Some say new “sects” or “religious movements” are arising from within the Roman Catholic Church, but a prominent priest connected to a new study told Vatican Radio this is not true, reports Zenit News.

They are instead “religious organizations” that have “a direct line with the leadership of the Church,” said Father Gibellini.

The priest directed a study titled “Movements in the Church,” which was recently released.

Included amongst the groups studied were the Focolarini, Neocatechumenal Way, Communion and Liberation, Emmanuel Community, Regnum Christi, the Community of Sant’Egidio, and charismatic renewal groups.

Regnum Christi, also called the Legionaries of Christ has a deeply troubled history that includes allegations of sexual abuse concerning its founder Fr. Marcial Marcial Degollado.

What also appears to have plagued groups like Regnum Christi and the controversial organization Opus Dei are complaints of excessive authoritarian control.

The “charismatic renewal” within Roman Catholicism has also had its own set of problems.

Largely based upon personal spiritual experiences such as “speaking-in-tongues,” participants at times seem to have more in common with Pentecostal Protestants than Catholics.

The Church at times has banned some charismatic groups.

It seems that the frequently subjective nature of the charismatic experience can at times lead to confusion and invest power in someone who claims “special gifts” and/or discernment within a group.

This was the history of “His Community” led by David Mulligan, which is now known as Christ Covenant Ministries/Community in Vermont and no longer in “direct line with the leadership of the Church.”

The Catholic Church has had problems policing such organizations and people have been hurt.

One theologian opined, “I think that these movements revitalize the Christian community fabric.”

This may be true much of the time, but there have been apparent and/or notable exceptions.

For the sake and safety of that same “community fabric,” which seems to have been torn more than once by such groups, some caution might also be exercised.


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