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Cindy Wooden: Pope Plans Pentecost Celebrations with Charismatics and Pentecostals

Cindy Wooden, “Pope Plans Pentecost Celebrations with Charismatics and PentecostalsCrux (May 2, 2017).

This very brief article in the Catholic journal Crux reveals that Pope Francis is hosting a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the beginnings of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR hereafter). He admitted that when the CCR first came to Argentina where he was a young priest he did not think much of it, believing it to be a sort of “Samba school.” But as he saw the effect of the CCR on the Argentine Catholic Church he became more and more appreciative of it.

Pope Francis has intentionally opened up the celebration to Pentecostals and charismatics who are non-Catholic.[1] The celebrations will begin at the end of May and be highlighted with two prayer events (a night vigil and open air mass) on June 3 & 4.

Stay tuned for more news on this.

For your information, the CCR has 120 million adherents world-wide, mostly in the Third World. This is so because in the Third World there is often much open witchcraft and shamanism which demands the gifts of the Sprit to effectively counter. Not so in the United States, where Satan has made great gains by lying low and allowing atheism and agnosticism to thrive and send people to hell.

“Carolyn and I standing with an Anglican Bishop from Africa to my left and Dorothy and Kevin Ranaghan seated. They were part of the original Duquesne Catholic group that began the CCR, and have remained its most influential leaders.”

The CCR began in the United States in 1967, when some instructors and students in Duquesne University were moved by reading David Wilkerson’s The Cross and Switchblade, a highly anointed book which was then a best-seller and mainstay of charismatics of all denominations.[2] In its first years, the CCR grew exponentially, especially in the United States. It seemed as if the entire Catholic Church would be swept up in revival and Pentecost. Significantly, CCR groups that became covenant communities, where whole families lived together, were the organizing arm of the great charismatic/Pentecostal conventions, including “Kansas City 1977” and later ones.

From left to right: Carolyn and Bill De Arteaga and Bill’s sister, Gloria.
Three Catholics awaiting a new wave of the Spirit: Carolyn, a “crypto-Catholic” (Carolyn ministers in a Pentecostal church but says she would happily join the Catholic Church because of its beautiful churches); Bill, an ex-Catholic and now happy “Anglican Pentecostal;” and Bill’s sister Gloria, who has always been Catholic.

Ironically, David Wilkerson did not like that and remained a stout anti-Catholic all of his life. In fact, at the beginning of the CCR he prophesied that the Catholic Bishops would come down on the CCR and Spirit-filled Catholics. They would have to come over to traditional Pentecostalism.[3] Of course that did not happen, but the breaks seemed to have come on in the American CCR in the 1980s. Just why is unclear. My sense is that the CCR stumbled by confusing the ministry of the Holy Spirit and his presence, with exaggerated Marian devotion, and that grieved the Sprit.[4] Thankfully, that sad story was not repeated in the Third World where the CCR continues strong even to this day. In Africa, for instance, the CCR cooperates with the Anglican churches, which are largely charismatic, and are joined in producing an ongoing revival.

On a personal note, I first encountered the CCR in 1974, after years in the atheistic wilderness, in a Catholic home bible study group. That was two years after my sister, a nun (who recently celebrated her 55th year as a Sister of Charity), wrote me about the CCR. I thought she had gone crazy – until I received the same “insanity.”

Sister Gloria with her Guatemalan postulants.

Sister Gloria, my sister (see pictures), was one of the first nuns of the order to embrace it. Later, she joined a convent that was all charismatic and dedicated to bringing the CCR to her order, the Sisters of Charity. That, sadly, did not happen.

Back to the present. The Pope’ invitation to Catholics and other Spirit-Filled believers is wonderful news. Perhaps the Spirit is laying the groundwork for new wave of revival and Holy Spirit power, and that this time it will not ebb, but even refresh older Pentecostals and charismatics who have been hit hard by the TV Evangelists’ scandals. I am praying that this be true. Join me in praying for revival.

 

Learn more: Catholic Charismatic Renewal Golden Jubilee 2017

 

Notes

[1] Does this phrase, “charismatics who are non-Catholic,” irritate you? As a pious Catholic kid in the 1950’s I believed the real divide in the world was between Catholics and non-Catholics. Similarly, at the same time my future wife believed the world was divided between Baptists and non-Baptists.

[2] David Wilkerson, The Cross and the Switchblade (New York: Pyramid Books, 1970).

[3] David Wilkerson, The Vision: A Terrifying Prophecy of Doomsday that is Starting to Happen Now! (New York: Pyramid, 1974). His false (and potentially destructive) prophecy is a case study of a fine Pentecostal minister and anointed leader who could not discern his own prejudices from the voice of the Sprit. This is why Paul enjoined all prophecy to be tested.

[4] The great Catholic theologian of the CCR tactfully says the same thing, see his masterwork evaluation of the CCR: Peter Hocken, The Glory and the Shame: Reflections on the 20th Century Outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Gilford: Eagle, 1994) [Editor’s note: Read William De Arteaga’s review of The Glory and the Shame].

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Category: Church History, Spring 2017

About the Author: William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include, Quenching the Spirit (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), and Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He and his wife Carolyn continue in their healing, teaching and writing ministries. He is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations. Facebook AnglicalPentecostal.blogspot.com

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