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Understanding The Operations Of Catholic Renewal

By Amanda Baird
Catholic renewal is a term that describes the defining changes that were experienced in the Roman Catholic Church especially from the Twentieth Century onwards. The change involved pivotal individuals and church decisions with a permanent effect. Some had began early but exploded at this time. They caused a dramatic turn of events that would change the future of a church that was regarded as conservative.

There were three main areas that affected the traditions practiced by Catholics. One of them was the prominence given to the bible in the liturgy and the life of practicing catholics. The source of translations changed from vulgate Latin to original manuscripts of the bible. This expanded access to information and took away the monopoly that was enjoyed by the clergy. It was viewed as the church giving away control over information.

Opening up of liturgy direction to lay faithful and introduction of new practices added on to the wind of change. Celebration of mass in native languages and involvement of lay men in previously guarded practices heralded a new era. This was a departure from a tradition that had been held jealously and preserved for the clergy. It was a total break from the past.

The mode of Eucharistic celebration changed from a formal and legalistic manner into a more open and individualized approach. This was emphasized in the practice of faith as well. There was a call for the faithful to seek personal encounters and experiences with Christ. This was a complete departure from generalized approach that had many regulations and laws. This was the origin of diocesan and individual differences that can be seen even today.

Pius the Twelfth is said to have initiated the biblical renewal in 1943. This move commenced when the encyclical called Divino Afflante Spiritu was released. This letter paved way for translations to originate from original manuscripts. This move will then set the stage for the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, among other documents, to emanate from the Second Vatican Council.

Revival would pick pace after the Second Vatican Council allowed more freedoms within the hierarchy. It was decided that the bible should be translated in all mother tongues possible in order to reach more people. Information that was exclusively available to the clergy and those who knew traditional church languages was now available to the masses. This placed the bible at the center of Christian life.

Many other documents would arise from the deliberations of the Second Vatican Council. They gradually and permanently altered the destiny of Catholic faith. There was increased attention of the role of catechism among the faithful. Some dioceses and parishes picked up prophesy, faith healing and worship outside mass. The charismatic renewal thus gained roots.

The Catholic renewal has resulted in both diversity and division. This has shaken the unity of the church to the core. Charismatic movement is regarded by some as misinterpretation of scripture while supporters find backing in the practices of early church. They site this as an aspect that has been lost for years and is being rediscovered. Dioceses have exhibited uniqueness ever since, which threatens to shake the foundations of their faith.

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