Pontifical Council for the Laity



    "We live in the Church at a privileged moment of the Spirit": declared His Holiness Paul VI in the Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii Nuntiandi" (n. 75). There are, indeed, many signs throughout the world by which we can see the fruits of the Spirit. Currents, movements and testimonies of holiness renew the communion and the mission of the Church, built on hierarchical and charismatic gifts. Among them are the Catholic Charismatic Renewal or Renewal in the Spirit and the new forms of Community life arising from it. "The vigour and the fruits of the Renewal – said His Holiness John Paul II to the participants in the 6th International Assembly of Charismatic Renewal, on 15 May 1987 – certainly testify to the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church during these years following the Second Vatican Council. The Spirit has, of course, guided the Church in every age bringing forth a great variety of gifts among the faithful. Thanks to the Spirit, the Church constantly keeps her youth and vitality. And the Charismatic Renewal is an eloquent manifestation of this vitality today, a vigorous affirmation of what "the Spirit is saying to the Churches" (Rev. 2:7), as we draw near to the end of the second millennium".

    To support the very different realities of individuals and groups that respond to the current of the Catholic Charismatic movement, since 1978, the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service has given a concrete and positive response facilitating communication and cooperation among everyone.

    Accepting now the request to obtain pontifical recognition made by ICCRS, according to the current Code of Canon Law,

    Appreciating the aims of the ICCRS of "service and promotion of the CCR all over the world, under the Holy Spirit’s action" (art. 1), having "a special concern for the faithfulness to the Catholic Church of charismatic renewal participants, both individuals and groups, and for their obedience to the Pope as well as to the other bishops, according to the Church’s teachings" (art. 3),

    Having examined attentively the Statutes presented by the ICCRS and consulted several canonists, and following the incorporation in the statutes of observations made by the Pontifical Council for the Laity and by the same ICCRS on July 8, 1993,

    In continuing and strengthening a more institutional and regular relationship between ICCRS and the Holy See, particularly through the Pontifical Council for the Laity, whose Vice-President, Bishop Paul J. Cordes, has been nominated by the Holy Father as Episcopal Advisor of ICCRS, "ad personam",

    Comforted by the positive testimonies given by many Cardinals and Bishops concerning the service rendered by ICCRS in the communion and mission of the Church,

    Keeping also in mind that on 30 November 1990 the Pontifical Council for the Laity granted recognition to the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships, as a private association of the faithful, and in the hope that there will be a fruitful relationship of dialogue and cooperation between this association and ICCRS,


 D E C R E E S

            The recognition of ICCRS as a body for the promotion of the CCR, with a juridical personality, according to Can. 116,

            approving their Statutes, in their original form, deposited in the Archives of this Dicastery.


PAUL J. CORDES                                                                           EDUARDO CARD. PIRONIO

Vicepresident                                                                                   President


From the Vatican, 14 September, 1993, Feast of the Glorification of the Cross




    The Catholic charismatic renewal is not a single, unified world wide movement. It does not have a single founder or group of founders as many other movements do. It has no membership lists. It is a highly diverse collection of individuals, groups and activities, often quite independent of one another, in different stages and modes of development and with differing emphases, that nevertheless share the same fundamental experience and espouse the same general goals. This pattern of loose-knit relationships is found at the diocesan and national levels as well as on the international level. These relationships are very often characterised by free association, dialogue, and collaboration rather than by integration into an ordered structure. Leadership is characterised more by offering service to those who want it rather than by governance.

    The central goals of Catholic charismatic renewal, or Catholic Pentecostal renewal as it is also called, include:

    1. To foster mature and continuous personal conversion to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

    2. To foster a decisive personal receptivity to the person, presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.

    These two spiritual graces are often experienced together in what is called in different parts of the world a baptism in the Holy Spirit, or a release of the Holy Spirit, or a renewal of the Holy Spirit. They are most often understood as a personal acceptance of the graces of Christian initiation and as an empowering for personal Christian service in the Church and in the world.

    3. To foster the reception and use of the spiritual gifts (charismata) not only in the charismatic renewal but also in the broader Church. These gifts, ordinary and extraordinary are abundantly found among laity, religious and clergy. Their proper understanding and use in harmony with other elements of the church life is a source of strength for Christians on their journey towards holiness and in the carrying out of their mission.

