EWTN Catholic Q&A
Speaking in Tongues
Question from Sally on 04-25-2012:

My daughter has been attending prayer service that is run by the deacon at her school. The deacon prays over the faithful and they speak in strange tongues and fall backward touched by the Holy Spirit. When I picked her up from the service last night she was laying on the floor of the church unable to move supposedly resting in the spirit...Just curious if this kind of thing is condoned by the catholic church? I am kind of an old fashioned catholic so Im a little concearned....This is new?? I would not want to disuade my daughter from attending a service but Im curious about glossolalia..I thought the bible discouraged it as it leaves room for satan when not interpreted. Thanks for listening....

Answer by David Gregson on 10-26-2012:

Speaking in tongues is discouraged in public worship unless there is an interpreter. Praying in tongues isn't discouraged (1 Cor 14). Glossolalia is a characteristic part of Charismatic Catholicism which has not been condemned by the Magisterium. See the Holy Father's Audience for Renewal in the Spirit.

I would only suggest that your daughter not limit her worship to charismatic Masses. There is a tendency among some charismatic groups to borrow indescriminately from Protestant Pentecostalism, and fellowship with noncharismatic Catholics can help keep her equilibrium.