Rorate Caeli

Neocatechumenal Way on the fast track

From the Spanish daily La Razón:

"...Benedict XVI received [last] Saturday morning, in private audience, Spaniards Kiko Argüello and Carmen Hernández and Italian priest Mario Pezzi, the group responsible for the Neocatechumenal Way at the international level.

As Kiko Argüello declared to this daily, the Pontiff confirmed to them the definitive approval, shortly, of the statutes of this Christian initiation for adults. The current texts had been approved in June 2002 by John Paul II for an "ad experimentum" period of five years.
(In the picture, Neocatechumenal "sitting communion" in a Redemptoris Mater seminary, November 2006; a past post on the Neocatechumenal Way here.)


  1. Is this a "balancing act" with the (who knows when) MP to placate those who wish the Church to be "moving forward"?

    In actuality (and His Holiness knows this) it is a great slap in the face to Traditionalists. The modernists get what they want, they are the favoured "sons" etc.

    However, having reviewed carefully Bishop Fellay's lecture, one appreciates more the frightful ecclesiatical politcs being played and the forces of darkness that surround the Holy Father.

    We can only imagine the threats and pressures being imflicted on Pope Benedict by these wayward churchmen.

    One only needs to review the cowardly and pathetic statement by the US bishops on the recent revolt of the 18 Catholic politicians to see the depth of cowardice and betrayal of Christ and His Vicar.

    Likewise in Ontario the Catholic Premier has strongly denounced the Pope's recent statements on abortion and politics. There was a little "tut-tut" from one of the minor bishops, but nothing more.

    Can. 1369 A person is to be punished with a just penalty, who, at a public event or assembly, or in a published writing, or by otherwise using the means of social communication, utters blasphemy, or gravely harms public morals, or rails at or excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church.


    When is this canon ever going to be applied???

  2. What on earth is this junk? Do these people think the GIRM is an infection?

    I thought the period of "experimentation" ended in 1970!

    "The 'treasure' is too important and precious to risk impoverishment or compromise through forms of experimentation or practices introduced without a careful review on the part of the competent ecclesiastical authorities." (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 51)

    "As early as the year 1970 (cf. Liturgicae Instaurationes, 1, 12), the Apostolic See announced the cessation of all experimentation as regards the celebration of Holy Mass and reiterated the same in 1988 (cf. Declaration on Eucharistic Prayers and liturgical experimentation, 21 (Notitiae 24)). Accordingly, individual Bishops and their Conferences do not have the faculty to permit experimentation with liturgical texts or the other matters that are prescribed in the liturgical books. In order to carry out experimentation of this kind in the future, the permission of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is required. It must be in writing, and it is to be requested by the Conference of Bishops. In fact, it will not be granted without serious reason. As regards projects of inculturation in liturgical matters, the particular norms that have been established are strictly and comprehensively to be observed." (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 27)

    See also an interview with Austrian Cardinal Schönborn in which he argues against personal experimentation in the liturgy (from March, 2005).

  3. Oh good, just what the Church needs.

  4. The "Neo-catechumenal Way" is a cult, if you ask me. Among their many bizarre and forbidden practices is one which is straight out of brainwashing school.

    A member of the movement reported to me that, before becoming a "full member", one must make a full, PUBLIC confession of ALL of one's past sins, no matter how atrocious. One does this before all those present (often a large number of people) and has nothing to do with sacramental Confession. Supposedly, it is to show "humility". But its real effect is to give the members of the group control over each other and prevent departures because there would always be the attendant fear that one's past could be publicly exposed by unscrupulous members of the movement.

    Far from deserving "definitive approval", the movement ought to be definitively suppressed for its disturbing caricatures of the Sacraments and for its judaizing and heretical tendencies.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. WAIT! According to Sandro Magister, Cardinal Arinze sent this group a letter stating:

    "In the celebration of the Holy Mass, the Neocatechumenal Way shall accept and follow the liturgical books approved by the Church, without omitting or adding anything. [...] On the manner of receiving Holy Communion, a period of transition (not exceeding two years) is granted to the Neocatechumenal Way to pass from the widespread manner of receiving Holy Communion in its communities (seated, with a cloth-covered table placed at the center of the church instead of the dedicated altar in the sanctuary) to the normal way in which the entire Church receives Holy Communion. This means that the Neocatechumenal Way must begin to adopt the manner of distributing the Body and Blood of Christ that is provided in the liturgical books."

