This is a letter I sent to the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith. I did get an acknowledgment it was received. Here is the question, most of the Hierarchs today are not known for their fortitude but they can sure rationalize and justify when it comes to saving their collective egos and pocketbooks. They might just do something here as there is no money involved charismatics are not famous for putting there money in the collections. I have yet to find a group who rents the parish hall or even gives a small donation for its use.
A Baptist Fad introduced into the Church by the Charismatic Revival……
There is a book, “Healing the Family Tree”, written by Kenneth McCall, I read it 5 years or so, ago. It is the history of a Scottish Presbyterian Missionary in China, who made the claim he used the Eucharist to heal generational sin. When you read the book you will understand these sins were the temptations and attacks of those in the family’s history who were evil in one way or another. We can as Catholics accept some of what he wrote, but certainly not his version of original/generational sin. It flies against catholic teaching. There are some claims in the book that are very far from what we Catholics consider truth. One thing I scoffed at was “a Presbyterian-Baptist Minister with the Eucharist????” Did he steal it from the Tabernacle in a Catholic Church? Later he claimed in his book, he flew over the Bermuda Triangle with I think a Catholic Priest and the Eucharist. He claims what ever was in the Bermuda Triangle was vanquished and since this trip of theirs, there have been no more mysterious disappearances. This unfounded statement does really cause the sign seekers among us to sigh deeply and rejoice. The Apostle Paul, Msgr Knox and Pope John Paul 2 all wrote to say the enthusiast’s beliefs and theology are immature and childish. Where in the Bible does it say, that is unless you proof text, there is any sin that is hereditary other than the loss of original innocence and the gaining of concupiscence, through original sin? The reasons I read written by Bishops and Priests are so against and dismissive of the Sacramental life of the Church that the authors should be in the basement of a Cistercian Monastery on bread and very thin milk. Milk as fed to the Corinthians by St Paul, until they are mature enough to digest it. How can anyone in the Church use Cardinal Danieels as an authority? Not a drop from his pen is or has been support of the Pope.
Healing the Family Tree, this outrageous claim for healing of some kind of generational sin, has a lot in common with the re-baptism of the Mormons. The difference being, the Mormons obviously have some inclination towards a proper Rite of Entry into the Church. How are these Pentecostals able to believe in the laying of their hands is a baptism or some kind of confirmation in the Holy Spirit? How can they justify this? The rank and file of the Catholic Pentecostals also whole heartedly believe in other disturbingly morbid and erroneous doctrine taught and justified by their priests and self appointed elders. Have they never been taught about the Seal of the Holy Spirit, the character that cannot be removed? After all what else is their swooning meant to be when just about anybody among them can lay hands and anoint their brothers and sisters. I have truly heard them teach the laying on of hands is a baptism of sorts. Is it also to them the forgiveness of sins? It seems from their practices “Healing the Family Tree” is both an exorcism and a forgiveness sins, of some kind. What then about catholic Doctrine that exhorts us to pray for the poor souls in purgatory and is the use of indulgences no longer valid? It would seem so. Digressing a little, amongst their elders I have observed there is a dreadful longing to be the chief steward or to reach some higher ranking in their prayer groups and thus in their Catholic Parishes, often amongst them I find the local priest does not count for much. If he patiently ignores them, they substitute their Gnostic guru into their spiritual life completely obliterating the reason for a parish priest. It is like handing out candies to sinners, absolutely useless when it is strong medicine that is needed.
