Popes and the Charismatic Renewal
“Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to her building up, to the good of men and to the needs of the world.” (CCC 799)
“Charisms are to be accepted with gratitude by the person who receives them, and by all members of the Church as well. They are a wonderfully rich grace for the apostolic vitality and for the holiness of the entire Body of Christ, provided they really are genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit and are used in full conformity with authentic promptings of this same Spirit, that is, in keeping with charity, the true measure of all charisms.” (CCC 800)
"How then could this "spiritual renewal" not be "a chance" for the church and for the world? And how, in this case, could one not take all the means to ensure that it remains so? [...] Nothing is more necessary for such a world, more and more secularized, than the testimony of this "spiritual renewal", which we see the Holy Spirit bring about today in the most diverse regions and environments. Its manifestations are varied: deep communion of souls, close contact with God in faithfulness to the commitments undertaken at Baptism, in prayer that is often community prayer, in which each one, expressing himself freely, helps, supports and nourishes the prayer of others, and, at the basis of everything, a personal conviction. This conviction has its source not only in instruction received by faith but also in a certain experience of real life, namely, that without God, man can do nothing, that with him, on the contrary, everything becomes possible."
ADDRESS OF POPE PAUL VI TO THE CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL ON OCCASION OF THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL LEADERS’ CONFERENCE, ROME, 19 MAY 1975
John Paul II
The present-day church seems to repeat with greater fervor and holy insistence "come Holy Spirit! Come! Come! Heal our wounds, our strength renew..." Encyclical The Redeemer of Man.
"I am convinced that this movement is a sign of His action (of the Spirit). The world is much in need of this action of the Holy Spirit, and it needs many instruments for this action." -Private Audience with ICCRO council, Rme, DECEMBER 11, 1979
"The first dimension of renewal consists, therefore, in this: "to live according the Spirit", in this continual growing in the Spirit, resisting the gratifications of the "flesh", opening oneself to the strong, sweet attraction of God. This inner renewal, this healing of the very roots of life and this formation of a mentality dominated by the "promptings of the Spirit" is your vocation as Christians, your vocation as men and women, youths and adults of our time who want to give witness, who want that model to flourish in the world of today, the model of spirituality and even of courtesy…" -Address to the participants in the National Congress of the Italian "Renewal in the Spirit", Rome, November 15, 1986
"[...] I ask you, and all the members of the Charismatic Renewal, to continue to cry aloud to the world with me: "Open the doors to the Redeemer" [...] The church’s mission is to proclaim Christ to the world. You share effectively in this mission insofar as your groups and communities are rooted in the local churches, in your dioceses and parishes." -Address at the V International Leader's Conference, Rome, April 30, 1984
"[...] But there is yet another positive chance today: that of the group of prayer which have multiplied in the Catholic Church as in other ecclesial communities, spontaneously, in an unforeseen fashion. [...] a grace which has come precisely to sanctify the Church and to renew in her the taste for prayer through the rediscovery, with the Holy Spirit, of the sense of gratuitousness, of joyful praise, of confidence in intercession; and this becomes a new source of evangelisation." -AUDIENCE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II WITH THE BISHOPS OF NOTHERN FRANCE, 22 JANUARY 1987
"... The Charismatic Renewal is an eloquent manifestation of this vitality today, a bold statement of what "the Spirit is saying to the churches" (Rev. 2:7)" -ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II AT THE SIXTH INTERNATIONAL LEADERS’ CONFERENCE, ROME, 15 MAY 1987
"The Holy Spirit is at work in groups such as yours, drawing you to prayer and filling you with joy in adoring and praising the Lord. As I wrote for the whole Church in my Encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem: "Recent years have been seeing a growth in the number of people who, in ever more widespread movements and groups, are giving first place to prayer and seeking in prayer a renewal of their spiritual life". In the same Spirit who send you forth to bear witness. How can anyone who has tasted the goodness of Christ remain silent and inactive? How can one lock away the good that has been so fully received?" -ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO THE CATHOLIC FRATERNITY OF CHARISMATIC COVENANT COMMUNITIES AND FELLOWSHIPS, ROME, 7 DECEMBER 1991
"The Catholic charismatic movement is one of the many fruits of the Second Vatican Council, which, like a new Pentecost, led to an extraordinary flourishing in the Church’s life of groups and movements particularly sensitive to the action of the Spirit. How can we not give thanks for the precious spiritual fruits that the Renewal has produced in the life of the Church and in the lives of so many people? How many lay faithful—men, women, young people, adults and elderly—have been able to experience in their own lives the amazing power of the Spirit and his gifts! How many people have rediscovered faith, the joy of prayer, the power and beauty of the Word of God, translating all this into generous service in the Church’s mission! How many lives have been profoundly changed! For all this today, together with you, I wish to praise and thank the Holy Spirit." -AUDIENCE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II WITH THE NATIONAL SERVICE COMMITTEE OF THE ITALIAN "RENEWAL IN THE SPIRIT", ROME, 4 APRIL 1998
Pope John Paul II stated that one of the most significant contributions of the Second Vatican Council was the “rediscovery” of the “charismatic dimension” of the Church.
