the Charismatic Movement Truly Catholic?
Charismatism takes its origins from Protestant
Pentecostalism in the United States and it has spread throughout
the Catholic Church by the "Baptism in the Spirit".
its "Baptism in the Spirit":
This spiritual baptism is an innovation which
the Charismatic renewal attempts to justify by claiming that
with the sacraments the Catholic Church has not fulfilled
all the abundance of the Gospels: "The over flowing and abundance
of the New Testament should not be hastily assimilated to
subsequent sacramental forms" (Fr Laurentin, Charismatic apologist,
in his book Pentecôtisme chez les Catholiques,
Beauchesne, 1975). Now, the Catholic Church alone is
the custodian of the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
It transmits infallibly the blessings of the Gospels in the
only true Sacraments. "My God, I firmly believe all
the Truths which You have revealed to us and which You have
taught us through Your Church, because You can neither deceive
nor be deceived." (Act of Faith)
the emphasis put on charisms:
1. The presence of charisms is not sufficient
to prove their divine origin:
"Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into
the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of My Father
who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Many will say to Me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied
in Thy name, and cast out devils in Thy name, and done many
miracles in Thy name? And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity."
(Matt. VII: 21-23)
"There are people whom the devil does not prevent in any way
from doing much good because the good which they do serves
him to deceive them." (Fr. Lallemant, La Doctrine
Spirituelle, Paris, 1882, p. 253)
The Catholic Church is built on the supernatural virtues of
Faith, Hope and Charity and not on charisms which are only
lower gifts which must be controlled by the Church.
"But be zealous of the better gifts.
And I show unto you yet a more excellent way." (I Cor.
"Certain people value above all amongst
the spiritual gifts, that of performing miracles, which are
to be seen, forgetting that there are many others higher,
which are hidden and because of that not liable to fall."
(St. John Climacus, Scala Paradisi, 26th degree, 78)
"In comparison with Charity which is perfect,
these gifts are of little consequence and those who are at
that level can fall while those who have Charity do not fall.
I tell you that I have seen men who have received all the
charisms and who have become participants in the Spirit and
who nonetheless fell because they did not achieve perfect
Charity". (St. Macarius Magnus, IVth c., Spiritual
Homilies, II, 27, 14)
its search of extraordinary signs and wonders:
1. Risk of illusion:
"And I greatly fear what is happening
in these times of ours: If any soul whatever after a bit of
meditation has in its recollection one of these locutions,
it will immediately baptize all as coming from God and with
such a supposition say, 'God told me,' 'God answered me.'
Yet this is not so, but, as we pointed out, these persons
themselves are more often the origin of their locution."
(St. John of the Cross: The Ascent of Mount Carmel.
Book II Ch. 29) (1)
Possession by the devil: "Through
the desire of accepting them one opens the door to the devil.
The devil can then deceive one by other communications expertly
feigned and disguised as genuine. In the words of the
Apostle, he can transform himself into an 'angel of light'
(II Cor. XI:14). (...) Regardless of the cause of these
apprehensions, it is always good for a man to reject them
with closed eyes. If he fails to do so, he will make
room for those having a diabolical origin and empower the
devil to impose his communications. Not only this, but
the diabolical representations will multiply while those from
God will gradually cease, so that eventually all will come
from the devil and none at all from God. This has occurred
with many incautious and uninstructed people." (St.
John of the Cross: The Ascent of Mount Carmel. Book
II Ch. 11) (1)
its suspicion of the Church's Hierarchy:
The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church is seen
as a stifling human institution:
"In so far as the ecclesiastical institution is constructed
in the form of a hierarchical and closed juridical structure,
in so far as it is organised, not according to the spirit
of charism but by coopting clergy monopolising the resources,
the knowledge, the power and the initiative in the Church,
the Charismatic thrusts have been stifled." (Fr Laurentin,
Ibid.) Now this hierarchy derives from God Himself:
"He said therefore to them again: 'Peace be with you.
As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you.' " (John XX 21)
"And I say to thee: Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will
build My Church. And the gates of hell shall not prevail
against it." (Matth. XVI 18)
"Originating from Protestant families, I was
baptised a Protestant. Today, I know that God wants
me to be a Protestant. I have gradually felt that I
must not separate myself from my Protestant Church but to
bring myself closer to it." (Testament of a young girl
in the Bethany Community, in Revue Tychique, No. 52,
"There will not be a real Judeo - Christian dialogue until
the return of the Lord, except when Christians are truly Christian
and the Jews truly Jewish." (Brother Ephraim, Founder
of the Community of the Beatitudes, in Cahiers du Renouveau,
No. 64, p.13)
the Catholic Church teaches infallibly: 'Outside the Church
there is no salvation'.
"The Catholic Church alone keeps the true worship.
It is the Church of Truth, the home of the Faith, the temple
of God; he who does not enter it or he who leaves it, loses
all hope of life and salvation. Do not let anyone hold
a dogged view. It is a question of life and of salvation.
If one does not watch out carefully and prudently, it is ruination
and death." (Lactantius; IIIrd c., Catholic apologist.)
Charismatic Renewal is therefore not Catholic.
This text is from The collected works of St. John of the
Cross, ICS Publications. Institute of Carmelite
Studies; Washington, D.C. 1979
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