There is another disturbing anti-catholic example; I touched on earlier in this letter. Their claim to some sort of holiness, through the approval of the Church. Vatican 2 the arbiter and greatest authority the Church has known when it suits our rationalizations, those private revelations of our own minds. We can see without raising a sweat so many of the Laity and Priests, those without the virtue of Fortitude, make use their personal ideas and interpretation of this Council, to put aside the lives and works of the Apostles, the Saints and the Fathers of the Church. Vat 2 as it was never meant to be. Because of the seizing of power by so many similar groups this council has become a debased coinage, making it a counterfeit payment for salvation. Again through Vatican 2 and its later understandings of its heretical interpretation of ecumenism, never corrected strongly and loudly by the priests, many of the Dogmatic Councils are bypassed. How closely today the self labeled elite rulers of the Church relate to the Sadducees and Pharisees of old? They put aside quite deliberately both through ignorance and willful actions; the Church Councils that deliberated on so many disasters, heresies, and schisms and thus these councils authorized Dogmas and Doctrines throughout the existence of Church history. We now have in many parishes the newly enchanted sisterhood making the new rules. I say this since in the Churches of today, women outnumber the men upon the altar at any rite or liturgy. We find in their new rules, arising out of opinions and not from dogma, doctrine or tradition, new ways in which we are pressured to worship their Christ. They are even reviving old habits set aside by the Church herself, no longer useful in these times. The claim is made we are to go back or to revive the early days of the Church. Why would anyone want to revive the Church in Corinth after a proper reading Of First Corinthians, or similarly the lives of martyrs in the Roman times? It does not seem sensible. The trouble is no one has truly defined where or what era is to be revived. Should we set up a tent and worship as Old Time Religions do, wipe out the revelations that have driven the Church and us into a more complete life in Christ? Intellectually this is stupid and as Paul wrote, “The Cross overcame the wisdom of the World (Mankind’s knowledge)”. Is this not more correct than any big tent revival theory? I refuse to call it theology. These different groups use congregational pressure to obtain their views, acted out, especially in the offering of the Mass and the theology of the Sacraments, defined in the Council of Trent. I add they do so with impunity and even an immunity very carefully practiced by the Hierarchy. Hence a whole new light on healing and anointing. Conscienceless the Bishops enjoy the fawning and sycophancy that obtains for so many the green light from such a demented and frightened hierarchy. Am I wrong in seeing this as a destruction of Unity on two levels, among the Bishops and amongst the Laity? Is this the new kind of obedience that is to be expected and accepted in the Church from liberals whilst condemning the traditional orthodox papal Catholic? It would seem to be so. We know, but do any of the ruling classes in the Church, that their liberal afflatus is false and unbecoming to any proper devotion and respect for teaching of the Mystical Body and not the divine inspiration it is claimed to be. We know the Pope who authorized Vatican 2 also said it was a pastoral council and was not called to and could not change Church teachings. Who then is moved by the Holy Spirit, the Pope or in this case the Pentecostal Sects and their similar followers with their version of Catholicism that is rapidly approaching “New Age”?
Tradition must be a teaching as it is readily accepted as a norm in the Church regardless of those private revelations developed by so many from their private opinions. Here then at last is the point I am making about approval. No group can be approved by the Church unless they submit their formula as did the Jesuits, their Rules as did the Franciscans, Dominicans, Benedictines, the Poor Clares and other great men and women religious communities, plus the various offices of other Priestly and Religious groups over the 20 centuries of the Church’s life. This was again proven when Cardinal Ratzinger ordered the Neocatecumenates to produce a charter. The first of their efforts was dismissed when their formulae arrived. It was hand written on a few sheets of foolscap. They were told to do it properly. Imagine having to be told of one’s childishness and the insulting way by their first reply. What a dreadful lack of respect and that is an underlying basis found in these modern day catholic revivalists, this lack of respect for anything that is not of their manqué holiness. It was then done officially. These folks had to accept their way of worship and their Liturgy, had to be changed as it was a genuine scandal. The Charismatic Renewal must admit, and I do admit as a fact they are supported by many Hierarchs and Priests, this fact does not give them any official standing in the eyes of the Church. Tolerated, they are, yes but we as laity are sorely tried when the official teachings of the Church are sundered and pushed to one side then the tried and tested rules and habits of the Church are dismissed as outdated. This is why the majority of the laity probably think these groups are “unwitted” and foolish. Are they fools for Christ or moved to be citizens of the foolish kingdom, showing the Wisdom of the World in all their actions?
