Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ahh! Charismatics!

Say a prayer for a South American young woman who became involved with Charismatic group, she was sent to London, only to discover it was a front for people trafficking, and prostitution. She escaped but she told of me of others, including a thirteen year old girl still kept in the house she was in.

I am not giving any more details, but pray!
I really am beginning to think that the Charismatic movement is of not of God, but of the Devil.


Anonymous said...

Pity. I think more detail of the movement is precisely what's needed. There is a group called Oneness Pentecostalism which is non-Trinitarian but is very good at passing itself off as Christian.

There's the Latter Rain Movement which is orthodox on many points, though its triumphalist eschatology is erroneous.

Benny Hinn's another one, very much a Prosperity Gospel man, though his theology of the Trinity was at one point nothing short of haywire (each of the three Persons produces two other Persons, so in all there's nine of them).

Exhibit three is Kip McKean's Boston Church of Christ, though I'm not sure whether they are charismatic or not. They are - or were - into very, very heavy shepherding.

I remember Pope John Paul II saying to Catholic charismatic renewal leaders that the manifestation of charismata is to be tested by the degree in which participants are integrated into the sacramental and hierarchical communion ofthe Church.

He said that where they are not, then either the charismata are not from God,or they are not being used properly.

And remember that the Devil can and does mimic much of what is genuinely of the Holy Spirit in order to discredit the genuine article, just as a counterfeiter of money will work to devalue the genuine coin of the realm.

bernadette said...

It certainly attracts its fair share of control freaks.

I would say that the Charismatic Renewal of the Church is for the entire church and is a "Grace", not a "movement". It is also quite possible that this group is not at all Catholic or Charismatic.

Phil said...

Self-control is supposed to signify one who lives in the Spirit. That's not something that comes to mind in Charismatic worship. Give me that "ole tyme religion" called Catholicism any day!

Adulio said...

Of course Father - will pray for this lady.

I really am beginning to think that the Charismatic movement is of not of God, but of the Devil.

You've only just come to that conclusion now?!

August said...

Are they going to Mass? Are they receiving the sacraments? Especially confession?

I know many for whom the charismatic movement brought them to God and strengthened their life in the Church.

Temptation affects us all, of course, and that can manifest itself among charismatics as a disregard for Church authority and a desire to experience spiritual phenomenon. Some give in to temptation, just like others do.

gemoftheocean said...

I will pray. I've never cared for the charismatic movement. All that reeling and writhing and babbling stuff. not for me, but a lot in that movement don't necessarily go to those excesses. I'd hate to paint the whole movement as being from the devil. But such things can be hijacked -- people use phony pretenses of all kinds.

Anonymous said...

I think it is rather imprudent to question whether the Charismatic Movement is of the devil. I imagine that St Philip Neri and the oratory was considered charismatic in the 16th Century. Indeed the preacher to the papal household, Fr Cantalamessa, is a great advocate of the movement and a very holy man.

Anonymous said...

When the Lord Jesus returns in Glory, I don't think any of us will look like that couple. Lord, have mercy.

Jeffrey Smith said...

"I really am beginning to think that the Charismatic movement is of not of God, but of the Devil."

I've thought that for thirty years. Ever since I got a close look at it.

bernadette said...

I think that couple might be whole-heartedly praising God, oblivious that they are being photographed. I hope I have the humility to look like that when Jesus returns.

GOR said...

When I first came to the US - almost 40 years ago - some priest friends of mine urged me to join their Charismatic group. After resisting for some time, I finally agreed to attend.

Once was enough! Being of a reserved and retiring nature in matters religious, I was aghast at the antics I witnessed, which were reminiscent of the “Holy Rollers” or the “Dancing Dervishes’.

I was even more put off by the “speaking in tongues” and the “interpretations” of same (which have been debunked by others, more knowledgeable than me) - not to mention the “laying on of hands” at the drop of a hat. Too much emotionalism and too much ‘touchy-feely’ aspects for my taste.

But the one over-riding perception I had of all of this was the exclusivity of the group. If you were part of the group, you were “hail fellow, well met”. But if not, you were “outside the Pale”, as it were…

I felt that if this were truly of Divine origin, it would be all-embracing. But it was not. So from whence is it? Frankly, I still don’t know. But I do know that it is not for me!

