Rorate Caeli

It's wartime.
Archbishop of Tokyo: "It is necessary for the Way
to suspend its activities in Japan"

A message from the Archbishop of Tokyo regarding the Neocatechumenal Way (Feb. 2, 2011):

The Neocatechumenal Way in Japan
By Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo
Over about the past 20 years, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (CBCJ) has expended great time and energy on problems concerning the Neocatechumenal Way (which I refer to hereafter as simply ‘the Way’). To our extreme disappointment, these efforts have not improved the situation.
Of the passion and good intentions of the people of the Way, I have not the slightest doubt. Nevertheless, the Way’s activities over the past 30 years can in no way be called a success. The fact is that the character and conduct of the Way have not adapted well to the Church or society of Japan.
It is perhaps necessary for the Way in Japan to suspend its activities for a period of consideration and reflection which could pave the way for dialog with the Church in Japan.
It is not my understanding that the CBCJ has collectively reached a binding decision to this effect. Rather, at the request of Takamatsu Diocese, the sixteen diocesan bishops are to individually decide and enforce the appropriate course of action for their dioceses based on their own judgment as local ordinary.
The Catholic Church in Japan is a tiny minority, forming only 0.3 percent of the general population, and I am deeply saddened to see the division, conflict, and chaos that follow the Way as they move amongst us.
For thirteen years now, more than 30,000 people a year have committed suicide in Japan. I want the people of the Way to see this reality. I want them to grapple first and foremost with the question of what they can do for these people. If they act in ways that the members of Japanese society can understand and sympathize with, they will surely gain this society’s trust. I pray and hope that they will join us in undertaking evangelization tailored for the needs of the people of Japan.
The directives coming from the headquarters of the Way in Rome have been given precedence over the leadership of the bishops, and so we are continually confronted with dilemmas and rack our brains in distress. The Church’s mission in Japan is supposed to have been entrusted to Her bishops here. We take this extraordinary yoke upon our neck and devote our fiercest efforts to mission and to pastoral care.
Speaking solely of the Archdiocese of Tokyo, I don’t think that the Way has thus far caused especially big problems, although fundraisers conducted without the bishop’s consent, for example, and some confusion in specific parishes do come to mind.
However, the situation is different for the Ecclesiastical Province of Osaka, and in Takamatsu Diocese especially the trouble is severe.
The Church in Japan began in 1549, with the missionary activities of St. Francis Xavier. It is Church built by a multitude of holy and excellent missionaries, and has become the Mother of a host of martyrs. Through religious prohibition it survived, and since the resumption of open promotion of the faith here some 140 years have passed. Among the distinguished missionaries who have worked in Japan are the current Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Adolfo Nicolás, and Father Josep M. Abella, Superior General of the Claretian Missionaries.
Despite all this, a great distance yet remains to be traveled on the road to the evangelization of Japan. I implore Kiko Argüello and all the members of the Way to take this fact to heart.
I understand the reason the Way was established. I do believe that they have had a great deal of success in the faith formation of people who have been baptized but abandoned their beliefs. However, I must stress that the situation in a mission territory is different.
I hear that the people of the Way are champions of the sick and the disabled. I want them to take up this role in Japan. I also expect good things from their pastoral work on behalf of foreign residents. But I ask that they reflect and pray with us to discern what is necessary for the evangelization of Japan as it truly exists today.
Note: Rorate has no horse in this race - we report, you decide...

66 comments:

beng said...

Well, I have a horse in the race.

GO GO JAPAN BISHOPRIC!

The bishops are the prince of their diocese. No supra-structure could exist as if a member of community could defy their local ordinary and heed their organization leader instead.

Gideon Ertner said...

"No supra-structure could exist as if a member of community could defy their local ordinary and heed their organization leader instead."

Does this include the FSSPX?

Granted, in theory they don't constitute an organization that includes laity, but in practice they do not operate much differently from the 'Way' (aside from being vastly more doctrinally sound, but that is not the issue here; it's ecclesiastical discipline).

beng said...

Unfortunately (for those attach to the SSPX) it does include the SSPX. Which, I'm guessing, is the reason why New Catholic said that he has no horse in the race.

One can't have it both ways (ie. condemning The Way and applauding the Japanese bishops while sympathizing with the SSPX).

Objection:
But The Way is clearly heterodox while SSPX is very orthodox

Reply to objection
Well, wouldn't The Way consider themselves very orthodox too?

New Catholic said...

It is not "the reason"... We will have more to say on that in the future.

NC

Anonymous said...

Crush "The Way", not only in Japan, but everywhere.

Stamp it out, like a fire....or an insect underfoot.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ertner,

You bring up a legitimate point for consideration. However, I disagree about your premise.

The FSSPX was born to fight the introduction of Modernism within the seminaries. It developed, through chaotic historical circumstances into a structure that hath not the permission of those who founded, fostered and/or ignored the chaos throughout the Church in the past 50 years.

The Way, on the other hand, is a spawn of the Modernist chaos that has penetrated into the very bowels of Holy Church.

The FSSPX understands its situation and desires a return to normalcy; the Way believes its heterodoxy to be totally compatible with the Church's life.

We've gone far beyond ecclesiastical discipline. Catholics are fighting for their faith amidst the ruins (part of which is the Way).

