Priest apologizes to traditional Catholics: “The future of the Church is in her past.”

From a priest… (my emphases)

Dear Fr Z:

I’ve just returned from France where, among other things, I took part in the Chartres Pilgrimage.

After registering for the Pilgrimage, I discovered that the usus antiquor would be required of all participating priests, I decided it was high time to learn how to celebrate the Extraordinary Form, thanks to a very kind and patient FSSP priest in the neighborhood.

At first, I was taken back by the demand to stick to the Extraordinary Form, then I realized that a far worse injustice was inflicted when it was ripped away from the faithful shortly after the Council.

Several months beforehand, however, I took it upon myself to celebrate the older Breviary–I bought the Baronius edition– […].  I was therefore exposed to a greater number of the Psalms and, since I was using an edition based upon the Septuagint, I found these Psalms to be more Christologically obvious.  Not only that, but the prayers, I discovered, were more even more “manly.”

The great boon in celebrating the Extraordinary Form, for me, was mainly twofold.  First, there is something very liberating about incessantly asking the Lord for forgiveness as we do, in not only the Confiteor but also the many private prayers of the priest.  The Scripture became very true for me:  “Humiliamini in conspectu Domini, et exaltabit vos.”  Second–and I understand that some of your readership may differ from me here–as a Charismatic Catholic, I deeply, deeply appreciated the celebration of the Pentecost Octave, with the sevenfold Veni, Sancte Spiritus and the focus on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Epistle.  I’ll come right out and say it:  The “mutual enrichment” envisioned by Pope Benedict has come true in my own priesthood by the exchange between Traditionalism and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Without abandoning the Ordinary Form, I confess that the older Missal and Breviary has enriched my priesthood in ways I had never imagined.  In fact, I found myself becoming more robustly priestly and fatherly.

[ NB] I also want to take a moment for public repentance.  Long ago, at a certain liberal seminary far, far away, I was indoctrinated with a disdain for, and even a mockery of, Traditional Catholics.  I jumped on the bandwagon for their supposed liturgical naivete and sanctimony.  I was convinced that they were backwards, habitually uncharitable, and elitist.  After being around 14,000 other Traditional Catholics and priests of more traditional religious congregations, I found them to be astonishingly affable, joyous, and genuine.  I was especially surprised to not have heard a single murmur against Pope Francis during the Chartres Pilgrimage.  So, to all of those Traditional Catholics I mocked in the past:  I am truly sorry.  I was wrong.  You are doing tremendous good for Christ and His Church.

And you, Traditional Catholics, you are so young!  Attached is a picture I snapped as I was walking, of a young boy and a tonsured monk in long, deep conversation–as I took it, a word came to me:  “The future of the Church is in her past.”

I have also become convinced that Summorum Pontificum was in fact a prophetic  document, as it made possible a place of refuge and safe harbor in the face of the Church’s current crisis.

If you decide to reproduce this, kindly withhold my name.

Do keep up the good work.

Fraternally in Christ….




About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Robert_Caritas says:

    “The exchange between Traditionalism and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal” is most definitely where the future is. I have seen this happen in my own life. Both kinds of ways of living in God not only balance each other out, but also invigorate each other tremendously.

    Also, for those who aren’t familiar with the exercise of charisms, when the priest wrote “a word came to me : “The future of the Church is in her past.”” He probably meant “a word of knowledge”, that is an interior motion coming from God, not just a passing thought.

  2. Wow. To borrow a phrase from our esteemed blog leader “Just too Cool”.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    “The exchange between Traditionalism and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal”.

    Very interesting.

  4. carndt says:

    Almost done reading,”The Shadow of His Wings” the true story of Fr. Gereon Goldman, OFM. The miracles of the Triune God is all through this book. A must read. The Church can over come evil at its worst.

    The setting is WWII. And Gereon is recruited into the SS before he becomes a priest though he is a seminarian. The Holy Ghost is working powerfully through him.

  5. Uxixu says:

    That’s a humble priest. If only he would say it publicly to his parish.

    [“If only…” ?!?! Did he? Didn’t he? You don’t know. Why phrase it that way?]

  6. iamlucky13 says:

    An important part of his story was the recognition that devoted Catholic need not be – and I think actually seldom is – elitist, backwards, joyless, or uncharitable.

    Traditionalists often get unfairly judged by others who have not had the opportunity or taken the time to get to know them, and understand how Catholic traditions fit into and shape their lives. I’m very glad this priest not only had the opportunity, but was willing to share his experience.

  7. JustaSinner says:

    Sorry, I don’t get satisfaction from reading this; I metely weep knowing what has been lost and and unrecoverable.

    [I won’t let you squelch the goodness of this news. Think about the forward going impact this priest will contribute, having had this experience. Good grief. You can sit around and mope, or you can get up and get to work. Man up!]

  8. Riddley says:

    Interesting stuff! I don’t know anything about charismatic Catholicism and haven’t encountered it in the flesh – anyone know a good primer on it?

  9. tho says:

    In 2005 I walked with The Remnant group on that pilgrimage. Without a doubt, it was the most uplifting experience that I have ever had. I was surrounded by the most caring, humble, devout and gracious people one could ever expect to encounter. I truly felt like the woman that Jesus met at the well, a sinner surrounded by holiness.