Unicuique suum!

Anonymous said...

Father - if you read the popes book - new outpourings of the Holy Spirit - i think you will find, along with the other new movements, that the renewal movement is of God. i find it time and again as a traditional Catholic who loves the latin mass, that people can box an entire wing of the people of God into a negative position because of one incident....lets look at the so-called idealism of the TLM where some priests whittered through the liturgy in 15 minutes flat - the only sense of mystery was how he could say the words so quickly....we as the Church of God need to look for unification not division, none- politicisation of charisms, forms of worship that are not out of tune with the Church but valid expressions of the faith of those called by God to relationship and worship of Him.. let us pray for each other.

Roses and Jessamine said...

Well done to the brave South American woman for getting out. She is undoubtedly traumatised and will need time to recover. My heart goes out to her.

Support and safe houses are available for women on the run from abuse:

Women's Aid & Refuge 0808 2000 247

City Light is a Brighton support group for women who are victims of sex trafficking. They provide clothing, toiletries, temporary accommodation and access to legal advice. 01273 221140 e-mail:

In London, The POPPY Project does the same. 0207 840 7129

That 13-year-old girl, and the other women in the house, need help. I understand the situation might be complicated. It could be the girl is with her mother, an older relative or a friend;leaving them would mean "disloyalty". Foster care might be more traumatic for her. It could be that she is in the country illegally and fears deportation. It could be she can't speak English very well or at all. It would be scary for any 13-year-old to escape on her own in London.

Childline is a free helpline for abused children under 18:
0800 11 11 ~ is there any way of getting a message to her or other women in the house?

I pray the South American woman will find the courage to speak up about the house, which has the sulphuric whiff of a sex cult about it.

At Lourdes, some of the Masses had Charismatic elements to them. I was surprised. The diocese had approved it. When I queried it, I was told "that's what most people who come here seem to want and like." I don't know how this had been decided, I'm not sure if that's what The Immaculate Conception had in mind in 1858! To me, waving my hands about in Mass just felt uncomfortable and undignified. I went along with it once, but only out of peer pressure; not to left me feeling slightly excluded. I have to say all that hand-waving did not, thankfully, induce any sort of mystical experience in me. It was more like being at a pop concert.

I thought the whole point of the Charisma or Grace is that it is a gift from God, freely given. It can't be taught. I am reminded of that account of Simon the Sorcerer asking Peter to teach him how to "lay hands" and heal ... in exchange for a bit of cash. Peter told him to naff off.

The Mass is Charisma.

Anonymous said...

I know of two ladies who were involved in the movement in two seperate countries at two different times. One left because she could not cope with the very strong feeling that the other catholics she met there were almost fanatical in their view that all christian churches were equal. This lady had a strong faith in the Blessed Sacrament and felt it was being undermined by her involvement.

The other lady is still involved and actually can not bring herself to say the words, "Blessed Scarament". It is as if the charismatic movement is her faith rather than the Catholic Church.

JARay said...

Fro a time I was involved with a Charismatic group. I dropped out. Now, several years later, I see that many of the leaders have left the Church and formed their own. There are allegations now of improper sexual actions by the main leader in particular. I personally warned one leader that he was far too close to a particular woman, (not his wife), and his wife then divorced him. He is dead now and he died outside the Church.
I would never have anything to do with the Charismatic movement now.


Anonymous said...

The inspiration for modern day Charismatic Renewal comes from John Wesley (1703-1791) a former Anglican who broke with the COE & founded a sect known as Methodism. The hall mark of this sect was speaking in tongues & baptized in the spirit, a sort of second baptism. Accordingly, it is this second "baptism" which marks a true Christian & sets him off from the others. A sign of the manifestation of the "baptism in the spirit" is glossolalia, the incoherent, unintelligible utterances popularly known as "speaking in tongues".
It was Josef Cardinal Suenens of Belgium who gave this moment

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

John Wesley, eh ? whoda thunk it. And all this time I had been thinking it was a person called The Holy Spirit. well, you learn something every day.

gemoftheocean said...

In it's own way I think the Charismatic movement for too many borders on gnosticism.


Anonymous said...

Yes, that's correct Bernadette . . . John Wesley ...
the Father of Pentecostalism and the grandfather of Charismatic Renewal.

