As the charismatic movement penetrated the Protestant churches and then impacted the Catholic Church, great hopes for Christian unity were aroused among many. These hopes peaked with the great Kansas City conference of 1977 and the Pentecost over Europe gathering in Strasbourg, France, in 1982. After these high points, the Renewal's unity dynamic weakened at the same time as the ecumenical movement was losing momentum.
Dr. Hocken argues that the charismatic movement was always a grace for unity, and that this can be seen from how it began and spread. Its deep orientation to unity finds its foundation in the end-times significance of baptism in the Spirit poured out on Christians from so many traditions that reinforces the one hope for the coming of the Lord. Many developments of the last twenty years indicate that the time is now ripe for an ecumenism of the Spirit within which the charismatic impulses of the Holy Spirit can purify and deepen the wider movement for Christian unity. Growing reconciliation between Evangelicals and Catholics suddenly seems less utopian as Pope Francis shows the servant face of a humbler Catholic Church.