With such a rousing endorsement and invitation from none other than Pope Francis it is easy to see how this charismatic celebration will have them all rolling in the aisles. Speculation and prospects as to the event being presented as a possible Ecumenical Non-Denominational Charismatic Rally are however, beginning to raise a few eyebrows. Charismatic Pentecostalism can get a bit physical and even messy at times with the sometimes erratic movements and gyrations accompanied by strange sounding and often loud verbiage. Not to worry however, for these folks those oddities are just the thing that will inspire millions of devotees to travel thousands of miles to mix it up in a Vatican raucous rendezvous and all the more fun. All falling under the banner of their existentialist Pentecostal “worship”.
Pope Francis encourages the participants to let loose and not inhibit the spirit:
“The temptation “to become ‘controllers’ of the grace of God” is a danger, the pope said. Group leaders, sometimes without even meaning to, become “administrators of grace”, deciding who should exercise which gifts of the Holy Spirit. “Don’t do this anymore,” Pope Francis said. “Be dispensers of God’s grace, not controllers. Don’t be the Holy Spirit’s customs agents.”
Onlookers will probably scratch their heads in wonderment not knowing what to make of this otherwise stultifying exhibitionism. The rather avant-garde charismatic show really does take off with a spirit all its own however, and apparently produces a kind of mysterious intoxicating exuberance for its aficionados that is for them strangely addictive. For the uninitiated however, it can be rather vexing and befuddling. I’m not all that sure that the Romans are aptly prepared for what’s in store for them but, Rome has a long history of surviving some pretty bizarre and outrageous stuff.
Traditionalists not so Enthusiastic:
Naturally the paleo-Catholics who cling to their Tridentine Latin Mass will have nothing to do with the “spiritual ecumenism” crowd and for this they will be excoriated by the modernists in the media. These Neanderthal Traditionalists seem to lack even a willingness to try something new and exciting in religious practice and are said to condemn the many celebrations of liturgical novelties which have developed as a result of the Second Vatican Council. This show is not for them nor is it for the faint hearted. Some traditionalists have gone so far as to suggest that the speaking in strange tongues, interpreting them and the unusual behavior exhibited by the participants in charismatic hullaballoos is the surest sign, according to the traditional Roman Ritual on Exorcism, that they very well may be possessed by the devil.
Getting Around Town with Charisma:
Guide brochures will be available in multiple languages to help with information and directions for the tourists who are interested in participating in the charismatic phenomenological existential experience. The travel agencies and tour guides are preparing for an outpouring of bodies as well as spirits and hope to fill all the hotels and restaurants with what they expect to be a record breaking crowd. Everything is being done in and out of the Vatican to help the charismata folks enjoy their stay in the eternal city. Charismatic renewal group leaders will be available and for those who need help getting started, charismatic tongue trainers can be retained for a nominal fee. Since the tongues part of the program is indecipherable except by another spirit person in sync with them, communication will, in most cases, be impossible. Those with lively imaginations and those prone to hallucinations are always contributing some color to the festivities and when you put this all together you can really expect to experience what Pope Francis likes: a mess.
If you are planning to come to Rome for this event you may want to make early reservations because this Vatican event is sure to be a sensational sellout and quite possibly the spirit-filled spectacle of a lifetime. Ironically, those who felt that the Latin Mass was difficult to follow because it was not presented in a common vernacular, even though Mass Missals were always available with side by side translations, have no problem participating in the charismatic rallies where no one will ever know or even care what is being said or done. It’s truly amazing that these charismata folks, who come from all over the world, can get together and apparently have a great time even when they have no idea of what is going on and who said what to whom or why it was even said in the first place. Maybe that’s their secret of happiness; just maybe ignorance really is bliss. It is however, for the elect, to hold fast to Tradition.