News Headlines > Charismatics pray in tongues over Pope Francis

05 June 2014 | by Elena Curti

Charismatics pray in tongues over Pope Francis

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Pope Francis has admitted that he wasn’t always keen on Catholic charismatics but said that he had learned to love them, when he addressed a major gathering in Rome last Sunday.

The Pope told the international crowd of more than 50,000 members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal that he wasn’t always comfortable with the way they prayed.

"In the early years of the charismatic renewal in Buenos Aires, I did not have much love for charismatics, I said of them ‘they seem like a samba school’," he said at the meeting at the Olympic Stadium.

Pope Francis clearly demonstrated that he had in the intervening years experienced a change of heart. He knelt on the stage as the charismatics raised their hands over him, singing and praying in tongues. In turn he told them their movement was begun by the Holy Spirit as "a current of grace in the Church and for the Church".

Addressing a married couple who had spoken positively about the movement’s impact on family life, Francis described the family as the “domestic church” where Jesus’ presence grows in the love of spouses and their children.

"This is why the enemy attacks the family so hard; the devil doesn't like it, and tries to destroy it," he said.

Pope Francis invited the gathering – organised by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services and the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships – to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the renewal in St Peter’s Square at Pentecost 2017. The movement traces its origins to a retreat held in 1967 with students and staff from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.

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