I have heard them claim to be the greatest reform group in the Church equivalent to the Franciscans. After re-reading the Flowers of St Francis I cannot see any comparison with the Franciscans. They have neither a Rule, nor the same level of Theology, Dogma or Holiness, and I have to add prophecy. They remind me more in their actions, not their theology, of the Arians with little sung mottoes and ditties in tongues unintelligible, defeating the great logic and intelligence of the Church’s indefectible teachings. I have experienced myself their attempts to teach me to speak in tongues which as they tried to move towards success with me, several of them gave me what I can only say were hissings and clicking’s of the tongue unintelligible and nonsense. I was told, “Now sing it” How droll, satan must think” Forgive them, Father for they no not what they do, “says the faithful Church. I could see it just was not an ability I had or wanted to acquire. In the minds of the new teachers of “holy” gifts; without these gifts I was off course, therefore I was not holy. They made this patently obviously. These Cultists when asked to explain their ideas come very close to the protestant theology called the Indefectibility of Grace. These and their predecessors over the centuries should have been and still be asked today is “Is grace indefective? (Msgr Knox wrote) No; ‘anyone who thinks he stands firmly, should beware of a fall’. ‘If anyone is inclined to ask how the Corinthians, raw novices though they might be in the study of theology, could reconcile this antinominian, perfectionist attitude with the teaching of St. Paul,’ Let him reflect that all the many enthusiasts down the ages who have fallen into this error have quoted St. Paul’ (as a defense), and now the pentecostals. This is not mine but a quote from Msgr. Ronald Knox who extensively studied those cults who have come and gone and will continue to do so until the end of the age. I caution you all to remember satan is not an original thinker but can only copy, then repeat and repeat his tricks. He will until the end and thence will come his final rejection and sentencing. A time, he knows well is rapidly approaching. No wonder he has redoubled his efforts to tempt us and so many who should and must are not redoubling their efforts to save our uninformed and unconverted souls. Who do you think I mean Shepherds? Think! I ask you how satan sees his future? He knows what it is, even more than we do, of this I am sure. He can see and taste the fires that are opening beneath his scaly feet and the millstone gradually forming around his scrawny neck. Just and righteous retribution will come when he has claimed all the victims he can or is allowed, whatever is the will of God in this matter will triumph. How well he knows that his success is to be followed by a tremendous punishment. He will live eternally with his hatred in his kingdom of hatred. Satan and those who stood by and watched the Laity misled, or were the misleaders through a great pride in their learning, I mean in “their knowledge and wisdom of the world”, will receive the same judgment. They act as I am reminded of, by the old Scottish Grannies who always said, “All that knowledge and no intelligence to use it” It is just as Paul said when he quoted Isaiah, in his writing about the Paradox of the Cross and learning.
The great problem I see and this was a teaching in the Church as I was growing up, is simple. “Why did St Paul write this first of two letters to the Corinthians?” This teaching was due to the influence and respect the whole laity in the UK gave during the time of WW2 to Msgr Ronald Knox. He asked of us when lecturing on the Epistles, “Why was the Letter written?” and so he devoted a chapter in his book on “Enthusiasm” to the reasons. Why did he (Paul) think it was necessary and why did he write this, at the end of Chapter 4, “If this letter does not change you than I will personally be there to fix your problem for you”. He wrote when all is said and done I will come and judge to correct your personally perceived spirituality. It was obviously a letter of admonition. It was polite and not too sharply corrective and it would be that way until he arrived in person. He should have used the point and side, not the flat of the blade of the sword he was given. Also we read what St Paul wrote in chapter three on the immaturity of their theology. Read it for yourselves, “He could not teach you as spiritual people so he fed them milk not solid food as one would feed children, and the dialog they needed could not yet take place as they were immature, even now”. Also try chapter 2:6. In the language the letter is written and found interpreted in good commentaries of the Early Fathers. We find Paul talks about spiritual people (Mature) and people of the flesh (immature). Later theologians turned these two concepts of “people” into supernatural and natural which they found in the Greek terms used in the letter. Those who are natural men (PSYCHE) and yet when animated by a higher principle (PNEUMATAKOI) they become spiritual and mature. I would suggest what St Paul meant is found in Chapter 15 verses 44 to 49. We can find some in these prayer groups and I can vouch for one or two examples in local prayer groups inside and outside the Church, those who claim to be these natural men, who because of their state are above the country’s taxes. I know of several locally who have sent their assets off shore, dodging all taxes. They obviously do not know Paul’s opinion of a Natural Man.