I think a good summary is the recent interview with Msgr. Gherardini:

http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/defense/Gherardini.htm

Giles

P.S. Pardon the scattered nature of my thoughts, I'm on the run this morning.

Paul Haley said...

Comparing the NCW with the FSSPX is ridiculous to the extreme. Just liturgical practice alone is enough to show the profound difference.

Anonymous said...

Is it ever possible to talk about a topic, or must it -always- be shifted over to the SSPX? Why must the SSPX be the centre of attention so much here? It is the King Charles' Head of Rorate Caeli, unfortunately,

Anonymous said...

Reply to objection
Well, wouldn't The Way consider themselves very orthodox too?
- Beng

We are not concerned here with subjectivism. The real question is whether they, in actual fact, are very orthodox. They aren't, and those familiar with them on this board have cited examples.

One need not be hypocritical to oppose the NCW and support the SSPX, one must simply use sound reasoning. We are opposed to the NCW because they are heterodox and oppose the mission of the Church in significant ways -- not simply because the Japanese bishops don't like them. We support the SSPX (in a manner of speaking) because they are orthodox and support the mission of the Church -- and unfortunately that has made them the enemy of many in the hierarchy.

Hieronymus
[an attendee of an episcopally approved TLM]

Anonymous said...

"No supra-structure could exist as if a member of community could defy their local ordinary and heed their organization leader instead." I believe this is not strictly true. I remember reading that St. Teresa had conflicts with local ordinaries until she and her reformed order received approval/authority from Rome. The OSJ (Knights Hospitaler) originally was set up by the Pope as independent of local ordinaries. I doubt "the Way" has such a papal mandate but I don't know. Louis

wheat4paradise said...

Clearly the FSSPX and their supporters have a horse in this race. The comparison between the FSSPX and the NCW -- made solely on jurisdictional, not doctrinal or liturgical, grounds -- is inevitable and not at all ridiculous.

No supra-structure could exist as if a member of community could defy their local ordinary and heed their organization leader instead.

I don't know if the person who posted that comment is a FSSPX supporter. However, if those who want to wage doctrinal and liturgical war against the NCW (a war which may or may not be legitimate) intend to do so on the basis of jurisdictional irregularities, they should consider the shakiness of the ground on which they stand.

wheat4paradise said...

My last comment notwithstanding (and I realize now that it doesn't apply to beng), the jurisdictional argument against the NCW per se is perfectly valid. One can appreciate the reasons behind the Holy Father's support of the NCW while at the same time sympathizing with the Japanese bishops.

wheat4paradise said...

I remember reading that St. Teresa had conflicts with local ordinaries ...

She may have had conflicts with her bishop, yet I seriously doubt that she defied him.

Anonymous said...

Unlike South Korea the Church in Japan has not made converts

LeonG said...

The NO church is a veritable mess with all the dubious sects and cult groups it has propagated - none more so than the NeoCats. It is timne the church hierarchy woke up and discerned the absolute chaos it is in. JP II (RIP) encouraged te NeoCats and his successor is really trying to avoid the issue that they are just not Catholic & never will be. That judgement is based on three years experienced inside observation. Clifton Dioese in UK did the correct thing and banned them. I sincerely hope it has not gone back on that very sensible policy.

May I wish the Japanese hierarchy the very best in its efforts to rid the Japanese church of this psychologically disturbing sect and may they return to tradition as soon as possible. This will help to ensure the church irds itself of similarly un-Catholic groups now considered to be in some type of "full communion" with Rome.

LeonG said...

What supercilious nonsense to include the SSPX here. There is absolutely no comparison. If those who exploit this issue to make such ridiclous, ill-informed statements really knew what the NeoCats stood for & how they really operate thy would realise how inapt they are.

Anonymous said...

As a layman in the Archdiocese of Tokyo, I also have no horse in this race. I was amazed that bishops in Japan tried to use the authority of the Holy See only when they are in trouble, for all that they usually behave themselves as if the leaders of the Japanese catholic(?) church, rather than of the Catholic Church in Japan.

Dan Hunter said...

There is absolutely no comparison betwixt the Neo Catechumenate and the FSSPX.
Other than them both being Catholic.

Augustine said...

"I was amazed that bishops in Japan tried to use the authority of the Holy See only when they are in trouble, for all that they usually behave themselves as if the leaders of the Japanese catholic(?) church, rather than of the Catholic Church in Japan."

It is Catholic dogma that *all* bishops have God-given authority to govern the churches they serve.

They are not agents of the Pope, they do not merely exercise powers conferred by Rome, and they are not obliged to simply do as Rome does.

The Japanese Bishops are exercising their proper and oridnary authority over the churches which they shepherd.

Joe B said...

They are not likely the same cases because they are not likely the same canonical defenses. I do not know what the Way's canonical defense will be, but I doubt it is the same as SSPXs, which I understand to be scriptural (hold fast to our traditions), supplied jurisdiction based on charity for souls in a church state of crisis, and inability to even get a fair "trial" based on that state of crisis.

At the very least, the Way is highly unlikely to base their defense on the right to practice the faith as it was passed on to us - tradition.

One thing they both appear to have in common, though, is that the Holy Father himself is said to like them very much, which leads me to bet on both being formally approved in the end, for better (SSPX) or worse.

Anonymous said...

wheat4paradise--

As I pointed out above, the problem with the NCW is not their jurisdictional authority or their popularity with this or that bishop, it is their opposition to Catholic doctrine and practice that is problematic. There is no hypocrisy in an SSPX supporter lauding the efforts of the Japanese episcopate here.