Anonymous said...

Don't underrate John Wesley! If England were ever to become a Catholic nation again it is likely that he would still be remembered as one of the greatest Christians this country has ever produced.

The ministries of Wesley and Whitfield were instrumental in raising the spiritual condition of the nation from what it had been since 1689. The 17th century had been the cruellest and most faithless in English history since Christ was first preached here.

The following is the last letter that John Wesley ever wrote, and it was addressed to William Wilberforce who supported Catholic Emancipation from his place in Parliament. Some of his descendants became Catholics, and one - Father Gerard Wilberforce - is a priest in Exeter.

Balam, February 24, 1791

Dear Sir:

Unless the divine power has raised you to be as Athanasius contra mundum, I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.

Reading this morning a tract wrote by a poor African, I was particularly struck by that circumstance that a man who has a black skin, being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a "law" in our colonies that the oath of a black against a white goes for nothing. What villainy is this?

That he who has guided you from youth up may continue to strengthen you in this and all things, is the prayer of, dear sir,

Your affectionate servant,
John Wesley

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bernadette. The Charismatic Renewal has been a great grace to the Church - one should not label everyone the same, just as not everyone who loves the Traditional Latin Mass is an SSPX supporter.

Please bear in mind that many very holy people have gained from Charismatic Renewal. I'm thinking of people like Mother Angelica and several other EWTN presenters such as Benedict Groeschel. The revived Franciscan University of Steubenville is a fruit of the Renewal. I think the Renewal does very well in giving people renewed zeal for the things of God; many adherents do move on to a more contemplative spirituality, but that doesn't negate the value of the Renewal. Like all the new movements, it is vulnerable to distortions, but in authentic Catholic charismatic circles you find orthodoxy and a love for Christ's church, including loyalty to the Holy Father. The Books of Ralph Martin and Fr George Kosicki are good examples.

Of course nutters, control freaks and heretics find their way into the Renewal but this happens in most movements. You have to look at the larger picture. As John Pintus says, Fr Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household is a supporter of the Renewal.
Regards, Clare A

Anonymous said...

Father - my google account doesn't recognise my valid password, and I have no idea how to publish my real name otherwise, I have just tried to post a long comment on charismatic renewal - Clare Anderson

Anonymous said...

Sorry Father but I think you are out of line to suggest that the charismatic renewal movement may be the work of the devil. Diabolical signs can even be found in groups attached to the Tridentine Mass. For example, The Society of St. John,a breakaway group from the Society of St. Pius X, also had sexual abuse problems. Bishop Timlin canonically established the Society in Scranton diocese in 1997, and gave its members temporary housing in St. Gregory's Academy, an all-male Catholic boarding school sponsored by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Jude Huntz, who was head dorm manager, stated in a sworn affidavit that on several occasions, he saw Society members getting male students drunk. Brother Alexis Bugnolo, a Franciscan friar who overnighted in the Society's quarters in 1999, says in a letter that he is prepared to testify in court that he witnessed during that stay several instances of homosexual activity among students, including one boy who later became a postulant of the Society.

Later that year, Society members relocated into two houses on a vast rural Pennsylvania estate it had purchased for $2.2 million. That did not end the Society's relationship with St. Gregory's boys, though. One former Society postulant, who was with the order for six months in the year 2000, told NRO that 18- and 19-year-old St. Gregory's graduates would visit Urritigoity on weekends, many of them spending the night in the priest's room, which contained only one, single-sized bed.

I don't think the devil is that particular when it comes to doing his work.

Anonymous said...

According to prominent Catholic theologians, the charismatic movement represents a serious threat to the Church because of its aberrant beliefs & practices. The late Rev. Dr. L. Rumble of Radio Replies recognized the movement as another heretical sect that Catholics must avoid. In a scathing criticism of the movement in 1974, Archbishop Dwyer of the United States stated, "We regard it bluntly as one of the most dangerous trends in the Church in our time, closely allied with other disruptive & divisive movements, threatening grave harm to unity & damage to countless souls." And Msgr. Ronald Knox, the renowned Catholic convert & scholar, referring to the charismatic practice of speaking in tongues, stated, "To speak in tongues you had never learned was & is a recognized symptom in alleged cases of diabolic possession."

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