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date: 01 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

When the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement (CCR) arrived in Brazil in the late 1960s, evangelical Pentecostalism was in full swing. The so-called believers looked for lost sheep in the Catholic flock. In the midst of public performances and animated songs, Pentecostals promised a moral life, physical healing, and liberation from the clutches of the Devil. Pentecostalism considered daily afflictions as a spiritual battle and regarded Catholicism as a degradation of authentic Christianity. Public confrontations between Catholics and Pentecostals were frequent. Some Pentecostal attacks were fanatical, with allusions to the Bible; others accused Catholics of idolatry for their devotion to Our Lady and to the saints. As such, the CCR faced enormous resistance to spreading the movement within the Catholic universe; for some, the CCR represented a domestic enemy as well as a gateway to manifest discontent with the Church. This process of Catholic pentecostalization is the focus of this chapter. In particular, this discussion considers how charismatic Catholicism developed through the use of media and a gospel-inspired culture to draw large crowds, as well as to export the movement to other parts of the world. This chapter also discusses how—within the Catholic Church —charismatic spirituality shaped new clergy, reinvented faith-based life among the laity, and renewed pastoral work with the young. Additionally, in Brazil’s national congress, political mechanisms, options, and strategies brought Pentecostals and Charismatics together. Arguably, the CCR brought to Catholicism a discourse of religious modernization—a discourse that has become hegemonic in the Church. Finally, this chapter reflects on the social impact that Christian Pentecostalism has had on the public sphere in Brazil and its unfolding in the religious field.

Keywords: Catholic Pentecostalism, conservatism, Catholic media, new communities, singing priests

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