And again, I am in no way affiliated with the SSPX, just an objective observer.

Hieronymus

Tom the Milkman said...

wheat writes

"One can appreciate the reasons behind the Holy Father's support of the NCW..."

That may be true, if by 'appreciate' you mean 'understand with some empathy'. The brazen politics of numbers comes to mind.

Sorrowfully, I, for one, have no such appreciation of the Holy Father's explicit unwillingness to diagnose and condemn the wide-ranging, constant and intrinsic heterodoxy of the Neocatechumenate cult.

I don't like saying it, but to see and hear the Holy Father's approbation of this neo-Protestant cult makes his considerable commendable actions toward Tradition appear to be more one side of a questionable coin, rather than pure gold for the Church.

I don't like to say it, but I appreciate that it needs to be said.

Gideon Ertner said...

"Just liturgical practice alone is enough to show the profound difference."

Of course they're profoundly different. But my point was that both organizations clearly "defy their local ordinary and heed their organization leader instead." If this is always wrong, it is wrong for the FSSPX as well.

Of course, I do believe there are limits to the obedience owed to one's Ordinary: he is not to be obeyed if he teaches or commands something that is clearly against faith or morals. It seems to me, however, that the disobedience of the FSSPX goes beyond this. Else why do they have a presence in dioceses of bishops who are orthodox by any standard, but who merely do not want canonically irregular priests in their territory (e.g. the diocese of Mgr. Bruskewitz, where there is no shortage of traditional Masses)?

It seems the FSSPX has turned the whole notion of obedience on its head: bishops must prove they are really orthodox before they qualify for obedience, and the FSSPX sets a high bar for this proof. This is absurd and certainly not Catholic: in reality, the Bishop (as all other people) must be assumed to be in good faith unless there are really good reasons to think otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ertner said,

"It seems to me, however, that the disobedience of the FSSPX goes beyond this. Else why do they have a presence in dioceses of bishops who are orthodox by any standard, but who merely do not want canonically irregular priests in their territory (e.g. the diocese of Mgr. Bruskewitz, where there is no shortage of traditional Masses)? "

Because, Mr. Ertner, many of us adhere to the traditional Mass because it promulgates and protects the traditional Faith -- unlike its counterpart -- not because it's a mere liturgical preference.

I guess many of us are at a crossroads: the Faith or "the law." But when the law no longer serves the purpose of defending the Faith and the salvation of souls, I must choose the Faith -- no matter where it puts me in terms of the law.

But ALL of us must respect each others consciences. It's almost like "brother against brother" as in the American War Between the States.

Giles

Giles

Anonymous said...

Gideon Ertner,

I know of at least one diocese where the Ordinary has allowed the FSSPX to function within his diocese.
I might safely assume there are others.

Jamie said...

Gideon Ertner - show me one diocese in the world that has no liturgical abuse, no heterodox teachings in parishes (either from the pulpit or in formation), Bishopric abuse or practices which originate in the 1960s and not in traditions of the Church and I will agree that the SSPX doesn't need to be there.

Tom the Milkman said...

Mr Ertner:

You argue your points well.

You say "If this is always wrong, it is wrong for the FSSPX as well." I would not suggest that suspension of obedience to one's Ordinary is always wrong. You yourself go on to characterize certain perimeters of a licit suspension of obedience.

In a certain sense, I agree that the SSPX has "turned the notion of obedience on its head". My understanding is that the SSPX was founded precisely because the Roman Church, starting from its head, after VCII turned nearly two thousand years of Catholic belief and practice on its head. The Roman Church. being a priestly Church, appeared to be no longer able or willing to train its priests to holy Tradition. The truth of this perception seems surely to have been borne out, much to the sorrow of the Church. Archbishop Lefebvre's SSPX seeks merely to right the ship, and in so doing, may indeed appear to to have turned an otherwise accepted notion of obedience on its head. If the upside down ship seeks to retain its right to the obedience of its crew, it first must right itself, or risk rightful disobedience.

One other point must be made. Schism is not heresy. If, and I stress if, the SSPX is schismatic, it cannot be called heretical without impugning two thousand years of Catholic teaching and practice. And yet, how easy it unfortunately is to put forth numberless examples of heretical priests, bishops, theologians, and lay members of the Roman Church that have galloped unmolested across fifty years of its history since VCII. Surely that point speaks to you? Sadly, it does to me, and places perspective where it is due.

Fingolfin said...

I found this comment on the topic here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/japans-bishops-want-neocatechumenal-way-to-leave-for-five-years/

"I find it interesting that all the comment makers have not made any references to the uber-un-orthodox nature of the Japanese Bishops Conference. The Japanese Bishops are basically an oriental version of the "Magic Circle." Did you know that at the most recent synod meetings it was proposed by the bishops that speaking of the Resurrection of Christ seemed to be incorrect or not culturally sensitive enough? What hogwash. Every group in the Church ought to conform to the leadership of the local ordinaries, but when the local ordinaries are not very 'ordinary,' then you appeal to Peter, which is what the Neocatechumenal Way did; and if you read the article it shows that the Pope wasn't pleased with the bishops' proposal. The issue here is control; complete Japanese Honda-Mitsubishi, assembly line, chop stick precision control. Yes, it is a culture thing. Yes, it is about money. Yes, it is about the heterodox Japanese-style catholicism. But the one thing it is not is an issue about obedience. "

Anonymous said...

