The Church is Hierarchical and Charismatic

Today in the second reading from the Office of Readings was from sections 4 and 12 of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church from the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium.  It is apropos to the Novena in preparation for Pentecost and provides me with the opportunity to develop ideas I introduced in my last post.  There I posited that in the light of the teaching of the postconciliar popes the traditional and charismatic approaches to spirituality should not be considered fundamentally opposed, though much of what goes under the title of both “traditionalism” and “pentecostalism” is problematic.

I believe this is the sense of sections 4 and 12 of Lumen Gentium in which the Council indicates two things: that the Church is equipped and directed by both “hierarchical and charismatic gifts”; that it is “not only through the sacraments and the ministries of the Church that the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God and enriches it with virtues, but, “allotting his gifts to everyone according as He wills, He distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank.”

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Pope Francis the Charismatic

Before beginning this celebration, I bring you a greeting. Before I left this morning, I was with Pope Francis, and I told him: ‘Holy Father, I have to leave soon. I’m going to Rimini where there are thousands upon thousands of faithful of the Charismatic Renewal: men, women and young people.’ With a great smile, the Pope said: ‘Tell them that I love them very much!’ Upon leaving the Holy Father, Archbishop Fisichella recounted, the Holy Father added: ‘Look, tell them that I love them very much because I was responsible for Charismatic Renewal in Argentina, and that’s why I love them very much.’”

I would suggest that the influence of the charismatic movement is evident in many of the words and actions of Pope Francis.  In particular, the following strikes me noteworthy: Continue reading