The doctrine of grace, the proper doctrine as approved by the Church develops and explains the supernatural maturity we can reach as wanted by St Paul for his half converted Corinthians. Who else told them, the latter day Corinthians, their theology is immature and childish? Msgr. Knox certainly did and so did Pope JP2 in 1998. He told them in a letter which they spun as his approval, “Your theology is immature, go back to your parishes, get involved and practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Now why would he say that? Are his words indefectible or infallible? Are they excellent advice on our salvific journey?
Returning to their latest schism and denial of the Church’s Doctrines in their view of generational Healing which evolves as one would expect following their immaturity and mistaken doctrine of grace which many of them embrace. Deny all you want and claim I am foolish, unlike many of those who may read these opinions I have taken the time privately to question kindly many of the charismatic Pentecostal catholics I meet. Let me give you one take on their evangelization. This is a quote from one who teaches catechism in the Church. If you want some one converted pray to the Holy Spirit and He will do it. I do claim most of them, the pew folk who sit and listen to this misinformation genuinely seek God. It is so unfortunate that whether they know what is being taught is erroneous or in contradiction dislike what I write, they have been led by those who they consider their superior in Doctrine. They join the ranks and to become sign seekers and develop slowly but ungraciously into ultra supernaturalists. Unless they are faced by a stronger and more powerful sign they will not change. Driven by their elders and leaders who do but justify themselves, who when their theology is challenged, when you discuss with them you will find wholesale denial of any errors and when pinned down they fall back on First Corinthians as their banner of authority, or more truthfully they ignore you and call you mad. Personally I think they, the elders and their supporting priests have backed themselves into a indefensible position and having now convinced their half converted followers can find no way to extricate themselves. Many charismatics yearn to be leaders either in their group or in the parishes, to change what they preach would lose them their perceived spirituality and positions of influence. By the way scratch the conscience of a charismatic and you release a swarm of hounds to bite and scratch at your very soul. Their teaching is pray for tongues. Ask them what they say, when they are using the wrong understanding of tongues, ask what does their prayer mean and who is it made to; they say it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Also they answer God knows. I ask again, “Does He?” By now in the conversation you know they do not know or have not read St John Chrysostom’s commentary on the First Corinthians where he deliberately tells of the difference between Glossalia and Zenonalia, what the true gift of tongues is. They do know a little of St Basil on the Holy Spirit. If they speak in tongues then with a very erroneous theology of grace, many in the Pentecostals inside and outside the Church will say if they continue speaking in tongues after questionable episodes in their spiritual life, they claim they have not sinned. Their grace is indefective. They have not fallen, but pray with voice of angels. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid
The Charismaticism as practiced today is a return to big tent revivalism. This is a terrible reward for those who do have so much faith and unfortunately are now seeking God outside the Church’s teachings. It is a revival of the fainting, swooning away of the early Methodists and Wesleyans. I think without much chance of denial that if the discipline of the Church, the discipline of the Holy Spirit is not revived under the hands of good priests and theologians Pentecostal Charismaticism in the Church will branch off into even more eerie directions. I hope and pray that blessedly it will be elsewhere. If not then how long before channeling becomes acceptable, especially spiritism and the boasting of holiness through snake handling becomes a real norm. Today the eastern gnosis of the mystery religions is growing in the Church through transcendental meditation and zen-buddhism. Again it is the revival of bad practices condemned in the early Church. I pray these morbid habits will not gradually evolve as mainstream events in our church. Already Reike, the Buddhist laying on of hands for healing, is very prevalent amongst the religious along with the labyrinth, a meandering journey to the very center of life, but what life when pagan practices are used?
Look at what the healing of the Family Tree does to good Catholic Prayer Practices. It sets aside all mention of praying for the poor souls in Purgatory and the use of indulgences for their healing. It sets aside the prayers of exorcism in the Sacrament of Baptism. It blames families for the demons roaming around the world. Even the Hebrews did not interpret Exodus etc as a condemnation of families but if one does not text proof, it tells us of the magnificence of God’s mercy.
