The Charismatic Movement—Renewal or Apostasy?

Movements in the Roman Catholic Church now number over a hundred. This proliferation has happened since Vatican II. You might have heard of the Neocatechumenal Way, Sant’Egidio, Focolare. But one of the movements most popular in Catholic parishes is the Charismatic Movement.

All of the modernization, democratization, and opening up of what was the Catholic Church before Vatican II has had disastrous consequences on the Church: on the preservation of the true Faith, on morals, on vocations… The Catholic Church was already being pressured into its auto demolition when the charismatic renewal movement surfaced.

Such a movement never would have gained accptance in the pre-conciliar Church. The dark forces at work to undermine the Catholic Church caused it to capitulate in a shocking way by allowing this movement which runs counter to true Catholicism. This movement puts aside Catholic Baptism to invent its own. It emphasizes superficial and strange gifts with no real spiritual fruits leading to sanctification. It bypasses Catholic doctrine with its unrestrained false mysticism.

The Charismatic Movement gets at the pillars of the Church: the Holy Spirit on which it is founded, the sacraments that confer this Holy Spirit, the Tradition that imposed discipline and for centuries protected the Church from degradation by novelties and impostors. In other words the Charismatic Movement while seeming to defer to Catholic beliefs and Tradition has introduced an anything goes, make your own religion approach that is opposed to Catholicism and is so prevalent elsewhere in Christianity.

The Charismatic Movement has its origins in Pentecostalism. A group of Catholics from Duquesne University went requesting a baptism in the ‘spirit’ from Pentecostals to augment their spiritual life. One French priest went as far as labeling this the ‘original sin of the Charismatic Movement saying this (2):

The initiative of the founders of charismatism was incontestably an act of apostasy: when one has the great honor, the unheard-of grace of having received from our holy Mother the Church, through baptism and confirmation, the plenary gift of the Holy Spirit, having the audacity to appeal to a miserable sect to demand a new baptism and a new gift of the Spirit, is an insult to Christ and his only bride, the Roman Catholic Church he founded and established as the sole depositary and dispenser of His grace. It is to despise the Holy Spirit where he really is-in this holy Church, the Body of Christ and the ark of salvation in which and by which he wants to act, visibly or invisibly, to the exclusion of any other community or sect – to seek it elsewhere, where it is not, in the outer darkness where Satan works, disguised as an angel of light. It is to commit, in a word, the sin against the Holy Spirit. (…) It is this betrayal which is the founding act of the Charismatic Movement. (…)

John Vennari said something similar in Catholic Family News (3):

This is how the “Catholic Charismatic Renewal” began — Catholics receiving a Protestant mock-sacrament of ‘baptism of the spirit’, not through the sacramental channels of grace established by Christ, but through collaboration with heretical groups.

Here are other thoughts of the Abbé de Nantes on the Charismatic Movement (2):

Coming from the most marginal Protestantism, which remained fundamentally alien to the Catholic reality, as much to its dogma and morality as to its liturgical, sacramental and social life, PENTECOSTISM is the work of a SPIRIT who never Revealed neither his name nor his true face.

Any SPIRIT that comes from schism and heresy, which subsists outside the Church or invades it while remaining alien to it, hostile and contemptuous, CAN NOT BE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF THE FATHER AND THE SON, but a Spirit of Lie, illusion and darkness. There, then, is not the Renewal expected of a New Pentecost, or rather this is the fruit of this Second Reformation, as the first inspired by the Prince of this World.

Ultimately, the Church would render service to souls by deciding quickly and firmly to condemn and repress the Charismatic Renewal. But in the collapse of post-conciliar decadence, it is tempted to admit any “alternative”…

We must banish the perverse inventions of the Spirit of SATAN, to restore Christianity, of which the “Holy Spirit of God” is the only Paraclete.

Other thoughts from John Vennari are these (3):

Since the Pentecostal believes he has the Holy Spirit already (and can demonstrate it on cue), then who needs the Catholic Church?

Aligned with unchangeable Catholic teaching and tradition, we can say that to describe these exhibitions as the working of the Holy Spirit is blasphemy. To seek and imitate such phenomena is a reckless endangerment of one’s Catholic Faith. To promote such manifestations is to play the role of false prophet. 

