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Charismatic Renewal

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Definition:   A movement within the Catholic Church that emphasizes the charisms (gifts) of the Holy Spirit and the reception of the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.” The movement began in 1967 at Duquesne University, a Catholic university in Pittsburgh. During a retreat, some students received the ability to speak in tongues and felt a special movement of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Like Pentecostals, charismatic Catholics believe that they have received a second blessing or movement of the Spirit distinct from salvation. The experience of this “second blessing” has spread among Catholics – it is estimated that millions of Catholics have experienced the “baptism.”

Discussion: Some Catholics who have had this experience recognize it as conversion. They do not see it as a “second blessing” but as the initial reception of the Holy Spirit – they are “born again.” They experience the joy of salvation by faith in Jesus alone. This causes a crisis of faith, since they come to recognize the false teachings of Catholicism. Many leave the Church. However, the movement has also created ecumenical fervor – the idea being that if Catholics can experience the second blessing, then Catholicism must be an acceptable form of Christianity. The Charismatic Renewal is helping to create a false and deceptive unity that is a characteristic of the end times (Mt. 24:24).

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