Are you guys kidding? The Way is a legitimate -- even if troubled somewhat -- movement in the Church, while Pius X are schismatic.

wheat4paradise said...

Can someone here please cite a few specific examples of the "wide-ranging, constant and intrinsic heterodoxy" of the NCW? I'm looking for specific examples of doctrinal heterodoxy, not liturgical practice.

I also think that we can learn from the dignity and reserve of the Archbishop of Tokyo, who writes:

I understand the reason the Way was established. I do believe that they have had a great deal of success in the faith formation of people who have been baptized but abandoned their beliefs.

I don't think that the Archbishop is interested in declaring "war" on the NCW, and I wonder if he would appreciate some of the "support" that he is being shown in this forum.

wheat4paradise said...

What supercilious nonsense to include the SSPX here. There is absolutely no comparison.

Baloney. From a jurisdictional perspective, so pointedly articulated by beng, there is legitimate cause for comparison. Don't get your feathers so ruffled.

Anonymous said...

The last time I darkened the doorway of an SSPX chapel, they weren't dancing the horah around the altar.

Furthermore, and I know someone will correct me if I am wrong, it is my understanding that the "Way" teaches in their very own catechism that the Church went astray after the eighth century and then, lo and behold, Vatican II freed the Church from all of Her useless customs.

Delphina

Christe eleison said...

please see here

Sursum corda, habemus ad Dominum

Timothy Mulligan said...

For little "probaditas" of Neocatechumenal heresy, read this: http://www.cathud.com/links/pages_mr/neocatechumenate.htm

You might lose sleep tonight when you realize what the Vatican has endorsed.

Anonymous said...

"...while Pius X are schismatic."

Not according to Pope Benedict XVI.

Dan Hunter said...

"Baloney. From a jurisdictional perspective, so pointedly articulated by beng, there is legitimate cause for comparison. Don't get your feathers so ruffled."

David,

Go to a Neocatechumnal Way Mass and then go to an FSSPX Mass and then you will see there is no comparison.
I have been to both and there is absolutely no comparison.
Though yes indeed we pray for the official recognition of FSSPX jurisdiction, their priests are very holy and their Masses are extremely orthodox.
Jurisdiction does not save a soul.
Orthodoxy does.

Martin said...

"Well, wouldn't The Way consider themselves very orthodox too?"

Not in the way the Church thinks of orthodoxy.
I have spoken to several "Way" members who believe that the priest does not need to use the Church's official words of Consecration [For this is my Body]for confection of the Eucharist.

Anonymous said...

Timothy,
Thank you for the link. The info there is SCARY and very disturbing. How come this could be not enough for some here saying they see nothing wrong with the way??
Amazing. God Almighty save us from blindness.

Anonymous said...

THANKS Fingolfin for a very sensible and right-to-the point comment with an excellent quotation.

Rorate should have a "horse" there and certainly not betting on the arch-neo-liberal, arch-modernist Japanese bishops, maybe the worst episcopate of all Asia.

Rorate readers have generally a "horse" in the race, the ROMAN horse.

What does Rome say about the Neo-catechumenal Way ? Approved by all popes, definitive approbation in 2008.
Case closed or the abp has new facts to expose ?
Candidly in his (despicable) letter, he writes he has nothing against them in his diocese except they collect more money that he would like them to do.

More "candidly", the neo-mod is removing his mask in quoting the ... Fr. Adolfo Nicolà, the dreadful General of the Jesuits who has promoted the worst possible mish-mash interfaith orientations when in Japan.

The Way is clearly "Roman", "popish" (sometimes to some excess) and this is also crystal-clear that the Japanese bishops want to slap Rome in the face, ignoring - like Beng and LeonG - that the Catholic Church is NOT an Episcopalian protestant Community : she has a Head and bishops are supposed to be in communion with the pope, the Successor of Peter.
JapChurch seems on the way to ... schism. Remember all how the Austrian Church was defiant and full of self-glorification (very misplaced) a couple of years ago. We have now the Japanese Church joining the file ...

Rorate readers should be more careful before siding with bishops rebellious against the papal authority without anything to make a case. Except they are liberals and don't want a recognized Catholic movement in their dioceses.

Alsaticus

Anonymous said...

Timothy, I thank you too for the link. I couldn't even finish reading it.



Delphina

Tom the Milkman said...

"Can someone here please cite a few specific examples of the "wide-ranging, constant and intrinsic heterodoxy" of the NCW?"

The Neocatechumenate does not believe the Mass is a sacrifice. That heretical belief is the reason they refuse to refer to the altar of sacrifice as anything other than a table.

They believe man cannot avoid committing sin. They also believe man cannot accrue merits for himself, or for the dead.

They believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ did not and does not reconcile man to God by His Sacrifice.

These heresies are wide-ranging because the Neocatechumenate is spread all across the world.

These heresies are constant because the Neocatechumenate obstinately refuses to recant its errors, persisting in them with the arrogance of displayed pride.

These heresies are intrinsic because they arise within the Neocatechumenate's as a result of its defection from the Roman Faith, the Faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Prof. Basto said...

The reasons invoked by the bishop are the problem.

