Pope Benedict XVI Affirms
the Charismatic Renewal

Pontiff Notes Hopes for Charismatic Renewal
Vatican City, May 4, 2009

"Benedict XVI is wishing members of the charismatic renewal a revitalized closeness with the crucified and risen Christ."

The Pope said this in a telegram signed by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and sent to the Italian chapter of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, who were gathered in their 32nd national assembly in Rimini, Italy.

Address to the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant
Communities and Fellowships Hall of Blessings
Friday, 31 October, 2008

"As I have been able to affirm in other circumstances, the Ecclesial Movements and New Communities which blossomed after the Second Vatican Council, constitute a unique gift of the Lord and a precious resource for the life of the Church.  They should be accepted with trust and valued for the various contributions they place at the service of the common benefit in a an ordered and fruitful way.

Your current reflection on the centrality of Christ in preaching is very interesting as well as on the importance of 'Charisms in the life of the particular Church', referring to Pauline theology, the New Testament and the experience of the Charismatic Renewal.  What we learn in the New Testament on charism, which appeared as visible signs of the coming of the Holy Spirit, is not a historical event of the past, but a reality ever alive.  It is the same divine Spirit, soul of the Church, that acts in every age and those mysterious and effective interventions of the Spirit are manifest in our time in a providential way.  The Movements and New Communities are like an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in contemporary society.  We can, therefore, rightly say that one of the positive elements and aspects of the Community of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is precisely their emphasis on the charisms or gifts of the Holy Spirit and their merit lies in having recalled their topicality in the Church."

Pope John Paul II Affirms
the Charismatic Renewal

Commissions Her to Renew the Church

Audience with the National Charismatic Service Committee of Italy and the National Council of Rinnovamento nello Spirito.

Here is an extract from the private address the Holy Father granted on Saturday, April 4, 1998:

"This is a year [dedicated to the Holy Spirit in preparation for the Great Jubilee] which you, the members of the Renewal, are called to live with special intensity and commitment. . . . How can we fail to give thanks for the precious spiritual fruits that the Renewal has produced in the life of the Church and in the lives of so many people? How many lay faithful—men and women, youth, adults, and older people—have been able to experience the amazing power of the Spirit and His gifts in their lives! How many people have rediscovered their faith, a desire for prayer, the power and beauty of the Word of God, which is expressed in generous service for the mission of the Church! How many lives were deeply changed! For all of this I wish to praise and thank the Holy Spirit with you today. . . .  I thank you for what you are doing, and I ask you to persevere in your commitment."

Cf. "Open the Windows: the Popes and Charismatic Renewal", Edited by Fr. Kilian McDonnell, OSB., South Bend, IN: Greenlawn Press, 1989.

Audience with Participants of The Sixth International Conference for Catholic Charismatic Leaders

This quote is from the Pope's private audience on May 15, 1987.

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Papal Crest

"In the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit I welcome all of you who have come to Rome for the Sixth International Leaders' Conference of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. I am very happy to meet with you today and I wish to assure you that your love for Christ and your openness to the Spirit of Truth are a most valuable witness in the Church's mission in the world. . . . This year [1987] marks the 20 th anniversary of the charismatic renewal in the Catholic Church. The vigor and fruitfulness of the renewal certainly attest to the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit at work in the Church in these years after the Second Vatican Council. . . . The charismatic renewal is an eloquent manifestation of this vitality today, a bold statement of what 'the Spirit is saying to the churches' (Revelations 2:7) as we approach the close of the second millennium. For us, the Spirit of the Lord is upon us, each one of us, who have been born anew in the saving waters of Baptism. The Spirit prompts us to go forth in faith 'to preach good news to the poor' the poor in material things, the poor in spiritual gifts, the poor in mind and body".

Audience with Cardinal Suenens and the Council Members of the International Charismatic Renewal Office.

This quote is from the special hour and a half audience with the Pope in Vatican City on December 11, 1979:

". . . This is my first meeting with you, Catholic charismatics . . . I have always belonged to this renewal in the Holy Spirit. . . .  I am convinced that this movement is a sign of his action.  The world is much in need of this action of the Holy Spirit, and it needs many instruments for this action. . . .  Through this action, the Holy Spirit comes to the human spirit, and from this moment we begin to live again, to find our very selves, to find our identity, our total humanity.  Consequently, I am convinced that this movement is a very important component in the total renewal of the church, in this spiritual renewal of the church."

Pope Paul VI on the Charismatic Renewal

Address of Pope Paul VI to participants in the Second International Leaders' Conference of Charismatic Renewal Rome, 19 May 1975.

"Nothing is more necessary for such a world, more and more secularized, than the testimony of this 'spiritual renewal', which we see the Holy Spirit bring about today in the most diverse regions and environments.  Its manifestations are varied: deep communion of souls, close contact with God in faithfulness to the commitments undertaken at Baptism, in prayer that is often community prayer, in which each one, expressing himself freely, helps, supports and nourishes the prayer of others, and, at the basis of everything, a personal conviction.  This conviction has its source not only in instruction received by faith but also in a certain experience of real life, namely, that without God, man can do nothing, that with him, on the contrary, everything becomes possible. [...]  How then could this 'spiritual renewal ' not be 'a chance' for the church and for the world?  And how, in this case, could one not take all the means to ensure that it remains so?"