Rorate Caeli

Ranjith: no official communication

On an interview related to another matter -the manner of reception of Holy Communion by the leader of the Neocatechumenal Way, Kiko Argüello -, Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, answered a different question (Petrus):

...Cardinal Arinze should be about to leave the helm of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. In a first moment, it seemed that you were the favorite for his succession, the arrival of Archbishop Angelo Amato and your return to Sri Lanka were mentioned. What can you tell us?

"I have not received any official communications, but so many untrue things have been written in the newspapers. As for myself, I submit myself obediently to the decisions of the Holy Father. "


  1. Anonymous1:32 AM

    A great man. No matter what happens to Archbishop Ranjith, God will reward him greatly.

    I cannot believe that his role in the post-conciliar stabilization of the Church will abruptly and completely end with a transfer to his homeland.

  2. Interesting.

    But what did he have to say about the manner of reception of Holy Communion by the leader of the Neocatechumenal Way, Kiko Argüello?

    Thanks in advance.

  3. I think the answer of Archbishop Ranjith is the best answer. "I submit to the decision of the Holy Father". I wish and pray that those who refuse obedience to the Church will learn to say those words. I wish that the so called traditionalists who refuse obedience to the Holy father will also say that. and the Progressives who constantly disregard the legislations and exhortations of the Holy Father will learn to say those words too. Lets pray that the Lord of the Harvest will give us good bishops like Archbishop Ranjith.

  4. Anonymous2:15 AM

    "As for myself, I submit myself obediently to the decisions of the Holy Father."

    God bless Archbishop Ranjith! (If only Bishop Fellay & the SSPX would say that!)

  5. Anonymous11:42 AM

    We can pray these leaks are indeed far from the truth. A "return to Sri Lanka" for Abp Ranjith would be a triumph of the litnik lobbies, especially in Rome, and would make it clear pope Benedict has decided to surrender completely : the end of the "reform of the reform".

    It doesn't seem to be coherent with the appointment of Msgr Guido Marini and Summorum Pontificum.

  6. A word about the crossed arms of Kiko Arguello, which may perhaps be helpful to avoid scandal. According to "Religious Customs In The Family" (by Fr. Francis X. Weiser, S.J., published by TAN) this was a common prayer posture for ancient Christians:

    In the old Roman Empire the faithful kept a very strict fast all through Lent: no milk, no butter, no cheese, no eggs, no cream, and, of course, no meat. So they made small breads of water, flour and salt. To remind themselves that Lent was a time of prayer, they shaped these breads in the form of arms crossed in prayer (in those days they crossed their arms over the breast while praying). Therefore they called the breads "little arms" (bracellae). From this Latin word the Germans later coined the term "pretzel."

    It is a common practice of the Eastern Church to receive Holy Communion with arms crossed. This must be what Kiko was doing, since he is a student of Byzantine spirituality and liturgy. Explaining the significance of this posture, the Russian Orthodox author Ivan M. Andreyev writes:

    The Mother of God stood at the Cross – with her arms crossed on her breast. She was the first to cross her arms before the Cross of her Son and God, being crucified with Him in her maternal heart, remembering on Golgotha the Righteous Symeon’s prophetic words “and a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Comprehending that, dare we not reveal the thoughts within our hearts? And crossing our arms over our breasts, dare we not remember in our hearts her holy crossed arms?

    Approaching the Holy Chalice, we always fold our arms cross-wise across our breast. We do not sign ourselves with the sign of the Cross (lest, in doing so, we jostle the Holy Chalice), but we do hold a cross over our breast. When we commune, we stand as it were at the cross, together with the Most-holy Theotokos, for we commune of the Body and Blood of the Crucified One.

    Finally, Kiko also received the Host directly in the mouth and the photographs look like he made a profound bow before receiving, so that is probably another reason why we should not be too quick to take scandal.

  7. Anonymous10:24 PM

    Dear New Catholic

    On a loosely related topic, an interesting post on Angelqueen related to Japanese bishops petitioning the Holy Father directly, for the second time in 5 months, to ban the Neo Catechumenal Way from a diocese in Japan for destructive behaviour.

    In St Joseph on his feast day

  8. Some thoughts on this curious movement - what has happened to Arguello's alleged secret manual that contained disturbing anti-Catholic sentiments?

    Attending a Neo-Catechumenal catechesis was a very revealing experience as to what their bullying proselytisers thought of the current ecclesiastical status quo.

    Their Saturday night service must have been illicit at least, according to the rules governing liturgy.

    Then there was the continual emotional blackmail and the expensive hotel catechetical meetings paid for by unsuspecting attenders and parish monies.

    It was removed from certain parishes in UK for being divisive and propagating doubtful practices. Putting doctrine aside, it aroused immense pastoral concern.