The Way is bad and it is not welcome not because of the specific characteristics of the Japanese People, or because it is a mission territory, but because the Way is heterodox.

So, clearly, a denunciation of "The Way" should invoke the correct reasons for disapproving of it, instead of trying to invent others.

This terrible new movement has been given approval by Rome. If Rome is ever going to withdraw that approval or decree the supression of the Way, it will be because of a soundly and competently made accusation, that details the specific instances of heterodoxy and indiscipline on the part of the way.

But I gess you can't expect clarity from Church documents nowadays. If one were not to do one's research, one would read this statement by this Japanese Bishop (and other statements by other Bishops) and one would still be left in the dark. What is clearly missing is an account, a detailing, a denounciation, of the erroneous practices of The Way that merit condemnation.

We all know what those practices are, but we only know because we research, when it should be clearly spelled out in the official documents. Otherwise, canonically, we go nowhere.

Gideon Ertner said...

I don't believe the blank refusal of so many people here to engage with the issue in question!

"Go to a Neocatechumnal Way Mass and then go to an FSSPX Mass and then you will see there is no comparison."

"many of us adhere to the traditional Mass because it promulgates and protects the traditional Faith -- unlike its counterpart -- not because it's a mere liturgical preference."

Where did I say otherwise? Don't you think I myself adhere to the TLM for this very reason? The issue I'm raising has nothing to do with liturgy, but with obedience to one's Ordinary. I argue that the FSSPX has gone too far in showing disobedience even in places where the Bishop is orthodox and there is both sound teaching and sound liturgy. If the FSSPX claims they are allowed to operate because there is a state of necessity - well that may justify their presence in many places, but certainly not in a diocese such as Lincoln, Nebraska.

Gideon Ertner said...

"Gideon Ertner - show me one diocese in the world that has no liturgical abuse, no heterodox teachings in parishes (either from the pulpit or in formation), Bishopric abuse or practices which originate in the 1960s and not in traditions of the Church and I will agree that the SSPX doesn't need to be there."

Lincoln, Nebraska (to the very best of my knowledge).

Besides, the fact that there are wrong things going on in certain places in a diocese is not itself an excuse for conducting irregular ecclesial activity. As I see it it must be a consistent and pervasive pattern and the bishop must either be propagating it himself or manifest a refusal to do anything about it: the duty to obedience is not absolute but nevertheless disobedience must always be a last resort!

Anonymous said...

wheat4paradise --

As I articulated above in response to beng, the NCW is not being criticized here because they are unpopular with the Japanese episcopate, nor for any other canonical reason. They are working against the mission of the Church (please read the report on the link Mr. Mulligan provided), and the SSPX is not. That is the heart of the matter -- it has nothing to do with jurisdiction, it is the substance of their teaching that is problematic.

The Japanese bishops may be terrible, but even the stopped clock is right twice a day.

Hieronymus

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the good Archbishop would send me his banking information so that I can send him the entire content of my chequing account? Finally, we have a bishop who is worthy of the name. The Neocatatonical Way should be stamped out with extreme prejudice. But then one could say the same thing about the frauds who call themselves charismatics.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Ertner:

We must not draw conclusions from imprecise expressions in translation. Obviously, the military ordinariate of Japan is not something the Archbishop opposes; nor will be the presence in an Anglican ordinariate of the Japanese members of the TAC--something already announced. He merely means that the Way does NOT have a particular church in canon law and cannot, therefore, work apart from the authority of local bishops.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

beng is totally wrong because beng is not considering the issue before writing.

The Way (No way to the Way, I say), DOES NOT have a particular church; whereas the S.S.P.X is operating under the assumption that it will have one, while it currently claims a state of necessity. Does the Way claim a state of necessity? No, it does not. Is it a parallel case to the S.S.P.X, therefore? No, it is not. This is not rocket science. Think before you post.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Anon. wrote this:

"Are you guys kidding? The Way is a legitimate -- even if troubled somewhat -- movement in the Church, while Pius X are schismatic."

This must be a joke. That would also explain why the writer is anonymous. The statement could only be true if the S.S.P.X and the Way had emerged from a Protestant sect.

P.K.T.P.

Gideon Ertner said...

"My understanding is that the SSPX was founded precisely because the Roman Church, starting from its head, after VCII turned nearly two thousand years of Catholic belief and practice on its head."

I appreciate your point, but it is a non sequitur: effectively, you are arguing that the FSSPX is allowed to be disobedient because the rest of the Church, including its head, are disobedient to God. That would mean that the Gates of Hades have prevailed, and this is impossible.

I am not saying that the FSSPX could not be justified in being disobedient in specific instances, but it can certainly not be the case in general.

Gideon Ertner said...

"...the Way does NOT have a particular church in canon law and cannot, therefore, work apart from the authority of local bishops.

And the FSSPX, likewise, do not have a particular church in canon law and cannot work apart from the authority of the local bishops either (except perhaps, in my opinion, in places where it can be demonstrated to be absolutely necessary as a last resort for the salvation of souls).

Barb Schoeneberger said...

I was very glad to see the bishop citing the 30,000 a year suicides in Japan. This aspect of the culture is extremely disturbing to me because I truly love the Japanese.

It may be a blessing that the bishops of Japan have not been too successful at evangelizing because they can't spread modernist beliefs, but the numbers show a drastic need for the love of Christ to be brought to the country.

