SPEAKING IN TONGUE IS A CHARISM BUT… Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Balogun

By Fr. Israel Onele

Speaking on the weekly radio presentation in Super 96.3 FM, organized by the Social Communication Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu Ode, themed: Aguda on Radio: the way, the truth and the Life on Sunday 23rd May 2021, the guest speaker, Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Kunle Balogun, the Vicar for Pastoral Affairs of the Diocese highlighted on the topic: The Person of the Holy Spirit. This is in consonance with the celebration of the Pentecost Sunday. The cleric explained that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity, who is co-equal with the Father and the Son. Explaining the gifts of the Holy Spirit, he espoused the gift of speaking in tongues as a pointer to the unity which God restores to make all nations of believers one against the disunity of the mount of Babel and scattering of tongues. Thus, he emphatically stressed that the focus of the gift upon the apostles is not the effects of the speaking in tongues but the effect of the ability of the various hearers to understand the various languages spoken by those who have just received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In answering the question of a caller at the radio program, he further clarified that if speaking in tongue must be so upheld in a praying community the following criteria as highlighted in 1Corinthians 14:27-28 must be considered: If anyone speaks in a tongue, they should be only two or at the most three, they should speak one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. By this he reiterated that speaking in tongue is allowed in a praying community. He said “speaking in tongue is a charism but must be regulated”. This is an important assertion especially in the society today where there are abuses of the gift and an overemphasis on speaking in tongue as if that is the only gift the Holy Spirit is limited to offer.

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