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Pope Francis praises charismatic renewal, warns that devil undermines family life

Catholic World News - June 02, 2014

In a lengthy address to Catholics involved in the charismatic renewal movement, Pope Francis directed remarks to priests, youth, families, the disabled, and the elderly gathered in Rome’s Olympic stadium before praising the movement as a “current of grace in the Church and for the Church.”

After advising priests to be close to the Lord and the people and advising youth to take risks, the Pope warned that the devil is trying to destroy the family. “The bride and groom are sinners like everyone else, but they want to go forward in faith, their fertility,” he said as he called upon the family to be “strong in the face of this crisis in which the devil wants to destroy it.”

Recalling his initial hesitation about the movement-- “I did not share their way of praying”-- the Pope emphasized that the Lord Jesus is the sole head of the charismatic renewal and said that no one in the movement is more important than anyone else. Warning leaders not to seek to become “controllers of grace,” he cautioned that “excessive organization” would stifle the freedom given by the Holy Spirit.

The foundation of renewal, the Pope added, is “adoration of God,” and the path of the movement is “evangelization, spiritual ecumenism, care of the poor and the needy, and welcome for the marginalized.”

The Pope advised those in attendance to carry a pocket New Testament and said that he expected those involved in the movement to “share with everyone in the Church the grace of Baptism in the Holy Spirit (an expression which can be read in the Acts of the Apostles).” He urged those in the movement to draw closer to the poor and to shun divisions, whose source is the devil, instead imploring from the Holy Spirit the gift of unity.

The Pope concluded his address by inviting charismatic Catholics to celebrate the “Great Jubilee of 2017”-- the 50th anniversary of the movement-- in St. Peter’s Squre.

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