    4. To foster the work of evangelization in the power of the Holy Spirit, including the evangelization of the unchurched, the re-evangelization of nominal Christians, the evangelization of culture and social structures. The renewal especially promotes sharing in the Church's mission by proclaiming the gospel in word and deed, and by bearing witness to Jesus Christ through personal testimony and through those works of faith and justice to which each one is called.

    5. To foster the ongoing growth in holiness through the proper integration of these charismatic emphases with the full life of the Church. This is accomplished through participation in a rich sacramental and liturgical life, and appreciation of the tradition of Catholic prayer and spirituality, and ongoing formation in Catholic doctrine guided by the Church's magisterium, and participation in the pastoral plan of the Church.

    These goals and the projects that flow from them have marked the Catholic charismatic renewal in individuals, prayer groups, communities, local, diocesan and national service teams and ministries. In order to serve needs for communication, co-operation and co-ordination, a council and an international office were set up in 1978 under the auspices of Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens, named by Pope Paul VI as his Episcopal Adviser to the renewal on the international level. The council was formed of leaders from around the world and the office was established first in Brussels and later in Rome. On May 23, 1984, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Paul J. Cordes to succeed Cardinal Suenens as his representative to the Council. Since 1978 the Council has developed an international organisation which on one hand promotes communication and co operation among renewal organisations on the national level and on the other hand provides a channel of communication and co operation for the international renewal with the Holy See. This organisation is now to be known as ICCRS, International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services.

    The International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service (ICCRS) is an institution (organisation) which seeks to foster charismatic renewal in the Roman Catholic Church on the world wide level. The institution consists of an international council which shares and establishes the central goals, objectives and projects, having an office located in Rome, responsible for carrying out the decisions of the council.

    In pursuing its goals and objectives ICCRS seeks to offer helpful service to the renewal world wide. ICCRS seeks to gather wisdom, insight and experience from around the world and in turn make it available world wide. When ICCRS presents teaching or pastoral advice, issues guidelines, or offers on site training, it does so as a servant offering help, not as an authority expecting compliance.

    In relating to national and local expressions of charismatic renewal ICCRS desires to stress its commitment to this servant role. It has therefore an authority of service, a certain moral authority. ICCRS does not, however, seek to impose its authority but only to offer its services. The relationship between ICCRS and national and local expressions of the renewal in no way limits the relationships between renewal groups and their local and national bishops. Nor does the relationship with ICCRS in any way limit the freedom of any individual or group in the renewal to relate to the Holy See.


A. Nature

    Art. l. International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services, known as ICCRS, is at the world level the principal co-ordinating organisation of the Catholic charismatic renewal (CCR). Its mission is service and promotion of the CCR all over the world, under the Holy Spirit's action, in close contact with the Holy See. Under Pope John Paul II, ICCRS has been directed to relate to the Holy See primarily through its Episcopal Adviser at the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

   Art. 2. ICCRS is a JURIDICAL PERSONALITY "ad instar", i.e. corresponding to a PRIVATE ASSOCIATION OF THE FAITHFUL (Cf., CC 321-329,116, 2).

   Art. 3. ICCRS has a special concern for the faithfulness to the Catholic Church of charismatic renewal participants, both individuals and groups, and for their obedience to the Pope as well as to the other bishops, according to the Church's teachings.

    Art. 4. On the horizontal level, ICCRS strives to maintain cordial relationships of respect and friendship with spiritual movements that exist within the Catholic Church, avoiding in its policies special privileges in accordance with the Apostle's teachings in Phil. 2:1-11 and Eph. 4:2-7.

    Art. 5. While preserving its Catholic identity, ICCRS maintains fraternal bonds with other Christian communities believing in the shared possession of the Holy Spirit. But ICCRS does not initiate any international ecumenical activity without obeying the Church's norms on this issue, first having consultation, where required, with the Holy See or the diocesan bishop.       