Read the full articles by Abbé Georges de Nantes and by John Vennari at the links given for more information about the origins and nature of the Charismatic Movement. Excerpts are included in Appendices A. and B.

The point is that the Charismatic Movement was a cover for the arrival of an impostor spirit that was to take over the Church. Beware of getting involved with adherents of this movements. Do not participate in their gatherings. You worship an impostor if you gather with them. If you inadvertently do, avoid their laying of the hands for outpouring of the ‘spirit’. You do not want their baptism of the spirit to interfere with your true Baptism.

Also beware of charismatics who feel compelled to display their gifts or use them on you. They might use the charismatic label to cover sacrilege: prying into your life, prophesying about personal matters, directing your volition, visiting your spirit, or even your body, interfering with your prayer life. Much of this happens now everywhere around the Catholic Church. The tolerance of the Charismatic Movement in the Church is the best proof that the enemy has infiltrated the Church. Be aware that Pope Francis has invited the Charismatic Renewal Movement to celebrate the movement’s 50th anniversary in 2017 at St Peter’s square with Pentecostal guests. This will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions of 1917. Most likely that more important Catholic anniversary will be overshadowed.

Given this state of affair you must protect yourself from the impostor and his agents as you make efforts to keep the True Faith in a Church being emptied of Jesus and of His teachings.


1. Abbé Georges de Nantes. Le Movement Charismatique (French Original).

2. Abbé Georges de Nantes. The Charismatic Movement (Google Translate version from the French).

3. John Vennari. “Catholic” Pentecostalism Grown in the Garden of Protestantism.

Appendix A. Translated Excepts from The Charismatic Movement by Abbé Georges de Nantes

Until the 1960s, undoutedly not a single Catholic theologian would have thought to support that speaking in tongues – glossolalia and xenoglossia –, that healings, real or imagined, performed by pentecostal leaders were the fruits of the Holy Spirit. In the Catholic tradition, speaking in a foreign language is attributed to Saint Vincent Ferrier and Saint Francis Xavier, but without a solid critical foundation. On the other hand, this preternatural xenoglossia is well known to all exorcists. Tradition is so unanimous on this point that the “Rituale Romanum” signals speaking in foreign language as the first of the external signs of diabolical possession!


As early as 1960, the meeting of the Council was expected in euphoria. John XXIII announced “a new Pentecost”, “a new spring of the Church.” (…) The Church embarks on ecumenism. The most influential Pentecostal leader, David Duplessis, one of the most effective agents of infiltration within other Christian confessions, is invited as an observer to the Council. Cardinal Suenens obtains that the conciliar documents place importance on charisms, against the wise warnings of Cardinal Ruffini, Archbishop of Palermo.


The announced spring was late in coming. Priests, religious men and women leave their convents by the hundreds. Vocations diminish and then dry up altogether. The time for protest and disenchantment had arrived. Cut off from the great Catholic tradition that is now despised, people are already disappointed with the conciliar novelty, insipid and soulless, and one search for something else …

It is in this context that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal or, more precisely, “the catholic branch of the Pentecostal current which is developing in all the Christian Churches” was born. Arnaud de Lassus, who cites this expression used by the charismatics themselves, rightly emphasizes its importance. This is the most exact definition of their Movement. It is also the undisguised admission of its origin and of its permanent essence, fundamentally Protestant.



What a lamentable and scandalous story! Soon hundreds of seduced Catholics: students, priests, nuns, entire convents – such as the Benedictines of Pecos, in the U.S.A., their Father Abbot in the lead – will also have begged for Pentecostal baptism.


The Holy Spirit has finally returned in force in the Catholic Church and is going to blow again within it in a storm, as it has been blowing since 1901 within Protestant Pentecostalism. It is as a dream! In any case, nothing will prevent us from judging the event in the light of the Catholic faith: this new strength, this new power, which apostate Catholics receive through Pentecostal baptism, could not be of God!



At the same time that they rediscover the Catholic tradition in all its aspects, even very secondary ones, the charismatics are in total, profound communion with the Protestant Pentecostals, their brothers, their masters and their fathers in rediscovered faith and fervor. From them they received baptism in the Spirit, they can not forget it.



