Rorate Caeli

Vatican approval coming slowly for the Neocatechumenal Way

Vatican, Apr. 11, 2008 (CWNews.com) - The secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Bishop Josef Clemens, has said that a definitive approval of the statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way will take some time, the online Italian news agency Petrus reports.

The Catholic lay movement’s statutes were approved on an ad experimentum basis, for a period of five years, six years ago. But questions about the Neocatechumenal Way-- and particularly the group's liturgical practices-- have persisted, slowing the progress toward full acceptance. The Petrus report indicates that are also questions about how fully the Neocatechumenal Way has adhered to the norms issued in December 2005 by the Congregation for Divine Worship to correct liturgical abuses by members of the lay movement.

The "Way" has supporters as well as critics within the hierarchy. The Petrus article recounts that last month, 170 bishops and nine cardinals from Europe visited the Neocatechumenal Way’s Domus Galilaeae in the Holy Land.

The Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way were approved on an ad experimentum basis for five years in June 2002. The five year period expired last July, 2007. Meanwhile, the group has been busy expanding, with a Neocatechumenal Redemptoris Mater seminary for the Melkite Catholics set to be instituted this year.
The last paragraph of the report alludes to a mass meeting of cardinals and bishops last March 24 - 29 at the Neocatechumenal Way's Domus Galilaeae International Center on the Mount of Beatitudes. In that meeting -- which included Christoph Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna and which received the greetings and blessings of Pope Benedict XVI through Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone -- the Neocatechumenal Way was praised as "an answer of the Holy Spirit" to the secularization of Europe. Zenit's report on that meeting can be found here.

Short videos of Neocatechumenal "liturgies" here and here. The Internet is not exactly lacking in proof of Neocatechumenal liturgical abuses. Cathcon has a few more.

A video of the Neocatechumenal celebration of Passover 2008 (!) at a basilica in the Philippines can be found here.
With an estimated one million members in 20,000 communities and with 73 Redemptoris Mater seminaries that have produced some 1,200 priests, in addition to thousands of priests and religious who are affiliated with or who serve it, the Neocatechumenal Way is by far the largest of the "new movements" in the Catholic Church.

51 comments:

stanislas wojtiech said...

The Neocatechumenal Way is the neo-Protestant cult of Kiko Arguello, and it really uses cult-like tactics, including forcing members to relocate with their entire families and of handing over all their private money. It is a shame that the Vatican II-Holy See is approving this or even tolerating this waste of human lives, and is even celebrating it as a "sign of Renewal". It is very bitter to see this happening.

Anonymous said...

This should not be approved. It is a sect/cult more like Protestant than anything else.

Anything that smacks of Protestant (even if not officially claimed as such) is anathema in the Catholic Church.

What's the old saying....if it looks like something, and smells like something...then it is.

Well, if it looks like Protestant, and smells like Protestant....then no matter how much they try to claim otherwise....it's Protestant.

michigan said...

The Neocatechumenal Way had been in our diocese, back in the early 90's, at the invitation of the cathedral rector [who has since been made a bishop elsewhere]. I attended several of their liturgies, which were strange, vague, pedantic, and not very reverent. It was very informal -- the card table for an altar, etc.

I don't think that they lasted very long in our diocese.

Petrus Radii said...

"Liturgical abuses"?! That's the least of it! Their liturgical activities are an expression of a non-catholic theology. But "the Way" truly is a cult. While they have some good members, of course, the evils are much greater. I have it first-hand from a member that, before one may become a full member of the NW, one is required to confess publicly ALL of one's past sins before the ENTIRE community. This is current practice of the NW in Malta, where they supposedly do not suffer as many of the other abuses.

Public confession is strictly forbidden by the Church, except in cases of grave public sinners, who may be required as a penance to confess publicly their public sins, as an act of reparation. What "the Way" is doing is gravely immoral and could provide means to control members through intimidation, should someone wish to leave the community.

The Neo-Catechumenal Way MUST be suppressed immediately! Carthago delenda est!

Anonymous said...

Neocatechumenal Way, Legionaries of Christ, Opus Dei - every one a dangerous but growing cult in an otherwise shrinking priesthood. What is going on here?

Man, when she said diabolical disorientation, she meant diabolical disorientation!