    Art. 6. In order to be of service to all the individuals and groups within the CCR, ICCRS makes a special effort to welcome renewal participants who call upon it and seek to meet their needs. In order to be of service to all the individuals and groups within the CCR, ICCRS makes a special effort to welcome renewal participants who call upon it and seek to meet their needs.

   Art. 7. In giving these services ICCRS does not have any jurisdictional authority over the CCR, since this is directly under the diocesan Bishop. However, ICCRS acknowledges a moral influence in the CCR world wide by reason of the services it provides described in these statutes.



B. Objectives of ICCRS

   Art. 8. ICCRS serves the CCR world wide as a centre of unity, communication and co-operation in order to fulfil Christ's desire: "That they may all be one" (Jn. 17:21) and to keep Christ's body without divisions (1 Co. 12:4-31). This unity has to be understood within the context of diversity, since inside the CCR different forms and manifestations can be, and in fact, are present.

ICCRS' service embraces the following:

1) Helping all CCR leaders of the world through constant communication.

This is accomplished by:

a) preparing different material about CCR and placing it at their disposition;

b) participating, through its members, in conferences, congresses, assemblies, etc., in order to encourage security, communion, peace and joy as well as solid doctrine;

c) helping with financial aid, visits and exchanges among the different centres of mutual enrichment; and

d) helping to promote those approaches or decisions which would be more prudent and in conformity with the Church's intentions in that which concerns evangelization, pastoral work, etc.

    In all this, and, in general, in all matters ICCRS resolves to act with a great respect for the principle of subsidiarity.

2) Assisting CCR and the Bishops in the encouragement and in the discernment of charisms, following the doctrine of Vatican II (LG 12,2).

3) Working for mutual understanding between the CCR and the Church, following the Popes' orientations, and encouraging at an international level the collaboration among the CCR, bishops and theologians.

4) Stimulating CCR participants to work for the evangelization of the world "We are ruled by Christ's love for us" (2 Cor 5:14) pointing towards the third millennium after Christ's birth. This is a challenge given by the Roman Pontiff. ICCRS accepts it, trusting in the Holy Spirit's special assistance, working to focus CCR's energies from the most developed areas towards those which are less developed or poor.

5) Serving as an information centre for the CCR and for all those who wish to know about it.

6) In its spirit of service ICCRS will maintain a relationship of dialogue and collaboration with the "Catholic Fraternity of Covenant Communities", established as a Private Association of the Faithful by the Holy See.

   Art. 9. ICCRS, to better obtain the above-mentioned aims or objectives, commits itself to fulfil the following services.

1) Visiting by the president or other members, in so far as possible, CCR national co-ordinators and CCR centres around the world. Their visits are to coincide, if possible, with some important event which will gather a considerate number of CCR participants. They are also to exchange with the leaders their impressions on their programs and projects and offer services in so far as possible to these leaders.

2) Communicating regularly with CCR leaders throughout the world through letters, the ICCRS Newsletter for leaders, and other writings.

3) Organising world wide conferences and congresses for CCR leaders as well as supporting other initiatives and proposals for other kinds of conferences of meetings on national and international levels.

4) Preparing theological and pastoral studies about the CCR, known as "ICCRS Documents", and gradually developing them in such a way that the subjects for an adequate catechesis for the CCR groups will be covered.

5) Promoting other writings and publications on CCR in different parts of the world and facilitation of their translation into other languages.

6) Maintaining frequent contact with the Holy See through the Episcopal Adviser and The Pontifical Council for the Laity.

7) Visiting the different dicasteries or offices of the Holy See to keep them informed of the CCR world wide progress and to dialogue with them on CCR theological and pastoral aspects. The visits will be carried out by those members delegated by the ICCRS at its annual general meeting.

8) Equitably distributing financial aid for the development and promotion of CCR in the poorest regions of the world in accordance with ICCRS' means. 



C. Structures of ICCRS

   Art. 10. The goals, objectives and projects of ICCRS will be promoted by its Council. In the services offered to the regions and countries of the world, ICCRS has no juridical authority over the CCR.

l. ICCRS' Council 

a) Composition

   Art. 11. The members of ICCRS comprise the ICCRS Council. ICCRS' Council consists of a President, a Vice-President and 12 councillors, chosen in the following way: 2 from North America, 2 from Latin America, 3 from Europe (one from northern Europe, one from southern Europe, and one from eastern Europe), 2 from Africa (one from the French speaking nations and one the English speaking ones), and 3 from Asia-Oceania. The ICCRS Council has an Episcopal Adviser, appointed by the Holy Father.

