No Charismatic Catholics?

Someone told me that one of the problems of Catholicism is that it isn’t charismatic. I am not sure what charismatic means in the religious sense, though I have heard it in refrence to the, I think, presbyterians (sp?). What is meant by the religious Charismatic movement? And how should I responde to this? Thanks and God bless.

You probably need to get this person to explain what he/she means by the assertion that Catholicism isn’t charismatic, and what difference that makes in the first place.

There are Catholic parishes with charismatic Masses. In fact, here’s the web address of one right here in Michigan: Christ the King Catholic Church.

Catholic (capital C) refers to a denomination with a specific set of doctrines. Charismatic generally refers more to a preferred style of worship, and a specific set of spiritual gifts and the exercise of those gifts. A Christian of ANY denomination may certainly be charismatic, and yes there are Catholic Charismatics, in abundance.

Like any lay movement, Catholic charismatics have their share of very needy people, and outright nut cases, some of whom give the whole movement a tainted reputation. Most Catholic charismatics, however, are devout Catholics who attend Mass regularly (often daily) and have a vibrant prayer life. The Catholic Church recognizes charismatics as one of her many lay apolstolates.

Some Catholic Charismatics — like myself and my family— live in covenant communities. Others simply work, worship, and serve in their parishes while drawing on the gifts of the Spirit, and worshipping in a charismatic style when possible. MANY charsimatics go to a regular Mass(often daily Mass) and then in addition attend a charismatic prayer meeting, with praise, singing, and the word gifts being expressed.

For more info on Catholic Charismatics, see one of the websites below.

In a sense the whole Catholic Church IS charismatic, in that it has the Holy Spirit guiding it. However I suspect your friend was using the word “charismatic” in a different way, to refer to the more dynamic, upbeat, lively kind of music and worship often practiced by Charismatics of all denominations. Basically, I suspect your friend thinks Catholic worship is kind of dull…and nothing could be further from the truth!!!

This is an odd statement, since the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit have always been present in the Catholic church from the very beginning. (present but not common), while they were absent from the Protestant movement for the first 400 years of it’s existence. They didn’t show up until the early 1900’s in America.

It might help to have the definitions of the word(s) Charismatic… with a capital “C” and “charismatic”, which is derived via ecclesiastical Latin< Greek kharisma< kharis “favor, grace”.

Charismatic: seeking direct spiritual experiences: describes some Christian groups or worship characterized by a quest for inspired and ecstatic experiences such as healing, prophecy, and speaking in tongues.

charismatic(plural “charismata”) meaning divine gift: a gift or power believed to be divinely bestowed.

*definitions/explanations supplied by MSN Encarta

Actually it’s the Pentecostals they follow (albeit to varying degrees). Charismatic churches are known for very lively music (not in itself wrong) but also very strong overemphasis of the gift of tongues as the work of the Holy Spirit. There are levels as you can get Charismatic versions of any church including Catholic (probably not the Orthodox churches) which are less excessive as a rule, and you can get independent charismatic sects such as Newfrontiers (I used to go to one of their ‘churches’ and they had services where they wanted the whole audience speaking in tongues etc.) and Vinyard which are much more questionable.

I just wanted to add something. I would have to say I am very Charismatic. I have recieved the baptism of the Holy Spirit and It has completly changed my life. However it is not the reason why I choose to go to one Catholic Church over another, Jesus is the focus and the climax of the Mass whichever form of Catholic worship you attend. I actually go to regular Mass during the week and then Sunday I attend my Charistmaic Church. I love both the same. I think the difference for me is that the Charismatic movement allows me to be more expressive in my praise and worship. I can raise my hands praise God, speak in tounges and just be more open publicly to the proclamation in my heart. I hope that is it not looked upon as better or worst, we are all Catholic. But I would encourage you if you have not recieve the baptism of the Holy Spirit (which the Holy Spirit is already within you) to seek a Life in the Spirit seminar or as in my church we have retreats called Phillip. I encourage you to sign up and take one. It’s life changing. The Holy Spirit has to be an experience rather than an explaination. May God Bless you and I will pray for you all.

there are a lot of Charismatic Catholic Movements around the world. Steubenville is a great one, it is a school in Ohio.

By the way its not the Presbyterians. They have very little charisma… infact they are afraid of the whole idea. :wink:

Who cares if its Charismatic or not? It brings us closer to Christ, and in turn assists in our salvation. Would you rather have a Ferrari with no engine or a Honda civic?



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