No wonder SSPX keeps their distance.
Joe B

Anonymous said...

i was in the "way" for almost 2 years. i didn't like it from the start. it did seem cultish to me. you never knew what was going on. everything was secret.

the priest taught us that the tridentine mass was defective because it turned the mass from a banquet to a sacrifice. this happened after christianity was adopted by rome and incorperated pagan elements.

i could go on and on about the problems. our group disbanded shortly after we left.

socalwalker said...

Im, so sorry brothers but you are all misinformed, I have been in the church all my life never have a found a instrument so helpful to help me understand what being a true catholic christian was all about, no one ever made me give away anything, noone ever made me relocate my family, no onever made me confess anything in public before i joined a community and as far as the eucharist I never seen a most beutiful alter with 2 candels a manora and flowers with real white linens, sory but you got tricked by the devil, this is a good thing inspired by the holy Spirit, to help us in this generation, that is so disconnected to God and even more so to our church, this is what keeps the youth in my parish, as well as young families open to life and no nobody makes them do anything everyone is compltely free, I bet the followers of St.Paul also called his communites a cult, please resurch your cacts the church was no always great structures and such it had a sold foundation of true christians who would give there lives for what they saw, risen Christ acting in there lives, who do you think christians celebrated, or walked practiced call it what you want there faith prior to Constintines conversion, look it up the primative church calls it the catechuminate by the way neo means after. ok i can go on and on with the history lesson but its always best to let the spirit do its thing God bless you all I will pray for the Lord to lend some descerment on this matter to everybody, remember even St. Fracis was unwanted, they thought he was a heritic and a cult leader, boy were they wrong. peace be with you Christ has Risen. A parishoner in SouthCal

socalwalker said...

Im, so sorry brothers but you are all misinformed, I have been in the church all my life never have a found a instrument so helpful to help me understand what being a true catholic christian was all about, no one ever made me give away anything, noone ever made me relocate my family, no onever made me confess anything in public before i joined a community and as far as the eucharist I never seen a most beutiful alter with 2 candels a manora and flowers with real white linens, sory but you got tricked by the devil, this is a good thing inspired by the holy Spirit, to help us in this generation, that is so disconnected to God and even more so to our church, this is what keeps the youth in my parish, as well as young families open to life and no nobody makes them do anything everyone is compltely free, I bet the followers of St.Paul also called his communites a cult, please resurch your cacts the church was no always great structures and such it had a sold foundation of true christians who would give there lives for what they saw, risen Christ acting in there lives, who do you think christians celebrated, or walked practiced call it what you want there faith prior to Constintines conversion, look it up the primative church calls it the catechuminate by the way neo means after. ok i can go on and on with the history lesson but its always best to let the spirit do its thing God bless you all I will pray for the Lord to lend some descerment on this matter to everybody, remember even St. Fracis was unwanted, they thought he was a heritic and a cult leader, boy were they wrong. peace be with you Christ has Risen. A parishoner in SouthCal

Patricius said...

Well, after that little rant, let's have another little video clip, shall we? I should like to entitle it: Ite, missa non erat! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR45ANx-d54&feature=related

Anonymous said...

What is this (patricius youtube link) ? "Knees up mother's brown". Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in this apparent antipathy between the neocatechumenate and liturgical traditionalists. I think there is more that unites us than separates us. Fidelity to the Church's moral teachings has to be at the top of the list. The word of God and the catechists of the Way slowly encourage people to conform their lives to Christ's teaching, to pay taxes, to sort out irregular unions, to abandon contraceptives etc. A different style of worship does not invalidate the moral miracle in many people's lives.

David L Alexander said...

Hey, anon, I just watched that second video they posted here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwSS9piwM7c

You want to tell me what adherents to Catholic tradition have in common with that? A seed can take root, but still be choked by thorns. It's all in where it's planted.

Where are each of us planted?

David L Alexander said...

"A different style of worship does not invalidate the moral miracle in many people's lives."

It certainly can. "Lex orandi, lex credendi." We pray as we believe.

Anonymous said...

