A Message from the Pope

Several times, Popes, both Paul VI and John Paul II, have addressed the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Below you will find some of the most important quotations that have given the Renewal light and strength. ICCRS has published a book with all the messages and addresses which the Popes have given to the CCR: The book, “Then Peter stood up…” – Collection of the Popes’ Addresses to the CCR from its origin to the year 2000. Included with the book is a supplement containing all the addresses from the year 2000 to the present.


Pope Paul VI

“We rejoice with you, dear friends, at the renewal of the spiritual life manifested in the Church today, in different forms and in various environments. [...] In all that, we can recognize the mysterious and hidden work of the Spirit, who is the soul of the church.”

ADDRESS OF PAUL VI ON THE OCCASION OF THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL LEADERS’ CONFERENCE, GROTTAFERRATA (ROME) 10 OCTOBER 1973

 

“How then could this “spiritual renewal” not be “a chance” for the church and for the world? And how, in this case, could one not take all the means to ensure that it remains so? [...] Nothing is more necessary for such a world, more and more secularized, than the testimony of this “spiritual renewal”, which we see the Holy Spirit bring about today in the most diverse regions and environments. Its manifestations are varied: deep communion of souls, close contact with God in faithfulness to the commitments undertaken at Baptism, in prayer that is often community prayer, in which each one, expressing himself freely, helps, supports and nourishes the prayer of others, and, at the basis of everything, a personal conviction. This conviction has its source not only in instruction received by faith but also in a certain experience of real life, namely, that without God, man can do nothing, that with him, on the contrary, everything becomes possible.”

ADDRESS OF POPE PAUL VI TO THE CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL ON OCCASION OF THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL LEADERS’ CONFERENCE, ROME, 19 MAY 1975


Pope John Paul II

“I am convinced that this movement is a sign of His action (of the Spirit). The world is much in need of this action of the Holy Spirit, and it needs many instruments for this action. [...] Now I see this movement, this activity everywhere.”

PRIVATE AUDIENCE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II WITH THE ICCRO COUNCIL
ROME, 11 DECEMBER 1979

 

“This morning I have the joy of meeting this assembly of yours, in which I see young people, adults, old people, men and women, united in the profession of the same faith, sustained by longing for the same hope, bound together by bonds of that charity which “has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Rm. 5:5). To this effusion of the Spirit we know we owe a deeper and deeper experience of the presence of Christ, thanks to which we can grow daily in loving knowledge of the Father. Rightly, therefore, your movement pays particular attention to the action, mysterious but real, that the third person of the Holy Trinity plays in the Christian’s life.”

FIRST AUDIENCE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II WITH THE ITALIAN RENEWAL
ROME, 23 NOVEMBER 1980

 

“Your reputation goes before you, like that of his beloved Philippians, which prompted the Apostle Paul to begin his letter to them with a sentiment I am happy to echo: “I give thanks to my God every time I think of you” [...] The Church has seen the fruits of your devotion to prayer in a deepened commitment to holiness of life and love for the word of God.”

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II AT THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL LEADERS’ CONFERENCE
ROME, 7 MAY 1981

 

“[...] I ask you, and all the members of the Charismatic Renewal, to continue to cry aloud to the world with me: “Open the doors to the Redeemer” [...]  The church’s mission is to proclaim Christ to the world. You share effectively in this mission insofar as your groups and communities are rooted in the local churches, in your dioceses and parishes.”

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II AT THE FIFTH INTERNATIONAL LEADERS’ CONFERENCE
ROME, 30 APRIL 1984

 

“The first dimension of renewal consists, therefore, in this: “to live according the Spirit”, in this continual growing in the Spirit, resisting the gratifications of the “flesh”, opening oneself to the strong, sweet attraction of God. This inner renewal, this healing of the very roots of life and this formation of a mentality dominated by the “promptings of the Spirit” is your vocation as Christians, your vocation as men and women, youths and adults of our time who want to give witness, who want that model to flourish in the world of today, the model of spirituality and even of courtesy…”

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE ITALIAN “RENEWAL IN THE SPIRIT”
ROME, 15 NOVEMBER 1986

 

“[...] But there is yet another positive chance today: that of the group of prayer which have multiplied in the Catholic Church as in other ecclesial communities, spontaneously, in an unforeseen fashion. [...] a grace which has come precisely to sanctify the Church and to renew in her the taste for prayer through the rediscovery, with the Holy Spirit, of the sense of gratuitousness, of joyful praise, of confidence in intercession; and this becomes a new source of evangelisation.”

