Argentine archdiocese issues statement on healing ministry Messi’s mom, brother attended

Leda Bergonzi Argentine Leda Bergonzi at one of her “Breath of the Living God” prayer meetings. | Credit: Instagram of Breath of the Living God

The Archdiocese of Rosario in Argentina issued a statement on its website Sept. 26 regarding the ecclesial ministry of Leda Bergonzi, 44, who receives numerous Catholics every week and to whom a “charism of healing” is attributed.

The activity of Bergonzi, who belongs to the Catholic charismatic group “Breath of the Living God” in Rosario, drew national attention a few weeks ago when the mother and brother of soccer player Lionel Messi participated in one of the meetings during which she lays hands on those seeking prayer.

Every week, the meetings draw crowds, and due to the growing attendance, the site of the prayer meeting had to be relocated from the parish, where it was being held, to Independence Park Fairgrounds in Rosario.

As a result of these events, the Archdiocese of Rosario stated that “this religious phenomenon that has expanded in recent months is a phenomenon that occurs within the Catholic Church.”

In the Church, the statement explained, “there are various expressions, groups, etc. One of these groups, of a charismatic nature, is the ‘Breath of the Living God’ community.”

The community “is configured as a group of prayer and evangelization” that “has been developing its activities for about eight years; always accompanied by a priest of the diocesan clergy of Rosario.”

“Within the Breath of the Living God community, some of these charisms began to be experienced, particularly in the person of Mrs. Leda Bergonzi,” the archdiocese stated, adding that “the Church of Rosario, seeing the good fruits it produces in many people, accompanies this phenomenon to discern its depth and solidity.”

In its statement, the archdiocese also referred to the purpose for which the Lord endows a community with gifts and charisms: “The portentous signs are given to corroborate the power of the proclamation of the Gospel, to attest to the presence of the risen Lord in his Church. The power to heal is given in a missionary context, not to exalt the people who have the gift, but to confirm the mission.”

The archdiocese also explained that in the specific case of the gift of healing it is “a tangible manifestation of the always merciful and compassionate love of the Father in heaven, who, through his Son, Jesus, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, heals the poor and needy.”

Regarding the charism of “prayer for deliverance,” the communiqué explained  that “it consists of the supplication addressed to the Lord Jesus to free the person from the influences and snares of the devil.” Regarding the gift of tongues, “it is fundamentally a charism to glorify and praise God.”

In addition, in prayer meetings there is an atmosphere of “fraternal communion” and therefore the person who has the “charism of healing” does not act alone, but rather it is a community action: “the community assists and accompanies,” the archdiocese noted.

Currently, the archdiocese emphasized, “there is a group of priests who accompany the experience. At this time, given the magnitude of the event, it has been arranged that each meeting begins with holy Mass, followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.”

“Given the large number of people attending, the assistance of several priests is being sought to hear confessions. In this way, the ecclesial dimension of blessings to the sick and people seeking spiritual relief is strengthened through the service provided by Mrs. Leda Bergonzi,” the statement explained.

In the event that healings take place, “any testimonies must be taken down with simplicity and precision and the occurrence submitted to the ecclesiastical authority,” the note stated.

“The Church of Rosario accompanies this event so that in an appropriate channel it produces many fruits, not only in healings, but through them, spiritual healings and other graces, people would glorify God, begin or grow deeper in the Christian life, especially in prayer and in the experience of the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist,” the message to the faithful concluded.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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