Hey David L Alexander glad to see your comment left me a little room for maneuver. It's true a certain style of worship 'can' but does not often invalidate the moral miracle. I have seen this happen in the neocatechumenate and elsewhere. Some friends of mine who have taken the traditionalist route have ended up substituting lace and birettas for moral conversion. I still maintain that in a Church where many flout and dismiss the Church's doctrine and moral teaching groups who treasure those things need to pull together. (By the way many things said above e.g. public confession are wildly inaccurate).

David L Alexander said...

"Hey David L Alexander glad to see your comment left me a little room for maneuver."

Good. Try maneuvering your way around the directives from Rome to clean up your liturgical act. Your movement must face the inevitable. Like the song says: "The party's over, it's time to call it a day..."

Roman433 said...

Every single action in the Tridentine Liturgy has bucket loads of symbolism and articles of faith attached to it. Pius V was right to say that if anyone changed it, let the wrath of Sts Peter and Paul be upon them. The Neo-cats, fall pray to modern archaeological errors about the way the early Christians worshiped. They attempt to replicate a Jewish meal, rather poorly and combine that with a synagogue server, again rather poorly. The Mass of the catecombs, was extremely similar to the Roman liturgy we have now. The Divine liturgy developed under different conditions from the start and yet it is similar to the Traditional Ancient liturgy. Clearly the neo-cats, rightly want to imitate that zeal of the early Christians, well let them, but why don't they say the same Mass that the early Christians would have? Also, just of a moment, saying that the Traditional liturgy was a departure from Christianity, is a spit in the face of the Holy Mother church.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to get into a slanging match... but for a while I have wanted to try to square this particular circle. The future of the Church essentially lies among the groups who a) produce vocations and b) produce children and bring them up in the faith. Now as far as I can tell both the traditionalist movement and the neocatechumenal way do this. So for the good of the Holy Catholic Church and the salvation of souls we need to find a modus operandi. The Christian life is bigger than the liturgy, (cf. Eastern Rite Catholicism etc) over to you...

Anonymous said...

roman 433... be careful that Christian worship does not end up being put in a museum, it has been changing ever since it began (when the mass was celebrated in Greek by the way). Read the description of the mass by Justin Martyr in the Catechism and you'll see on what the neocatechumenate has based its modifications to the liturgy.

David L Alexander said...

The Eucharist is the "source and summit" of the Christian life. How much bigger does it have to be? And if the "Neo-Way" is such a boon to the Church, why wasn't its liturgy (source and summit, remember?) left the way it was? And if the liturgy is subject to evolution over time, why dismiss the evolution of nearly two millennia?

Three questions. No slanging.

Luca said...

The fact that the Church has seen the movement grow, has helped it grow and it has had full papal support since the beginning is from what I understand a sign of orthodoxy. The Pope upholds and confirms what is orthodox and Catholic. So what exactly is the problem? If people decide they want to evangelise with their whole family what is the problem? If people decide they want to give their money away what is the problem? If cohabiting couples decide to marry and live in accordance with Mother Church's moral teaching what is the problem? If people want to give public witness to what Christ has done for them through the Church what is the problem? In the end it is The Church that will decide what is from God and what is not, so discussions of this kind are useless. You will know by the fruits right, and what are fruits of the Church - vocations: The Neocatechumenal Way has over 70 diocesan seminaries (always at the request and under the authority of the local bishop) and many thousands of married couples who live their lives in accordance with the moral teaching of the Church as well as living the prayer life of the Church by praying the Divine Office.
P.S. Most of the comments are frankly a bit over the top, don't comment if you don't know what you're writing about. If you are so shocked find a Neocatechumenal Community near you and check it out - who knows you may be pleasantly surprised.

David L Alexander said...

"So what exactly is the problem?"

My last comment contains three questions. Evading those questions, in a forum such as this, is a problem. Exactly.

Luca said...

what's your beef Dave?

Anonymous said...

I'm pleased you've decided to talk to me rather than dismiss me a priori.
1. I perhaps phrased my final sentence less precisely than I ought have. My reference to Eastern Rite Catholicism inferred the fact that the Christian life is bigger than a particular style of liturgy. I am fully in agreement that the Eucharist is the 'Source and Summit' and I make my own the cry of the Abitene Martyrs "we cannot live without the Eucharist", this has become true for me celebrating the Eucharist in the neocatechumenal way.
2. Neither was the liturgy rejected wholesale. A few amendments have been made and although we will argue our case we firmly believe in Roma locuta causa finita. Interestingly Pope Benedict has suggested that some of the alterations e.g. introductions to readings (Sacramentum Caritatis 45) and the moving of the Sign of Peace (Note 150 in Sacramentum Caritatis) be extended to the whole Church.
3. The liturgy is subject to evolution and sometimes that evolution leads down dead ends so we have to go back. How far back, we can debate about but the principle is correct.