    No comments should therefore put any blame upon the Pontiff.

  7. Anonymous3:57 PM

    Augustine ... are you kidding? Has the Necocatechumnal Way changed in any way? I don't know. But if they haven't ... and the Pope certainly has the ability to confirm this ... then how can he possibly encourage these people? Once again ... always we see a want of governance in the Church EXCEPT when the rules are applied towards traditionalists. If the Pope, the cardinals and bishops wanted to destroy the Church in a speedier fashion than Henry VIII and Elizabeth did in England, they couldn't have come up with a better means than the policies they have pursued over the last 40 years.

  8. I beg to differ from the previous, unanimous, condemnations of the Neo-Catechumenal Way.
    1. The Way would have never developped without the initial strong backing of the then abp of Madrid in 1964, a very orthodox and trad-oriented abp.
    It was mainly at the beginning a good counter-offensive to challenge the devastating pro-Communist Catholic Action in late Franco Spain.
    2. The Way offers various faces : those I've personally seen are far from negative. Mainly devout and orthodox priests, wearing a clerical suit and collar ; I've been in contact with respectful, very Roman-oriented seminarians.
    3. I've been invited in some occasions to attend their "celebrations". It's certainly far from my personal choice (they knew) : but we comunicated standing ... though I was asked to do it myself, which is not to be done. The rector of the convict explained me the Way had 2 indults for some liturgical derogative practices beforehand.
    The Arinze letter intended to get these out of the way, if I can put it like that.

    Arinze letters are generally void of any consequences : see the "pro multis" change which is not yet done !
    We could tell the same for the Pope's good words. They fly in the air and go to heaven without reaching any episcopal ears ... the debate of CELAM shows how the bishops today are taking the pope for ... nothing.
    To have reduced the papal authority to nearly nothing is one first result of Benedict XVI 2 year pontificate.
    When you hesitate so long, when you choose neo-modernists and liberals as bishops, you cannot expect anything else than a growing rebellion.
    Maybe in backing the Way, B XVI is searching desperately some "allies" and support among the chaos his more and more evident weakness is generating.

  9. Anonymous4:46 PM

    Excerpt from Cardinal Arinze's letter of December 1, 2005:

    5. On the manner of receiving Holy Communion, a period of transition (not exceeding two years) is granted to the Neocatechumenal Way to pass from the widespread manner of receiving Holy Communion in its communities (seated, with a cloth-covered table placed at the center of the church instead of the dedicated altar in the sanctuary) to the normal way in which the entire Church receives Holy Communion.

    May God have mercy on us.

  10. Here is the entire Arinze letter and more, if you can handle it...

  11. Dear Alsaticus:

    While I respect your opinion, it is of no matter what the Way was at its outset, since the issue is how they are now. And how they are now is blatantly and openly disobedient towards the Pope, reinterpreting Roman directives in such a tendentious manner as to be engaging in grave lies and falsehoods. That there are some good people in the movement is not disputed. However, the founders and the movement as a whole have departed from the integrity of the Catholic Faith, in favour of their own personal goals. Therefore, they are a danger to souls and ought to be suppressed.

  12. They are orthodox doctrinally. Unlike some groups in the Church, the Neocats are actually enthusiastic about making new disciples for Christ.


  13. Can anybody direct me to a more detailed list of how this movement violates Church teachings or is out of sync with tradition? Is the primary point of perceived rupture their sitting for communion, or is there more?

    Thanks in advance. God Bless.

  14. Anonymous10:58 PM

    Point of Order!
    Doesn't the last comment by "anonymous" regarding the Holy Father qualify as an infraction against Canon 1369 as mentioned by Pascendi?
    If so, what would the appropriate temporal penalty be?

    Pope Benedict XVI is not a loser. He is a very bright and decent man who has perhaps lost his focus on what the nature and power of his office is. He finds himself at a crossroads in the Church. Continue on as things are and we can expect the darkness will deepen, before an eventual dawn. But let him stand up to the worthless parasites that suck the life out of the Church and he can expect a horrific fight and huge schisms and a quick and decisive victory for Christ the King. It all depends on whether he continues to follow the geopolitical way of his immediate predecessors or if he chooses to follow a more supernatural course consistent with the needs of the times.