   Art. 12. The Council may admit new members from particular ministries, covenant communities and major geographical areas not already present.

  Art. 13. ICCRS has its official office in Rome. The change of location must be approved by a majority of 2/3, with the approval of the Episcopal Adviser, and dialogue with the Pontifical Council for the Laity. 


b) Mission of each member

   Art. 14. It is the duty of the President to:

1) keep in contact with and consult other members;

2) implement the decisions of ICCRS;

3) convoke and preside over ICCRS' meetings and to prepare an agenda after consultation with other members;

4) represent ICCRS before the Holy See with the delegates mentioned in Art.9.7;

        5) appoint office staff and to assign their duties; and,

        6) authorise major expenditures by councillors.

   Art. 15. The Vice-President helps and assists the President whenever that office holder is impeded.

  Art. 16. The councillors:

1) are obliged to attend ICCRS' meetings;

2) must keep frequent contact with the President and the ICCRS office and provide information asked of them;

3) must serve on the ICCRS committees to which they are appointed;

4) must send an annual detailed report to ICCRS on the situation of CCR in their geographic area or particular area of concern, giving a real assessment of the renewal;

                                 5) must strive to live up to CCR

standards and to be authentic examples

to their geographic group or particular area;


6) must seek to represent ICCRS in their

own geographic or particular area of concern

and to as many CCR groups in that area as possible;




7) should be available to assist the

progress of CCR groups through
frequent consultation with their

directors in addition to what is stated in Article 8;

8) may establish regional centres for counselling and similar projects;and,

9) may jointly on the basis of common

language, geographical proximity or other

common interest gather renewal participants

to study the possibilities for mutual assistance,

exchange of services, personnel and publications,

or the holding of joint assemblies, congresses, etc.


     Art. 17. The Episcopal Adviser:

                                         1) is invited to attend ICCRS' meetings

and committees;

2) assists the ICCRS Council and its Office in a theological and spiritual basis;

3) ensures that the central goals of the Catholic Charismatic movements and of ICCRS corresponds to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and especially to the teachings and orientation of the Holy Father with regard to Charismatic Renewal;

                                      4) promotes unity within the plurality

 of the Catholic Charismatic

 movement at the international level;


                                         5) he is consulted especially with regard to

important decisions and programs

(such as, for example, the choice of a President,

changes in the Statutes and headquarters).


                    c. Elections

   Art. 18. The duration of the mandate. ICCRS' members are elected for a three year period. They can be re-elected. but only for two consecutive times (six more years), nevertheless, in special circumstances, ICCRS can extend the mandate for one further period.

   Art. 19. New members of ICCRS are elected by the electing members having regard for the following criteria:

1) leadership in the CCR requires belonging to the Catholic Church;

2) leadership in the CCR and full commitment to the CCR -not merely a representative, an information gatherer, a counsellor or an episcopal delegate and without a commitment to the CCR;

3) representative of a qualified section of the CCR (for example, the covenant communities) or of a particular linguistic or cultural reality committed to social and pastoral activities of the CCR;

                                        4) understanding well the progress and evolution of CCR;


5) persons specially prepared, capable of working with others, of good judgement and with imagination and creativity for the particular services of ICCRS;

6) persons well known for their good reputation and committed to Christ and to the Church.

    Art. 20. Procedures for the election.

1) Each and every one of ICCRS members has a voice and vote in the election.

2) Leaders of various regions may propose names. Discussion may then take place between existing members of ICCRS and such leaders followed by a time of dialogue, prayer and discernment by the existing members of ICCRS.

3) For the election of a new member

a majority of two thirds of the ICCRS

members is required. A members does

not participate in the vote on one's own re-election.


4) When an ICCRS member relinquishes

a position on the Council, the successor does not

necessarily have to come from the same country,

even though a geographic

area must be taken into consideration.