  10. JustaSinner says:

    Father, my apologies if you missed my point. Wonderful news that he gets it? YES! One brick, after all. But still am very saddened that in my lifetime I have been disrespected due to my ‘traditional’ faith. Was asked by a priest before Mass in college what I was doing when I was praying the Rosary. He said ‘how quaint’ when I explained the obvious.
    Experiences such as that are tough to forget…

  11. Nice! Thank you dear priest whoever you are.

    “…the prayers, I discovered, were more even more “manly.” ”
    Reminds me of the directive I found in a thick, real old spiritual direction manual “…effeminacy in prayer must be avoided.”

  12. teachermom24 says:

    “effeminacy in prayer must be avoided”

    Yes. I recall St. Teresa of Avila said she could not abide “weepy nuns”.

  13. quo vado says:

    We brought our friend who was a Charismatic Catholic to a Low Mass, followed by a Holy Hour of Reparation. Said Holy Hour involved vocal prayers while kneeling for the whole hour. To my surprise, he actually liked the Low Mass and went to a High Mass too. So there may be something here

  14. quo vado says:

    The Chartres Pilgrimage looks amazing. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a fund there that would allow diocesan seminarians to go? I doubt many dioceses would fund such a traditional trip. Maybe some laity would, like how the pilgrims of old were supported by those with the means, but couldn’t go for one reason or another.

  15. Felipe says:

    Thank you for your blog, we need more priests to read and share experiences like these! I hope other priests will be encouraged to accept their right to celebrate their Rite!

  16. Grant M says:

    When the Machabees saw the temple in ruins, they made a great lamentation, and then got busy rebuilding.

  17. The Masked Chicken says:

    The thinking is a bit muddled, here. I have to go to work, but if I get the chance later today, I will try to clarify some of the points, because they are contradictory. The Charismatic “Renewal” and the TLM do not belong together. In fact, if people had a better understanding of the origins of the Charismatic phenomenon of modern times, they would see that they are, in fact, opposed, even though the emotional responses might be superficially similar.

    More, later (I hope).

    The Chicken

  18. Semper Gumby says:

    This is good news, God bless this priest.

    A relevant article at Crisis magazine today:

    “During the past three years, I have given all my junior students an assignment: to attend either the Mass of another Catholic Rite or the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, and to describe their experience, writing what was the same or different and their honest reactions to it.”

  19. The Masked Chicken says:

    First off, I want to commend the priest who wrote this e-mail on his re-discovery of the richness of the TLM.

    What is problematic are the two phrases:
    1. The exchange between Traditionalism and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal
    2. The future of the Church is in her past.

    If one were living in 1958, before the death of Pope Pius XII, the Latin Mass would have looked like the future of the Church. It had survived for about 1900 years, at least from its embryonic form form in the early days of the Church to its relatively completed form in about 1000 AD to its Tridentine form in about 1560 AD. It had grown and developed – always pushing forward as times and circumstances changed. It was and always will be the direction of future progress of the Church’s liturgy. The Vatican II Council Fathers knew this and only wanted slight tweaking to account for modern needs.

    Unfortunately, the Resourcement movement (also, known as La Nouvelle Theologie) had sprung up as early as the 1920’s, although it flourished during the 1930’s and 1940’s, with the notion that certain aspects of the Church’s theology (Thomism) and practice were no longer pure and needed to go back to the sources, by which they meant the early Church. It was like an old man wanting to go back to his first car that he got when he was an adolescent. This argumentum ad antiquitatem, the idea that the past is better or truer was suppressed by Pope Pius XII, but it came roaring back in the implementation of Vatican II (not the actual Council). The New Mass, the Novus Ordo, was, in many ways, with its focus on the Mass as meal and its use of formulas going back to the early days of the Church (second Eucharistic prayer) and its use of new composed items, reminiscent of the unstable, unfinished days of the early Mass, when prayers were somewhat improvised, the actual backwards-looking Mass dressed up as if it were a progressive development. It is the Latin Mass which contains the forward momentum of the Church, not the Novus Ordo, which has caused confusion and a general lack of enthusiasm for the Transcendent.

    The sense of the Transcedent has always been conveyed by the TLM, as well as mystery (something lacking in the Novus Ordo Mass). It is when people immerse themselves in the Mystery that life becomes new, at every moment. There is a newness about the Latin Mass that can never be relegated to mere tradition. The Latin Mass is simultaneous ancient and new – a far better reflection of the qualities of the Godhead than in the Novus Ordo, which looks very parochial, by comparison.

    The future of the Church is in the future. If it were in the past, everyone would be rejoicing over the Novus Ordo Mass, for it is the Mass that actually thinks that the future of the Church is in the past.

    As for the Charismatic Renewal – I owe it to speak for the 3000 people per DAY that are being lost from the Catholic Church to Pentecostal sects in Korea and Latin America to say that it was only because of the Resourcement movement that it was able to gain a foothold in the Catholic Church. When the new Mass came in in about 1967-1969 and people left the Church in droves, they still had a hunger for the Transcendent and the vacuum was rapidly filled by the Charismatic Renewal. The Pentecostal phenomenenon (second wave) sweeping the mainline Churches during the 1950’s was never adequately researched by the Vatican, but because it looked like something from the early days of the Church, was sold as a return to the glory days of the past. It was not. The origins of the modern (post-1800) Pentecostal revival was nothing of the sort. It had no resemblance to the modern Charismatic Renewal propaganda – there were no “Words of Knowledge,” no healings, no glossolalia (speaking in tongues) – each of these was a gradual accretion borne of Protestant “discoveries”. It is definitely not forward-looking. The current manifestation of Pentecostalism or Charismatic phenomena are the attempt to return to former supposed glories of a non-existent Church idealized by Protestants. This interpretation of the original Protestant Pentecostal from the 1830’s was made in England in 1862 at the Lambeth conference. It is a fascinating development, which I won’t have time to go through.

