Friday, August 3, 2018


I had wondered about the two major figures in South America enveloped in the sex abuse scandal in Chile if they were progressive or conservative. In fact this morning I learned from Crux that they are conservative but charismatic. Charismatics are Catholics Pentecostals, extremely ecumenical, but orthodox in their teachings except liturgically and spiritually, they syncretize Catholic worship with Pentecostal expression. They are not rigid in their liturgical expression. They are politically conservative (not leftists to use a phrase Pope Francis used to describe those who were denigrating a bishop now fired by Pope Fraincis in Chile associated with Karadima).

Pope Francis had a flip flop on charismatics opposing them at first and then embracing them when he was in Argentina. Why? I suspect because of their evangelizing fervor, ecumenical outlook and less rigid Pentecostal piety and vocations these communities provide.

Each time charismatics come to Rome, Pope Francis exuberantly embraces them, prays with them and is prayed over by them. He doesn't meet traditionalists though. This may explain why Francis did not believe reports about abuse in these communities by priests and laity as it would challenge the style of the pope’s agenda which he sees being fulfilled in charismatic communities. Charismatics believe God is always doing something new and the Spirit blows where it wills, sentiments shared by Pope Francis--the God of surprises.

This is from this morning’s Crux and press here for full article:

Similar to now suspended Fr. Fernando Karadima, Peruvian layman Luis Fernando Figari’s community was charismatic and attracted swaths of vocations, with the main appeal being an emphasis on a life of strict asceticism, intellectual formation and spiritual combat, believing their call was to fight as elite soldiers in God’s army.

Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz Ossa, who served as archbishop of the national capital from 1998-2010 and was the dominant figure on the country’s Catholic scene, has increasingly been in the spotlight as the Chilean abuse crisis unfolds. He faces mounting accusations of cover-up, most notably for notorious abuser priest, Fernando Karadima, and many victims have called for him to stand trial.
However, the record shows that not only does Errázuriz have ties to Karadima, he also has a relationship with Figari that goes back at least two decades.
Sources with knowledge of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, the movement founded by Figari, emphasize that Errázuriz was not its biggest backer in the Latin American hierarchy, nor was he responsible for the movement’s early growth. That occurred, they say, under the patronage of two other Latin American heavyweights, both now deceased - Cardinals Alfonso Lopez Trujillo of Colombia and Eugênio de Araújo Sales of Brazil.

Even then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, the future Pope Francis, those sources say, in some ways was more enthusiastic than Errázuriz. At one stage, Bergoglio donated a piece of property outside Buenos Aires to the community for five years to use as a base of operations in the country.


Ackley said...

I was involved with the Charismatic Renewal for over 10 years, largely because of a priest I knew. The priest was a deeply holy man with incredible gifts for healing and discernment, however, he did not take those gifts lightly and he exercised great caution in his ministry. HOWEVER, most of the laity in the Charismatic groups were all over the place. Many of them believed that they didn't need to obey the Church because they were being led "by the spirit". One person was following the teachings of a very questionable woman who claimed personal revelations from God about a "new way". When confronted with evidence that the woman's teachings contradicted the Church, he just said, "It makes sense in the spirit". "In the Spirit" became the catch phrase to excuse everything. Many ended up in Protestant congregations. But what bugged me the most was that everyone seemed to be hungering for a new sign from God all the time. It was like an addiction to sensationalism. All I could think of were Jesus' words, "It is a wicked generation that demands a sign." A lot of good things happened with the Charismatics, but overall, in retrospect, I would stay away from them.

Tom said...

Don't forget two other scandal-plagued New Movements that were charismatic (in the movement itself and/or by the personality of its founder) and "conservatice" - or just plain crazy in its outlook: Marcial Maciel and the Legionaries; and the lesser-known expelled Franciscan and laicized priest Tomislav Vlasic and Medjugorje, whose apparitions and messages were started by him to divert attention from his affair with a nun resulting in her prenancy.