Recent Popes' and Bishops' Statements Concerning the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Pope John XXIII

Prayer to the Holy Spirit (1961):

Pope Paul VI

During the First International Leader's Conference of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, 1 October, 1973:

During the Synod of Bishops in 1974: In 1975, Pope Paul VI personally invited the renewal to hold its annual conference in Rome. In a special session during that conference the pope stated: Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens' book A New Pentecost? (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1975), was enthusiastically endorsed by Pope Paul VI:
Pope John Paul II

To international leaders of the Charismatic Renewal in 1979:

In 1981: During an audience with the Bishops of Northern France in 1987: At the 6th International Assembly of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on 15 May 1987: Address to the International Council for Catholic Charismatic Renewal, 14 March, 1992 (emphasis aded): To Catholic Charismatics: "Seek to be active in life of your local Church," 9 November 1996 (abridged):

VATICAN CITY, APR 4, 1998 (VIS) - Leaders of the Italian National Service Committee of Renewal in the Holy Spirit, also known as the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, were received by the Holy Father this morning, who spoke to them of the various tasks facing ecclesial movements today, in particular the formation of the laity. The Pope recalled that "the Catholic charismatic movement is one of the many fruits of Vatican Council II" which stimulated "an extraordinary flourishing of groups and movements especially sensitive to the Holy Spirit." "In your life (as an ecclesial movement)," remarked John Paul II, "all those criteria of ecclesiality of which I wrote in Christifideles laici must find their expression, especially fidelity to the ecclesial Magisterium, filial obedience to pastors and the spirit of service with regard to local Churches and parishes." "One of the most urgent tasks of the Church today is the formation of the laity," he went on. This "has as its basic objective the very clear discovery of one's own vocation and an ever greater willingness to live it in fulfillment of one's own mission. "This must, therefore, be one of your priorities. In today's secularized world, which proposes models devoid of spiritual values, this duty is more urgent than ever. Faith dies when it is reduced to a custom, to a habit, to a purely emotional experience. ... I know the Renewal in the Holy Spirit does all that it can to respond to this need." Encouraging them to persevere in their task, the Pope concluded: "In this world permeated by sadness and uncertainty, have the courage to collaborate with the Spirit in a new, great outpouring of love and hope on all of mankind."

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)

United States Bishops

The bishops of the United States (NCCB, USCC), in their pastoral letter to the American Church on the Charismatic Renewal, declared in 1984:

Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens (1904-1996)

For the 25th anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in 1992, Cardinal Suenens wrote a special article:

The Cardinal concludes as follows:
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

{Cardinal Ratzinger is a renowned theologian, and Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the former Holy Office), which is the most important Vatican curial office, charged with the preservation and promotion of Catholic orthodoxy}

Most Reverend John J. Myers, Bishop of Peoria, Illinois (April, 1996)
Grace For The New Springtime

A Statement from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (and the NCCB) on the Charismatic Renewal (1997) : slightly abridged by Dave Armstrong

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994)
{for further reading, see Open the Windows: The Popes and Charismatic Renewal, ed. Kilian McDonnell, OSB, South Bend, IN: Greenlawn Press, 1989}

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Compiled (final version) by Dave Armstrong on 6 June 1998.