    The correct replacement for the Charismatic Renewal is the development of personal holiness, the forward-looking grace building on nature, not its supplanting. Holiness and the Latin Mass are forward-looking. This is the correct formulation.

    I can’t discuss the history of Charismatic theology and the Catholic Church, here. That would require a book. All I can say is that the Charismatic phenomenon is a type of quick-and-dirty mysticism, which needs to be replaced by the slower growth in holiness that only God and man, working together, can give. That is the way forward.

    If the priest who wrote this comments wants to discuss the matter with me, Fr. Z. has my e-mail address. I have spent 25 years of interdisciplinary research on charismatic theology, with the discussion of spiritual directors and theologians involved. There is too much to say, but while I appreciate the enthusiasm for the TLM and the Charismatic Renewal, they are two different things.

    The Chicken

  20. A brief reponse to the Masked Chicken:

    The Ressourcement movement of the early 20th century wasn’t all bad. It was, among other things, a movement to restore a place of honor to patristic and monastic theology that had gotten lost in the Church’s embrace of neo-Scholasticism–particularly neo-Thomism–at the end of the 19th century. Patristic and monastic theology tended to be regarded as groping, imperfect “pre-Scholastic” preludes to the Scholasticism of the high Middle Ages, which to its 19th-century advocates seemed to be theology perfected, especially in the writings of Thomas Aquinas. Those advocates tended to neglect, for example, Thomas’s own extensive citations from the Church fathers and the reverence he paid them in his writings.

    The Ressourcement movement generated, for the first time, modern scholarly editions–typically put together by learned scholar-priests–of the writings of Anselm of Canterbury, Bernard of Clairvaux, and dozens of other monastic figures who had generated rich theological reflections and biblical exegesis that had tended to be ignored 0r regarded as somehow primitive and inferior in the 19th-century’s laser-like focus on Thomas Aquinas. We are the lucky heirs of these labors, for most of the scholar-priests are no more, what with the chaos after Vatican II.

    I agree that nouvelle theologie mostly (although not entirely) generated theological rebellion, and that the Novus Ordo rite of the Mass, although not unorthodox, is kind of a mess–an effort to return to the liturgy of the “early Church” but actually a patchwork of then-fashionable (1960s) ideas of what the liturgy of the early Church must have been like. Fortunately the “reformers” of the Mass didn’t do too much damage, and it is quite possible to have a Novus Ordo Mass that is reverent and beautiful and honors tradition. But it doesn’t happen a lot.

  21. jaykay says:

    Thanks for that link, Semper G. The boys’ comments are all interesting, and VERY encouraging, but I was particularly struck by how mature this one is, and how this young man really gets it – in a way I certainly didn’t at a comparable age. What he said, inter alia, was:

    “One thing I really liked about the Latin Mass was the meditation that is involved. For me, it forced me to examine my conscience. It helped me realize how much I sin, and how I need to do a better job of going to Confession and to try to avoid committing the same sins.”

  22. teachermom24 says:

    Dear Chicken,

    THANK YOU!!!!! Everything you said–golden. God bless you!

  23. Semper Gumby says:

    Our priest wrote: “And you, Traditional Catholics, you are so young! Attached is a picture I snapped as I was walking, of a young boy and a tonsured monk in long, deep conversation–as I took it, a word came to me: “The future of the Church is in her past.””

    “I have also become convinced that Summorum Pontificum was in fact a prophetic document as it made possible a place of refuge and safe harbor in the face of the Church’s current crisis.”

    Masked Chicken wrote: “It is the Latin Mass which contains the forward momentum of the Church…”

    Excellent, we have some common ground here.

  24. Semper Gumby says:

    jaykay: You’re welcome, the boys’ comments are heartening indeed. A superb ending to that article:

    “At the very least, these boys’ reactions show that we must have an open mind with regards to the TLM and the increased scope of its use, that is, if we are honestly seeking “that the Church of Christ should offer worthy worship to the Divine Majesty, ‘for the praise and glory of his name’ and ‘the good of all his holy Church.’” (Summorum Pontificum, #1)”

  25. The Masked Chicken says:

    Riddley wrote:

    “Interesting stuff! I don’t know anything about charismatic Catholicism and haven’t encountered it in the flesh – anyone know a good primer on it?”

    I am frantically trying to prepare for two talks on a panel on artificial intelligence at a conference in Austin, TX, next week, but I wanted to caution Riddley that the supposedly good primers about Charismatic Catholicism that one might find at a Life in the Spirit seminar misinterpret everything. They start from a false assumption – that this is the Biblical Pentecostal experience rediscovered. It is not. The best reference book up to 1800 is Mnsr. Ronald Knox’s book, Enthusiasm. He wrote it just before he died and it was the book he was most proud of. It recounts charismatic experience through history to 1800. Let me give a brief timeline beyond Knox’s book to show how we got here. I had hoped to bring Knox’s treatment up to the present. I don’t know if I will get that book written. The dates, here, are approximate as my research is in storage, at the moment. You will see why the Charismatic Movement is incompatible with the Latin Mass.