Does the NCW do this? I am very skeptical. In any case, the bishop, like all bishops - good or bad - has the right to govern his diocese the way he sees fit without interference from any group, however nobly motivated they may be, and I don't know enough about the NCW to judge that. I am very uncomfortable with what I've read of them.

As far as I know, the SSPX is not coming into parishes and disturbing people but the NCW is.

I would like to see more evangelization efforts on the part of Traditional Catholics. We can do so much good if we put our minds to it. Above all, kindness and truth in charity is the watchword.

wheat4paradise said...

I read half of the dossier on the NCW. Many thanks to Timothy Mulligan and Dan Hunter for sharing this information. I really had no idea. Timothy, I'm trying not to lose sleep over the fact that this heretical cult has been given the Pope's blessing. After all, if the Pope didn't know about Bishop Williamson's widely documented views on the Holocaust, is it so improbable that he has never seen the NCW's top-secret orientation guide? There are probably a good many things that the average web-surfing Catholic knows that the Pope doesn't know. The Holy Father, for all of his travels, remains a prisoner of the Vatican. I refuse to believe that he would knowingly endorse such a heretical sect. People in high places are keeping the information from him.

Let us pray much for the Holy Father, and let us stand by him. Our Lord has given him the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Where else are we to go?

David

Brian said...

The civil disobedience of Martin Luther King Jr. involved disobeying (unjust) laws. Murderers and child molesters also disobey the law.

Now if a person was simple-minded and unable to perceive distinctions, that person might argue that Martin Luther King Jr. would be having it "both ways" if he criticized murderers and child molesters for disobeying the law.

Now if that same person, in arguing their point, said "maybe the murderers and child molesters consider their own disobedience to be justified," what might we conclude about that person's ability to think critically?

W.Unland said...

I live in Japan, and am a member of a Japanese parish, and feel somewhat qualified to comment on this story.. I don’t quite know what the posters commenting about how bad the Japanese Church is are basing that statement on. True it is post VatII and the Mass is NO, but “conservative” when compared to the abominations in the US.

The problem with the “way” here is that they are not Japanese, they have no understanding of the culture, they show up with their guitars and bongo drums singing songs in a foreign language, take up separate collections and don’t contribute to the maintenance of the churches, and just scare the parishioners away. That’s it in a nutshell.

The Japanese are irreligious. The culture does not endorse religion. Consequently the Church is very tiny, less than 1% of the pop. and most Japanese Catholics date their association with the Church back to their family conversion by the Franciscans 500 years ago. There are VERY few "conversons", usually for marriage. I would say less than 10/year in my town of 200,000. This is a mission territory, not an "established" Church.

The Japanes Catholics don’t like “different” things. They like solidarity. They demand that everyone do their share. The Neocats are mostly charismatic Filipinos. They come here to work menial jobs or in bars. Many are “undocumented”. They start the “way’ and basically take over a parish. Some priests try to accommodate the “way” but they really don’t have a clue what is going on. How can they when Tagolog and English are the languages used.

Land and utilities are expensive here. A 20foot square plot can cost $2mil. Running a church, with a small number of parishioners is EXPENSIVE. I know because I get a white envelope every month asking for my part. The “way” takes up collections but nobody knows where the money goes, it certainly doesn’t go to the parish.

Anyway, when the Bishops complain that the “way” is disruptive here….IT IS. It drives away the core members of the parish, who can not “fight” with the “way” as Japanese culture demands peace within a group. There can be no conflict. Consequently the only way to escape is to quit the parish and never come back. This is not an argument about what you think of the Japanese translation of the liturgy. The “way” is NOT bringing in converts, nor adding to the Church. Just the opposite, they are driving members away, and THAT is why the Bishops want them to stop. They do NOT join in parish life. They segregate themselves and create an US vs THEM environment.

You can debate the SSPX or the Papal support for the “way” all you want, but it doesn’t have anything to do with reality here. The problems are simple, and NOT theological. This isn't Spain or America. The whole guitars, dancing, clapping, sit down to dinner Mass is not going to work here, and the Bishops know it.

W.Unland

Anonymous said...

Hieroymous

Other than England, "episcopally approved TLMs" were few and far between all over the world in the period of 1970-1984. Where then did you, should you, or could you, I or any other Catholic attend an "episcopally approved TLM?"

P. Carrion

Anonymous said...

Mr. Etner:

You have mentioned the SSPX presence in the diocese of Lincoln several times to illustrate their illegitimacy, but there are two problems with this. The first is that Lincoln is not the paradise you make it out to be. The second, and most important, is that the SSPX have no presence in Lincoln, nor in Nebraska at all. So the state of the Church in Lincoln is really irrelevant.


Hieronymus

Tom the Milkman said...

"effectively, you are arguing that the FSSPX is allowed to be disobedient because the rest of the Church, including its head, are disobedient to God."

No, good brother. I argue that the 'disobedience' of the SSPX is in fact obedience to nearly two thousand years of Catholic doctrine, an obedience offered in the face of massive apostasy inside the Church. I have never argued that the Church, including its head, is disobedient to God, rather that the Roman Church, in rejecting its own Tradition forces a state of necessity. I make no argument in terms of the SSPX v. 'the rest of the Church'. The SSPX is clearly of the Church, as the Holy Father himself has said, and has ALWAYS, beginning with its founder, professed a profound attachment to Her, casting a sterling example, in my view, against those in the Church whose apostasy and disobedience has so unsettled and dismayed Her. God bless you.

