned badly. We have been receiving gifts of the Holy Spirit since Pentecost as Christians, so I would be very careful about equating charismatics with heretics.


#11

Worldwide Christianity is becoming Pentecostal or charismatic if you prefer the less “offensive” term. Read the article on the first bishop of Nepal. 1 million Chrisitans of which only 7000 are Catholic!!

Numbers don’t make right but the catholic church is not engaging folks in Asia, Europe, the US or Nepal. And Brazil - a concern expressed by the Pope in that country where the Catholic church is on the way to becoming a minority religion within 2 decades or so. Something is wrong with this picture? But the fault does not lie with this service in New York not being “Catholic”. IMO anyone who believes that is in denial.

I respect the traditional movement and they should be allowed total freedom but they are not engaging/winning converts to Christ in terms of where are the overflowing bursting at the seams FSSP parishes? They simply don’t exist.


#12

Please explain what is the difference of bringing people to Christ and to the Church?


#13

Yes, unlike some Protestants (Baptists and non-charismatics/pentecostals) the Church does not teach that the gifts ended with the death of the last Apostle. Indeed they continued - was not some Saint supposed to have bi-located? Help me here. I need to look that up. But that is a form of “gift”.


#14

Part of me wants to say:

What ever happened to *Lex credendi legem statuat supplicandi *(Let the rule of belief determine the rule of prayer)?

I have to say that much of this charismatic stuff doesn’t sound Catholic to me…it doesn’t sound centered around the Eucharist, around the Sacred Liturgy. It seems like it is centered around emotional preaching, speaking in tongues (something wholly outside of both Tradition and tradition, at least in the way it is done by charismatics), and entertainment.

The other part of me wants to say:

Well, if it keeps them in the Church and brings them closer to Christ, I guess it’s fine…[size=1]sort of…

I just don’t know…is it good for the Church to start imitating the method of prayer of a certain branch of Protestantism that denies baptismal regeneration and the Real Presence in the Eucharist among other things? On the other hand, is it good for the Church to stifle a certain way of prayer that brings people closer to Christ? And yet does that way of prayer bring people closer to Christ in the Eucharist?:confused:

Sorry for all the questions and ramblings.:o I guess you can see that I’m really conflicted about this issue.
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#15

I need to look this up and someone please help but as I understand it the gifts lasted well past the death of the last Apostle and only really started to disappear as the Church became more established several hundred years AD. More “structered” formally. Who is to not say the charismatic influence in the Catholic church is not a return to those first several hundred years at at time when secularism but more effectively Islam is converting the world. Despite th growth of pentacostalism, Christianity is not keeping up with Islam. Maybe indeed this is the working of the Spirit.

The underground Christians I read about in Iran and Saudia Arabia are by and large pentecostals and not Catholics. That perhaps speaks to witness or the Spirit?


#16

Certainly there is always a chance of new movements coming from the Holy Spirit. However in the US the charismatic movement was started by Catholics going to protestants ‘to be prayed over’ by them to receive the ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit.’

It may have been very ecumenical back in the late 60’s, but it hardly seems like a true move of the Holy Spirit.

Many of the hispanic Catholics involved in this do not even know the faith. The need to be catechized not catered to in their excess of emotionalism…

It’s just another excess and abuse in the post vatican II Church and should have been dealt with a long time ago.


#17

St. Padre Pio bi-located.

I need to look this up and someone please help but as I understand it the gifts lasted well past the death of the last Apostle and only really started to disappear as the Church became more established several hundred years AD. More “structered” formally. Who is to not say the charismatic influence in the Catholic church is not a return to those first several hundred years at at time when secularism but more effectively Islam is converting the world. Despite th growth of pentacostalism, Christianity is not keeping up with Islam. Maybe indeed this is the working of the Spirit.

The underground Christians I read about in Iran and Saudia Arabia are by and large pentecostals and not Catholics. That perhaps speaks to witness or the Spirit?

The basic structure of the Church hierarchy has always been the same: deacon, priest, bishop. Also, I do not think that you’ll find much evidence of the type of charismatic gatherings you find today in the writings of the Early Church Fathers; what you will find is a dedication to Liturgy. The life of the early Church was not centered around gatherings involving a highly emotional preacher and people collapsing from speaking tongues; it was centered around the Eucharist and the Liturgy.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that anything that shifts the center of attention from the Eucharist and the Liturgy cannot be compatible with the Catholic Faith. This is not to say that charismatic gatherings are bad, but rather that they ought not be substitutes for or confused with the Mass.


#18

From a blog on Beckwith’s conversion. These evangelical converts will change the Church. Who is to say that is not the work of the Spirit?

I grew up around Roman Catholics, and I have to tell you that I am constantly amazed at how evangelical RCers like Scott Hahn sound entirely like a different breed of cat. In a JPII/B16 shaped RCC, these men are welcome, even famous, but there is an evolution taking place. Considering the liberalism in American Catholicism, that trend may not only be good, it may be very interesting. What would, for instance, the response of evangelical Catholics be to a really liberal European Pope? Will the Ken/Ingrid view of Thomas Merton and contemplative spirituality sneak in under the door via these converts?


#19

One thing that I and others have noticed is that most Penecostals/Evangelicals that convert to the Church are far **more **traditional than your average cradle Catholic. It’s the cradle Catholics that are going Charismatic. I have serious reservations about this movement. Was the speaking in tongues in the first several centuries of the early Church the same as the speaking in tongues that we have today? Reading the Bible I would have to say for the most part no. Second there are far to many Charistmatics out there that are not biblical in the approach to speaking in tongues. The Bible is quite clear on the proper way to do this and many are not following the Bible on this. That alone should really make you wonder if it’s truly from the Holy Spirit.


#20

I agree with you that former evangelicals like Scott Hahn sound different than many cradle Catholics, but that’s because they combine their love for the Bible with their newfound love for the Liturgy and Tradition. The result is an on-fire, traditional orthodox Catholic who understands the rituals, sacraments, etc. and appreciates them for their Biblical and Liturgical significance, and doesn’t need to be worked up into an emotional frenzy to get something out of the Mass. Many cradle Catholics today, however, have never even read a page of the Bible and think that Tradition means not eating meat on Friday, which of course they don’t do anymore because “it’s against the Spirit of Vatican II.”:rolleyes: So the reason you see a difference is because converts like Scott Hahn are actually Catholic, while many people who were “born Catholic” are actually not Catholic.

I agree.

This is a very good link about tongues: scripturecatholic.com/tongues.html


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