By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/4/2014 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Pope Francis, at first, was not a big fan of the Catholic Charismatic movement. His opinion of the group, formed in 1967, has changed considerably. To this end, the Pope has invited representatives to come to St Peter's Square for Pentecost in 2017 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the movement.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis knelt onstage this past weekend in Rome's Olympic Stadium as more than 50,000 Catholic Charismatic prayed for him, singing and spoke in tongues.
"In the early years of the Charismatic Renewal in Buenos Aires, I did not have much love for Charismatics," the Pope admitted. "I said of them: 'They seem like a samba school.'"
Starvation never takes a vacation --
The Pope later saw how much good the movement was doing for Catholics and for the Church. "I expected all of you, Charismatics from around the world, to celebrate your Great Jubilee with the Pope at Pentecost 2017 in St Peter's Square," the Pope told a gathering organized by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services and the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships.
The event began with the song, "Vive Jesús, el Seńor" ("Jesus, the Lord, Lives"), which the Pope joined in singing with his hands open like many in the crowd. The Pope said he enjoys the song, which Charismatics in Argentina also sing.
"When I celebrated the Holy Mass with the Charismatic Renewal in the Buenos Aires cathedral, after the consecration and after a few seconds of adoration in tongues, we sang this song with such joy and strength," he said.
The crowd then prayed that the Holy Spirit would fill Pope Francis. The Pope knelt on the bare floor of the stage while they sang with their hands raised toward him. Many in the crowd prayed in tongues, speaking in unfamiliar languages.
Pope Francis told the Charismatics that their movement was begun by the Holy Spirit as "a current of grace in the Church and for the Church."
He also pleaded with Charismatic groups not to try to organize everything, or create a bureaucracy that attempts to tame the Holy Spirit.
The temptation "to become 'controllers' of the grace of God" is a danger, the pope said. Group leaders, sometimes without even meaning to, become "administrators of grace", deciding who should exercise which gifts of the Holy Spirit. "Don't do this anymore," Pope Francis said. "Be dispensers of God's grace, not controllers. Don't be the Holy Spirit's customs agents."
The Catholic Charismatic movement traces its origins to a retreat held in 1967 with students and staff from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
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