David L Alexander said...

"What's your beef Dave?"

I'm not getting through, am I? Here's the beef. Stay with me on this...

"Anonymous" wrote: "The Christian life is bigger than the liturgy..." He then mentioned a reference to the worship of the early Church. Those comments combined inspired the following three questions:

1) The Eucharist is the "source and summit" of the Christian life. How much bigger does it have to be?

2) And if the "Neo-Way" is such a boon to the Church, why wasn't its liturgy (source and summit, remember?) left the way it was?

3) And if the liturgy is subject to evolution over time, why dismiss the evolution of nearly two millennia?

Now, that's "the beef." Back to you...

Luca said...

Amen Anonymous...

David L Alexander said...

"Interestingly Pope Benedict has suggested that some of the alterations e.g. introductions to readings (Sacramentum Caritatis 45) and the moving of the Sign of Peace (Note 150 in Sacramentum Caritatis) be extended to the whole Church."

His "suggestions" in his writings of the past were hypothetical at best. They are not directives, nor are they any sign that liturgical practices unique to the movement be continued. They have been ordered to be stopped. That was the point I was making.

Anonymous said...

I've answered see above

Luca said...

Dave...Could you tell me what exactly, according to you, is the Neocatechumenal Way doing that's wrong?

David L Alexander said...

Your answers, Anon, came while I was addressing Luca. The third answer is evasive:

"3. The liturgy is subject to evolution and sometimes that evolution leads down dead ends so we have to go back. How far back, we can debate about but the principle is correct."

The Church has determined the stage of "evolution" that is appropriate, and that the Neo-Way has to make the proper adjustments. If you cannot acknowledge that outright without making excuses for it, that reflects poorly on your case for being with the mind of the Church regarding Her official worship.

David L Alexander said...

"Dave...Could you tell me what exactly, according to you, is the Neocatechumenal Way doing that's wrong?"

I have answered this question twice.

Luca said...

As Anon. pointed out the liturgy has not been rejected but rather a couple of things have been changed. If the Pope is confirming it - who are you to reject it?

Anonymous said...

The comments are getting out of sync, let me clarify

Introductions to readings and the moving of the sign of peace are things that the neocatechumenate has been doing for about 40 years. Far from stopping them Pope Benedict is suggesting that they be looked at for wider use (presumably because they are a boon).

Cardinal Arinze ordered certain things to be stopped, others to be re-introduced and they have been and I can't say that anything has radically changed other than an even stronger feeling of communion with the Universal Church.

So back to my original point how are we going to take the Holy Catholic Church forward into the third millennium for the salvation of souls? I can tell you now that in my diocesan seminary there are two types of seminarians: traditionalists and neocatechumenals are we going to work together or fight?

David L Alexander said...

Luca:

I have rejected nothing that the Holy See has directed. On the contrary, I believe Anon is misrepresenting, whether by accident or design, the official position regarding certain liturgical innovations unique to the Neo-Way.

I have been as clear and direct as I can be, and have been met with evasive answers and misleading information. There is nothing more to be gained from this exercise, therefore I am unsubscribing from this conversation.

Anonymous said...

I don't subscribe to Luca's tone but if you don't wist to engage with me that's up to you.

Pity... I thought we might be able to have a brotherly discussion but you know what they say about liturgists and terrorists...

David L Alexander said...

"Pity... I thought we might be able to have a brotherly discussion but..."

Oh, pul-EEEZE! That guilt trip may work at the weekly praise and worship night, but it's not gonna cut any ice with me. Now then, whether or not you believe in coincidences, take a look at this.

A Simple Sinner said...

Carlos can you email me? I cannot find your email address!

ASimpleSinner@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this helps.....