  15. Anonymous11:20 PM

    I actually don't believe Kiko when he says that the Pope has approved the organisation as it is now, considering the letter of Arinze, which was in fact brought upon due to the Pope.

    If you read back about how Kiko explained the letter of Arinze to the Neocats two years ago, you can see why we can't put full trust this man. He told blatant lies, or at least, interpreted the directives in the most loose ways. He read the two-year grace period for changing to the normative way of receiving communion and celebrating mass as an approval for what they were doing, but if you read the document in fact this two year period is in fact a grace period. Kiko is doing some serious spin-doctoring.

  16. Anonymous11:44 PM

    I think Pope Benedict XVI (by His actions thusfar....will go the geopolitical path of his immediate predecessor. There is little evidence of anything else.

  17. What is it with the term "The Way" another cult uses it as a means to get their message across...must be a spanish thing ;)

  18. Anonymous3:08 AM

    Dear Rorate:
    Thank you ANONYMOUS FOR YOUR ASTUTE POINT OF ORDER in this discussion for it very adroitly brought it to a screeching halt this discussion with your keen observation about Benedicit XVI. God bless to all the great Catholics on this informative
    website and for their comments on all this chicanery and eglatiarianism by the left i.e
    the neocatechumens and their cohorts ever inventing and reinventing 'new church.' Sounds very Hegelian?
    j hughes dunphy

  19. Anonymous3:33 AM

    As anonymous said, I don't believe Kiko when he says their definitive statute would be already approved. As for the neocatechumenal local communities, almost none of those discipline rules were implemented one year and a half after that letter was expedicted. Some neocaths are arrogant enough to claim and bet that nothing will be changed after that two-year grace period.

    I really do think Kiko plays with wrong and distorced information trying to create an expeectation and positive feeling among the neocaths, so it would be more difficult to the Vatican to take an undesired action.

    Someone who in the day of the Feast of St. Thomas Aquina is capable of saying a non-catholic and gnostic sentence like "believing in God is not a matter of reason, but a meeting with the Spirit deeply inside of him/herself" (, 03.08.2007, in Portuguese or Spanish) doesn't deserve respect nor trust.

  20. Anonymous12:33 AM

    Can we ever get a clear answer out of the Vatican on anything? Are the pro abortionists excommunicated or not?

    If B16 is the vicar of christ, would Our Lord be so wishy washy? Did he not take on the pharises head on? The Apostles?

    Decide what to do for yourself

  21. Anonymous1:57 PM

    To anonymous 01 June, 2007 00:33 :

    I share your frustration, but remember the lessons of the Donatists schism.
    Meanwhile, I recall a Medieval maxim:
    Papa a nemine iudicatur (The pope is judged by no man.) This phrase is rooted in St. Paul's statement on his own status as an apostle. If St. Paul can say it, how much more the successor to St. Peter.

    We can't know always know what the pope is doing. Maybe he acts out of weakness, maybe out of prudence. Stay rooted in history. Was Vigilius a true pope? Honorius? To our limited view we may not understand the gentleness, but there is a lesson in it. And of course, the pope is not impeccable. Nor is he infallible except in those specifically defined cases. But he is the successor to St. Peter and answerable to Christ, not to us.

  22. Anonymous10:43 PM

    Agreed in total..but would Pius X allow such dissent among his cardinals and bishops that he is afraid to release any relaxation of Traditional Mass and teachings? If one is the leader (and of course I firmly believe he is) he has to stop acting like a politician and more like a leader of the Catholic church. He seems to say the truth (ie Moslems, excommunication of pro abortionists etc) and then when there is an uproar recants immediatly

    Looking at the early Popes most of whom met a martyrs death as well as many saints, one also has to earn the title of Vicar of christ to truly show the Holy Spirit guided these men to vote for him. Actions speak louder than words, there have been many questionable men as popes in church history and not to go into questioning his authority-a little leadership and brass (you fill in the blank) is all one should expect from the successor of Peter who hung on a cross upside down.........and I dont think would have prayed with Moslems when threatened by them (if they were around then)....enough said as I would rather not get myself in trouble with the administrator here as I am going on, but you get my point

  23. Anonymous1:16 PM

    On behalf of the humble servants of his holiness, Pope Benedict, I would like to reiterate the outcome of this private letter to all the Neocatechumenal communities.Since 2006 all the alterations required have been made to the aspects of the liturgy. This is because all members hold the Holy Father's judgemment to be directly inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore undisputable.

