Tuesday, June 11, 2019
STRANGE BEDFELLOWS - CATHOLICS AND CHARISMATICS
Some things just don’t seem to mix – oil and water, good and evil, pain and pleasure, alcohol and a sharp mind, Batman and the Riddler, etc. Another example is different types of churches…
On the one hand, one might see a large, ornate church building with stained glass windows, filled with still, quiet members. In the background can be heard somber (and often creepy) Gregorian chanting. The church is highly ordered and ritualistic, with members sometimes repeating the words of the priest in typical monotone fashion. They receive a short sermon from the priest and afterward they line up in orderly fashion to go up front to receive Communion.
On the other hand, in a church across town, one might find a radically different scene. Here, it is anything but still and quiet. There is the thunder of loud, repetitive music by a group on a stage, perhaps not unlike a rock concert. After the music, many, if not most, of them are speaking in a strange language and praying with their hands raised. Then there is a lengthy sermon, which often includes shouts of approval from the congregation during the sermon. Often, there are also people getting a “touch from God,” creating obvious emotion in them, or they might be falling backward onto the floor, being “slain in the Spirit.”
As one could possibly guess, the first group above is having a typical Catholic Mass, while the second group is typical of many Charismatic churches and events.
Two different churches that are miles apart in the way they operate. These are two totally different expressions of faith, yet there seem to be certain members on either side who are drawn to certain elements from the other side.
Favor With Rome
In fact, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) has been acknowledged and supported (or at least received positive mention) by Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis.
Many Catholics think that the Charismatic Movement is not only compatible with Catholicism, but it also helps to strengthen them in their Catholicism!
According to Walter Martin’s Cult/Occultic Orthodox Christian Full Apologetic & Expositional Studies, (online) Cardinal Manning of Los Angeles is known to have said:
"Anyone who has become a genuine Charismatic, to my knowledge, has become a better Catholic” (Charismatic Renewal for Catholics, 1976, p. 48).
“This then is the diagnosis of those involved in the CRM [Charismatic Renewal Movement]… In practical terms the benefits to the [Catholic] Church have already been immense in that thousands of lukewarm Catholics, have been released of their spiritual paralysis and have found new life and a deeper appreciation of their faith [i.e., Catholicism]… Unanimously, people report a greater appreciation of the sacraments, especially the Mass, as meaningful encounters with Christ, the Real Presence and the role of Mary.” John V. McHale, The Charismatic Renewal Movement, pp. 262-263, The Furrow, Volume 24, May 1973 (Emphasis added).
The following five quotes are all from Robert Hogan’s “Mary and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal” (online):
“Another man, Audrey Guillet, explained the effects of being baptized in the Spirit in his life: ‘Not only do I have a tremendous new interest in Scripture but also my childhood devotion to Mary has returned, with the daily recitation of the rosary with my parents.’” (p. 248 – Emphasis added)
“[George] Montague began by directly confronting the ecumenical tension. He explained that the Pentecostal experience among Catholics has seemed to help in reviving Marian devotion. (p. 307 – Emphasis added)
“[Vincent M.] Walsh mentioned Lourdes and Fatima to help demonstrate that the Church has affirmed the legitimacy of healing ministry. He also noted how involvement in CCR reawakens an appreciation of traditional practices such as the rosary.” (p. 254 – Emphasis added)
Hogan speaks of a book, Power in Penance, written by priest Michael Scanlon: “The book described how Scanlon’s experience in CCR helped him to realize, in a deeper way than he had known before his involvement in CCR, the power of God available for reconciling and bringing Christ’s healing to people through the Sacrament of Penance.” (p. 243 – Emphasis added)
Hogan also says of priest / author Simon Tugwell, “His only other citation on Mary was to say that involvement in CCR leads to an increased devotion to Mary in many cases.” (p. 255 – Emphasis added)
Ok, so according to these quotes, the Charismatic Movement has helped many Catholics “become better Catholics,” increased their devotion to the Sacraments, the Mass, and the Real Presence,” “revived Marian devotion,” and has given them a “deeper appreciation” for the Sacrament of Penance and the rosary.
My (Protestant) Charismatic friends, does this not raise a red flag for you? Does this not bother you in the least? Are you not aware of the abundant errors of the Catholic Church? Don’t you find it strange that your own “biblical” teachings and your “Holy Spirit manifestations” are causing Catholics to be “more Catholic”? Where is the discernment? This “spirit” which you both embrace is not the Holy Spirit of Scripture, but another spirit (2 Corinthians 11:4). We also suspect that the Catholic Church is taking full advantage of this opportunity to push the Ecumenical Movement, as well. They want to join with their “separated brethren” in a one-world church (Revelation 13:8, 16-17).
As most of our regular readers already well know, I have strong issues concerning many of the Catholic Church’s teachings. That’s why this blog was created. But I also have some serious issues with Protestant Charismatic groups, as well, at least with some of them. In fact, I just recently started a brand new blog on this very topic to deal with those issues that I believe to be unscriptural in the Charismatic Movement. The new blog can be found here:
But I want to be clear that I am not against all Charismatic churches, since they don’t all teach the same things, or all operate in the same way. But it is obvious that both the Catholic Church and the Charismatic churches (in general) have some truth and some hazards.
This article is intended to be more of a rebuke toward Charismatics, rather than toward Catholics. The abuses in this group are a growing problem. Not only are these harmful doctrines and activities overflowing into the Catholic Church, but America seems to be exporting these same corruptions to many other nations. In the Catholic Church alone, there were over 160 million members in 2013:
No doubt, that number is greater today. So, with its growing influence in mind, the Charismatic Movement, as a whole, has some serious issues, which include encouraging and solidifying the errors of the Catholic Church.
This relationship between these strange bedfellows is not good news. In this union, they are not helping themselves, each other, or the church of Jesus Christ, in general. So, Houston, we have a problem… and the problem is not just the Catholic Church.