Vigil of Pentecost, May 30, 1998
Whenever the Spirit intervenes, he leaves people astonished. He brings about events of amazing newness; he radically changes persons and history. This was the unforgettable experience of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council during which, under the guidance of the same Spirit, the Church rediscovered the charismatic dimension as one of her constitutive elements: "It is not only through the sacraments and the ministrations of the Church that the Holy Spirit makes holy the people, leads them and enriches them with his virtues. Allotting his gifts according as he wills (cf. 1 Cor 12:11), he also distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank.... He makes them fit and ready to undertake various tasks and offices for the renewal and building up of the Church" (Lumen gentium, n.12).
Benedict XVI convened a similar gathering of the movements in the Church in 2006 and reaffirmed the teaching of John Paul II, quoting his remarks on this occasion.
John Paul II and Benedict XVI, cited the Vatican II document (Lumen gentium 12) as the basis for this teaching.
"Certainly, your own charism leads you to direct your life towards a special "intimacy" with the Holy Spirit. And a survey of the thirty years of the history of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal shows that you have helped many people to rediscover the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in their lives, in the life of the Church and in the life of the world. [...] From the very beginning of my ministry as the Successor of Peter, I have considered the movements as a great spiritual resource for the Church and for humanity, a gift of the Holy Spirit for our time, a sign of hope for all people." -ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO PARTICIPANT AT THE EIGHTH MEETING OF THE CFCCCF, ROME, 1 JUNE 1998
"There is no holiness without prayer. In fact, as we see in the lives of the Saints, Christians are worth as much as they pray. [...] This commits that the groups and communities of the Renewal be ever more places of contemplation and praise, where the heart of man is filled with the love of God, opens up to the love towards his brother and becomes capable of building history according to God’s design. It is in the Church—home and school of communion—that we which must oppose the culture of hatred and revenge, may the groups and Communities of the Renewal (RnS) be significant places and models of brotherhood and love, of patience and reciprocal welcoming. May the experience of forgiveness and the value given to every spiritual gift help everyone to build a fellowship nourished by the breath of the Spirit of the Risen Lord." -ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE ITALIAN "RENEWAL IN THE SPIRIT", RIMINI, 28 APRIL 2001
"The Church and the world need saints! And all the baptized without exception are called to be saints! [...] Let your communities, therefore, be more and more "genuine schools of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the heart truly "falls in love". For this is what the saints are: people who have fallen in love with Christ. And this is why the Charismatic Renewal has been such a gift to the Church: it has led a host of men and women, young and old, into this experience of the love which is stronger than death." -MESSAGE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO PARTICIPANTS TO THE SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE CFCCCF, ROME, 22 JUNE 2001
"Yes! The Renewal in the Spirit can be considered a special gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church in our time. Born in the Church and for the Church, your movement is one in which, following the light of the Gospel, the members experience the living encounter with Jesus, fidelity to God in personal and community prayer, confident listening to his Word and a vital rediscovery of the Sacraments, not to mention courage in trials and hope in hardship. Love for the Church and submission to her Magisterium, in the process of maturing in the Church supported by a solid permanent formation are relevant signs of your intention to avoid the risk of favouring, unwittingly, a purely emotional experience of the divine, an excessive pursuit of the "extraordinary" and a private withdrawal that may shrink from apostolic outreach." -ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE ITALIAN "RENEWAL IN THE SPIRIT", RIMINI, 14 MARCH 2002