My contact with the NC's has been mixed. On the one hand I've met two of their priests and I have to say I thought they were very good and very holy. On the other I went to their series of introductory lectures and thought it was poor. The catechists didn't seem to be aware of what they did not know and it was just platitudes. They didn't use the Catechism of the Catholic Church and when I asked one of them afterwards about this one of them said to me ( and I quote ) " you don't expect me to read all that " - duh!!.

At our own parish I think some them have now been advised to go on a proper training course if they want to go on instructing

My question to any NC's reading this thread is this. Can one of you send "us" ( e.g. a Catholic website that you trust ) a copy of your training manual so we can solve this mystery once and for all. I want to read it from beginning to end without predjudice. All I keep seeing are bits and pieces on the Internet which I suppose could be misrepresented.

I haven't got anyting against the NC's, in fact I've liked many of the ones I've met. I would just like to get to the bottom of this.

Hope one of you can oblige.

Luca said...

What's the problem with a bit of dancing anyway?

Anonymous said...

David - the neocatechumenal way is here to stay, 1 million members and 70 full seminaries will ensure that, so are you going to continue avoiding my question ad infinitum and having cheap shots at us or are you going to answer?

Are traditionalists and neocatechumenals going to work together or fight?

Anonymous said...

"Can one of you send "us" ( e.g. a Catholic website that you trust ) a copy of your training manual"

Dear Anon

The training manual is being vetted by the CDF at the moment who will then make it public once final approval has been given. I have seen the interim comments which have been very favourable, but obviously it wouldn't be right to pre-empt the final publication, that is one of the reasons why you won't find the full catechetical manual online. The other reason is the one you have mentioned. Blogs like this would have an 'out of context' field day.

Anonymous said...

Okay - fair enough. As long as we all get to see it one day. I'm fed up with seeing parts of it and not knowing what the context is.

LeonG said...

It is an indication of a church that has lost its way to even contemplate accepting the Neo-Catechumenal Way as Catholic. Anyone who has passed through its catechesis, been to its illicit liturgies (some invalid certainly)and who has heard its presbyters sermonise and its chief catechists badger and brow-beat recognises a cult that is bent of the replacement of the whole church with "The Way". This is a very dangerous and psychologically disturbing cult. It has been banned in some parishes because it is so divisive.

How characteristically relativist & pluralistic to imagine that "NEO" must be a sign of the renaissance of Faith. It is like all the other renewal movements since the 1960s - novel, imaginative and engaging but hardly Catholic.

Anonymous said...

"It is an indication of a church that has lost its way to even contemplate accepting the Neo-Catechumenal Way as Catholic"
Leong: Same old same old. Hows about saying something new...

Anonymous said...

The training manualn is being vetted'the "authorities" of this movement have been repeating this stalling tactic for at least five years.Having attended one of the "mission "I noticed afew curiosities.Thier mission teams for example thier testimonies on how they came to the"movement" for example are almost always identical except substituting mother or sister as the person who led them to the "way".Not just similar but almost verbatim that to my opinion smells like indoctrination.Any question on your belefs are always returned with a yesbut

Anonymous said...

I had never heard of the Neocatechumal Way until I encountered groups of them assembled along Fifth Avenue, NYC, to "greet" Our Holy Father during his visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral. (4-19-08) They certainly made their presence known, with their clamorous chants, clapping, shouting, drums, guitars, posters, banners. Unfortunately, because their style is so foreign to my style, I had to mingle with them in the morning, as a location near these groups was the only spot I could find to see Pope Benedict. In the afternoon, I managed to locate myself way up the Avenue, where the din was lessened by distance. And by the way, this "noise" continued for hours!) I consider myself tolerant and open-minded to other cultures, but I became hypersensitive to takeover attitudes as shown by these groups of the NCW. Likewise, I later became absolutely disgusted when I passed by the areas where the NCW people had cheered Our Holy Father - these areas were littered with garbage!- coffee cups, bags, napkins, tincans, etc. They left behind a trail of trash, and only they left trash. All other areas were clean. Strewing their garbage spoke volumes about their disregard and disrespect for others. Particularly noticeable were the many, (at least a hundred), nice posters with Our Holy Father's image, which they had waved with enthusiasm and now had tossed to the gutters and sidewalks, for thousands of passers-by to trample upon. I was disgusted, saddened, and ashamed of my fellow Catholics. What a great witness to the thousands of people who had to walk through this dump! From what I have since learned via the internet, it seems that disregard of laws, rules, respect of others, etc. is not their MO. I would hope this same careless disregard does not extend to the Eucharist!

