Speaking in Tongues - churches position?


What is the current church position on the “gift” of speaking in toungues. I tried a thread search here but didn’t see it.

My son is going on a retreat with his youth group and they mentioned that this might happen and has happened before on these trips. The deacon who explained it said it was actually a “gift” of being open and described by St. Paul.

Should I be concerned? Is the deacon’s explanation reasonable?



I found this link doing a Google search ccc.garg.com/index.php?name=FAQ&id_cat=2 it’s the The Catholic Charismatic Center on the World Wide Web FAQ’s


I might be confused, but when the Scriptures talk of speaking in tongues, it meant they spoke to crowds who spoke many different languages, yet they all understood them. That doesn’t seem much like the “speaking in tongues” I hear of today, which usually involves one person speaking and one person translating for everyone else.

I’ve also heard people speak of it like “prayer language,” where one who is deep in prayer and very moved by the Holy Spirit ceases to really be thinking in their vernacular and is praying almost without words, if I explained that correctly. That seems to be a private thing, though.

Admittedly I don’t know much about this, so I’m no help, sorry.


1 Cor 14:2-5 - “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.”


John Paul II, Christifideles Laici:

The Holy Spirit, while bestowing diverse ministries in Church communion, enriches it still further with particular gifts or promptings of grace, called *charisms. *These can take a great variety of forms…To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, … to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues" (1 *Cor *12:7-10; cf. 1 *Cor *12:4-6, 28-31; *Rom *12:6-8; 1 Pt 4:10-11).


I believe all the gibberish tongues is fake.

Speaking in tongues is gift of being able to speak/understand other languages you did not speak/understand before.


Believe what you like. No one is forced to speak in tongues in any of the three different modes (actually 3 different gifts of the Spirit and not one.) That being said, as Paul says they are the least of the gifts and I have no doubt that there are some who fake it. There are also other folk who denigrate those who don’t, especially in pentecostal denominations. People who I have known who had one of these gifts were by and large examplery (sp?) Catholics.:thumbsup:


Speaking in tongues is truly a gift of the Holy Spirit. I think when it happens some people might hear the gibberish but others just hear words. It’s quite beautiful.

Considering charisms(like the gift of tongues, tears, laughter), the Church says that one should thank the Lord for such gifts, but still be wary of fakers(paraphrased).

At Steubenville conferences it seems that these gifts are plenty.


Neither the person who allegedly speaks in tongues nor others who hear and think that person does so have the authority to so discern. Only the Church can discern if someone has that or any other gift. It is therefore NOT proper for anyone to go around saying they or other people can speak in tongues.


There are about 6,000 languages spoken worldwide, but 90% of these are in some danger of falling into disuse. There are tribes in Africa that speak in a clicking language. I guess that sounds like gibberish too.

As stated above there are different forms of tongues.

Praying in tongues is different from speaking in tongues. I agee with ‘rwoehmke’ and ‘TheApologist’. People that I know using these gifts are awesomely wonderful people in the Lord Jesus Christ. Staunch in their faith of the Triune God, very true to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, very devoted to Eucharistic Adoration, Our Lady, and daily communicants.


Help me define this? There’s a) secret prayer language b) talking to others in their native tongue, in which the speaker has no formal training, and c) ???

What’s the third mode again?


Not according to Scripture; However, Scripture clearly says tongues are not as important as love


Well I previously asked two priests who told me only the Church can discern that, and also one of the apologists on EWTN (Patrick Madrid I think) also said the same.


I’ll still have to with Scripture on this :slight_smile:



Isn’t it the Church who has the authority to interpret Scripture and not us??


It seems quite likely that the Early Church had a charismatic style strand in which people spoke a gibberish language. It is also clear that St Paul isn’t entirely happy about it.

It is very much a half-truth that the first century was a golden age that we must return to. They had some huge advantages, such as the presence of the apostles, but not everything was unambiguously good.


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