While the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) movement has gained ground and attracted many Catholics in the Archdiocese of Harare and the country at large, its way of operation remains perplexing to many ‘traditional’ Catholics.’ Is it a church within the Church because of its Charismatic and Pentecostal way of worship?
In a bid to enlighten more on this, one of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal priests, Fr Regis Chikuni has said that the CCR “is not a church within the Church but only an ecclesial movement,” Fr. Chikuni was speaking on a discussion programme of Radio Chiedza organised in Harare recently,
Fr Chikuni further clarified that the Charismatic movement is not a new Church. It is a movement within the Catholic Church, an ecclesial movement of Spiritual renewal and transformation embeded in the Catholic Church. The CCR movement emphasises the need for each one to develop a personal relationship with Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
The message of Fr. Chikuni echoes the writings of Mr Kenneth Matsikidze, the then CCR Archdiocese of Harare Coordinator. Writing last year, Mr Matsikidze said the CCR movement was as it were, “the Church that is being refreshed, re-energised and revitalised by the power of the Holy Spirit.” He added that while many Catholics view renewal as “setting a new direction for the Church, renewal must instead be seen as a return to love, favour and practice of faith that existed in the past.”
In the radio programme, the respondent Fr Kenneth Makamure said besides elitism, sectarianism and emotionalism among others, Charismatic Renewal members should stay clear of ‘demon obsession.’ He said Charismatics “must not see all life as a battle for demons where the Devil is blamed for bad health, bad behaviour without reference to physical, psychological and relational setbacks,” he emphasised.
The CCR National Spiritual Advisor, Fr Konrad Landsberg SJ said, “the Charismatic gift is a gift of the Church and people must not be judges on the Holy Spirit but rather be students.” He added, “Let us learn and always listen to the Holy Spirit,” Fr Landsberg SJ advised.
(Jesuit Communications Zimbabwe–Mozambique)