    1. 1735 – John Wesley goes to Georgia. He becomes disheartened and depressed about his salvation (possibly going through the early stages of the Dark Night of the soul).
    2. 1738 – On his way to Georgia and while back in England, Wesley meets the Pietists and would go to Germany to visit Count Zenzindorf, who assures Wesley that he can have an inner experience of God’s presence.
    3. May, 24, 1738 – while listening to the Letters to the Romans at a meeting of the Moravians (Pietists) Wesley’s heart is, “strangely warmed.” He has a sense of peace and being entirely sanctified, saved – he would later call this, “Sinless Perfection.” What he meant by this would be equivalent to the Catholic term for the Transforming Union or Mystical Marriage discussed in the Seventh Mansions of the Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila. Wesley never read St. Teresa or John of the Cross, so erroneously equated his version of the Mystical Marriage to the Protestant notion of Salvation by Faith alone. In fact, since faith is the proximate means of Union with God, the whole endpoint of the Transforming Union is the purification and perfection of faith, but Wesley had a defect in faith, misunderstanding, among other things, salvation from a Catholic perspective as well as other teaching of the Church, so his experience was definitely not a Mystical Marriage, as his faith would have had to be a wholly Catholic faith to get there. So, what was his experience – St. Teresa would call it a spiritual delight or a consolation. It does help to effect some spiritual growth, but is dependent on the state of the soul. These do not, of themselves, bring one to Union with God. St. Therese would say, “To ecstasy, I prefer the monotony of sacrifice.” The Cross is a surer way.
    4. 1740-1770’s – Wesley begins to teach a method (hence, Methodists) for anyone to reach Entire Sanctification. It involves what Catholic would call the Purgative Way. Wesley did not believe in the Illuminative Way, believing that Protestant saving faith would allow one to skip this and go directly to the Unitive Way (his Entire Sanctification), when ready. This is the fatal flaw in Wesley’s quasi-Mystical theology and the ultimate flaw in Charismatic Renewal theology. In this state of Sinless Perfection, Wesley believed that one would not be able to sin. He believed that most people would not reach this state until near death.
    5. 1770’s – Wesley begins a series of letter with the Dutch theologian, John Fletcher. Wesley was defending his view on salvation, a modified form derived from the Dutch theologian Joseph Arminius, called Arminianism, that sinners could be saved even if they fell from Entire Sanctification through repentance. The Calvinists disagreed. Fletcher came to defend Wesley, writing a book called, 5 Checks to Antinomianism, since under Calvinism, a predestined person could, essentially be lawless, but go to Heaven.
    6. 1770’s – In the Fourth Check to Antinomianism, Fletcher introduces the idea of, “Baptisms in the Holy Spirit.” Fletcher, unlike Wesley, had read John of the Cross (and, perhaps, St. Teresa of Avila), but misinterpreted the effects of mystical consolations. These strengthen nature, but are not salvific, in themselves. One need never have a spiritual consolation to be saved. Fletcher believed that these consolations not only purified, but granted a person salvation, whether, “it be a little at a time or one great big outpouring [approximate quote].” This is the origin of the term, Baptism in the Holy Spirit – a misread on a type of mystical experience that supposedly granted both perfection and salvation fairly rapidly.
    7. 1770’s – Wesley disagreed. He felt that one approached Entire Sanctification gradually, through personal growth and purification.
    8. 1770’s – Somehow, Wesley and Fletcher were able to reconcile their view points. Sadly, the letter they did it in has been lost.
    9. July, 26, 1837 – Fast forward to America. The Methodist wife of a New York doctor, Phoebe Palmer, had read Fletcher’s Checks. She had suffered a miscarriage and was dispairing of her salvation. On, “the day of days,” she (mis)read Matthew 23:19 -“You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?”. Essentially, she threw herself on an altar and tarried (waited) for God to save her, to Baptize her in the Holy Spirit, a la Fletcher. I don’t recall how long she waited, but she said that, suddenly, “things went quiet,” inside her soul and she had a sense of being saved – she believed she had reached Sinless Perfection. Given the defects in faith discussed above, it is clear that what she experienced was likely the Prayer of Quiet, which belongs to the Fourth Manisions – beginning of supernatural prayer, not the Seventh Mansions, the Transforming Union. Alas, she is never corrected on this point.
    10. 1840’s – Palmer and her sister start the Holiness Movement, Teaching this quick method of achieving Entire Sanctification. She starts the Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness.
    11. 1841 – Palmer meets the Protestant theologian, Thomas Upham, who is bright to a Tuesday meeting by his wife. Upham had read John of the Cross and told Palmer that she had, “appropriated” (his term) grace from God – forced His hand, as it were, to give her her salvation. Although Upham becomes a prominent member of the Holiness Movement, Palmer strongly disagrees with Upham that this is what she did. St. John of the Cross, however, writes about people who demand consolation or signs fromGof, else they will lose faith and despair. It is clear that Palmer’s experience falls into this category.
    12. 1840-1860 – Palmer preaches her holiness doctrine. Her version of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is entirely concerned with salvation and Sinless Perfection. It is a type of abberent mysticism, a nascent mystical movement in Protestantism (without the guidance of the Catholic Church). She gains advocates such as the famous Protestant theologian Charles Finney and Asa Mahan (the first president of Oberon College).
    13. 1862 – Palmer, Mahan, and Finney are invited to present their way of Holiness to the Lambeth Conference in England. They sail to England. The Calvinists do not agree with Palmer’s interpretation of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, since they have no concept of perfection outside of predestination. They reformulate the experience [this is the crucial point] as, “an enduement of power for service.” The purifying mystical origins of the movement are hidden or lost in favor a theology of power and equipment for service, especially in the missions. The Baptism becomes less about personal purification and more about bringing others to faith. The supernatural gifts idea slowly starts to be emphasized.
    14. 1865 – The Scottish surgeon, Dr. Charles Cullis, again, misreading Scripture, 1 Pet 2:24, “By His stripes you were healed,” “discovers” the idea that faith can heal. This is the beginning of faith healing.
    15. 1865-1900 – Various post-Civil War mission movements and tent revivals occur. Some fringe groups toy with the gift of tongues, but the groups have no lasting impact.
    16. 1901 – Charles F. Parham, pastor of the Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas, was heavily influence by a movement (Anglo-Isrealism) that believed that the ten lost tribes of Israel were in America and England. He believed that it was divinely decreed that America would be the mission to the world. He thought that to preach in foreign countries, missionaries would need to speak like the apostles did on Pentecost (xenoglassia). He primed his students to make the discover by asking them to look at the question, “What is the sign that will tell one that they have been saved.” Then, he went away on a speaking engagement(?) for a few days and, sure enough when he came back, his students had the answer he wanted (he primed them for) – speaking in tongues is the sign of being entirely saved. One of his students, Agnes Ozman requested to be prayed over receive the gift of tongues. They prayed for three (?) days and she started to speak in some gibberish that she claimed was Chinese (an actual Chinese person examine her ecstatic writing and discredited this, however). Parham was ecstatic. He planed a trip to India to evangelize using the new gifts. They did not understand him. Parham backpedaled, claiming the glossolalia was really, “angelic tongues, for praise.
    17. 1906 – Parham meets William Seymour in California, who, impressed by Parham’s interpretation of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, brings it to the Azusa Street Mission, where it flourishes. A newspaper man, John Sherill writes a very sympathetic, uncritical account of the Azusa Street Mission called, They Speak with Other Tongues, bring the Pentacostal experience to the wider public.
    18. 1907 – Parham’s stature does into decline after allegations of sexual improprieties (the charges were dismissed)
    19. 1914 – Assemblies of God formed. End of First Wave Pentecostalism
    20. 1915-1980 – Second Wave Pentecostalism spreads to mainline Protestant churches culminating with the Episcopal priest, Dennis Bennet’s book, Nine O’clock in the Morning, about his experience of being baptized in the a Holy Spirit.
    21. 1940-1970 – South African preacher, David du Pless, nicknamed, Mr. Pentecost, pushes Second Wave Pentecostalism, eventually, through an English priest, catching the ear of the Vatican. Du Pless visits in the late 1950’s recounting that one cardinal has 300 books on Pentecostalism on his bookshelf. The Resourcement Movement is underway. Du Pless is invited to be an observer at Vatican II.
    22. 1967-Two professors at Duquesne University, Storey and Keffer, attend a Cursillio and after the emotional high wears of wonder where they can get the power to transform other students to Christ. Graduate student, Ralph Martin, who is visiting from a Michigan, suggest that they read the book, The Cross and the Switchblade, by David Wilkerson. Storey and Keffer, with nary a critical eye, decide to seek out the Baptism of the Holy Spirit from a local Pentecostal group. This marks the beginning of the Catholic Pentecostalism, which would be renamed the Charismatic Renewal. Eventually, it will find a home, first at Notre Dame University, then in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
    23. 1980’s – John Wimber begins Third Wave Pentecostalism, including such new “gifts” as Holy Laughter. This will be called the Signs and Wonders movement. Controversial.
    24. Early 2000’s – beginning of Fourth Wave Pentecostalism. Outreach to Jews.