The charismatic renewal, intimately linked to these apparitions, is worth what the apparitions of Medjugorje are worth. Both are still the unconditional supporters of the new religion inaugurated in Vatican II, and that is why they have benefited so far from a strange kindness on the part of the Roman authorities …

Our Holy Father Benedict XVI wants to put an end to such a scandal, but it will take a lot of courage to oppose the conciliar and charismatic lobby.

Appendix B. Excerpts from “Catholic” Pentecostalism Grown in the Garden of Protestantism by John Vennari

Catholic Pentecostals believe that the great outpouring of the spirit in modern times really began from a small Protestant sect in Topeka, Kansas, led by Charles F. Parham. Some “Catholic” Charismatics such as Peter Herbeck (of Ralph Martin’s Renewal Ministries), treat Parham’s revivalist movement as a Divine manifestation equal in drama and holiness to the visitations of Our Lady of Fatima.[2]

In his book Minority Religions in America, William J. Whalen succinctly des-cribes the sect’s important role in modern Pentecostalism:

“The reappearance of glossolaly (speaking in tongues) was reported in 1901. Charles F. Parham, a Holiness preacher, was dismayed by the aridity of his own spiritual life. He rented a white elephant mansion in Topeka, Kansas, and started a Bible school with about forty students. Together they set out on an intensive study of scriptures and came to the conclusion that speaking in tongues was the one sign that a Christian had indeed received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. At 7 p.m., on New Year’s Eve in 1900, one of the students, Miss Agnes N. Ozmen, startled the assembled group when she began to pray in tongues. Within a few days many more followed suit.

“Parham spent the next five years as an itinerant preacher before opening another Bible school, this time in Houston. One of his students, a Negro minister named W.J. Seymore, carried the ‘full-gospel’ message to Los Angeles. A three-year-long reviv-al in that California city attracted people from all over the country, and these people planted Pentecostalism in most of the major cities in the U.S., as well as in many European nations. The old Holiness Churches refused to give emphasis to tongue-speaking, but dozens of independent Pentecostal Churches were soon organized.”[3]

The charismatic Msgr. Vincent Walsh, an enthusiastic promoter of “Toronto Blessing” aberrations, wrote approvingly, “Due to the ministries of Parham and Seymore, modern world-wide Pentecostalism was launched.”[4] As a phenomenon among Protestant assemblies, it enjoyed spectacular growth. And in 1967, a group of Catholics in Pittsburgh, with their defenses flattened by the steam-roller of Conciliar aggiornamento, and infatuated with a Protestant Minister’s success story among young New York hoodlums, would adopt a “new way of thinking,” study the Scriptures according to this new mind-set, and plunge themselves headlong into the arms of heterodox practice.


In the book Catholic Pentecostals, Kevin and Dorothy Ranaghan (founders of the Catholic Pentecostal movement) describe the movement’s beginnings. The Ranaghans and their colleagues at Duquesne University had been involved with various activities popular at the time (civil rights, etc.). In the midst of these undertakings, they were plagued with great spiritual aridity. To combat this, they claim, the group went in search of a greater influence of God in their lives.

The date was 1966, a time of unprecedented ecclesiastical upheaval. Thomas Merton would soon be off to Tibet praying with the Dalai Lama and calling for a unity which resembled Hindu “Oneness”. New Age writer Teilhard de Chardin was practically reverenced by many Catholic intellectuals as the fifth evangelist. It was a tumultuous period in Church history with violent winds of change uprooting and destroying countless Catholic landmarks. With so many of the familiar signposts swept away, it was all too easy for Catholics to wander out of bounds seeking God in the wrong places.


From Pittsburgh the movement spread to Notre Dame and then to Newman Centers at Michigan State and the University of Michigan. Within four years from its beginning, “Catholic Pentecostalism” fanned out to dozens of areas in the U.S. and Canada.

Now it is a worldwide movement regarded as a percolating sign of hope in the “New Evangelization”. Its function seems to be to mainstream hundreds of thousands of Catholics into Vatican II’s new ecumenical religion.


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