Anonymous said...

To add to the last comment....

I also noticed a similar thing in London about a year ago when the WYD cross came to Westminister Cathedral. I happened to be walking by because I was in the area when I saw a group of rather 'cool' looking young Catholics get up and dance around the WYD cross in the piazza. I now know it was the typical NC dance. Up until that point I didn't really know who they were. To my horror one of them lit up a cigarette and continued dancing in the group. No one tried to stop him or tell him to put it out. I was gobsmacked. He just continued dancing. They seem to have the enthusiasm but they lack any common sense.

On another occasion I have seen younger members of their group go into our parish in just track suit bottoms for meetings ( with their parents in tow ). They have a reputation for conservatism and all their priests seem to be in a clerical collar but at the same time there seems to be this strange 'clash with the cool'. Odd.

Anonymous said...

Hmmh what can I say
charism are charisms and I am sure not everyone likes the Benedictines or the Jesuits for that matter. The latter in fact often have to been disciplined by the Holy Father including in recent times. Noone ever! mentions that the Jesuits do often question the Churches teaching!!!! So whois anyone to say that the NW is wrong!
For liturgical purposes I must say if the Holy Father considers the eucharist valid who is anyone to argue and quite frankly most of the comments here seem to be too concerned with outward appearances and formalities. (except well done Luca, you gave your best shot!)Quite pharasaic to me. To be honest ask yourself where is the love of God, by telling people to all be clones or by letting them do what they feel inspired to do. Frankly I can enjoy mass in various different settings which is the beauty of Jesus and the Gospel but I am sure I am able to decide if I prefer to go to my NW mass or a parish mass (which I attend both!) But frankly most of the time it is more enjoyable about meeting people with names, brothers and sisters at the Neo mass, not anonymous blobs who do not even want to give peace when standing next to me as in church as it feels an violation of their precious privacy!
Somewhere I read that someone felt NC was similar to Life Teens with questionable methods. Now if LifeTeens can touch someone so much to give their life to ministry as a Catholic travelling musician while reaching No 14 in the US charts I am sure their so called quiestionable practices can't be that bad either, it is just like inspiring families to leave their homes and go to other countries to announce the gospel as the NW does.
It is a question of where Go touched you.
(By the way the Musician I mean is MAtt Maher and if you have not hear of him, then you better brush up as he will sing at the Vigil with the Holy Father in Sydney for WYD 2008 and has composed the Litany of the Saints sung at the Vigil at WYD 2005.
How about clearing out those cobwebs?

mafeking said...

The last comment by anonymous is what puts me off about the NC's. They seem so over the top and self-conglatuatory. I've heard this same sort of 'speech' from them so many times. It's like they've all been unwittingly programmed to say th e same thing. I didn't even know who they were until recently but something tells me we haven't heard the end of this saga yet.

Anonymous said...

pls,
where in london i can find NEO?
ths:)

Anonymous said...

You can find the neocatechumenal way in London at St Charles Borromeo Parish, Ogle St.

http://www.oglestreet.org/

oliver stephens said...

In the Universal Church of Rome we are meant to show signs of love and unity like the Holy Trinity and the Holy Family of Nazareth wholive in humility, simplicity and praise.

Therefore, if the church has given its FINAL APPROVAL for a charism of the Holy Spirit,sent tous by God the Father through JESUS CHRIST,as well as being embraced in over 110-120 countries world wide and also being welcomed by THREE OF OUR HOLIEST POPES of this modern age of atheism -we must,therefore be one and live in peace and accept what our church teaches. Its discernment is far greater than ours. So, our own opinions must not be an obstruction to our growing in the faith nor must we let our opinions prevent us from seeing Jesus Christ in one another,for he tells us ..DO NOT JUDGE..DO NOT CONDEMN.
The dancing of the Way is siply a sign of thanksgiving and it is not a litugical dance because it takes place AFTER THE EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION. IF PETER ACCEPTS SO MUST WE. (oliver stephens,age 16,england,uk)