    As one can see from this convoluted history, the abarrent mystical theological origins have been shrouded by Protestant re-interpretations of this being a new Pentecost. Yes, there are genuine preternatural aspects to this, but they are not in line with historical Church teachings on such things as how to deal with locutions (words of knowledge) or personal growth in holiness. The Baptism does not guarantee salvation, as originally proposed. It can, in certain cases, lead to growth in holiness, just as any type of consolation can, but it imports a disdain for a hierarchy of authority, favoring the spontaneity of the Spirit. It developed new gifts over time, as new Biblical “discoveries” were made. The transcendence of Christ in the TLM is not the same as seen in the Renewal. Its sees the Cross in Protestant terms, not Catholic terms (suffering is an enemy in Pentecostal circles). It sees little need for atonement, since there is an underlying sense of salvation. Pentecostals have their own encounter with Christ – who needs the Mass, with its constant need to seek forgiveness from God and reception of Communion when only in the state of grace (which the Baptism in the Holy Spirit was supposed to permanently provide).

    No, the TLM and the Charismatic Renewal cannot go together. They do not believe in the same deposit of faith. The fact that the Pentecostal experience is so malleable as to be accepted in groups totally opposed in faith (some Pentecostals are rabidly anti-Catholic) points to its origins outside of the deposit of faith – in the junk food experience of God that God had to give to Phoebe Palmer so that she didn’t give up the faith, completely (see, St. John of the Cross, above). Yes, there can be supernatural components to it, but it is known that some people speaking in tongues, for instance, are actually cursing God, instead of praising him (a person passing by actually understood the language).

