- Dec 10, 2019
Pope Francis said many Catholics share his initial thoughts about the worship of charismatic Christians — “that more than prayer meetings they seem to be samba schools” — but he is convinced God wants Catholics and Pentecostals to learn from each other.
Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon was appointed by Pope Francis on Oct. 19 to lead the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, capital of Trinidad and Tobago, historically a Catholic stronghold in the Caribbean. Gordon’s spiritual roots are in the charismatic movement, specifically a local group born in 1975 called the Living Water Community. He wants to use the Gospel to challenge a “lethal cocktail” of corruption and crime in the region, calling people to give their hearts to Jesus Christ as the foundation for their own lives and the broader society.
A lay Catholic association founded by an unlicensed exorcist in the small Sicilian town of Aci Bonaccorsi is under scrutiny after its leader was arrested for sexually abusing at least six underage girls. A Crux investigation led to the further discovery of ‘bizarre happenings’ in the local church of Lavina for more than 40 years, where the lay group was able to act largely without any ecclesiastical or governmental oversight.
After he ended up stranded and sleeping in his pickup Saturday night while trying to reach his Houston home, Father David Bergeron got up Sunday morning eager to say Mass. There was no congregation on his overpass, so the enterprising young priest broke out his kayak. He went up and down streets to check on people – trying, he said, to reassure them ‘God is still with us.’
Thousands of followers of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, hailing from all over the world, came to the place where it all began in Pittsburgh for their 50th anniversary gathering. Participants offer their enthusiasm and optimism on the spiritual movement that involves 120 million Catholics worldwide.
While affirming the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on the feast of Pentecost, Pope Francis was also nudging it to recover more of its social dimension. In defining the renewal in three-fold terms as baptism in the Spirit, praise, and service of humanity, he said all three aspects are indissolubly linked.