  9. leong, I agree that indeed this Neo Cath is doubtful. It is actually divisive because it presents some liturgical practices that are not in harmony with the rest. I wonder why there is so much opposition to the Tridentine Mass when in fact here is the so called Neo way that is so divergent from current norms and does not have organic development but a product of some sort of "archeologism". What I mean by archeologism is the act of trying to look for elements in ancient practice and making these discoveries as the norms. There is danger when people take the specifics of what they discover in ancient sources as the norm, disregarding the organic development that have taken shape through the centuries. The obvious result is chaos and division in liturgical practices. The case happens when one group will discover onething and another group will discover another, plus the added creativity the result is confusion. Who suffers in the end? Its the lay faithful. I hope that the Vatican will put a rein on this Neo Way and put them in line with the liturgical norms of the Church. We should remember that Liturgical practice cannot be frozen in time because it is dynamic, it evolves. But development is organic, not concocted. Development in the Liturgy should not be a product of innovation but of legitimate development arising from pastoral need and from the theological development. Thus in reality, liturgical evolution takes several years even hundreds of years. Hence in the end we have to remember that THE LAW OF PRAYER BECOMES THE LAW OF BELIEF. As the Church prays so is her belief.

  10. This is off topic, but I'm not sure how to get in touch with your e=mails. Dame Mary Berry, CBE, has passed away in Cambridge, England, last night (on Ascension Day). I hope you will make mention of this great figure in the history of Chant during the past century, and the first decade of the new milennium. Dame Mary was a student of Nadia Boulanger in Paris during the 1930's, a former Augustinaian cannoness, the founder of the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, and as such a tireless promoter of chant research and application. Her extraordinary form Holy Week celebrations in Cambridge long precede the work of CIEL. She is also credited with discovering the origin of the tune for "Veni, veni, Emmanuel" in an ancient Parisian antiphonale. I hope you will give some space to the passing of a woman who's imposing (6' + in height!) presence, both physical and intellectual, was remembered even by Thomas Merton. She has left an invaluable and inspirational legacy. You may already know all of this, but I thought I'd mention it, having been the recipient of her hospitality at her home in Cambridge, where she received me one afternoon almost three years ago now. Her enthusiasm and willingness to lavish basically a clinic on an American psalmist who's labours were far removed from her own concerns left a deep impression, and will not soon be forgotten. Bringing you notice of her passing is the least I can do, though she deserves very much more. Requiem aeternam dona ei domine.

  11. Anonymous3:36 AM

    "As for myself, I submit myself obediently to the decisions of the Holy Father."

    God bless Archbishop Ranjith! (If only Bishop Fellay & the SSPX would say that!)

    Interestingly, the TAR's of Papa Stronsay had said something sililar when they announced to humbly submit to the new Good Friday prayer. Such examples of humility and obedience are also examples of true leadership.

  12. The neo-cats have a strong presence in the London seminary of Allen Hall.

    My experience is limited to university and I was not impressed for what my views are worth.

    Furthermore, Kiko's address during the encounter between the new movements and the Holy Father in Rome a couple of years back was weird. Most of it was garbage.

  13. "As for myself, I submit myself obediently to the decisions of the Holy Father."

    (If only Bishop Fellay & the SSPX would say that!)"

    But surely not when he embraces the Koran and calls it dear and precious.
    Even more so when Holy Communion is distributed to a protestant, however, Catholic one may want them to seem.
    How could a Roman Catholic humbly submit to the claim by a pope who encourages us to believe that two forms of liturgy that are most obviously from completely different theological positions are from the same rite.

    Humble obedience has to be guided by rational criteria.

    Bishop Fellay is not so easily beguiled by modernistic post-conciliar notions of this virtue which are frequently hypocritical in any case, though not necessarily in Archbishop Ranjith's.

  14. Anonymous7:17 PM

    "Interestingly, the TAR's of Papa Stronsay had said something sililar when they announced to humbly submit to the new Good Friday prayer. Such examples of humility and obedience are also examples of true leadership."

    I have no problem with the "new" Goood Friday prayer. If it were recited where I attend, I would not even blink an eye. I even would go so far as to agree that the Transalpine Redemptorists really do show exemplary obedience and humility.

    But to accuse those who retain the use of the older version of the prayer of disobedience is just plain wrong.

  15. Frankly speaking, however Kiko crosses his arms does not atone for the un-Catholic nature of the Neo-Catechumenal Way and many of its psychologically disturbing catechetical behaviours which I have winessed at first hand. This movement would have scarce been tolerated before the councils. It is a byproduct of religious pluralism in the church. In its desperate attempts to promote the priesthood to the NO the resultant failure has provoked a recourse to dubious near-gnostic cult-type movements within.

    The Neo-Cat proselytes have a justification for every practice, even dividing parishes and pressurising parishoners with tales of guilt and damnation. Some of its disciples have severe neuroses which are fed by fears to do or say anything contrary to "The Way" as it is deemed an equivalent to denying the "call of The Lord".

    On one occasion when invoking Our Blessed Lady with a seminarian to the Neo-Catechumenal presbyterate I was told not to talk about such [expletive deleted]."

    This is a noxious movement and should be dealt with as such.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!