AUDIENCE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II WITH THE BISHOPS OF NOTHERN FRANCE
22 JANUARY 1987

 

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church. The vigour and fruitfulness of the Renewal certainly attest to the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit at work in the Church in these years after the Second Vatican Council. Of course, the Spirit has guided the Church in every age, producing a great variety of gifts among the faithful. Because of the Spirit, the church preserves a continual youthful vitality, and the Charismatic Renewal is an eloquent manifestation of this vitality today, a bold statement of what “the Spirit is saying to the churches” (Rev. 2:7) as we approach the close of the second millennium.”

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II AT THE SIXTH INTERNATIONAL LEADERS’ CONFERENCE
ROME, 15 MAY 1987

 

“The Holy Spirit is at work in groups such as yours, drawing you to prayer and filling you with joy in adoring and praising the Lord. As I wrote for the whole Church in my Encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem: “Recent years have been seeing a growth in the number of people who, in ever more widespread movements and groups, are giving first place to prayer and seeking in prayer a renewal of their spiritual life”. In the same Spirit who send you forth to bear witness. How can anyone who has tasted the goodness of Christ remain silent and inactive? How can one lock away the good that has been so fully received?”

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO THE CATHOLIC FRATERNITY OF CHARISMATIC COVENANT COMMUNITIES AND FELLOWSHIPS
ROME, 7 DECEMBER 1991

 

“As you celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, I willingly join you in giving praise to God for the many fruits which it has borne in the life of the Church. The emergence of the Renewal following the Second Vatican Council was a particular gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. [...] At this moment in the Church’s history, the Charismatic Renewal can play a significant role in promoting the much-needed defence of Christian life in societies where secularism and materialism have weakened many people’s ability to respond to the Spirit and to discern God’s loving call.”

AUDIENCE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II WITH THE ICCRO COUNCIL
ROME 14 MARCH 1992

 

“You have just completed a spiritual retreat in Assisi, the city of St. Francis and also of St. Clare [...] These great figures of holiness in the Church made their own the words of St. Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Gal 2:20)”. Is this not the ideal and goal which permeates the Charismatic Renewal? Is it not the programme of life which your prayer groups and your communities have set themselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit? May the example and intercession of the great Saints of Assisi strengthen your resolve to grow continually in evangelical love and service “to the measure and the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13).”

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL LEADERS AFTER ICCRS’ ASSISI RETREAT
CASTELGANDOLFO, 18 SEPTEMBER 1993

 

“Your efforts to make known to others the joy of your faith in Christ will not only contribute to strengthening the life of the local Churches to which you belong, but will also inspire a deeper and more mature faith among your own members. [...] your emphasis on the centrality of Scripture for the Christian life can greatly help ecumenical understanding and co-operation, as all believers seek to hear the voice of the Spirit which continues to speak to the churches.”

MESSAGE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE CFCCCF
ROME, 14 NOVEMBER 1994

 

“How can we fail to praise God for the abundant fruit which in recent decades the Renewal has brought about in the lives of individuals and in communities? Countless people have appreciate the importance of Sacred Scripture for Christian living; they have acquired a new sense of the value of prayer and a profound yearning for holiness; many have returned to the sacraments; and a great number of men and women have achieved a deeper understanding of their baptismal call, and have committed themselves to the Church’s mission with admirable dedication.”

MESSAGE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO PARTICIPANTS TO THE SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE CFCCCF
ROME, 9 NOVEMBER 1996

 

“The Catholic charismatic movement is one of the many fruits of the Second Vatican Council, which, like a new Pentecost, led to an extraordinary flourishing in the Church’s life of groups and movements particularly sensitive to the action of the Spirit. How can we not give thanks for the precious spirituals fruits that the Renewal has produced in the life of the Church and in the lives of so many people? How many lay faithful—men, women, young people, adults and elderly—have been able to experience in their own lives the amazing power of the Spirit and his gifts! How many people have rediscovered faith, the joy of prayer, the power and beauty of the Word of God, translating all this into generous service in the Church’s mission! How many lives have been profoundly changed! For all this today, together with you, I wish to praise and thank the Holy Spirit.”