    The TLM is authentic spiritual food of the highest quality. The Charismatic Renewal is MacDonalds, at best and poison (for some) at worst. I can’t go any longer or I will be starting a book. There is so much more to say.

    The Chicken

  26. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Charlotte Allen,

    I did not mean to cast all of the accomplishments of Resourcement under the bus, they did produce volumes of transcriptions of ancient texts, but their underlying theory was wrong and being uncritically adopted by some people led to the hodge-podge which is the Novus Ordo Mass. The Church would have gotten those transcription a few decades later, I am sure, but, in my opinion, the Church would have been better off without the Movement.

    The Chicken

  27. Semper Gumby says:

    Riddley: Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Communities on Oct. 31, 2008. It’s an interesting read, and, as it’s Benedict XVI, his brief address is free of elitism and rancor.

    quo vado wrote:

    “We brought our friend who was a Charismatic Catholic to a Low Mass, followed by a Holy Hour of Reparation. Said Holy Hour involved vocal prayers while kneeling for the whole hour. To my surprise, he actually liked the Low Mass and went to a High Mass too. So there may be something here”

    Good point and well done.

  28. veritas vincit says:

    Masked Chicken: Regarding the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, I fear that you are very much mistaken. I entered the Catholic Church via the Renewal, after years of being a fallen-away Methodist. While I was aware of the Charismatic Renewal’s antecedents in Protestant Pentacostalism and the work of david DuPlessis, brought into the Church at Duquens University in 1967, I can attest the underlying theology is nothing like you describe fromn the Protestants. Simply put, what the Pentacostals call the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” the Charismatics understand as a release of the power of the Holy Spirit already present in a believer via the sacrements. The charisms or “gifts” (minus some of the dodgy things like “laughter in the Spiorit”) have Scriptural support in the Book of Acts and in 1 Corinthians.

    The Charismatic renewal is definitely experietial, with the cautions assorted with overvauling personal experience, and needs to be balanced with the Church’s sacremental life and in harmony with Church authority. Charismatic individuals and groups who have gone awry, some of which I am fasmiliar with, were not so grounded.

    I would not be a Catholic today if not for the Renewal. Raplh Martin, who you mention is still active leading a Catholic lay ministry which is perfectly orthodox. A Charisiatmc Franciscan priest, the late Father Michael Scanlon, revived a failing commuter college in Steubenville Ohio into Fransicsan University, one of the finest and most dynamic Catholic universities in the country.

    I can’t speak for the Renewal versus the TLM, but quo vado has already provided information. Not familiar myself with the TLM, all I can say is that I see no reason why the TLM can’t be part of the grounding a cabharismatic Catholic receives in the Church. If I haven’t been clear, the Protestant theology you spent several paragraphs on, is not part of the Catholic Charismatic renewal. (Whether Pentecostalism exerted a heterodox influence on Vatican II, I can’t say, but I suspect there is a lot of blame from latent and not-so-latent Modernism that made contributions.

  29. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear veritas vincit,

    As I mentioned, I was giving a brief timeline. I am quite aware of the notion of the, “release” of the Holy Spirit. If I recall, it is a wholesale invention of Fr. Kilian McDonnell and Fr. George T. Montague in their book, Fanning the Flame: What Does Baptism in the Holy Spirit Have to Do with Christian Initiation? (McDonnell wrote a separate book somewhat earlier about a possible connection between the Baptism and Christian initiation). The book is problematic on many levels as they ignore many counter examples (including from the Church Fathers) and start from their conclusion – that the current Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the same as on Pentecost. There is no such notion as the release of the Holy Spirit (and why was He trapped in the first place?) in any theology prior to the McDonnell/Montague book unless one strains interpretations.

    I have tried to do my homework. I have taken 25 years of slow careful study examining original documents, where possible, with the permission of both my spiritual director at the time (a Dominican) and my provincial in the consultation with a Jesuit theologian. Both the Dominican and the Jesuit agreed that my work should be published (and if you can get a Dominican and Jesuit to agree on anything…). I discussed the matter with the noted Catholic historian James Hitchcock. I had access to three theological libraries (one Catholic and two Protestant) and a major secular research university library. I have studied the history of Charismatic outbursts throughout history from the Old Testament to the current times. I have studied the theology, history, linguistics, neuroscience, sociology, and any other areas touching them, such as laughter. There are 20,000 books and articles in the Jones Pentecostal bibliography alone and another 10,000 in his supplement. I have not read them all, but many tend to repeat the same arguments. No Pentecostal scholar worth his salt disagrees with my timeline and, yet, perhaps the best Pentecostal scholar of this age has said, “A true Catholic contribution has been wanting,” so even he (Walter Hollenweger) in surveying the worldwide state of Pentecostalism noted the poor scholarship in Catholic circles .

    Plainly put, Storey and Keefer went to a protestant Pentecost group to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. At what point did the phenomenon suddenly turn Catholic? The roots have to be traced in continuity with the history. It was disingenuous of McDonnell and Montague to not factor in the protestant history of the current manifestation. If they argue that this is a release of the Holy Spirit from Confirmation, well, what about the Jesus Only Pentecostals, who claim the same Baptism, but do not have valid baptism nor confirmation? McDonnell and Montague cannot explain this by their model. It is true that unbaptized believers manifested the charisms in Scripture, but this was by way of sign to validate the Apostle’s message. A similar thing happened in the Old Testament with Moses and the 70 elders (if I recall the passage, correctly).

