This attitude is as mistaken as the attitudes of the Jews and the Muslims towards Sacred Scripture. After all, Jews and Muslims reject Catholic Scripture in part because they insist that God would never speak to man in a non-Hebrew or non-Arabic language. Indeed, this attitude overlooks the fact that some of our Faith, including the very words of Scripture, find their origin in paganism.
Consider Acts 17:28: "'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'" The quotes in this passage are from Epimenides' poem Cretica, as is Titus' famous assertion that "All Cretans are liars." If we were to reject these passages as not worthy of Scripture because of their pagan origin, we would lose part of our connection with God.
God established the Church, but He does not bind Himself to move only within the Church. He may well have chosen to send the modern charismatic renewal to the Protestants first precisely to facilitate a reunion between the shards of the Church our sins helped fragment into pieces. Baptized Christians, no matter their profession of Faith, are - by the fact of their baptism - our brothers in Christ, separated by their misunderstanding and our sinful example, but no less deserving of the gifts of the Spirit's grace than are we ourselves.
As for the utility of the charismatic renewal versus, say, "traditional" Catholicism, let us study the evidence. After all, how often have we heard "traditional" Catholics attack the last ecumenical council based on the paucity of fruits from that Council? So, if we are to compare spiritual movements by the standard the traditionalists love so well, the standard of fruits, then how would the charismatics match up with a traditional order like the F.S.S.P.?
The diocese with the largest concentration of charismatics in the nation is, to my knowledge, Steubenville diocese, with Franciscan University of Steubenville as the hot-bed of charismatics, and HQ for the Catholic Charismatic Conference. The diocese of Steubenville was number one in the nation for new converts, bringing in twice as many converts per Catholic as any other diocese in the nation.
Source: Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University
Diocese Catholics Converts Catholics per convert 1 Steubenville, Ohio 36,030 1,826 20 2 Tulsa, Okla. 59,278 1,274 47 2 Owensboro, Ky. 46,308 983 47 2 Birmingham, Ala. 90,727 1,924 47 5 Jackson, Miss. 47,724 990 48 6 Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla. 64,400 1,280 50 7 Oklahoma City 113,857 2,172 52 8 Nashville 78,700 1,498 53 9 Mobile, Ala. 67,488 1,216 56 10 Lexington, Ky. 45,514 784 58 10 Memphis 61,210 1,053 58 10 Knoxville 61,793 1,058 58
In the United States, no diocese has more than three FSSP parishes. The dioceses of Phoenix, Seattle, Kansas City and Venice each have three parishes with F.S.S.P. priests. Notice none of them are even in the top 10 for converts, much less challenging Steubenville for the top spot. Notice the diocese of Lincoln, which has the F.S.S.P. seminary, is not listed in the top ten either.
The article laments the fact that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal has its modern origin in the Protestant Asuza Street revival. But where did the F.S.S.P. come from?
The F.S.S.P. was established on July 18, 1988 at the Abbey of Hauterive, Switzerland by twelve priests and a score of seminarians, led by Father Josef Bisig, all of whom had formerly belonged to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's Society of St. Pius X. They were unwilling to follow that movement into what the Congregation for Bishops and Pope John Paul II defined to be a schismatic act and grounds for excommunication latæ sententiæ due to Lefebvre's consecration of four bishops without a papal mandate. In short, the spirituality of the F.S.S.P. finds its origin in the spirituality of Archbishop Lefebvre.
If we were to examine ultimate origins, we would find that the F.S.S.P. is a breakaway group of priests who were all originally part of the S.S.P.X. These priests were all essentially fine with Archbishop Lefebvre's disobedience between 1976 and 1988, but even they were unable to stomach his decision to consecrate four bishops without papal permission. Thus, the founding of the F.S.S.P.
To date, the Confraternity of Saint Peter, the lay group which unite themselves to the work of the F.S.S.P., claims a total worldwide membership of 4135 (French speakers, 643; German speakers, 565; and English speakers, 2927).
The Catholic charismatic renewal movement began following a retreat held from 17 to 19 February 1967 by several faculty members and students from Duquesne University, a Catholic university in Pittsburgh operated by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (a Catholic religious order founded in France in 1703). As of 2003, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal exists in over 230 countries in the world, with over 119 million members. Indeed, the author of the wrong-headed article even admits "the charismatic parish down the road from us gives out more seminarians every year than all the other parishes in the Diocese combined."
Both laity and religious orders within the Church are constantly in need of renewal, as we witness through such orders as the Franciscans Friars of the Renewal. To say that recognition of this fact is somehow "heresy" betrays a Protestant misunderstanding of how God works in the world and in His Church. Clearly, God sent the Catholic Church the charismatic renewal precisely in order to renew His people, else we would not have such rich fruits from the movement. Indeed, it has to date been a much richer source of renewal than any of the "traditionalist" movements, which all got their start in the spiritual action and under the spiritual direction of a formally schismatic archbishop, Lefebvre.
If we are to take note of origins, surely Lefebvre's conscious break with the Church he knew full well was both One and True stands a little farther down the scale of legitimate spirituality than the Asuza Street Protestants' desire to seek the will of Jesus Christ in their lives?
So, how can we choose between them?
We could choose by their fruits.
But somehow, I suspect the cup with which the traditionalists are wont to measure the effects of Vatican II will almost certainly not be the cup with which they wish to measure their own spiritual accomplishments.