New Catholic said...

Thank you all for your comments, especially those from Mr. Unland and the 16:28 Anon., both Catholics in Japan. And Alsaticus, believe me, you do make sense.

Time to let things cool down a bit.

NC

Islander said...

Are they active in China or Africa?

LeonG said...

"They start the “way’ and basically take over a parish."

Agreed, Mr Unland. The Philippinos in SE Asian coutries are adept at comandeering parishes and importing their vulgar norms and extravert values. I have seen this too myself. Furthermore, knowing the NeoCats intimately from inside for three years in UK in a diocese which banned them, coupling the practices mores of "The Way" with the type of Phillipino we often encounter overseas this makes for a highly disruptive & undiplomatic combination.

Knowing many Japanese people and their behaviour characteristics I could no imagine how and why "The Way" could ever have appealed to them. While you do say the are not religious - my own impression of them has been that they are but not the western mode. However, I have never lived there as you.

Anonymous said...

To Mr Unland

"They do NOT join in parish life. They segregate themselves and create an US vs THEM environment.

You can debate the SSPX or the Papal support for the “way” all you want, but it doesn’t have anything to do with reality here. The problems are simple, and NOT theological. This isn't Spain or America. The whole guitars, dancing, clapping, sit down to dinner Mass is not going to work here, and the Bishops know it.

W.Unland"


1. The Way is not specific to Spain and Latin America. They are in Rome and France for example since Paul VI.

2. You say they attract Filippinos ok : so where is the problem ? Apart from the rabid xenophobia that is devouring Japanese society ? Do the bishops condone this xenophobia ?

3. "they do not join in parish life" : so WHAT ? This idea of a totalitarian parish is entirely "medieval". We're in the XXIst even in Japan you know.

Since when the Church is requiring one parish, one devotion, one rite, one religious order ? It's against the whole Church history and against the Canon Law.

I notice the Way has 2 entranched ennemies : the trads who have limited infos on it (or biased reports curiously not backed by the hierarchy, the Curia and 3 popes) - yes they are different, yes they can be seen a little childish, yes there is an excessive authority of the founders on the movement (and to me it's problem n°1) - and ... the liberals and neo-mods, the anti-Roman party within the Church. Wherever they are, the neo-mods are always fighting them, isn't it ringing some bell ?

I've been in contact myself with a good deal of seminarists from the Way and I have always been touched by their Roman orthodoxy certainly more than the weird Episcopalians that have posted big heresies on Church ecclesiology within this thread.
Reminder : the episcopal authority is not absolute, it is limited by the deposit of the faith and the general rules of the Church, plus one requirement, to be in communion with the Holy Father.

For the trads and P.K.T.P. please get some informations before supporting JapChurch with your donations. Would you donate to support the Nicolà neo-Jesuits or the Indian "theology" ?
For ex. ask yourself about TLM in Japan and the Japanese bishops ?
Check out late cardinal Fumio Hamao's "teachings" and see who is orthodox ?

"Catholic World News reports that Japanese Cardinal Hamao said in an interview with UCAN that Roman Curia officials look upon the Catholic communities of Asia and Africa as "immature in terms of Christianity."

He said that the Vatican has "great difficulties understanding" the Church in Asia, and particularly the ways in which Asian bishops conduct inter-religious dialogue.

Asian people, the cardinal said, are more ready to accept pastoral teachings of Jesus Christ than to learn the Catechism, "because the Catechism is a theology - a theology that is European, not Oriental."
For that reason, he argued, the Gospel message must be introduced gradually to Asian audiences. "If we declare at the beginning that Christ is our Saviour, we cannot enter into dialogue" with Buddhist and Shinto believers, he said."

Do you really think this interfaith shy on Christian faith, no catechism JapChurch is "trad" ??? Coming from a cardinal !
Everything coming from them should be looked at first with great suspicion.
I have some reservations on the Way alright but they are certainly better than the Hamao "dialogue with Buddhist and Shinto" first Church.
JapChurch is not Sri Lanka and the disciples of cardinal Hamao have nothing to do with good cardinal Ranjith.

Alsaticus

nb. I haven't seen any TLM in Japan except under the SSPX. If the Motu proprio has been implemented I'd like to know more from Mr. Unland for example. If he is not saying that TLM is "divisive"...

W.Unland said...

Dear Anonymous (I really hate talking to the UNKNOWN),

Dear brother, or sister,

That was quite a response that really addressed nothing of what I said. I personally find the "way" to be an abomination, but that has nothing to do with my comments regarding the Japanese Church.

Firstly, there is NOTHING wrong with "way" members being Filipino. I only mentioned that to explain why the Japanese are suspicious of them. YES Japan is xenophobic. They have only been a democracy for 60 years and were a heavily controlled feudal system only a few years before that. YES they distrust foreigners, and the "way" is not going to change that. It IS a fact that should be considered if the Church honestly wants to expand the church here.

Not joining the parish IS a big problem for the reasons I mentioned. The church building and operation requires MONEY. If you are going to use the facilities and the priest then you have got to contribute to the operating expenses. I'm sorry to introduce reality into the situation, but nobody likes deadbeats. Charity is one thing. Filipinos are more than welcome at my parish even though they contribute little, because they are involved in the parish. They are provided with a separate English/Tagalog Mass as part of the parish outreach. An "outside" group that swoops in, uses your facilities on a regular basis, requires your priest on a regular basis, takes up collections for their OWN use, which then disappears into the night is NOT charity, it is abuse.

