Rorate Caeli

Benedict XVI: Neocatechumenal Way is "a particular gift aroused by the Holy Spirit"

Emphases mine. By the way, I don't think any bishop will dare ban the NCW from his diocese after this speech. CAP.


Benedict XVI's Address to Neocatechumenal Way

"Feel Beside You the Living Presence of the Risen Lord"

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 17, 2011 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today in Italian upon receiving in audience members of the Neocatechumenal Way.

* * *

Dear Friends!

I am happy to receive you and to give you my cordial welcome. I greet in particular Kiko Arguello and Carmen Hernández, initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way, and Father Mario Pezzi, thanking them for their words of greeting and presentation which they addressed to me. With heartfelt affection I greet all of you here present: priests, seminarians, families and members of the Way.

I thank the Lord because he gives us the opportunity of this meeting, in which you renew your bond with the Successor of Peter, taking up the mandate that the Risen Christ gave to his disciples: "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15).

For more than 40 years the Neocatechumenal Way has been contributing to revive and consolidate Christian initiation in the dioceses and parishes, fostering a gradual and radical rediscovery of the riches of baptism, helping to the divine life, the heavenly life that the Lord inaugurated with his Incarnation, coming in our midst, being born as one of us. This gift of God for his Church is placed "at the service of the bishop as one of the ways of the diocesan accomplishment of Christian initiation and of permanent education in the faith" (Statute, art. 1 paragraph 2). Such service, as my predecessor the Servant of God Paul VI reminded you in the first meeting he had with you in 1974, "will be able to renew, in today's Christian community, those effects of maturity and deepening which in the early Church were realized in the period of preparation for Baptism" (Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, XII [1974], 406).

Accomplished profitably in the last few years has been the process of writing of the statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way that, after a period of validity "ad experimentum," was approved definitively in June 2008. (I've seen some articles in the Internet claiming that the 2008 approval was also granted "ad experimentum", and only until 2015. Looks like that claim is false. CAP) Another significant step carried out in these days, with the approval of the competent dicasteries of the Holy See, is the Catechetical Directory of the Neocatechumenal Way. With these ecclesiastical seals, the Lord confirms today and entrusts to you again this precious instrument that is the Way, so that you can, in filial obedience to the Holy See and to the pastors of the Church, contribute, with new impetus and ardor, to the radical and joyful rediscovery of the gift of baptism and to offer your original contribution to the cause of the New Evangelization. The Church has recognized in the Neocatechumenal Way a particular gift aroused by the Holy Spirit: as such, it tends naturally to insert itself in the great harmony of the ecclesial body. In this light, I exhort you to seek always a profound communion with the pastors and with all the components of the particular Churches and the very different ecclesial contexts in which you are called to operate. The fraternal communion between the disciples of Jesus is, in fact, the first and greatest testimony to the name of Jesus Christ.

I am particularly happy to be able to send today, to different parts of the world, more than 200 new families, who have made themselves available with the generosity and leave for the mission, joining ideally the close to 600 who already work in the five continents. Dear families, may the faith you received as gift be the light that is placed in the candelabrum, capable of showing men the way to Heaven. With the same sentiment, I will send 13 new "missiones ad gentes," which will be called to bring about a new ecclesial presence in the very secularized environment of different countries, or in places where the message of Christ has not yet reached. You can always feel beside you the living presence of the Risen Lord and the support of so many brothers, as well as the Pope's prayer which is with you!

I greet affectionately the presbyters from the "Redemptoris Mater" diocesan seminaries of Europe, and the other two thousand seminarians here present. (That's more than the seminarians of the SSPX plus ALL Traditionalist or biritual congregations combined. CAP) Beloved, you are a special and eloquent sign of the fruits of goodness that can be born from the rediscovery of the grace of Baptism itself. We look to you with particular hope: be priests enamored of Christ and his Church, capable of transmitting to the world the joy of having encountered the Lord and of being able to be at his service.

I also greet the itinerant catechists and those of the Neocatechumenal community of Rome and Lazio and, with special affection, the "communitates in missionem." You have abandoned, so to speak, the securities of your original community to go to more distant and uncomfortable places, accepting being sent to help parishes in difficulty and to seek the lost sheep and bring them back to the sheepfold of Christ. In the sufferings and aridity that you might experience, feel united to the sufferings of Christ on the cross, and to his desire to gather so many brothers far from the faith and from truth, to bring them back to the house of the Father.