5) Any change in a member's responsibility, approved by ICCRS, does not imply that member's resignation.

                         6) Voting is conducted by secret ballot.

    Art. 21. The President is elected by the ICCRS members from nominations approved by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

   Art. 22. If it be the judgement of the majority of the Council members that the President is not fulfilling the presidential duties, then, after fraternal dialogue with the President and after proper consultation with the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the members, having presented it to the Lord, may, in charity, request the incumbent to resign.

    If the President refuses, the Vice-President takes the office of Presidency and convokes an extraordinary ICCRS meeting to study the matter and to act consequently. The President will not attend the meeting, but may submit in writing the reasons for not resigning and must be given an opportunity to respond to any new allegations made during the extraordinary meeting. If, after full discussion at the meeting and any necessary dialogue with the President, a vote has to be taken, the procedure will follow Canon 119 2, and the decision will be communicated to the Pontifical Council for the Laity. If a new President is to be elected, the procedure will follow the norm established in Art. 21. After the election of the new President, a further vote will be taken to decide if the deposed President will remain a member of the Council.


                    d) ICCRS Meetings and committees

    Art. 23. The ICCRS council meets at least once a year for four or five days. The meeting consists of personal sharing, reports on the various regions, and a business session.

   Art. 24. Two committees function within ICCRS:


                            1) The executive committee comprising

the President and two or three members

as chosen by ICCRS. Minutes are taken

by a person authorised by the President.

The mission of the executive committee is

to make decisions on urgent problems

presented between two ICCRS sessions,

whenever it is not possible  to wait until the next meeting.

Afterwards the measures that have

been taken must be examined by ICCRS

in its regular meeting to confirm or correct them.


2) The financial committee comprising

of the President and two members

who are chosen by ICCRS and are not members

of the executive committee.

The Executive Director also is present as a technician

with a voice but without a vote, unless

he is at the same time and ICCRS councillor.

Its purpose is to resolve urgent financial problems

of the Council and of ICCRS and of the projects decided by it.

                                     3) Both committees will present annually

a complete report of their activities to ICCRS.


2. ICCRS Office

    Art 25. The ICCRS Office serves the ICCRS' Council, providing the necessary administration to implement the Council's decisions. It is equipped with sufficient equipment in order to accomplish the work entrusted to it and to preserve the archives. It has the necessary personnel, according to ICCRS' criteria, chosen from different parts of the world, with the special representation of the languages most spoken within the CCR.

    Art. 26. The Executive Director is chosen by the ICCRS Council members, and may but need not be a member of the Council.

    Art. 27. ICCRS' office is managed by the Executive Director under the continuous supervision of the President and on the basis of the Council's guidelines.

The tasks of the office consist in co-ordination and administration: 

        1) Co-ordination activity:

a) keep in order and up-to-date ICCRS' lists of leaders area by area as well as other important information;

b) undertake correspondence;

c) inform the involved members on the important news received from their areas;

d) manage the printing and mailing of the bulletin;

e) attend the council meeting and minute the proceedings;

f) be available to the President and Council members for writing letters, translation, etc.

g) organise ICCRS conferences and council meetings;

h) co-ordinate the printing and publication of ICCRS' books;

i) publish a special annual bulletin summarising the CCR situation in the world on the basis of the reports of the ICCRS members.

        2) Administrative and Financial activities:

a) keep in order and up-to-date the accounting books, according to modern means, which could be examined by the ecclesiastical authority according to Canon 325;

b) prepare the annual budget to be approved by ICCRS' members;

c) prepare the annual balance sheet and gain and loss statement;

d) raise, with ICCRS' members' permission and help, financial resources trying never to miss whatever is required for ICCRS to fulfil its mission with dignity; and

e) reimburse ICCRS members and staff personnel members according to the guidelines of ICCRS and its president.

                3) The task of receiving visitors is an important concern for the Office.

   Art. 30. ICCRS' Office is regulated by these statutes and the directions of the Executive Committee.


D. Amendments to Statutes

  Art. 31. Changes to the above statutes require consent by a majority of the ICCRS Council members before submitting proposed amendments to the Pontifical Council for the Laity for approval.