  24. Anonymous7:36 PM

    Unfortunately most people who comment on the Neocatechumenal Way are not even familiar with it. Judgements are formed on what they hear and on snippets of a pictue they may see. The Neocatechumenate is "A way of Christian formation" it is not the only way. Most Catholics lack a real formation in the faith and most even lack experiences of faith. The Neocatechumenal Way helps us to rediscover our Baptism and lead us to an adult faith. There are many steps along the way of conversion and each community walks together and grows together. In communities there is a mixture of genders, ages, economic backgrounds, races, ethnicities, yet all come together to form one body in Christ. I invite all to follow a Catechisis and experience first hand what the Neocatechumenal Way teaches. With over 60 seminaries throughout the world, (each of the seminarians are fruit of this way)the Church is being blessed and strengthened. May God continue to bless the Church.

  25. Anonymous3:43 AM

    This opinions about the neocat,is ok,i personally dont care if i receive the body of christ seated or standing,the important thing is that i have a contrite heart.If i go to mass on saturday why is different,then it should be no mass at all on saturday for nobody.
    If i was selling crack on the streets of the bronx,and now for grace of God in the church,and you want to take what saved me from death,the Lord is given me understanding of his love.

  26. Anonymous12:13 AM

    It's totally sad how the people who condemn the Way know little to nothing about it. If receiving the Most Precious Body and Blood seated is such a crime, why did the past two popes celebrate Neocatechumenal Masses?

  27. Anonymous1:50 PM

    Neocatechumenal shouldn't be allowed to celebrate the Eucharist because if a priest is not available, the leader is permitted to start the Eucharist and the priest joins in later, i.e. from offetory onwards.

    They have their own hidden rules. It is definitely a cult.

    They do not like any other existing evangical services.

    They give less importance to saints and Mother Mary.

    They don't like the Mass celebrated in church.

    The priest who celebrates the Eucharist should be a Neocatechumen himself. If he is not, then he is also not allowed for the Neocatechumens celebration of Eucharist on Saturday evenings.

    Neocatechumens are not allowed to participate in any other evangical groups or communities.

    The Neocatechumens must be allowed only to celebrate the Word and NOT the Eucharist because they are spoiling the beauty and reverence of the present Masses celebrated all over the world by the churches/priests.

  28. Anonymous1:59 PM

    Yes, Neocatechumenal Way is a kind of cult.

    The members of Neocatechumenal Way should be informed that they should attend the Eucharist service celebrated in the church oo saturday evenings and a separate celebration is not required.

    They shouldn't degrade the present priests by having a separate celebration and only with the priest who is in the Way himself.

    They want their members to use only the Jerusalem Bible. Why?
    What is wrong with the other Roman Catholic Bibles? Every type of Bible as far as it is Catholic is very good.

  29. Anonymous3:19 AM

    Amazing how people interpret without experiencing. That's like saying I know how it feels to drive a BMW just by looking at a picture of it.

    Let's clarify a few things. Any priest is allowed to celebrate the Eucharist in the Way. I know this because I received the blood and body of Christ from a priest that was not in the "Way". We simply asked and they have agreed.

    The bible issue, please find a bible that has the footnotes and excerpts that will allow you to scrutinize the passages. The bible is not the yellow pages, in which everyone has one but rarely opens it. The bible is your life, you discover your connection to god. The Jerusalem bible allows you to travel from one passage to another (gospel to a letter) and make a connection between both. If the way is a cult, then how is it that we are encouraging faith in our youth that have decided to enter the calling in a Catholic Church.

    Saints and Mother Mary. If you only knew the many songs that praise our mother. Our songs also praise those who have given their life to proclaim the existance of God. Santa Maria, the giver of life, the mother of God is praised for accepting God's gift to mankind knowing that her life was at stake. Mary is very much respected. Her image holding our father is present during our celebrations. Why the Way, why is it so important? To preserve and save families, to preserve the seven sacraments, to preserve the miracle of life. In truth I tell you, this will save our church. The real question is how can we encourage parishioners to embrace and live in the faith. Listen to him for God will show you the Way.

    1st Community of Immaculate Conception


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