As I wrote in the apostolic exhortation "Verbum Domini," "the mission of the Church cannot be considered as an optional or additional reality of ecclesial life. It is a question of letting the Holy Spirit assimilate us to Christ himself [...] in order to communicate the Word with one's whole life" (No. 93). The whole People of God is a "sent" people and the proclamation of the Gospel is a commitment of all Christians as a consequence of baptism (cf. ibid., No. 94). I invite you to reflect on the exhortation "Verbum Domini," reflecting, in a particular way where, in the third part of the document, mention is made of "[t]he mission of the Church: to proclaim the Word of God to the world" (No. 90-98).

Dear friends, let us share in the longing of salvation of the Lord Jesus, in the mission that He entrusts to the whole Church. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, who inspired your Way and who has given you the family of Nazareth as model of your community, grant you to live your faith in humility, simplicity and praise, may she intercede for all of you and accompany you in your mission. May you also be sustained by my blessing, which I impart to you from my heart and to all the members of the Neocatechumenal Way spread around the world.


  1. Anonymous5:49 PM

    I have a copy of their handbook and it's filled with lies. I didn't think lies were "a particular gift aroused by the Holy Spirit" but instead had a different father...

  2. Anonymous5:54 PM

    Que all the sedevacantists ...

  3. Anonymous6:38 PM

    Anon. 17:49,

    Dont just say it is full of lies...give us examples or your comment is worthless.

    Thanks, Ben

  4. I would like to see if this speech is covered and commented on New Liturgical Movement - where the Holy Father can do no wrong. Alas I wont hold my breath

  5. A bullet in the head to our Catholic families.

    Need proof of lies?

    Where have you been for the last fifty years, living in a shoe box?

    "My sheep know me and I know my sheep".

    This is the wolf growling at us.

    If there are no Bishops with courage, I will say it:

    "Holy Father, care for your sheep".

    If you want to take the measure of modern society in terms of human happiness, watch the faces of the women.

    Look at Carmen Hernandez and her partner in crime; I wouldn't let them one hundred feet near any of my children.

    The Neo way is creepy.


  6. Anonymous1:06 AM

    The Neocatatonical Way is the sort of gift one unwraps at Christmas and then sends back to the shop the next day. It is one shirt that doesn't fit a properly formed Catholic soul.

    Of course, it could be worse. True pure morons become charismatics.


  7. Anonymous1:10 AM

    Michael --

    What we are looking for is particular examples of the lies or scandal that show there is something wrong with "the way".

    I am inclined to agree that this is a very bad thing, as I seem to remember reading stories in the past that have given me this impression. But I can't remember now what they were, and if you and anonymous 17:49 have proof from their own literature or actions we would all love to see it.

    Pointing out that someone is "creepy" doesn't prove much.


  8. Anonymous3:11 AM

    Need proof of lies?

    Um, yes. Is it asking too much?

    Personally, I'm not very familiar with the Neocat Way, except for what I've read about it in Traditionalist forums -- not always the most objective source of information. Do I trust the judgment of the Holy Father or do I trust the rash opinions flung about by the hot-headed denizens of internet comboxes? Hmmm. Show us the lies so that we can weigh the actual evidence, thank you very much.

  9. Fr. Paul McDonald4:01 AM

    A good bishop can easily find a way from having them enter his diocese in the first place. If they are already there he can find ways to restrict them. After all, bad bishops find ways to restrict or even eliminate orthodox influences.

  10. Will the NeoCats be BXVI's Legionaries?

  11. First anon: I'd love to see the handbook. Do you have it in hard copy or electronic copy?

  12. This address has a couple of pictures and a couple of videos as well as some quotes from their own writings.

  13. Here is a Letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, about the
    Neocatechumenal Mass.

  14. The eminent Italian scholar, Father Enrico Zoffoli - a Passionist - studied the NCW
    extensively and wrote about his findings. His conclusion was: the basis of the Neocatechumenate is heretical. He called the NCW 'A Fearful Danger to the Faith'.

    One of his most important works on the subject is 'Eresie del movimento neocatecumenale', quinta edizione migliorata e arricchita di nuove sconcertanti testimonianze, ed. Segno, Udine, 1992 (Heresies of the Neocatechumenals).
    A later work was 'Verità sul Cammino Neocatecumenale'. Testimonianze e documenti, ed. Segno, Udine, 1996

    Fr. Zoffoli taught at the Lateran University and was a member of the Pontifical Academy of St Thomas. He was the author of numerous works of theology, philosophy and lives of the saints. His masterly 1400 page exposition of Catholic theology 'Christianesimo: Corso di Teologia Catholica' was published in 1994 to wide critical acclaim.

    To examine Fr. Zoffoli's abundant credentials go to

  15. In regard to the manner of receiving holy Communion, the Neocatechumenal Way is granted a period of transition, of no longer than two years' duration, to pass from the generalized way of receiving Communion among its communities -- for example, seated, using an adorned table place in the center of the church, instead of the dedicated altar -- to the normal manner for the whole Church of receiving holy Communion.

