A reader writes on the thread concerning C Peter Wagner

Penties seem to hate Catholicism more intensely than do Prots, even Calvinists. I suspect the reason may be projection — there’s only room for one Anointed Mouthpiece Of God On Earth at a time.

While that may (though I doubt it) explain the enmity of some Pentecostals and charismatics, it doesn’t come close to beginning to comprehend the Catholic understanding of how revelation proceeds in the Church. Yes, there are some leaders in charismatic circles who get the star treatment enough that they begin to think they are the Only Chosen Vessel. However, most charismatics of my acquaintance have tended to be rather pleasant people who wish everybody else was among the prophets, not that everybody would shut up and listen to them alone. Indeed, it seems to me that one of the place where the barrier between Catholics and Protestants is thinnest and most permeable is in charismatic circles.

However, the biggest misreading, it seems to me, is the notion that the Pope is the one “Anointed Mouthpiece Of God On Earth”. This is simply false to the Catholic Tradition, which is overwhelmingly insistent that “Truth is Symphonic“, not monotone, and which sees the Pope, not as “inspired” but as sharing in the Church’s charism against screwing up what has been entrusted to the Church (not exactly a compliment, when you think about it). Further, the Pope is completely hemmed in by the Tradition and can only articulate and elaborate on what has already been defined by previous Popes and councils. He can voice no “new revelation”. He can only talk about old revelation, which is emphatically symphonic. I suggest a careful reading of von Balthasar.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X