Friday, November 13, 2009

Locution, locution, locution.



Leading astray even the elect - if that were possible.
.
The Bishop of Cleveland, Richard Lennon issued an official Decree ruling the alleged apparitions to Maureen Sweeny Kyle are not supernatural in origin, while forbidding clergy to celebrate the sacraments on the site of Holy Love Ministries, as well as declaring the associated confraternity not an approved association of the faithful and may not legitimately use the name Catholic or represent itself as a Catholic group. - Document
.
These events have gone on since the 1980's.  I tend to think the apparitions at Medjugorje sparked a flood of spurious visions, locutions, signs and wonders elsewhere in the world, and especially in the U.S..  Medj attracted charismatics who up until then lacked a solid Marian dimension to their piety.  In other words, the charismatic movement was marked and influenced by a great deal of Protestant characteristics. 
.
I've heard many a liturgist say some of the liturgical innovations (abuses) we see today developed with children and youth Masses.  I disagree, I think the Charismatic Renewal was the source of most of the novelties introduced into the liturgy - and they were accepted because of the obvious fervor and devotion of the charismatics.  The popularity of communal Masses with the people literally gathered around the altar gained favor within the Charismatic movement, along with a more casual approach to Communion and the sacraments; holding hands, the inclusion of Protestant hymns and contemporary-light-rock-folk songs, and of course the unintelligible gift of tongues.  In the early to mid 1970's prophetic utterances of persecution and dark times emerged, which dove-tailed nicely with the ecumenical Madonna of Medjugorje messages.
.
This grass roots 'new Pentecost' influenced the Church in the United States profoundly - it is what you see.  Obviously, the inclusion of a proper Mariology gave the movement a sure sign of orthodoxy in a post-Fatima, post-Traditionalist Church.  Not only were sons and daughters prophesying in tongues no one could understand, they were having visions and hearing locutions from God the Father, Jesus, and most popularly, Our Lady.  Even in my Archdiocese, we have a locutionist,  'Little Mary'  - although I believe she has been formally dis-approved as well.  Curiously, she is a humble housewife much like the Cleveland lady.
.
The worst thing about these parallel spiritualities, novel faith communities and cults, is that they give rise to doubt and confusion, especially regarding the competence of the ecclesial authorities: namely the local Bishop's authority to teach and rule on the authenticity of the supernatural character of the phenomena and messages.  This leads to a lack of confidence in the hierarchical structure of the Church as well as outright disobedience, a failure to think with the Church  - or disunity, and ultimately a lessening of authentic faith.  So much evil can result, leading believers and followers into vain presumption, self opinion and exaggerated self esteem.  Delusions can increase to the point one mistakes the natural for the supernatural, and the devil is able to deceive these subjects much more easily. 
.
"Some spiritual persons convince themselves that their curiosity to know of certain things through supernatural means is good because God sometimes answers these petitions.  They think this conduct is good and pleasing to God because he responds to their urgent request.  Yet the truth is that, regardless of God's reply, such behavior is neither good nor pleasing to God.  Rather he is displeased; not only displeased but frequently angered and deeply offended." - Ascent Bk II, Chp 21: God's displeasure at the quest for revelations and locutions...
.
Photo:  From the website Holy Love Ministry - the page with various ecclesial endorsements.  I know!

7 comments:

  1. they give rise to doubt and confusion
    Well put and so true.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Terry, I'm going to publish this one. I went to that website and I know people who go there on pilgrimages. In reading the "locutions" my skin was crawling. Doctrinal issues all over the place! Yet the testimonials allegedly coming from priests, bishops, canonists denying theological problems was amazing to me. I wondered where they got their degrees and in which cracker jack box? Astounding.

    Glad to see this. The Bishop is using very precise canonical language revealing that he is speaking with authority and that the faithful MUST be obedient.

    ReplyDelete
  4. michael r.3:12 PM

    Bingo. I've been looking forward to this post for a long time. I have been completely bewildered with the charismatic movement from the beginning. (It's also been a disaster for at least one cloistered contemplative order that I know of.) I think it was precisely the inclusion of some Marian devotions that sold this to JPII. It was the biggest mistake of his pontificate, imo. I wish this topic were given more discussion. It is incredible to me that EWTN gives air time to a priest and lay-woman who are involved with this movement. I listened to them for about a year because they give a lot of solid advice, and dispel a lot of new age nonsense. One day I was sitting watching them on TV, and one of them nonchalantly mentioned the first time that they had gotten the gift of tongues. I nearly fell off my chair. It didn't seem possible. These people who are giving advice on all of the various deceptions that people can fall prey to, and they are speaking in tongues? Lost all of their credibility for me.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have never been very comfortable with the spirituality of the charismatic movement and have tended to distance myself from it. Yet I can't deny that there have been good effects from it to some people close to me; such as more frequent Mass attendance and Confession. I think we have to differentiate between the charismatics (and their groups) which are obedient to their bishops and are orthodox in belief; and those who have more or less gone off on their own.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was once badgered into going to an evangelical church service with a roommate. They spoke in tongues. It must've been completely obvious that I was freaked out because she never suggested I go again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. LeoRufus6:25 PM

    This post was quite good. In my reflections on what had gone awry with mass I had forgot about the Charismatics - now I recall, the cookie platter gesture in response to "The Lord Be with you" laity respond "and also with you" and gesture forward as if to offer a platter of cookies. First saw it at Charismatic masses in late 70's, before John Paul I and II. The "lift up your hearts" and the waving the hands airward "we lift them up to the Lord" again first seen among Charismatics. The hand holding at Our Father however was emboldened by youth teen masses although Charismatics were doing it the teen masses made this "rubric" almost compulsory everywhere. Thanks for the post Terry

    ReplyDelete


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.