Pope John Paul attempted a definition of ecclesial movements in these words, “The term is often used to refer to realities that differ among themselves, sometimes by reason of their canonical structure. Though the term certainly cannot exhaust or capture the wealth of forms aroused by the life-giving creativity of the Spirit of Christ, it does indicate a concrete ecclesial reality with predominantly lay membership, a journey of faith and a Christian witness which bases its own pedagogical method on a precise charism given to the person of the founder in specific circumstances and ways” (27 May 1998).
The Ecclesial Movements:
A Theological Reflection on Their Place in the Church
JOSEPH CARD. RATZINGER
Proceedings of the World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements
Rome, 27-29 May 1998