AUDIENCE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II WITH THE NATIONAL SERVICE COMMITTEE OF THE ITALIAN “RENEWAL IN THE SPIRIT”
ROME, 4 APRIL 1998

 

“Thanks to this powerful ecclesial experience, wonderful Christian families have come into being which are open to life, true “domestic churches”, and many vocations to the ministerial priesthood and the religious life have blossomed, as well as new forms of lay life inspired by the evangelical counsels. You have learned in the movements and new communities that faith is not abstract talk, nor vague religious sentiment, but new life in Christ instilled by the Holy Spirit.”

MESSAGE AT THE MEETING BETWEEN POPE JOHN PAUL II AND THE ECCLESIAL MOVEMENTS AND NEW COMMUNITIES IN ST. PETER’S SQUARE
ROME, 30 MAY 1998

 

“Certainly, your own charism leads you to direct your life towards a special “intimacy” with the Holy Spirit. And a survey of the thirty years of the history of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal shows that you have helped many people to rediscover the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in their lives, in the life of the Church and in the life of the world. [...] From the very beginning of my ministry as the Successor of Peter, I have considered the movements as a great spiritual resource for the Church and for humanity, a gift of the Holy Spirit for our time, a sign of hope for all people.”

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO PARTICIPANT AT THE EIGHTH MEETING OF THE CFCCCF
ROME, 1 JUNE 1998

 

“The Catholic Charismatic Renewal has helped many Christians to rediscover the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in their lives, in the life of the Church and in the world, and this rediscovery has awakened in them a faith in Christ filled with joy, a great love of the Church and a generous dedication to her evangelising mission. In this year of the Holy Spirit, I join you in praise of God for the precious fruits which he has wished to bring to maturity in your communities and, through them, in the particular Churches.”

AUDIENCE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II WITH THE PARTICIPANTS AT THE NINTH LEADERS’ CONFERENCE
FIUGGI, 30 OCTOBER 1998

 

“[...] your meeting is taking place under the patronage of an organisation. the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS), whose task is to coordinate and promote exchange of experiences and reflections among Catholic Charismatic Communities throughout the world. Thanks to this, the wealth present in each community is for the benefit of everybody and all the communities can more easily perceive the bond of communion which binds them to each other and to whole Church. [...] I noticed that there was now a new stage also for the movements, “the one of ecclesial maturity”. Also charismatic communities are called today to make this step and I am certain that, for ecclesial awareness to mature in the different charismatic communities throughout the world, ICCRS can have an important role.”

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE ITALIAN “RENEWAL IN THE SPIRIT”
RIMINI, 24 APRIL 2000

 

“There is no holiness without prayer. In fact, as we see in the lives of the Saints, Christians are worth as much as they pray. [...] This commits that the groups and communities of the Renewal be ever more places of contemplation and praise, where the heart of man is filled with the love of God, opens up to the love towards his brother and becomes capable of building history according to God’s design. It is in the Church—home and school of communion—that we which must oppose the culture of hatred and revenge, may the groups and Communities of the Renewal (RnS) be significant places and models of brotherhood and love, of patience and reciprocal welcoming. May the experience of forgiveness and the value given to every spiritual gift help everyone to build a fellowship nourished by the breath of the Spirit of the Risen Lord.”

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE ITALIAN “RENEWAL IN THE SPIRIT”
RIMINI, 28 APRIL 2001

 

“The Church and the world need saints! And all the baptized without exception are called to be saints! [...] Let your communities, therefore, be more and more “genuine schools of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the heart truly “falls in love”. For this is what the saints are: people who have fallen in love with Christ. And this is why the Charismatic Renewal has been such a gift to the Church: it has led a host of men and women, young and old, into this experience of the love which is stronger than death.”

MESSAGE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO PARTICIPANTS TO THE SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF THE CFCCCF
ROME, 22 JUNE 2001

 

“Yes! The Renewal in the Spirit can be considered a special gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church in our time. Born in the Church and for the Church, your movement is one in which, following the light of the Gospel, the members experience the living encounter with Jesus, fidelity to God in personal and community prayer, confident listening to his Word and a vital rediscovery of the Sacraments, not to mention courage in trials and hope in hardship. Love for the Church and submission to her Magisterium, in the process of maturing in the Church supported by a solid permanent formation are relevant signs of your intention to avoid the risk of favouring, unwittingly, a purely emotional experience of the divine, an excessive pursuit of the “extraordinary” and a private withdrawal that may shrink from apostolic outreach.”

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE ITALIAN “RENEWAL IN THE SPIRIT”
RIMINI, 14 MARCH 2002

Go to Top