The Japanese are NOT European OK. There is no history here of things like animal sacrifice. They don't "get" the significance of traditional teachings based on Greek/Jewish traditions. "Guilt", "sin", "redemption" have no meaning in the language. I'm again sorry, but it is a fact. Yes the Japanese Bishops have modified the liturgy to fit the language and culture, but the Masses I have attended here are "conservative" in that they avoid the use of "entertainment" and such hooks as dancing, odd foreign musical instruments (read guitars and drums here), holding hands (which the Japanese find distasteful), and the desecration of the mass as a co-celebrated sit down meal.

I never suggested that the Japanese Church is "orthodox" per se. It is a mission church and is working in the manner that it considers best to fill the needs of the population. NOT the transient Filipino population.

No, there is no Latin Mass here. Just how many Japanese do you think even know what Latin is, let alone have any concept as to why the Church uses it? I use Latin in my prayers and Mass responses, and some members of my parish have asked me to teach them. It is a start. But please do not try to compare this country with a European one with a 2000 year Church tradition, and where evangelization is trying to bring BACK those whom have fallen away. These people have no clue as to what the Church is. You can't shove it down their throats, and you can't expect them to embrace the ways that the "way" does things just because YOU enjoy the "way".

Best regards,
William unland

Anonymous said...

Mr. Unland,

You are obviously extremely knowledgeable of things concerning Japanese culture. You suggest that many Western concepts, which are the basis for the Church's articulation of the Faith, are unable to be comprehended or absorbed by the Japanese.

However, years ago, Mortimer Adler (the Jewish Thomistic philosopher who converted to Catholicism at the end of his life)pointed out that the communications and technological revolutions that are infiltrating every culture on the globe originated in the West. Embedded within these technological developments are a philosophy of language and structure of thinking that must eventually be absorbed by even non-Occidental cultures. Doesn't this bode well for the potential opportunity to communicate the admittedly Western foundations of Catholic apologetical cognitive structure more easily and effectively -- even to the Japanese?

Thank you for your reply in advance.

Giles

Kano said...

I am the one who posted at 16:28.

I personally have not seen drums used in the Mass in Japan, but the guitar has been used in something called the Folk Mass since at latest my childhood (early '80s.) This event has recently developed into something called "The Mass offered with children (or simply, Children Mass.)" It can be seen once a month in many parishes in Japan.

Copies for this rite? are being sold at the website of Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan:
http://www.cbcj.catholic.jp/publish/sac/kodomoto/kodomoto.html

Rough translation of the caption: "The Mass offered with children - The rite for the Mass offered with children, which includes two Japan-original Consecration texts being not just translations."

These may not have been offered in foreign languages. So people attending the Mass in Japanese and people attending the Mass in other languages such as English may have different feelings about the Church in Japan.

PS. 1868-1945 (Meiji, Taishō, and early Shōwa periods) in Japan are usually not regarded as parts of the feudal periods.

W.Unland said...

Dear Giles,

Yes, the Japanese culture is indeed changing, and in many ways it is becoming quite European.

The one area where this country is very much different however;is religion. Religion has always been a very small consideration here, usually limited to animist harvest celebrations and such. With the end of the Imperial period religion is seen as something to be avoided and very much distrusted by most, just as "patriotism" is something seen as belonging only to the radical far right.

Why, because all were REQUIRED to buy into the transformed Shinto Emperor is god theology. Daily prayers to the emperor, all Buddhist temples installing Shinto shrines,and so forth. When it all came crashing down so did faith in religion.

If you ask Japanese they will say that they are Buddhist. But if you ask them when they attend temple or pray, it is always only at the cukturally required 4 times a year grave visits. They just find no NEED for religion.

I have been visiting here for 30+ years and living here for 15. This lack of religious base is in MY opinion the one huge lacking in the culture. There is no absolute right or wrong, no thought of eternity other than some vague hope that dead relatives can assist the living. There is no god in Buddhism, and Shinto sees nature as god. Consequently when Christianity tries to convert people they just don't understand the concepts involved.

This is NOT a criticism, just an observation. It will take a lot more time, and greater internationalization before such ideas as "redemption" and "eternal life" can be understood by the average Japanese. it is not an intellectual exercise, religion requires patience.

Christianity was successful in other missions because the people have had a "god" based system in place that Christianity could build on. Japan, IMHO has NEVER had such a system so Christianity will have a very much grater hurdle here.

My dear friend Kano,

Of course I did not intend to imply that the Meiji-Showa periods were feudal, but if you think about it the end of the Edo period was just over 130 years ago. The west was already going through the industrial revolution and the feudal system had disappeared hundreds of years before. Just pointing out that Japan has had less time to "change" than the west.

The children's Masses are totally OK with me. They are for children. Clearly you have been lucky enough to avoid the "way" in your parish. They hold their masses ALWAYS with guitars and drums, hand holding, dancing around the alter, folk songs, and of course the sit down sharing of the "meal" lit by Kiko designed Jewish Menorah on the alter. THAT is the liturgy that I was proffering that the Japanese Catholics have trouble accepting.

Best regards,
William Unland