    How is this "period of transition" in accord with centuries of receiving the Body and Blood, Soul & Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (on the tongue while kneeling at the altar rail which is, in effect, and extension of the main altar)? Just how does the NCW rate such anomalies? Nevermind, it's the new springtime, after all, and you can just do what you want for it will soon be blessed as a "period of transition". Preposterous nonsense says I.

  16. Anonymous6:28 PM

    While I agree that this report ought to trouble any Catholic soul, there may be more than meets the eye here. While the Pope is being *ever* so nice to Kiko and Carmen (the latter who apparently could not demonstrate enough respect to the Pope to change out of her Adidas soccer sweatshirt before meeting him), it appears to me that this is a veiled admonition for NCW to play within the "rules" of fraternal communion.
    He reiterates the fact that their liturgy had to be brought more in line with what a Mass ought to be like but that beyond that he emphasizes the need for working within the ecclesial structure. In short, he admonishes a conscious rejection of the Montanistic mindset that in actual fact they practice, as evidenced by the several documented cases of family breakups they have instigated ("The Christian Order" magazine has documented several of these NCW abuses).
    What I don’t get is why the Holy Father, who did not hold back in calling pedophile priests “filth”, feels the need to stroke Kiko's and Carmen's egos.
    I might hypothesize that the NCW's staunch support of pro-life and anti-contraceptive marital relationships as being something he wants to promote among the larger Catholic population as one key reason. If this is a plausible hypothesis it would explain why he worked on cleaning up their kooky liturgies (somewhat), and now is admonishing in very encouraging tones that they work *with* the Church instead of against her, in a hope to draw the benefits of more anti-contraceptive families within the general realm of the laity. It could be in this prudential sense that the Holy Father is calling this group "a particular gift of the Holy Spirit".
    There can be no question that one has to view NCW with blinders to see that single virtue that they promote when they so vocally foment such heretical views that the Church strayed off course from 800AD until the middle ages, among many other errors, to justify the need for their own cult. If one tries to read in the Pope’s statement a general view that everything NCW does and stands for as being a “gift of the Holy Spirit” one might seriously question if we have witnessed a papal blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
    I won't judge the Pope of course, but sweeping cultic abuse under the rug will very likely come back to bite the Holy Father. The NCW has left a trail of familial destruction across the globe, and "ex-members" have even taken legal recourse against NCW. This could compound the Church's already-tenuous situation with myriads of lawsuits against her pedophile priests.
    At the same time, I don’t judge the rank and file NCW or Charismatic “victim” within the ranks of these neo-movements. With practically no genuine Tradition or catechesis available in most parishes, many well-intentioned souls seeking a deeper spiritual nourishment than the Novus-Ordoism around them can offer, find groups such as these. My guess is that when they do their souls continue to cry out for solid spiritual food but find the deeper spirituality a better alternative than the spiritual death that pervades so many Novus Ordo parishes in this postconciliar age. As such, I pray for these souls – the sooner more and more SSPX, FSSP and other EF Masses are offered and the more pervasive our own traditional efforts at evangelizing our own families, parishes and communities, hungry souls searching for true spiritual food will arrive more readily at what they need – genuine Catholic Tradition and life – instead of these weeds in the Lord’s garden.
    Sincerely, Neophyte

  17. I have written many times on the Neo-Cats here and elsewhere. I studied them from within over a three year period & went through many of their catechetical stages with disguised horror. This is in my experience a seriously divisive, antagonistic, sanctimonious and psychologically detrimental sect. The church authorities and the pope have gone off their senses, to be quite direct about this. What I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears was ultra-critical of the NO; its liturgy and the traditional church too. After a long inquiry some stages of which I was invited to they were banned from the Diocese of Clifton in UK and absolutely necessary it was too.

    The church is seriously disorientated these days and getting more so with the passing weeks. God help us and save us.

  18. Anonymous1:06 AM

    It seems that Aauthentic Catholic Tradition is being driven out by every kind of novelty post VII. This freakish movement by Kiko and his accomplice is the latest token of what permisiveness of novel aproaches to liturgy were allowed after VII.
    "A particular gift of the Holy Spirit...", sounded to me like blasphemy as someone on this blog pointed out.
    I wonder whence the influence of this novel and powerful movements
    come from. No doubt they manage to convince a good number of people to donate to their cause, and this may impress the Vatican authorities, just like the Legionaries of Christ did.

  19. Anonymous3:58 AM

    Maybe the pope isn't as smart as we are insisting he has to be??


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