Charismatic Catholics are a growing lay apostolate within the Catholic Church, and most Charismatic Catholic groups are in total obedience to Rome, operating with the official approval of the Vatican and the Pope.
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal presents no new doctrine. Instead, members emphasize the teachings of the Catholic Church and often focus on ecumenical outreach, as well as maintaining some amazing missionary movements. Charismatics have a calling to the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. Some charismatics function within their parish. Others, in addition to living out a faith life in their parishes, have formed covenant communities. For more info, go here.
Life is The Spirit classes are just that: classes, designed to instruct people in what the Charismatic lifestyle is all about. It’s not for everyone, nor is ANY lay apostolate for everyone, but it is a valid movement within the Church.
There are, of course, always nutcases who go off and do weird stuff and make a bad name for their groups, and charismatics have had their share of flakes. Yet 99% of the Charismatics I am acquainted with are considerably MORE orthodox and Catholic than your average Joe Catholic in the Pew. They often go to Daily Mass, Confession, participate in Eucharistic Adoration, protest at Abortion clinics, do loads of social justice outreaches, and have deep prayer lives.
As for the charge of Charismaticism being “Montanism revisited”, that really is a seriously flawed accusation. Montanists were ascetic hermits who rejected the authority of the Church in favor of a “special divine revelation” they claimed they received personally. They did not speak in their prophecies, saying “The Lord says to you…” but rather spoke as though they themselves were God: “I say to you…” They also rejected the Trinity. **We do none of that. ** They were anti-intellectuals: we have many fine intellectuals and theologians in our movement. **Furthermore, the Montanist heresy was a HERESY, whereas the Charismatic Renewal has the blessings and support of the Holy See. **
Let us be charitable in our discussions here, and always remember that just because a certain lay apostolate does not appeal to you personally, that does not invalidate the apostolate for others. What the Pope has approved, I would be VERY cautious in condemning.