    Cardinal Suenens, one of the early promoters of the Charismatic Renewal in his book, A New Pentecost?, could not explain certain of the phenomena, such as being slain in the spirit. He thought it might be similar to the guards who fell down before Christ in the Garden of Gethsemene or an episode from the life of King David (the passage escapes me), but he wasn’t sure and these are a stretch, to be sure. He, also, could not account for the worsening of mental illness caused by some who receive the Baptism, although he did note the phenomenon. If one realizes the phenomena as being derived from a forced mystical experience, then everything suddenly falls into place. The phenomenon of being slain in the spirit is known in mystical theology as a suspension. It was a well-known phenomenon among certain mystics. St. John of the Cross talks about the spiritual spilling over into the physical and resulting in disturbances (such as erotic sensations) in those not yet properly disposed to receive them. The same thing can happen with people of delicate mental disposition. Locutions and visions are commonly encountered in mystical theology and the Church has guidelines on how to deal with them (which the Charismatic Renewal is not following).

    If you have had a good experience with the Renewal, then praise God. God can certainly use this phenomenon to bring about good in some people’s lives. I have been in the Renewal since the 1970’s, myself and without saying how, I know many graduates from the University of Steubenville. I never even questioned the status quo or (dare I say) propaganda of the Renewal until a series of events in graduate school involving former Catholics turned Pentecostals forced me to begin to examine the roots of the movement in detail. I found what St. John of the Cross found – that it is possible for some people to have genuine spiritual gifts, but be blatant heretics. He could not explain the phenomenon. Some people will be brought closer to the Church via the renewal, but some will leave the Church. I have seen both. One of my best friends in the Renewal founded a religious order, for goodness sakes.

    Theology is a science and must adhere to the methods of science. My timeline is consistent and explains the facts. It follows the path set by Knox, who, sadly, ended his book just at the time of John Wesley.

    While I don’t mind politely discussing these issues (I realize passions can flair) this is getting far afield from the topic of this post. I just wanted to send up a cautionary note about equating two things, the TLM and the Charismatic Renewal, which have tentative connections, at best, and differences in theology, at worst. If I had my own blog or public email account, I would be more than willing to continue the discussion, but I suppose that this is not the proper venue for discussing Charismatic theology is detail. I was probably imprudent of me to start the ball rolling. I have so much work to get done in the next two days for a conference that I probably won’t have time to make anything but the briefest of comments until next week.

    The Chicken

  30. Semper Gumby says:

    Masked Chicken wrote:

    “If you have had a good experience with the Renewal, then praise God. God can certainly use this phenomenon to bring about good in some people’s lives.”

    Excellent, we have common ground.

    “Theology is a science and must adhere to the methods of science. My timeline is consistent and explains the facts.”

    True, theology is the Queen of Sciences, though reasonable people can disagree on the suitability of the Scientific Method to theology in all situations (e.g. the Trinity CCC 234 and 251), and on the comprehensiveness of that timeline.

    “I[t] was probably imprudent of me to start the ball rolling.”

    No worries, you’re fine.

  31. veritas vincit says:

    “The correct replacement for the Charismatic Renewal is the development of personal holiness, the forward-looking grace building on nature, not its supplanting.”

    Masked Chicken, I would agree that any authentic renewal movement is not sufficient in itself but must lead to personal holiness. I might add, striving for holiness is an individual choice, and the issue of some members of a renewal movement leaving the Church does not itself invalidate that movement in its entirety. If that were the case, than traditionalism itself would have problems, since many traditionalists have gone on to sedevacantism, to leaving the Church.

    Let’s close this discussion as friends and fellow Catholics. I appreciate your observations, your zeal and rejoice with you in finding true faith in Jessus Christ and in His Church.

  32. Fr Matthew-Anthony OP says:

    With Father Zuhlsdorf’s leave, I wish to respond to some egregious misinformation about the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) posted in this combox. I will be intentionally brief but to the point; for those who want to know about my credentials, I have served in leadership roles in the local CCR and I am currently a doctoral student in Biblical Thomism, at the intersection of Pneumatology and Christology.

    1. Regarding the supposed Protestant “pedigree” of the CCR, two things. First, as Catholics we must acknowledge that the Holiness movement and the subsequent Pentecostal movement represents the first time that Protestantism returned to a more Catholic understanding of salvation: That there is, in fact, an interior purification that takes place within the Christian, as opposed to the more classic Protestant idea of forensic justification. In other words, out of all of Protestantism, Pentecostals and charismatics are more Catholic in their doctrine of salvation. Second, it is often forgotten that, to many minds, the Pentecostal movement was, unwittingly, an answer to the prayer of Pope Leo XIII who prayed, on New Years’ Day of 1901, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the new century. His influence was Blessed Elena Guerra, who wrote to His Holiness a series of letters exhorting him to encourage devotion to the Holy Spirit. It is well known that this two (or three?) encyclicals to that effect fell on deaf ears among the world’s episcopate, but appeared to have been answered outside of the visible boundaries of the Church. Despite some of Protestantism’s errors, it is even more erroneous to dismiss Protestantism wholesale. As St Paul said, “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will… the former proclaim Christ out of partisanship, but sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ must be proclaimed; and in that I rejoice” (Phil 1:15-18). Let us not forget that the first “Protestants”–namely the Northern Kingdom of Israel, had outstanding prophets like Elijah and Elisha. St Augustine’s regard for the Donatist heretic Tyconius, I think, is also instructive here.

