Rorate Caeli

The Neocatechumenal Way sits for the Lord and says: "We don't care, we already obey!"

From an interview (in Italian) with the spokesman of the "Neocatechumenal Way", Giuseppe Gennarini, regarding the stern letter demanding the correction of its wrong liturgical practices; the most revealing portions are translated below:

Do you mean to say that the use of [common] bread is foreseen by the liturgical books and is, therefore, absolutely allowed?

It is not we who say this, this is clearly written in the [2002] Roman Missal. It recommends the use of bread which has the appearance of bread (though lightly baked) and leaves the use of the host for when "numero sacram comunionem [sic] sumentium aliaeque rationes pastorales id exigunt" - art 321 of the Roman Missal [He means the GIRM.] This means that hosts are to be used when the number of communicants demands its use or for any other pastoral reason. This is the general law of the Church on the liturgy. It is often those who criticize who are responsible for abuses...

And, regarding the distribution of wine [sic] and the way of reception of Communion (sitting, instead of standing or kneeling), will anything be changed?

Regarding the modes of distribution of either the bread [sic] or of the wine [sic], the letter established a final term, a period during which this [sitting] mode is allowed. A period of two years, exactly those years which remain of that period of time -- five years -- begun with the approval ad experimentum of the statutes of the Way, in 2002. This aspect of the distribution of the bread and of the wine enters thus within this broader picture, in which is inserted the letter of the Congregation.

Nonetheless, the problem of how to perform the distribution of both species is a problem which is much larger than us, which concerns the whole Church and which represents today one of the most complex questions. It has been tried in the past years to distribute the wine with the use of a little spoon (which has been a disaster), with the use of a straw (which has been even worse), there has been an experience with intinction, which is however contrary not only to what the Gospel dictates, but even to the liturgical books themselves. Now the cup is being tried, but it is clear that in a large church the faithful are not willing to communicate in a cup... In sum, the matter is serious and it is truly difficult to find a way which helps to perform the
distribution of both species. In the interior of small communities, the distribution of the cup is often feasible because the number of the faithful is limited and all know one another.

Therefore, if I understand correctly, there will not be changes in practice in the next few years. Everything will thus remain as it has been?

In these two years everything will be evaluated and pondered, in the whole itinerary of recognition of the Neocatechumenal Way. On the distribution of communion, there is a temporary allowance, at the end of which we will see what will happen. Let one thing be clear: if it were an irreverent practice, certainly a period of two years for its elimination would not have been given.

Otherwise, I would like to stress that the letter of the Congregation is a private letter, whose real contents are known only to Cardinal Arinze and Kiko Arguello, Carmen Hernandez, and Father Mario Pezzi, and any use of a private document as a public decision is illegitimate and improper. Even if it were confirmed that the contents of this letter are completely authentic, this would not change its nature as a
private and reserved instrumentum laboris. That is, to consider this letter as if it had power of Law would be as if we considered the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod on the Eucharist as having equal value as the final document of the Synod.

I had already shared the opinion that the Neocatechumenal Way (which arrogantly calls itself "The Way") could not care less about the document, first made public by my favorite Vaticanist, Andrea Tornielli, in the end of December. As I had said:
Groups like the Neocatechumenal Way probably also do not care much about the recent "edict" regarding their liturgical activities and choices. Who will make sure the rules are followed? No group fears Rome because they sense, in this pontificate as in the recent ones, that Rome has no teeth. The Mother and Teacher of Churches, the Holy Roman Church, is to them an old lady with no strength, no teeth, no willpower, nothing but irrelevant words, "sicut paleæ ante faciem venti, et sicut favilla quam turbo dispergit" (Job, 21: as chaff before the face of the wind, and as ashes which the whirlwind scattereth).

And in this small, minuscule, portion of the interview of the spokesman of "The Way", we can clearly see the grave problems of this truly sectarian group.

(1) The misinterpretation of Church Documents -- for instance, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

(2) The assumption that IT is the interpreter of Scripture, in the flabbergasting words of the spokesman of "The Way" when he condemns the communion by intinction as ANTI-BIBLICAL. I am completely convinced that the decision on communion in ONE species, canonised by Trent, is fruit of the wisdom of the Church, as the confusion regarding the distribution of the Precious Blood shows. However, one cannot deny that, as far as communion under both species goes (allowed under exceptional circumstances by Vatican II), intinction is probably the best and less messy choice. WHO are these people in "The Way" who consider themselves main interpreters of what "the Gospel dictates"?

(3) The assumption that the Church spent hundreds of years denying the "proper way of celebrating the Eucharist" as "dictated" by the Gospel to her faithful; this is implicit throughout the interview.

(4) The absurd statement that a letter for the correction of abuses in the corrupt liturgical practices of "The Way", approved by the Pope, is as non-authoritative as a preparatory document for discussions of bishops in a Synod of Bishops.

(5) The clear way in which the correction of the most bizarre of the abuses of "The Way" (namely, sitting communicants) is considered an authorization. The two-year period, which should be considered a graceful concession in the spirit of "non-rupture" defended by this pope, is considered a mere suggstion, "at the end of which we will see what will happen".
It actually makes a lot of sense: if they sit for the Lord, why would they stand up to obey His Vicar?