Why Do Catholics Speak in Tongues? by Life Teen • August 9, 2012 Catholics are able to speak in tongues if they have been given the gift of tongues by the Holy Spirit. “Tongues” is a kind of prayer that can either be vocalized or internal and it’s when a person is able to pray in a language that they do not know. Not all Catholics are given this gift, but that's okay. All Catholics receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. These are the important gifts that everyone needs to grow in holiness.