    It seems fitting, moreover, that the Holy Spirit, who is the unity between the Father and the Son, be also the principle of unity in the Body of Christ between both Catholics and Protestants.

    2. It is facile, even calumnious, to reduce the CCR to an emotional experience; While it is true that many dabble in the CCR for that “spiritual high,” veteran Charismatic Catholics know well that these “consolations” quickly pass away and, sometimes, can even be deceptive. On the other hand, we cannot forget that “Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit” (Lk 10:21) and that St Paul insisted that “For the Kingdom of God does not mean food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17) and exhorted: “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart” (Eph 5:18-19). Both Paul VI and Fr Raniero Cantalamessa OFM Cap refer this as the “sober intoxication of the Spirit.” While emotionalism is indeed a danger (and a quick sign of superficiality in those claiming to be Charismatic Catholics), we must remember the Aristotelian-Thomistic doctrine of the human soul: The sensitive soul is the seat of the eleven emotions which, as a result of sin, controls the intellectual soul; in grace, however, the intellectual soul is elevated and masters the sensitive soul which yields a rectified showing of emotions, especially joy. Why else would the 120 Christians have been accused of drunkenness on that first Pentecost morning if they were not euphoric with joy at being baptised in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:13)? Were those who were healed by Jesus or His Apostles being superficially emotional (cf Lk 13:17; Acts 3:3)? Are we not to “rejoice always” (1 Thess 5:16)? Is not “joy” one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22)? Even the lives of the saints are replete with stories of them being filled with ecstasy, including my own beloved Founder, St Dominic Guzman. By way of caution, it is a sign of residual Jansenism to imagine that being dour is devout. St Teresa of Avila did, in fact, pray to be saved from “sullen saints.”

    3. Finally, what is principal idea of the CCR? Two things, essentially: Giving sovereignty to the Holy Spirit (with its concomitant personal holiness) and the exercise of the charisms–or what St Thomas Aquinas called the “gratia gratis data.” It might be helpful to ask a question: Because of our Baptism and Confirmation, yes, we do have the Holy Spirit–but: Does the Holy Spirit HAVE YOU? The Lord Jesus’ public ministry began with a promise of baptism in the Holy Spirit (cf Mt 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lk 3:16; Jn 1:33); He reiterated His promise just before His Ascension (Lk 24:49; Acts 1:4-5). And, even though the first Christians received the gift of the Holy Spirit, St Paul still had reason to exhort them: “Be aglow with the Spirit” (Rom 12:11); “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18); “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thess 5:19). Why would St Paul tell Christians–who, by definition, already to have the Gift–to “be aglow,” to “be filled” and to “not quench” the Holy Spirit if they already had Him indwelling them? St Thomas Aquinas tells us that, even though the Blessed Virgin Mary was completely filled with the Holy Spirit, Her capacity to receive grew as Her life continued–and this is a model for us: The Christian life must grow in deeper surrender and abandonment to the Holy Spirit’s sovereignty, which is precisely why She holds the title of “Spouse of the Holy Spirit.” Since the Holy Spirit is, fundamentally, the “New Law” (which is precisely why He was outpoured on Pentecost Day–the anniversary of the giving of the Old Law), we say with David: “I have run in the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart” (Ps 119:32, DRV). My doctoral research on the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit in the thought of St Thomas is quickly confirming this.

    Regarding the charisms, the Lord Jesus is clear in His demand that we make use of them (Mt 25:14-30) and that they have been allotted to every single Christian (1 Cor 12:7); the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council has instructed the faithful on just this (Lumen gentium, 4 and 12). If we are to take the logic that the CCR is Protestant simply because of its similarity to Pentecostalism (and note that there is a distinction between ‘Pentecostal’ and ‘Charismatic’), then we must also say that those who reject the charisms are Baptist because they are Cessationists. But even St Thomas Aquinas says that the charisms endure in the Church. As Pope Benedict XVI said in October of 2008, “We can, therefore, rightly say that one of the positive elements and aspects of the community of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is precisely their emphasis on the charisms or gifts of The Holy Spirit and their merit lies in having recalled their topicality in the Church.”

    In closing, I recommend Oreste Pesare’s THEN PETER STOOD UP (South Bend: Chariscenter USA, 2012), which is a compilation of the recent Pontiffs’ statements regarding the CCR, as well as BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT (Rome: Doctrinal Commission of ICCRS, 2017), a theological explanation of the “release” of the Holy Spirit after one’s Baptism and Confirmation. The assessment by the renowned Marian scholar Rene Laurentin is a useful introduction to the CCR: CATHOLIC PENTECOSTALISM (New York, Doubleday: 1977).

    Veni, Creator Spiritus!
    Fr M-A Hysell, OP

  33. Hidden One says:

    Semper Gumby, I believe you have conflated the presently common notion of a ‘science’ with the more ancient notion of science–perhaps I should write ‘scientia’–that I believe your interlocutor intended.

  34. Semper Gumby says:

    Hidden One: Have a closer look. Cheers.

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