Skip to comments.Pope Francis Backs Neocatechumenal Way Liturgy Reaffirms Validity of Statutes Approved in 2008
Posted on 05/16/2014 5:29:38 PM PDT by ebb tide
The Vatican Secretariat of State sent a letter on April 3rd from the Holy Father to Kiko Argüello, initiator of the Neocatechumenal Way, along with Carmen Hernandez, confirming the liturgical praxis of the Way with regards to the Eucharist and the Paschal Vigil.
In the letter, the Holy Father confirms that "as far as it pertains to the celebrations of the Paschal Vigil and the Sunday Eucharist, [ ] articles 12 and 13 [of the Statutes], read in their entirety, constitute therefore the regulatory charter of reference."
This message was in response to a letter sent previously by Kiko Argüello in which he told the Pope of his concern about several negative interpretations of the words of the Holy Father addressed to a group of some 12,000 neocatechumens on February 1st, 2014.
In his response, Pope Francis not only confirmed the full validity of the Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way, but acknowledged "the evangelizing dynamism of the Neocatechumenal Way, the experience of authentic conversion of life of so very many faithful, and the fruits of good generated thanks to the presence of the communities all over the world."
The Pope confirms his "paternal closeness" and sent "loving encouragement to [Argüello] and to all adherents to the Way." The letter concludes assuring the initiator of the Way of the "closeness" and "memory in the Lord" of Pope Francis, while sending "from His heart to you, to the International Team and to all the adherents to the Neocatechumenal Way, His Apostolic Blessing."
ZENIT spoke with Argüello to explain the significance of this letter.
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ZENIT: What motivated you to write to the Holy Father?
Argüello: During the course of the audience that the Pope had on February 1st, Francis sent 450 families in mission in China, Vietnam, India and Mongolia, as well as in many other cities in Europe and in the world.
In the indications given to the families, full of joy in seeing so many children, he said that at times, to find communion with the dioceses where the families are sent, that they could renounce "some details" to foster the ecclesial communion with the diocese. We agree that ecclesial communion is very important, but these words were read out of context and interpreted negatively by some who are not favorable towards the Way: immediately they took away the Eucharist celebrated in community on Saturday night at the Sunday vigil, and eliminated the Paschal Vigil of the community, and this was a terrible harm.
This development prompted me to write a letter to the Pope expressing my concerns. Because the problem is: who decides which details can be removed? Maybe it meant that the statutes approved by the Holy See were no longer valid?
Because of these interpretations, some pastors and bishops have begun to change the liturgical praxis of the Neocatechumenal Way that was approved in 2008 by five Congregations of the Holy See, after a process that lasted several years.
ZENIT: What does the response of the Holy Father mean in this regard?
Argüello: The Holy Father, in this letter sent by Archbishop [Angelo] Becciu, confirms that what he has said in the indications to the families does not touch at all the Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way and, citing article 12, which speaks on the Paschal Vigil, and article 13, which speaks of the Eucharist of the Way, he confirms that "as far as it pertains to the celebrations of the Paschal Vigil and the Sunday Eucharist" those articles are "the regulatory charter of reference" for the Way.
So, thanks to God, the Pope has saved us, because the details of one song or of a particular thing can be changed, we agree, but we had these interpretations that seemed to nullify the statutes.
We are very happy that the Pope loves us and defends us.
ZENIT: Why are these two articles so important?
Argüello: Article 13 is very important because it says that the Neocatechumenal Way celebrates the Eucharist after the first vespers of Sunday in small communities, and that these celebrations are part of the liturgical ministry of the parish and are open to everybody.
This is something wonderful because the communities are full of young people and we were able to ensure that the youth, instead of going to nightclubs on Saturday night, come to the Sunday Eucharist. The Holy See, understanding this pastoral reason, allowed some concessions to help the participation of so many young people. For us this is fundamental, because in the end, there is one point: why do we have so many children? It is as if some wished to punish us for this.
The fact of having obeyed Humanae Vitae has made it so that we are full of youth and these youth are all in the Church and from these youth the vocations to the seminary are born. There are 100 seminaries where the vocations that come from these families can be found and the Pope has understood this very well.
Regarding article 12, the communities from all over the world are helping the parishes to rediscover the Paschal Vigil. The Holy See, in the fundamental document on the Paschal Vigil, Paschalis Solemnitatis, expressed sorrow in seeing that the Paschal Vigil, instead of being "the mother of all vigils" and the center of the liturgical life of the Faithful, has been reduced instead in many parishes to an evening Mass.
Article 12 of the statute states that "the Neocatechumenate will stimulate the parish to have a richer celebration of the Paschal Vigil." His Eminence, Cardinal [Antonio] Cañizares, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has precisely underlined this role of the Neocatechumenal communities, saying that the Polish Episcopal Conference, for example, has thanked the Way because it is helping to recuperate and rediscover the importance of the Paschal Vigil in all of Poland.
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Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the good priests of the Franciscans of the Immaculate are forbidden to offer the Mass of All Time, the traditional Latin Mass.
This Pope shows mercy on the new clowns on the block but shows no mercy for the "serious", "sour-pussed", "pelagian", "rosary-counters".
“The Vatican Secretariat of State sent a letter on April 3rd from the Holy Father to Kiko Argüello, initiator of the Neocatechumenal Way, along with Carmen Hernandez, confirming the liturgical praxis of the Way with regards to the Eucharist and the Paschal Vigil.”
Go to Church every Sunday.
Went to Catholic School all my life.
Have no idea what language the above is written in.
They’re not “new clowns on the block.” The movement has been around since the 1970s, and while I don’t like their liturgical practices, they are very orthodox, produce huge numbers of vocations among both men and women, have large, thriving families, and are always the leaders in turning out for religious services, processions, etc.
