There are a lot of issues with the charismatic movement. One of the most concerning is the emotional aspect. That in itself is a very protestant phenomenon and it should not surprise us that this is where the charismatic movement has found its origin.
Reason above emotion
The Catholic Church has always placed reason above emotion. However many protestant sects place immanentism (i.e. how we feel about something) above reason and logic. A good example is how protestants find personal inspiration in the reading the Gospel more important than objective truth.
“Just as in marriage, emotions pass but reason and truth remain.”
That the Catholic Church is right with regards to reason and emotions is not hard to realize. Emotions are not wrong. Quite the opposite. But it is difficult for people to be guided by emotions. Emotions pass, but reason and truth remain. Look at marriage. In the beginning all is love and romance, but after several years it is reason that is ultimately responsible for the perseverance of marriage vows.
The same counts for the faith. God touches our soul with strong sentiments that open our mind to God’s love and mercy. But once we get on that path, God expects us to continue with reason.
The problem with the charismatic movement is that it is exclusively focused on emotions and that it even has the tendency to ignore reason. Medjugorje is good example of that. From the very start, the movement around the alleged apparitions in Medjugorje were led by the charismatic movement.
When the local ecclesiastical authorities did not declare the visionaries as authentic, it led to serious conflicts (and it still does) where ecclesiastical obedience is thrown overboard. It is a result of the fact that emotions have taken control in the discussion and not reason, since the faithful “know” or “feel” that the bishops are wrong, even there are objective problems with the visionaries and their so-called “messages”.
“You don’t see a 80-year old present at its gatherings, because emotions fade away after a while, and in similar fashion also the charismatic faithful.”
Massive churn of its faithful
The fact that the charismatic movement is all about feelings, also explains why the faithful mainly consist out of young audience. You don’t see a 80-year old present at its gatherings, because emotions fade away after a while, and in similar fashion also the charismatic faithful. No wonder then that the charismatic movement is just that, a movement, and does not take over the entire Church.
A major problem are the special gifts of the Holy Ghost which some of its members enjoy. First of all it is not certain whether these gifts are truly from God. They could be a great act or come from the devil. But the charismatic movement does not tolerate the gifts of its individuals to be called in question. For them, anyone claiming special gifts of the Holy Ghost is authentic. Unfortunately such attitude seems naïve, to say the least.
Inspiration does not equal truth
Secondly, heavenly inspiration and truth are two separate things. Undoubtedly there are many in the charismatic movement that are inspired by God and His eternal truths, but so are many misguided souls outside the Catholic Church. Positive sentiments do not equal right or wrong. Charismatics mistakenly believe that anyone who is inspired, also becomes a channel for religious truth.
“Why would God only reserve the gift of prophecy, speaking in tongues, etc. to the charismatic communities?”
Protestant charismatic movements
Thirdly let us not forget that protestant charismatic movements also claim the same gifts. God bestows special gifts of the Holy Ghost to confirm his Church. God cannot endorse various churches. God is one and so is His Church. It would be contradictory for God to endorse multiple churches that hold different teachings. If so, that would defeat the exact purpose for the gifts of the Holy Ghost: To confirm the Church the Our Lord has founded.
Blessing for (almost) everyone!
Finally it is a strange phenomenon how only the members of the charismatic movement are being blessed with these extraordinary gifts. Why would God only reserve the gift of prophecy, speaking in tongues, etc. to their communities? Would He not rather bestow it universally upon the Church, rather than restrict it to the charismatic movement? Something seems off. And it’s not God, but rather the charismatics and their perhaps well-intended, but false principles that lay at their foundation.
Semper Excelsius is a website for the defense of the Catholic faith through instruction and informative articles. Its focus is on explaining the rich history and traditions of the holy Roman Catholic Church, while defending her teachings against false assumptions and doctrinal errors.