Catholic Charismatic Renewal Sweden , Newsletter Nov 2022
Composed by Bengt Malmgren
Meeting in Rome with CHARIS Europe in September.
CHARIS Europe's continental service of communion (CCSC Europe) had a meeting in Rome in September 2022. From Sweden, Ludwig Gelot from the Holy Trinity parish in Järfälla participated as an observer for the Nordic countries. He writes the following report:
"The purpose of the conference was to enable national services of communion and observers to pray together, share insights, identify needs and opportunities and nominate representatives ahead of next year’s CHARIS General Assembly. Candidates were nominated for the roles of moderator, continental representatives, ministries representative, youth representative, priest representative and religious representative. This process is new and is watched closely by other Continental Services of Communion who are expected to organise similar elections in the coming months.
At this stage, Nordic countries do not have a CNSC and only participate as observers. But following the conference, a decision was made to establish a Nordic Service of Communion. "
The [Eu CHARIS newsletter nr 6] is devoted entirely to the meeting. The central theme of the meeting was: How should we share the experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit? There are many fine testimonies and speeches by e.g. Cardinal Kevin Farrel of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life who also participated. I recommend the newsletter (which is in English) to careful study.
*Baptism in the Holy Spirit =
“… an outpouring of spiritual gifts called baptism in the Holy Spirit, involving
a personal encounter with Jesus Christ as Saviour, an openness to the Word
of God, to exercising the charisms and to evangelization in faithful service of the
Church.” From article 1, statutes of Charis.
“Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a life-transforming experience of the love of
God the Father poured into one’s heart by the Holy Spirit, received through a
surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. It brings alive sacramental baptism
and confirmation, deepens communion with God and with fellows Christians,
enkindles evangelistic fervour and equips a person with charisms for service
Source: Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Jubilee Anniversary Edition, Doctrinal
Commission of ICCRS, part I p.15.
The Charismatic Renewal and the Synodal process.
by Bengt Malmgren
Since October 2021, we have been living in a Synodal process that the Church is calling us into in preparation for the Synod of Bishops 2023/2024. For the first time in 2,000 years, a Synod of Bishops is called upon to involve the entire people of God. Therefore, this synod of bishops on synodality means not only focusing on one theme among so many others, but on the Church's deepest identity as community and mission, which becomes concrete and active in history as it is shared by all.
To reflect on synodality is to reflect on the essence of the church. Synodality is the path the missionary church is faced with choosing today, a church that lives in community, participation and with a focus on serving the world through the gospel. "Synodality is the way of being the Church today according to the will of God in a dynamic listening to and discernment of the Holy Spirit," Pope Francis said in an address to the French bishops in 20221.
Of course, CHARIS and the Charismatic Renewal are at the church's disposal and actively participate in the synodal process.
The charismatic renewal through Bengt Malmgren and Lillemor Hallin submitted an answer to the diocese last year, during the local phase. [Link here].
After all the answers are collected and processed, we enter the continental phase, and the Vatican Synod Secretariat has issued a [working document for this phase entitled "Enlarge the space of your tent" (Isa 54:2)]. The 45-page document also mentions the spiritual movements and various services in the church as well as the necessity of the charismatic gifts of grace in renewing the church:
69. In some contexts, there is a need to consider the variety of charisms and ministries that emerge in an organized form within associations, lay movements and new religious communities. Attention is needed to their specificities, and also to safeguarding the harmony within each local Church.
When it enters into the concrete life of the Church, the theme of ministeriality inevitably meets with the question of its institutionalization. This raises the question of the structures through which the life of the Christian community unfolds.
70. In the Catholic Church, the charismatic gifts freely bestowed by the Holy Spirit, which help ‘rejuvenate’ the Church, are inseparable from the hierarchical gifts which are linked to the Sacrament of Orders in its various degrees. A great challenge of synodality that emerged during the first year is the harmonisation of these gifts, without pitting them against each other, under the guidance of the pastors, and thus without opposing the Church’s charismatic and institutional dimensions.
Our challenge is to live in [the new Pentecost Pope John XXIII prayed for] in connection with the announcement of the decision to convene the Second Vatican Council. In this new phase of implementation of the council, we are called to live in a new aggiernamento and in the aggiernamento of the council that we have not yet fully absorbed.
In announcing the current synod on synodality, Pope Francis characterized it as an occasion for God's grace. Therefore, the prayer [Adsumus Sancte Spiritus] is proposed for the synodal process. This prayer shows the spiritual attitudes we are called to adopt during the synodal process. Living synodality requires humility, openness to the Holy Spirit and walking the path of repentance.
We within the Charismatic Renewal, in our prayer groups and the contexts we are in, should ask ourselves the fundamental question that the synodal acts suggest: A synodal church walks together. How is this journey realized together in our local church, in our congregation, in our group?
A service of communion for the Nordic region, the countries covered by the Nordic Bishops' Conference is being formed in the interim. Ludwig Gelot is in the process of contacting all groups that might want to join. A website for CHARIS Norden will be presented shortly. We will return to this.
[CCR Sweden, homepage]