They were founded in Spain but are active all over the world, particularly in Spanish speaking countries and areas, where they have been very good at stopping the “leakage” to other churches or to nothing at all that is very common among Hispanics in the US.
There’s room for many things. BXVI made them clean up some of the stranger parts of their liturgy, but otherwise he was favorable to them (and they loved him, as I saw at World Youth Day in Madrid a couple of years ago).
for once we are on the same page. I do not like the Neocatecumenal Way, but it is difficult to prove it is phony.
The worst thing about it out here is the west is that it is leading into different kinds of prayer in which the people do not have the guidance to steer clear of the darkside.
That’s my take on it.
I guess the liturgy at a Mass out here was not even close to the NO.
Don’t bother. When ebb tide and I agree on something you know the whole thing is wrong.
Except for being around since the 600s, you have also described the Islam religion. I consider both movements, each having rejected the traditional Church, to be a bunch of wackos.
Two broke clocks, right? God willing, may it happen more often.
I don’t see that happening out west. They are old people. I went to a couple of their meetings and tried to emphasize the other programs we had in our parish.
They only ended up with about four gullible Hispanic women.
They apparently engage in disgusting liturgical abuses. I knew Cardinal O’Malley was enamored of this group, and therefore suspected there was something “off” about them, but had no idea they treat Holy Mass like a sit down dinner, complete with conversation and a huge loaf of bread.
“The fruits of this questionable history lesson are visible in the liturgies celebrated by the Neocatechumenal communities all over the world.
The masses are almost always celebrated, community by community, not in the churches, but in parish buildings. Centuries of sacred art and architecture are thus nullified. And these are substituted by new decor typical of the Way, dominated by a large, square dinner table at the center of the room. The images used are in the style of the founder, Kiko, who is a Byzantine-influenced painter. And so are the songs. The musical accompaniment is provided by the guitar, defined as the instrument “closest to the ancient Hebrew psalter.”
The celebration is formally open to all. In reality, at the moment of entrance there is an exchange of greetings, presentations, and applause, which acts as a barrier to those outside the community.
In the liturgy of the Word, each of the readings is preceded and followed by long “admonitions” from the catechists, which are then followed by “echoes” from many of those present. The priest’s homily is barely distinguishable from the rest of the comments.
The eucharistic liturgy is also pulled free from the norms in order to represent instead the presumed physical actions of the primitive apostolic community: with a huge loaf of bread mixed and baked according to Kiko’s precise instructions, with wine which passes from hand to hand in decanters, with a communion that takes place as fellow sitting diners eating and drinking around a dinner table... “
Oh for Pete’s sake. They’re orthodox CHRISTIANS. As I said, their style isn’t to my taste, but then, probably neither is yours.
They brought huge groups of young people to World Youth Day, particularly from places where the Faith is almost dead, such as Boston. Cdl O’Malley is a big supporter of Neocatechumenate.
They were not all Hispanic, btw; I think the movement was probably initially encouraged in Hispanic parishes in Boston, but probably the majority of the kids were Irish (who otherwise, believe me, wouldn’t have anything to do with the Church in Boston) with a scattering of black kids.
And the FFI is NOT??
Funny, I don’t see much difference here between this and the Novus Ordo.
World Youth Day, featuring the bishops performing to the tune "Francis", choregraphed by "Fly" (who posed nude in homo magazines). Google it if you want to be horrified. Kids running from the beach to receive Communion from plastic cups. Irreverent, circus style atmosphere. To enourage kids to treat their Lord and Savior with such casual disregard is to spiritually corrupt them.
but probably the majority of the kids were Irish (who otherwise, believe me, wouldnt have anything to do with the Church in Boston) with a scattering of black kids.
Apparently the multi-ethnic gatherings (including Irish and Black, but no martians) of young traditional Catholics in the Boston and New England area didn't get the memo about not having anything to do with the Church. If Cdl O'Malley gave them the same degree of support he provides the neocats, they would be equipped to exert more effective (as well as an undeniably more orthodox) outreach and influence than the Neocats. Large families and religious vocations are a natural consequence of traditional Catholic belief. Sadly, there are many bishops (and now a Pope) who prefer novelties such as neocat to the tried-and-true. Their biases against the traditions and practices which have led to so many conversions and have formed so many great saints are irrational and destructive.
The Neocats have apparently moved their liturgy out of the church and into their own personal dining room.
If you consider Cardinal O’Malley’s endorsement and attendance at World Yute Days as signs of orthodoxy, I'm sure the Mass that I assist at is not to “your taste”.
The key is how they treat the Eucharist.
“The orthodoxy of the Way’s teachings and the validity of its liturgical practices has also drawn criticism. In 1995, the Italian Passionist priest and theologian Enrico Zoffoli published a critique of the Way that accused the movement of heresy: Their doctrine is seriously compromised with errors against fundamental dogmatics of the Church, the Popes and the Councils. They negate the Redemption, the sacrificial character of the Eucharist, the transubstantiation, etc... they misunderstand the sin and the Grace concepts... their doctrinal statements are fundamentally wrong. Zoffoli warned that “the building of Neocatechumenal seminaries, where candidates are prepared for the priesthood educated in accordance with the doctrinal errors of Kiko, could be one of the worst threats for the Church of tomorrow.”. The Way has not officially responded to the accusations of heresy, relying on declarations by the Holy See. They maintain that the Holy See’s decisions to approve the Statutes and the Orientations for the Teams of Catechists speak for themselves, indicating that the Church approves not only of the Way’s structure by also its teachings.”
and more specifically discernment of the Eucharist as in 1Co 11:26-29
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.