I wish I could find or have explained by these poorly catechized catholics what their laying of the hands is meant to be. It does for many of them by their example far surpass the Sacraments in their lives. It is a fact if the importance of this communal ceremony is questioned, one can find it is the real rite of their spiritual existence. They actually look forward to the swooning with a relish, I for one cannot comprehend. Perhaps a good priest theologian will get them to admit what it is that is so attractive in it for them, more so than the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I know a Pentecostal catholic will fudge what the importance is giving chapter and verse on the sacraments but it is still obvious from their performance that the laying on of hands supersedes the Rite of Confession, Reconciliation and Penance. I ask, "Priests when you attend these pentecostal gatherings what do you do more of; administer the Sacrament of Confession or laying on of hands?" Sheer numbers will help you bear witness to the truth.
It is unfortunate but true only a bigger revelation, a more powerful one, than theirs’ will convince them of their errors. How hard they will try to resist this revelation when He decides it is His Time. It brings to my mind the words of Apostle Paul again, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men”.
It would seem that few have heard Didymus, the blind catechist, of Alexandra’s admonition that to pay attention to only one of the Three persons is a heresy and it would seem from their attitudes that the Holy Spirit has revealed to them personally many important matters that make them contumacious, puffed up and fixated on their doctrines, driving a wedge between the their Church of the Holy Spirit and the Catholicity of the Church. It is another satanic repetition described by the Apostle Paul’s concern over the division between Apollo and Peter. Again these clueless doctrinaires follow the private revelation outside the church of a Baptist minister Kenneth Macall who used his version of the Eucharist to mend family trees They are guilty of scandal whether you deny it or not by looking the other way.
Charity called for by Paul is a charity that edifies, that recognizes it has a duty to, as you have by your Episcopal vows, to salvation of the souls of others. That is your charity. Are you as Bishops practicing it? The innocent and the half converted among your diocesan charismatics and of course the lately converted are very badly catechized in our faith. This catechesis taught with our Bishop’s permission by the same genre of Catholics as themselves that is ‘lately converted’. They are being led into an ignorance that touches upon a defiance of your authority as the teacher of the Good News. Unless that is, you are in agreement with them, are you? I sincerely hope it is ignorance on your part, not more explicitly the question of, “Are you perhaps bringing into the church a worldly management tool to dodge responsibility?” That modern management mannerism, “Don’t tell me, so I won’t know”. If you do nothing about it; remember Paul’s words, “Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually. The Spiritual Person however can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone”. Although I have heard and read by Pentecostal theologians their great defense and standby, “Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit”. They always forget if they have ever troubled to read the verse in its entirety and never think of what Paul first wrote a chapter or two before, “Do you not know you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you. If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God which you are is holy”. Can we believe that ignorance in a deliberate form is a way of destruction? It is certainly not the Way of the Cross” Apostle Paul makes that quite clear. I claim as taught by the Church, Sin destroys that temple it is a death dealing blow. I ask you, “Does God share His Temple with His enemies?” Under the present Ecumenism we infer he does. I remind you of the eastern Gnosticism that flourished as the Abomination of Desolation in Assisi. How dreadful? I remember too earthquakes shaking the Basilica there, bringing down the roof. What did that mean to you as a pastor? Was it in any way a fulfillment of the promise of God in the Old Testament? Also consider as a form of text proofing they use the Deuteronomy/Exodus fourth generation quote, justifying this dreadful new liturgy. We should use the Hebrew understanding of the Old Testament. It is more viable as they were there. Their comments in targums and taught in their Torah means that God who blesses the pure at heart until the hundredth generation has the quality of mercy that is many, many times bigger than His punishments. Is that not shown in the Sacraments of the New, especially in Baptism by a sacrificial Priesthood with its exorcisms and sanctifying grace? What will you do about this schismatic uninformed theology, anything? Do you have the fortitude before it is too late and will you? Remember it is not a mission statement they need, nor a charter but a rule, that defines their worship and obedience to teachings of the Mystical Body of Christ.