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Go discusses Charismatic Movement in the Church

Katie Mounts | Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Twenty students, faculty and community members met Monday evening to hear “The Fire Within: the Charismatic Movement in the Catholic Church,” the first in a series of lectures discussing the Catholic Church in the modern world. Senior theology student Monica Go spoke to clarify some misconceptions about the movement and to discuss its origins and future.

Go said a charismatic is someone who has received at least one of the charismatic gifts – knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, the gift of tongues and wisdom – through Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Among these gifts she discussed are knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, the gift of tongues and wisdom. .

Catholicism’s charismatic movement began to spread after the second Vatican Council called for “renewal in the Church”, she said.

The movement at Notre Dame began when a group of Notre Dame students met on March 4, 1967 to hear a student from Duquesne University speak about his experiences, according to Go said. At a retreat, someone from the group was given the gift of prophecy, and “the movement quickly spread across campus.”

But it continued to face criticism around the world, and debates arose in Church hierarchy about the possibilities of the laity possessing these extraordinary gifts. Go explained that after papal support from Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II, by 1990, the movement had grown to 72 million Catholics worldwide and 15 million Catholics in America.

Although within the Charismatic community, Go said, a potential for conflict with authority exists, it is “essential to know that they … build up the community” and are not only meant for individual growth.

Go discussed said that “Baptism in the Spirit does not replace the sacraments,” but it further ignites the Spirit within Catholics that they have already gained through Baptism and Confirmation.

“We should all be striving eagerly to renew the fire in our hearts. … It is only through the Holy Spirit that we are able to rejoice always,” Go said. “Once the whole Church is renewed … the movement will no longer exist.”

The department of theology and the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture co-sponsored the lecture. Seven additional lectures will be presented by students on related topics throughout the months of March and April.