2003 Conference – Going Deep in HistoryDeep in History

Authentic vs. Inauthentic Renewal – Fr. Benedict Groeschel

September 23, 2014 4 Comments

Recognizing that the Church was certainly in need of renewal at the end of the fifteenth century, we will examine the movements of authentic renewal that were rising to address the problems.

“The real foundation of real ecumenism is devotion to Jesus Christ… Devotion is a powerful personal conviction that our Divine Savior in eternal life knows me, knows you individually, knows us, not as the great choir, but one at a time. That He cares about us. That He sends us grace. That in the difficult times of life we can trust in Him and that He will lead us even through the valley of the shadow of death. That He expects things of us and that when we fail He expects our repentance.That He hears our prayers especially for those who are dear to us and for the world, and that in the hour of death when we close our eyes we will find Him — He will be there.” Fr. Benedict Groeschel 

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Study Questions:

-Discuss Fr. Groeschel’s definition of “devotion” to Jesus Christ. How does this compliment and/or differ from your
understanding of Catholic devotion?

-What point does Fr. Groeschel make about Orthodox and other ancient, Christian churches, such as Coptic or Armenian?

-How did the Black Death in 1350 effect the Catholic Church?

-How did William of Ockham’s theory of arbitrariness effect the Reformation?

-Why does Fr. Groeschel state that Calvinism is theologically closer to Catholicism than Lutheranism?

-What point does Fr. Groeschel make about celibacy in the Middle Ages?

-Who were some of the female reformers in the Middle Ages and how did these women go about reforming from within the Catholic Church? What quality united all reformers, Protestant and Catholic?

-Why does Fr. Groeschel believe the Catholic Church today is in desperate need of renewal? Do you agree with him? Why or why not?

-What needs to be done to effectively – authentically – reform our Catholic Church today, according to Fr. Groeschel?


Catholic Charismatic Movement (Charismatic Renewal): A movement within the Catholic Church, in which worship is characterized by vibrant Masses, as well as prayer meetings featuring prophecy, healing and “praying in tongues.” This movement is based on the belief that certain gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as the abilities to pray in tongues and to heal (which Christians generally believe existed in the early Church as described in the Bible) should still be practiced today.

Reform: To give new or better form to an existing reality while preserving its essentials.

Protestant Holiness Movement: A set of beliefs and practices emerging from the Methodist Christian church in the mid 19th century, which is distinguished by its emphasis on John Wesley’s doctrine of “Christian perfection” – the belief that it is possible to live free of voluntary sin.

Madam Adorno: Referring to St. Catherine of Genoa, Italian mystic and author, who died in 1510.

Evangelical: Of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels.