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The Neo-Catechumenal Way Gathers No Moss
Catholic Family News ^ | October, 2002 | Mark Alessio

Posted on 11/20/2002 6:40:33 AM PST by ultima ratio

THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT The Neo-Catechumenal Way Gathers No Moss by Mark Alessio

This is the fourth article I have written for Catholic Family News on the Neo-Catechumenal Way, [1] [NC], one of the premier proponents of the "New Evangelization," the umbrella term for a collection of groups propagating various doctrinal and liturgical novelties which are supposed to usher in a summer of Catholic rebirth, that new "springtime" promised to the world by the architects of Vatican II, and for which everyone is still waiting as they continue to stare up dismally at a lead-grey sky that, far from getting sunnier, only seems to get darker with each passing year.

In those earlier articles, I quoted extensively from the Schema for Catechists, a series of talks given to catechists of "The Way" [the insiders' term for the NC], which is read repeatedly and studied by them before they head out to the parishes to recruit new members and form new Neo-Catechumenal communities.

My familiarity with the teachings of the NC stem from my approximately six years spent as a member of a Neo-Catechumenal community, including stints as a catechist, itinerant [i.e., traveling catechist] and seminarian at one of the NC's diocesan seminaries.

I detailed, in the previous articles, the heretical teaching of the Neo-Catechumenal Way that is promoted by the movement's founders, Kiko Arguello and Carmen Hernandez. Now that the "Way" has received a "new approved" status, and will be welcomed into more and more parishes, it is even more necessary to sound a warning against the heterodox doctrines of the Neo-Catechumenal Way.

The June "Approval"

On June 28, 2002, the Vatican City's Zenit News carried the announcement: "Neo-Catechumenal Way's Statute Approved by Vatican." The report read:

"The Vatican announced the approval of the Statute of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, the spiritual renewal movement born in the mid-1960s in Spain. The Pontifical Council for the Laity in a statement said the official decree of the statute's approval will take place this Friday at the council's headquarters. The Neo-Catechumenal Way has spread to more than 105 nations. It includes 1,500 communities in 800 dioceses and 5,000 parishes. It has opened some 40 diocesan seminaries. In a letter addressed to Cardinal Stafford on April 5,2001, John Paul lI confirmed that the Council for the Laity has the authority to approve the Statute of the Way, a task that took the Vatican body five years to complete. It worked with other Roman Curia agencies in the process . . .

"The normative, which is now approved, has the objective of regulating the praxis of the Neo-Catechumenal Way and its harmonious integration in the ecclesial fabric, at the same time offering a help to pastors of the Church in their paternal and vigilant [support] of the Neo-Catechumenal communities." [2] What does all this mean to the "man on the street"? What does the Pontifical Council for the Laity intend by approving the Statutes of the NC? The Zenit article went on to say: "The Neo-Catechumenal Way has not been approved as an association, a movement or a religious congregation, but, respecting and confirming the intention of the initiators, as an itinerary of Christian initiation for the rediscovery of Baptism, that is, a post-baptismal-catechumenate at the service of the dioceses and parishes. . . . Since it is Christian Initiation, the Way in fact is at the service of the dioceses and parish priests and is not constituted as an autonomous entity. . . . [The approval of the NC statutes] is an act of great importance since it concerns the first post-baptismal catechumenate recognized officially by the Catholic Church. "The statutes deal with a formulation foreseen by the codes, but which is new and very courageous. In a world ever more distant from Christianity and torn between secularization and forms of fundamentalism, with this act, the Holy See courageously underlines the urgent necessity for the baptized to rediscover the roots of their faith and, in the face of the general dechristianization [sic] of modern society, it offers an instrument for the re-evangelization of modern man." [3]

From the beginning, the initiators of "the Way" have insisted that they were not introducing a "movement" into the Church. They did not want themselves to be viewed as an autonomous entity, outsiders seeking to find a niche in the Church at large. They have been insisting that their true aim is to introduce a post-Baptismal catechumenate at the parish level. In layman's terms, they wish to reintroduce Catholics to the Catholic Faith, as the catechumens of the ancient Church were instructed and considered "catechumens" or candidates, undergoing a time of instruction prior to their Baptism and formal reception into the Church. Their ultimate aim is to assume the pastoral care of souls. So, what will future NC members learn from their Vatican-approved NC catechists?

So, You've Decided to Become a Neo-Catechumen!

NC communities are formed after an eight-week catechesis is presented at a parish. At the end of the catechesis, those participants who have stuck it out to the end are invited to a weekend retreat or "convivence". Among the other talks given during this weekend to the newcomers is one on the Mass-----its history and meaning [according to the NC founders, that is]. This catechesis is given to prepare the people for their first Neo-Catechumenal "Eucharist", presented on Saturday evening. This "Eucharist" is nothing more than a community-centered "liturgy" concocted by the founders of "the Way". On the last day of the weekend, newcomers are asked if they enjoyed the experience. If so, they are invited to form a community which will be guided by the team of catechists who presented the catechesis.

In order to understand the NC's liturgical and theological philosophy, it is important to look at the founders' spin on a fundamental concept of Catholicism: the idea of sacrifice. In short, Kiko and Carmen view the idea of sacrifice as a relic from pagan beliefs. Kiko says:

"When man finds a rock or a mountain which terrifies him, which seems as though it had fallen from the heavens [all religions have holy rocks and mountains] he thinks he has found a place where God is nearer, where God may listen to him better. When man met an axis mundi, an axis which links earth to Heaven, he immediately created a religion, he built a temple and an altar and put a priest there". [4]

Superstitious man, wishing to appease forces greater than himself, creates religions, constructs temples and places within them altars and priests, so that he may forge some kind of secure "link" to Heaven. This is what the NC founders describe as "natural religiosity," a childish, fearful, superstitious form of belief which is rooted deep in the human psyche. They believe that this "natural religiosity" entered the Church after the conversion of the Emperor Constantine in 31.4 A.D., and the subsequent construction of magnificent basilicas to the honor of Jesus and Mary. According to Carmen, such marvels of architecture "brought about the element of solemnity in the Church," and this, in turn "cluttered up" the "purity of the primitive liturgy". She claims that the people who converted to Catholicism after Constantine's conversion were no better than pagans, even after they had been instructed and received into the Church:

"Above all else, there's one thing that this mass of pagans are going to see in the Christian liturgy: the idea of sacrifice. It's a total regression to the Old Testament which Israel itself has outgrown." By this reasoning, most of the ordinary Catholics, as well as all of the Catholic Saints, living during the Church's most glorious ages were less spiritually "advanced" than Jews living during the same time! Okay, then, in what did the purity of the "primitive" liturgy consist? In its communal aspect, of course. Carmen describes this "pure" liturgy: "So, we've got the assembly that meets. Nobody thought in terms of an individual rite. The Hebrews cannot celebrate a Passover unless there are at least seven people in the family." By "individual rite," Carmen is referring to the Traditional Latin Mass, wherein an intimate communion with Jesus Christ is one of the chief goals of the assembled worshippers. This rite is anathema to the founder of "the Way," and their micro-church/community agenda. Kiko and Carmen's reading of history includes a "correct" Hebrew Passover ceremony [a familial" gathering], an early "Christian" Eucharistic ceremony [again, a small communal affair, celebrating Christ's Passover from death to life] and the Traditional Catholic Mass as it existed in slightly different forms up until the 1960's [a rite suffering from "natural religiosity", full of pagan ideas of sacrifice, unnecessary prayers and rubrics, triumphalism, individualism and misguided theology].

Apparently, the Holy Ghost was on sabbatical from the early 4th to the late 20th Centuries, and His Church managed to get just about everything wrong in the meantime. For instance, Carmen tells us that the great theologians of the Middle Ages didn't realize that the Mass is an "unbloody" sacrifice! More than that, the poor chaps got it all wrong anyway by insisting on the sacrificial element in the first place:

"So, come the Middle Ages, arguments start about sacrifice-----about things that weren't, there originally. For 'sacrifice' means sacrum-facere, to make sacred, to contact with Divinity through the blood sacrifice. In this sense there's no sacrifice in the Eucharist. It's a sacrifice in a different sense because there is indeed death, but there is also resurrection from death. It is a passover from death to resurrection. So to call the Eucharist a sacrifice is true but not complete. It is a sacrifice of praise for the communication with God through Our Lord's Passover. However, it is not seen like that, but rather as a pagan sacrificial idea. They see there is One Person in the Mass Who sacrifices Himself-----Christ. They only see the sacrifice on the Cross. And today, too, if you ask people they'll tell you they see Calvary in the Mass."

Do you see "One Person Who sacrifices Himself" during Mass, dear reader? Do you see "Calvary in the Mass"? If you do, you need to be straightened out by Carmen Hernandez, because you [in the company of God knows how many billions of Catholics who lived during the last sixteen centuries or so] are suffering from a case of acute "natural religiosity".

By contrast sound Catholic doctrine teaches that the Mass has four ultimate ends: Glory [giving glory to the Father], Thanks [giving thanks to Him], Expiation/Propitiation/ Reconciliation [Our Lord offering Himself daily for us upon the altar], and Impetration [Christ the Mediator making entreaties to the Father on our behalf]. Was Pope Pius XII suffering from "natural religiosity," then, when he wrote that "the august sacrifice of the altar, then, is no mere empty commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, but a true and proper act of sacrifice, whereby the High Priest by an unbloody immolation offers Himself a most acceptable victim to the Eternal Father, as He did upon the Cross." [5]

The "Way" Contradicts Catholic Doctrine

It is important to note, in the above quotation by Carmen, a common device employed throughout the NC Schema for Catechists-----namely, the presentation of erroneous doctrinal interpretations as fact, facts based on nothing more than the agenda of the founders of "the Way". "So, come the Middle Ages," states Carmen" authoritatively, "arguments start about sacrifice-----about things that weren't there originally." This is, quite simply, a lie presented as truth.

How far back does Carmen wish to go in order to find misguided theologians who saw "things that weren't there originally"? St. Augustine, who died in the year 430, wrote that "Christ was sacrificed once in Himself, and yet He is sacrificed daily in the Sacrament. [Liber Sentent. Prosp.]" In Part 3 [Question 83] of his Summa, St. Thomas Aquinas [+1274] taught that the Mass "is called a sacrifice, in respect of the effect of His Passion: because, to wit, by this Sacrament, we are made partakers of the fruit of our Lord's Passion . . . it is proper to this Sacrament for Christ to be sacrificed in its celebration."

The true Catholic doctrine on the nature of the Mass was summarized well by St. Leonard of Port Maurice [+1751] in his must-read little book, The Hidden Treasure:

The principal excellence of the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass consists in being essentially, and in the very highest degree, identical with that which was offered on the Cross of Calvary: with this sole difference, that the sacrifice on the Cross was bloody, and made once for all, and did on that one occasion satisfy fully for all the sins of the world; while the sacrifice of the altar is an unbloody sacrifice, which can be repeated an infinite number of times, and was instituted in order to apply in detail that universal ransom which Jesus paid for us on Calvary." [6]

This is why Catholics call the Mass a "return to Calvary". The "time barrier" is broken, so to speak, at each Catholic Mass, as the merits won by the Crucified Christ on Calvary flow down to hungry souls throughout the ages. It is as though, at each Mass, we are standing beside Our Lady and St. John on that first Good Friday, and Our Lord is dying there for us-----for each one of us kneeling before the altar. An awesome example of Divine Charity towards struggling humanity, no? Not for the founders of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, who will never use the word "Mass" for their own fabricated liturgy, for fear of its historical connection to the idea of sacrifice.

For centuries, the Traditional Latin Mass has been the bulwark of the Faith. A beautiful juxtaposition of individual and communal worship, it allowed Catholics to commune intimately with Our Lord, while also becoming truly united to Our Lady, to the Communion of Saints, to those sitting in the pews around us, as well as to those attending Mass around the world. It gave us the opportunity for participation in a manner undreamed of by the Old Testament Prophets. But, it had to go, if a new idea of participation and a new accent on Man were to enter Catholic thought.

How far are Kiko and Carmen willing to go in order to "purify" the Traditional Roman Catholic Mass of its "individualistic" and Christocentric nature? Ponder this essential NC teaching by Kiko Arguello:

"For the sacrament is not only the bread and wine, but also the assembly-----the whole Church which proclaims the Eucharist. Without this assembly there can be no Eucharist . . .Without the assembly there is no Eucharist. For the whole assembly is what does the celebrating. It's the exultation of the human assembly in communion, because it's precisely in their communion that God shows Himself. The Eucharist comes from the assembly." What does this all mean? Why does Kiko say that the the sacrament is not only the bread and wine, but also the assembly? To answer this, we must journey back to the Swingin' Sixties, and the following declaration from the Second Vatican Council's "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church", Lumen Gentium, where we read that "Christ, having been lifted up from the earth has drawn all to Himself. Rising from the dead, He sent His life-giving Spirit upon His disciples and through Him has established His Body which is the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation." [7] By "universal sacrament of salvation," the document is speaking of the Church as the means by which Christ calls men to Himself, and offers them eternal life: "sitting at the right hand of the Father, He is continually active In the world that He might lead men to the Church and through it join them to Himself and that He might make them partakers of His glorious life by nourishing them with His own Body and Blood." [8] A brief digression will help us to understand the point of the Neo-Catechumenal "Eucharist". It is no secret that many of the conciliar documents are eminently "hijackable" by nature. The founders of "the Way" pounced upon the phrase universal sacrament of salvation and twisted it into a shape that can only be described as "novel". To put it simply, Kiko and Carmen do not hold that membership in the Church is necessary . . . I would add "for salvation" but, in fact, they're not overly preoccupied with the reality of Hell. As "universal sacrament of salvation", the Church-----i.e., the NC communities-----just have to exist! People far away from the Church, or non-Catholics, will see the good works of the community members, give glory to God for it, and somehow forge a connection to Christ completely independent. of Church membership! We will let Carmen explain how this works. Please note that, in the the first line of the following paragraph, she does not say "outside the Church there is no salvation," but "outside Christ there is no salvation":

"It is also true that outside Christ there is no salvation. Because the salvation which God has made for men is Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ present today in the Church. This understood ontologically is true; but understood juridically false." The terms "ontologically" and "juridically" appear here and there in the schema, and they seem to have no other function than to allow the person employing them to simultaneously hold and deny a Catholic doctrine. Carmen continues: "Nevertheless this phrase understood juridically is the mentality of all the ordinary people, people listening to you [i.e., the NC catechists]. It is at the bottom of our ideas of the Church: the extreme unctions to the sick, last-minute confessions, quick baptisms to children, etc. Because it is obvious that if we think that the Church is the only raft of salvation and that those who do not belong to it juridically are damned, then we have to do those things." Poor, superstitious Catholics born before the year 19621 Because they "think" that the Church is the only raft of salvation, they follow their childish, frightened "ideas of the Church," and that means rites for the dying, deathbed confessions, etc. The founders of "the Way" are very, very big on the concept of dismantling this Catholic sensibility in the minds of their converts. Once again spouting error as gospel, Kiko says "the primitive Church never saw itself as the only raft of salvation, but as a mission within history . . . Perhaps we may think that the mission of the Church is to get all these people outside the Church and put them inside. . . .With this catechesis we want to dismantle a little bit these ideas which the people have about the Church." Carmen, too, advocates "sledgehammer reform": "The conception we had was that of belonging juridically to the Church to gain salvation in the next world. It is very difficult to dismantle this mentality." Therefore, what is the true mission of the Church; according to Kiko?-----

"What is the Church light, salt and leaven for? 'Because men seeing your good works may give glory to your Father in Heaven.' From this we can deduce that the mission of the Church is not to make everyone part of Her juridically, but that men may be enlightened by the Church and may pass to the Father. The other concept leads to proselytism which makes you want to baptize all the world. It is an absolute imposition with Christ in the hand." Kiko here openly defies Our Lord Himself, Who solemnly instructed his Apostles to "Go therefore, teach all nations, Baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. He who hears and is Baptized will be saved. He who does not believe will be condemned." Kiko and Carmen also contradict the thrice-defined dogma that outside the Church there is no salvation, [9] as well as the numerous Popes who have reiterated this truth, including Blessed Pope Pius IX who taught:

"It must be held as a matter of faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood." [10]

False Teaching on the Eucharist

If small bands of NC communities scattered about the globe are the last great hope of the Catholic Church in the 21st Century-----indeed, if they truly comprise the "authentic" Church----- then the COMMUNITY must be the paramount element in their doctrine and practice. With this in mind, we can turn once again, with a better understanding, to Kiko's statement that "the sacrament is not only the bread and wine, but also the assembly-----the whole Church which proclaims the Eucharist. Without this assembly there can be no Eucharist!" Surely, it is one thing to say that the Church is the Sacrament of Salvation in that it concretizes God's love for man through her members. But it is certainly something else to say "the Eucharist comes from the assembly".

What place, then, does the Blessed Sacrament have in the Neo-Catechumenal Way? There is Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at NC seminaries . . . yet one wonders why, if the young men in these "houses of formation" actually believe what their gurus have said about the Blessed Sacrament. One of the more striking statements on the subject comes from Carmen, the NC's top "theologian":

"If rain falls and you want to collect, it's not the same if you do it with a basket or a bucket; but whatever you use, the rain is still efficacious, just that with the basket you don't get any of it! Likewise, the signs prepare the man and put him into a disposition for the Sacrament to be realized in him. The bread and wine prepare and help man to receive the action of God. That's. why the liturgy is full of signs, they're indispensable for grace to be obtained. The primitive Church never had problems about the Real Presence. They never doubted that Christ is present in the Eucharist. But His Presence is not the most important thing." Of course, if the Community is the truly efficacious "sacrament," why should Christ's Real Presence be "the most important thing"? Instead, the "bread and wine" merely "prepare and help man to receive the action of God." Once again, outlandish statements are passed off as doctrine. If the "primitive" Church wasn't overly concerned with the Real Presence, then why was St. Paul so forceful when he admonished the Catholics of Corinth that "whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord"? What of Eucharistic miracles? Are they simply more examples of "natural religiosity"? If the "bread and wine" are basically useless outside the "communal celebration" context, then why reserve the Blessed Sacrament at all? What is the point of adoring the Sacred Host in an individual context, say, during a lone visit to the Tabernacle on a quiet afternoon? The following quote by Carmen puts Christ "in His place" by reminding us that He is there for us, and not the other way around:

"[In the Middle Ages,] Great shows began to the Most High, which had never existed before because the Presence was there for the Eucharist celebration and not the other way round. The bread and wine are not to be shown because they can go off [be stolen or removed?]. They're to be eaten and drunk. I'm always saying to the Sacramentines of Rome that they've made an enormous custody of the whole thing: If Christ had wanted the Eucharist in order to be there, He'd have made Himself present in a stone, for instance, because stones can't go off." Apparently, the founders of "the Way" are much keener on Wholly Community than Holy Communion. Earlier on, I quoted Kiko saying that the Eucharist was the "exultation of the human assembly in communion". Perhaps, a more fitting word would be "exaltation of the human assembly". Space does not permit a detailed description. of the NC "Eucharist," but perhaps the quotes provided throughout this article will give readers some idea of what sort of pre-fab "liturgy" awaits the new NC member-----a humanistic liturgy where men and women give "admonitions" before each reading of Scripture, where a lengthy period of post-Gospel "sharing" allows anyone and everyone to speak up and talk about anything [whether related to the reading or not], where the "kiss of peace" finds everyone wandering around the sanctuary, oblivious to the Tabernacle and the "prayer of the faithful" becomes a group effort, where guitar-strumming cantors flail away during the responsorial psalm and communion, and where the entire assembly dances an old-fashioned Jewish "hora " around the altar at the end. False Teachings on the Mass

The founders of "the Way" teach that, during the Last Supper, Jesus Christ was not so much instituting a new rite [i.e., the Catholic Mass] as insuring that future Passover celebrations would be held for the "right reason" [i.e., a memorial of His Resurrection]. Carmen says: "The Apostles, in the situation in which they were if Christ had shown them a new rite, they wouldn't have remembered hardly anything. The emphasis is on "This is My memorial". Carmen seems to know, without a doubt, that during the Last Supper, the Apostles were in no mental condition to remember any new rite instituted at that time by Christ. Therefore, it was easier to simply carry on with the Passover celebration with which they were already familiar, and merely tack on a remembrance of Christ. Yes, it is true that Our Lord told His disciples at the Last Supper, "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." But, Carmen's theory, of course, passes over [pun unintentional] the time spent by Christ with the Apostles between His Resurrection and Ascension, during which He would have taught them everything they needed to know concerning the Sacraments, Our Lady, the nature of the Church-----e.g., things handed down to their successors and which we refer to as Sacred Tradition.

And where is the priest in this "pure, primitive" liturgical scheme? In his Schema, Kiko tells his catechists, rather superciliously, that "in natural religiosity you need a priest with a beautiful cassock to administer to you and to serve the cult." Therefore, since a priest in an NC "Eucharist" is not mediating for the assembly, but merely joining in with the updated Passover seder, he becomes at best a "presider". In fact, in the liturgical context, members of the NC do not refer 'to their priests as priests, but as presbyters. Perhaps even the word "priest" is too pagan for them. Carmen mockingly remarks how, in the pre-conciliar Church, "the priest must keep his priestly dignity," because of the concept that "the Mass encloses something sacred." Oh, those pre-conciliar, superstitious Catholics, with their "sacred" Masses!

The saying of frequent Masses, and the use of side-altars for the saying ot simultaneous Masses, "turned Mass into a magic cure-all," remarks Carmen. She goes on to say, "No wonder Luther rose against it all."

During the NC "Eucharist", the presbyter basically does his job, not so much as the "head" of a flock, but as one among equals. He can not even make his private Communion before the assembly does, but must wait until all present have a piece of bread in their hands [they use baked bread, not Hosts, in their liturgy], 'where he gives the signal for everyone to eat, after which chalices of wine are passed around in similar fashion. He also gives a homily after all the community members who" want to "share" have done so. How different is this from the true Catholic doctrine taught by Pope Pius XII in which it is the priest, the alter Christus, "chiefly who performs the sacred liturgy in the name of the Church." [11]

In the name of the Church. This is sound, Apostolic Catholic doctrine. Yet, Kiko insists that, as Catholics, "nor do we have priests in the sense of people whom we pick out from among men so that in our name they may get in contact with the Godhead . . . our priest, who intercedes for us, is Christ."

In the Neo-Catechumenal Way, priests are taught by lay catechists. I have seen, on more than one occasion, priests berated by NC catechists in front of large assemblies of NC members. Because the lay catechist, whether male or female, is considered in NC thought, to be an actual successor to the Apostles, these people lay claim to an authority that cannot be appreciated among outsiders. Not content with merely teaching their version of Catholicism to those under their "authority," the more senior catechists assume a role analogous to that of pastor. There even comes a point in the NC "formation," after a community has spent a few years in "the Way," when members are called upon to reveal lifelong sins and intimately private information to a team of catechists, in the presence of other NC members, after which they will be advised by the team on the steps to take in order to be allowed to continue in "the Way". Such an activity is in direct opposition to the prudent teaching of Pope Leo XIII, which denies pastoral authority to laymen, and charges that lay teachers restrict themselves to imparting to their charges only the sound, unchanged Catholic Faith of our forefathers:

"No one, however, must entertain the notion that private individuals are prevented from taking some active part in this duty of teaching, especially those on whom God has bestowed gifts of mind with the strong wish of rendering themselves useful. These, so often as circumstances demand, may take upon themselves, not, indeed, the office "of the pastor, but the task of communicating to others what they have themselves, received, becoming, as it were, living echoes of their masters in the faith." [12]

False Threats from a Sect

Like the founders of Protestant sects, the NC catechist/authority figure assumes a power of "discernment," allegedly given by the Holy Ghost as a charism to help in the spread of the New Evangelization. I have experienced this "discernment" during my days as an NC member. Shortly before I left my Neo-Catechumenal community, a decade ago, I was told by a priest, the rector of a NC seminary, that if I left "the Way," I would turn to drugs and prostitutes. It was said grimly and with conviction, as a prophecy [which is how many NC authority figures, in fact, speak]. As it so happened, about a year after I left "the Way," I attended my first Latin Mass since my childhood, began seriously studying the Catholic Faith on my own, became a confirmed "Trad," and not long after, began writing the first of my Catholic articles. So much for "discernment"!

In closing, I would like to point out that I have been publicly accused by upper-echelon NC catechists of quoting Kiko and Carmen "out of context," as though such quotes as those scattered throughout this article [and which could be multiplied by the hundreds, if space permitted] had to be agonizingly wrenched from their Schema for Catechists. However, as a one-time Neo-Catechumenal Way catechist, I have read this document in its entirety about a half-dozen times [as a preparation for giving the catechesis at various parishes], and am familiar with it.

To put it bluntly, you cannot open the Schema without happening upon something that contradicts sound Catholic doctrine. The ideas of the founders of the NC on such topics as grace, sin and the Sacrament of Penance are of a piece with their ideas on the Mass and the nature of the Church. Far from my having quoted Kiko and Carmen "out of context," it would be more accurate to say that sound, orthodox Catholicism would have to be agonizingly wrenched from this document! Yet, this is the "formation" given to the NC catechists and seminarians who have just been rubber-stamped by the Vatican as a means of re-evangelizing the Church at the parish level!

Concluded Next Month

Footnotes: 1. See CFN "The Neo-Catechumenal Way, What do the Founders Really Believe, March 1996 (Reprint #80, $2.50US), "An Update on the Neo-Catechumenal Way," July 1997 (Reprint #21 0, $2.50US), "The Catechist in the Neo-Catechumenal Way" (Reprint #451, $1.75US). 2. Zenit News (zenit.org), June 26, 2002. (Emphasis added.) 3. Ibid. 4. All quotations from the "Schema for Catechists" are taken from an English translation of the original Spanish, which is used by catechists in the United States. 5. Encyclical on the Sacred Liturgy, Mediator Dei, Pope Pius XII, 1947, par. 68. 6. The Hidden Treasures of the Mass, etc., Tan Books, Rockford, Illinois, p.22. 7. Lumen Gentium #48. 8. Ibid. 9. There are three ex cathedra pronouncements that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. The most explicit and forceful of the three is from Pope Eugene IV at the Council of Florence which declares infallibly: " . . . None of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics, can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels,' (Mt. 25: 41) unless before death they are joined with Her; . . .no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church," Bull, Cantate Domino, Eugene IV, Feb. 4, 1442, Council of Florence. 10. Quoted from The Apostolic Digest, (Our Lady of Victory Publications, San Marino, CA) p.25. 11. Mediator Dei, Par. 44. 12. Sapienta Christianae, Pope Leo XIII, 1890, par. 16. (Emphasis added.)


TOPICS: Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: eucharist; neocatechumenal; sacrifice
More heresies approved by Rome. This should quiet those who think the New Church is not out to protestantize Catholicism.
1 posted on 11/20/2002 6:40:33 AM PST by ultima ratio
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: ultima ratio
The Neo-Catechumenal Way has spread to more than 105 nations. It includes 1,500 communities in 800 dioceses and 5,000 parishes. It has opened some 40 diocesan seminaries.

"The Way" appears to have less restrictions on it than those wishing to have an Indult or FSSP Mass. What a shame.

3 posted on 11/20/2002 10:13:18 AM PST by Land of the Irish
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To: ultima ratio
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/laity/documents/rc_pc_laity_doc_20020701_cammino-neocatecumenale_en.html

<> So much for Rome approving heresies. The venom of the Schismatic vipers has so poisoned your intellect that you don't even bestir yourself to hear Rome at all. Schismatics are Protestants who go to Mass<>
4 posted on 11/20/2002 11:07:14 AM PST by Catholicguy
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Bud McDuell; ultima ratio
I read this earlier and, yes, there are many things about it which are very disturbing. The Carmen lady needs...it involves a dirty sock and duct tape. I try not to be too violent.

Believe it or not, there are many people in the church who don't like the touchy-feely and avoid it. Just as much as those who do like it flock to it. The hand-holding, unless it's a spouse, it just too creepy.

So, it's not all lost. Many younger people don't like the public displays. It smacks too much of fakeness.

All hope is not lost yet.
6 posted on 11/20/2002 12:01:30 PM PST by Desdemona
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Catholicguy
Oh, come off it. Rome has given its seal of approval on a heretical outfit. Not surprising. It should have said, your theology is not Catholic. In fact, they are cockeyed. The answer should have been a resounding NO!--if they were really serious about orthodoxy. But it seems anything goes these days except traditionalism.
8 posted on 11/20/2002 1:46:29 PM PST by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
they are cockeyed=it is cockeyed.
9 posted on 11/20/2002 2:21:24 PM PST by ultima ratio
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To: Catholicguy; ultima ratio; Bud McDuell
F. John Loughnan's account of the heresies of the Neo-Catechumenal Way
10 posted on 11/20/2002 2:31:21 PM PST by Loyalist
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To: Loyalist
After reading your link, it’s obvious that the Neo-Way movement is, as Ultima stated, cockeyed. It is heretical. It is Protestant; it protests Catholic faith and tradition.

Like the Novus way, I will avoid the Neo-way at all expense. I’ll stick with the Old Way, the Tridentine Mass, whether it’s a valid and licit Mass or a valid and illicit Mass. If it was good enough for Roman Catholics for 1500 years, it’s good enough for me. What’s with all the new, novus and neo movements, anyway? Prior to VCII, the only “new” thing in the Catholic Church was the New Testament, and that begins with the birth of Christ. Faith and Tradition have been tossed by the wayside.

11 posted on 11/20/2002 6:00:02 PM PST by Land of the Irish
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To: ultima ratio
I was greatly disturbed to see that recently the NCW has spread to the US...as if we don't have enough freakazoid things in the RC Church in the US, already.

Several years ago, my daughter attended RC Mass in England, followed by a NCW "get-together". She called me and wanted to know if this was approved by Rome because she just couldn't believe that what they were teaching was approved by Rome..I think she called them Freakazoids from H*** at the time.

Because she found the information they were promulgating to be so disturbing, I looked them up. At the time-1998- the approval was limited to only a few places, but like all aberrant novelties, well, guess it's everywhere now, and I can't for the life of me figure out why Rome approves all this weirdo stuff, unless what they purport to teach, and what they actually teach are two totally different things. If that's the Case, I fault Rome for not checking these movements out more closely.

I also find it sad that Weirdos, Inc can get approvals, but that a Priest must have an indult to celebrate the Tridentine Mass.

12 posted on 11/20/2002 7:45:22 PM PST by sockmonkey
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To: sockmonkey
Rome is to be faulted not because it didn't check out this movement, but because it did. We have to recognize the fact that it is interested in precisely that kind of revolution--it wants to erase the pre-conciliar Church and start over. The Pope gave the red hat to a known apostate recently. What does that tell you?
13 posted on 11/20/2002 8:27:50 PM PST by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
Front-to-front-to-front, my baby, back-to-back-to-back, my baby bump.
14 posted on 11/21/2002 2:59:01 AM PST by Dajjal
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To: Catholicguy
The Vatican agenda becomes clearer and clearer as time goes on. For the most part it has been subtle--but this latest approval of the NCW is not. Neither is Rome's silence on the Bishops' Statement on the Jews or its own statement undermining the Jewish need for redemption. Neither is its agreement with the Lutherans on Justification. Neither is its participation in worship services with heathens or prayerful visits to mosques or synagogues. Neither is giving the red hat to someone who has publicly questioned the historicity of the Resurrection and the Divinity of Christ. The assautlts have been doctrinal--as the new Mass itself makes clear when it daily subverts Catholic teachings and violates the Council of Trent.

15 posted on 11/21/2002 4:50:35 AM PST by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
<> I guess it must just be me. When I read what the P.C.L. published, I thought it a very positive sign in that legitimate authority would seize upon the good in a burgeoning movement and direct it towards its proper end.

If only I had your wisdom...then I could see the entire purpose of the Pope is to destroy Catholicism and he will use any means necessary....<>

16 posted on 11/21/2002 5:03:58 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: Desdemona
You write, "All hope is not lost yet."

No, but Catholics should realize we are fighting a war: between traditional Catholicism and this new religion; between the pre-conciliar Church and this New Church. One or the other is right. If you opt for the latter--then you argue that we've been wrong up to Vatican II. In so saying, you undermine the credibility of EVERYTHING.

17 posted on 11/21/2002 5:10:00 AM PST by ultima ratio
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To: Catholicguy
It is not Rome's job to seize on the good while ignoring what is harmful to the faith. One doesn't protect the deposit of faith by affirming heresies.

18 posted on 11/21/2002 5:21:08 AM PST by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
Rome has given its seal of approval on a heretical outfit.

Impossible. Rome defines orthodoxy.Not you.

But it seems anything goes these days except traditionalism.

Lie. You are perfectly aware of the fact that Rome does not oppose traditionalism. It opposes a renegade clergy and a decidely antipapal paradigm that "clergy" fosters. All of Catholic history has been about the primacy of Rome. If you are not with Rome you are against Rome, and are on the wrong side of history.

19 posted on 11/21/2002 5:27:19 AM PST by St.Chuck
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To: St.Chuck
1. I do not define orthodoxy. Such a statement is absurd. When a group states that the Church has been wrong for 1500 years until Vatican II--which is tantamount to stating the Church has been abandoned by the Holy Spirit since the time of Constantine--it condemns itself. When it denies the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist or the Real Presence, then it is clearly heretical.

2. The Pope is the servant of orthodoxy, not its master. He may clarify what it is, but he may not contradict any of its tenets. Vatican I made this clear: "For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the Successors of Peter that by His revelation they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith." It is up to the Pope to protect what has been handed-down to him, not to undermine it by supporting groups preaching heresy.

3. I do not lie when I state this papacy has acted in ways that oppose Catholic tradition. To say this is to belabor the obvious. Rome in recent years has made breathtaking innovations in every area of Catholic life. It never hesitated, for example, to break new ground in a radical ecumenicism no previous pope had ever promulgated. In fact there has been no aspect of traditional Catholicism that has not been radically undermined by this revolutionary papacy. Your saying I lie when I merely point this out doesn't make what I say less true. This pope is no friend to Catholic tradition. On the contrary, he subverts it.
20 posted on 11/21/2002 6:22:41 AM PST by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
Are there ANY silver linings in your thunderclouds?
21 posted on 11/21/2002 6:26:45 AM PST by Desdemona
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To: ultima ratio
This pope is no friend to Catholic tradition. On the contrary, he subverts it.<

My main gripe about this papacy is the novel practice of not calling for a crusade against the infidels, wherever they may be. This innovation is scandalous and disrepects the piety of all his predecessors.

22 posted on 11/21/2002 6:28:49 AM PST by St.Chuck
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To: Desdemona; ultima ratio
Are there ANY silver linings in your thunderclouds?

What you see is the fruit of too much time on the Gloomy Mysteries.

23 posted on 11/21/2002 6:32:11 AM PST by St.Chuck
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To: Desdemona; St.Chuck
What's to cheer about? If Rome won't repremand apostates or do anything about corruption, we're in deep doo-doo. That's what I've been saying all along. All I hear in return is "You're schismatic!" Meanwhile this obviously heretical group gets papal approval, though it has actively condemned the Church since the days of Constantine and has been preaching a radical new religious doctrine. So who's right in the debate--those who stick with the teachings of the perennial Church, or those who chase after novelties pushed by Rome? Or let me put it another way: those who stick with the deposit of faith or those who stick with the Pope against all logic?
24 posted on 11/21/2002 6:53:16 AM PST by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
What if, and this isn't strictly hypothetical, the corrections are gradual and not public, but very much behind the scenes?

What if the gestures are just that?

What if the laity themselves do not follow the looney ideas because they recognize them as just that and those ideas die on the vine?

ROman Catholicism is not a faith for the dim-witted. It's a huge challenge. I'm willing to believe that the people of my age group, the ones born during the Vietnam-Watergate time period, aren't going to let the old just die away. In fact, most of us really resent that our past has just been chucked. And we're a lot more religious than many born in the 20 years before us.

There's a lot that Rome does not do that does bother me. But, I also see that the old ideals of liberalism are going to die out. It's just going to take time. And, yes, the people my age know we have a mess to clean up - and we're not very happy about it, either.
25 posted on 11/21/2002 7:03:04 AM PST by Desdemona
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To: ultima ratio
"There are three ex cathedra pronouncements that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. The most explicit and forceful of the three is from Pope Eugene IV at the Council of Florence which declares infallibly: " . . . None of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics, can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels,' (Mt. 25: 41) unless before death they are joined with Her; . . .no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church," Bull, Cantate Domino, Eugene IV, Feb. 4, 1442, Council of Florence. 10. Quoted from The Apostolic Digest, (Our Lady of Victory Publications, San Marino, CA) p.25. 11. Mediator Dei, Par. 44. 12. Sapienta Christianae, Pope Leo XIII, 1890, par. 16. (Emphasis added.)"

<> This is an example of the schismtic erring in private (protestant) interpretation. Mr. McElhinney (former sspx'er) helps correct this common error re EENS<>

Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus - A Brief Synopsis: To understand the gist of the response I will be blogging next, I will put up part of an email I wrote which outlined this subject.

My position in a nutshell is this:

1) All salvation comes through Christ.

2) The Church is the sacrament of salvation through which all graces flow.

3) Outside the Church there is no salvation.

4) The Church as the Mystical Body of Christ has both visible and invisible components. Members properly so-called are incorporated by baptism and maintain their membership in the Mystical Body by both profession of faith and submission to the Church's authority. Any one of these elements lacking and the person cannot be accounted as a member of the Church and has no part of the ecclesiastical body.

5) The fullness of truth subsists in the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church (cf. Lumen Gentium §8) which is "the axis of convergence" around which all truth is found (cf. Pope Paul VI).

6) Subsistance in Scholastic terminology is a unique quality which denotes existence in itself. Thus God subsists and we merely exist. Existence involves dependance whereas subsistance does not. This is the relationship of all other churches, ecclesial communities, and faiths to the Catholic Church.

7) Any and all Churches, ecclesial communities, or other belief systems to the extent that they proclaim truth proclaim a portion of what the Church possesses and professes.

8) Thus any salvific efficacy from the elements they possess are derived from the Church and without such elements, salvation is impossible.

9) These elements deriving as they do from Christ thus "lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ" (cf. Unitatis redintegratio §3).

10) Those who for reasons beyond their control do not understand the necessity of unity of the ecclesiastical body can through desire to fulfill the will of the Creator and the practice of charity be joined to the Soul of the Church which is the animating element of life of the Mystical Body. (Much as the human soul is the animating element of life for the human body.) In this manner they may achieve eternal salvation.

That in essence outlines my position in brief. It allows for the possibility of salvation for many people not formally within the Church's ecclesiastical body. I am inclined to think that more people are saved then damned if only for the fact that salvation is by grace alone, God is infinitely loving, and I cannot see how the Kingdom of Heaven having less people than the Kingdom of Satan would not give the Evil One cause to boast.

:: I. Shawn McElhinney 2:12 PM [+] ::

26 posted on 11/21/2002 7:08:02 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
I would take issue with three of your points.

No quarrel with the third point, though it needs qualification. In modern times popes have taught that the unbaptized who are just and follow the dictates of reason reflected in the Natural Law, may also be saved.

The fourth point needs to be qualified as well. The Doctors of the Church--and reason itself--teach that submission to Church authority assumes that the demand for submission is legitimate. A pope, for instance, can't order me to kill somebody. That would be an illigitimate command. Nor can a pope command me to give up a single tenet of the deposit of faith. The faith itself has precedence over all else. As St. Paul advised the Galatians, not even an angel come down from heaven can order us to believe what is not the Gospel.

You are absolutely wrong about the meaning of "subsists" as opposed to "is". In Latin the verb "substare" means to "stand under". The verb "esse" shows identity, as in English. Clearly the former is a much weaker term to describe Christ's Church vis a vis the Catholic Church than would be the latter. Also, the distinction you make is not scholastic. The Thomistic teaching is that God is Existence Itself.

I have no quarrel with your remaining points.

27 posted on 11/21/2002 7:46:01 AM PST by ultima ratio
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To: Desdemona
This has to be put in context with everything else. Rome doesn't push to catechize the young and catechesis is deficient everywhere. Two-thirds of all Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence, according to Gallup. Yet Rome is indifferent and does not push to redress this deficiency. It makes no move to redress the deficiencies in the Novus Ordo Mass either. Everyone agrees reform is necessary, but it never happens. Yet Rome approves this heretical outfit. Why? Can it be because it agrees with its theological perspective? The suspicion is that it does. It shows it does in a thousand different ways. Remember, the heirs of Schillebeeckx and Suenens and Congor have taken over the Vatican.
28 posted on 11/21/2002 7:54:29 AM PST by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
Well, you make some good points, but my main problem is with your remedies. I don't think an iron fist is going to solve much. If anything it's going to make matters worse - at least at first. If changes are made gradually, and though of as new and exciting (even if they're really re-packaged) they have a better chance of succeeding. That's a marketing trick.

Two-thirds of all Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence, according to Gallup

Two-thirds of Americans don't get proper nutrition, either. It's not for lack of teaching or availibility. It's a matter of not being interested. There's no deep thinking going on either (hence two terms of Bill Clinton and the facination with sit-coms).

It makes no move to redress the deficiencies in the Novus Ordo Mass either.

Rome has made noise, quite a bit actually, and the bishops have ignored it. Although, there are signs that this is changing.

Everyone agrees reform is necessary, but it never happens.

Because no one seems to be able to compromise on how the reform should happen....

Yet Rome approves this heretical outfit. Why? Can it be because it agrees with its theological perspective?

Man, I hope not. I hate the holding hands for everything.

Remember, the heirs of Schillebeeckx and Suenens and Congor have taken over the Vatican.

Remember, the Vatican library and archives are still intact. Until those are destroyed, the past lives. There is hope. As a follower of Christ that is very important.
29 posted on 11/21/2002 8:10:06 AM PST by Desdemona
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To: ultima ratio
Two-thirds of all Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence, according to Gallup.

The survey was phoney. Catholics were asked to pick (on the telephone) from four statements as to which was true, and all four statements contained the same language, with one or two words changed.

You have been told this, over and over. Sitetest, who knows quite a bit about statistical analysis, has told you, over and over, that the methodology was faulty and that it was basically a worthless survey.

So much of what you peddle is discredited I don't know how you sleep at night.

Catholics believe, overwhelmingly, in the Real Presence. They just cannot recite the Thomistic language as precisely as you would like.

30 posted on 11/21/2002 8:17:08 AM PST by sinkspur
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To: ultima ratio
<>Henri Cardinal Du Lubac's words to ponder<>


"[T]he Church seen in her members is never completely faithful. Sin, which is to be found everywhere, does not spare the Church--neither sin nor all the other marks of human frailty. It is no less true, however, that is is still the Church which brings us the gospel of Christ and, still more important, more true today than ever before that the generalized criticism of the Church is linked to a movement that draws away from the gospels.

I would not be so concerned if this were something from outside the Church. But when each one takes as his mission to criticize everything, when each one sets out to rewrite dogma and morality according to his own wishes, the Church disintegrates. When the center of unity becomes the target of the most impassioned attacks, each one feeling that he has the right to criticize the successor of Peter before the whole world on any point whatsoever, the Church herself is therefore wounded. Those who take this liberty do not fully realize what they are doing. Regardless of what pretext they may invoke, however, they are turning their backs on the gospel of Christ, and they scandalize, in the fullest sense of the word, many of their brethren...
31 posted on 11/21/2002 8:23:12 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: ultima ratio
<> I wasn't the one using "subsists." That was Shawn McElhinney, a former SSPX'er who has forgotten more about Dogmatic Theology than you will ever know.<>
32 posted on 11/21/2002 8:25:11 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: Catholicguy
He may have forgotten what I'll ever know about dogmatic theology, but he's still wrong about the meaning of "subsist." Maybe he should return to SSPX--his thinking has gotten a little cloudy.
33 posted on 11/21/2002 8:59:56 AM PST by ultima ratio
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To: Catholicguy
The Cardinal is understandably defensive. But it's not the faithful who create these crises--they have been created by the hierarchy more than anyone else, though it blames others for its own failures. Now it's trying to distance itself from the disastrous consequences of its own bad judgments. Did the Cardinal imagine that Paul VI could have banished the Mass of the Ages as if it were a matter of minor consequence and then put in its place a protestantized fabrication that makes a mockery of major Catholic doctrines--and not have a dire reaction? Did he imagine this would not create enormous spiritual dislocation--precisely among those Catholics who were most knowledgable and most devout? No, it has been Rome most of all which is the source of the present distress--and it is Rome above all which must repent.
34 posted on 11/21/2002 9:29:09 AM PST by ultima ratio
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To: sinkspur
The survey was done by Gallup. But even if it's inaccurate, if even half that number are ignorant of the faith, that is already too many. Catholic World Report published the survey and Rome is aware of it and has not questioned it publicly. Yet it makes no move to redress the problem. The suspicion is, it would like the doctrine of the Real Presence to fade away, which is why it tolerates its outrageous suppression during the new Mass. I've witnessed teenagers standing for the Canon of the Mass with their hands in their pockets. Not surprising. If they'd been taught about the Real Presence, the urge to kneel and adore would be irresistable. Instead, they believe exactly as Protestants.
35 posted on 11/21/2002 9:41:51 AM PST by ultima ratio
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To: Desdemona
ROman Catholicism is not a faith for the dim-witted. It's a huge challenge.

Amen

36 posted on 11/21/2002 1:02:11 PM PST by WriteOn
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: ultima ratio; St.Chuck; sinkspur

From the debates two years ago.


38 posted on 05/17/2004 8:21:05 PM PDT by narses (If you want ON or OFF my Catholic Ping List email me. +)
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