Skip to comments.Vatican Storylines: Those Who Are Resisting Benedict XVI
Posted on 01/19/2006 12:33:10 PM PST by NYer
ROMA, January 19, 2006 – The first words of Benedict XVI’s first encyclical letter, almost the motto of his papacy, are “Deus Caritas Est,” God is love.
But not everyone in the upper levels of the Church is full of love and solidarity for this new pope. Resistance to his guidance is tenacious and widespread, and in some places it is on the rise. And almost all the resistance shields itself behind the protection of anonymity.
The only open and avowed resistance is that of the Neocatechumenal Way, which has opposed a papal directive issued last December, which struck at one of the movement’s cornerstones.
The Way, founded and directed by Kiko Argüello and Carmen Hernández, both Spanish, is today the most vigorous of the new Catholic movements that emerged during the last half century. It is present in 900 dioceses on all the inhabited continents, and boasts the strength of a million followers in over 20,000 communities, with 3,000 priests and 5,000 religious. It has an international network of 63 “Redemptoris Mater” seminaries, which are thriving with new vocations, in contrast with the vacuum in many diocesan seminaries.
One of the factors in its numeric expansion is the elevated number of children that its families bring into the world, running to ten, twelve, or even more. Each year, scores of these families go on mission into faraway countries. Last January 12, 200 of these families departed all at once from Rome, with the personal blessing of Benedict XVI, who met them in a Nervi Hall that was crowded and pulsing with enthusiasm. Some of the families were going to Patagonia or Japan, but some others were going into the most dechristianized areas of Europe: France, Holland, the former East Germany.
With such a legacy of success, it is natural that the Neocatechumenals receive the support of a large number of bishops and cardinals. Two of these patrons – cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Vatican congregation for the propagation of the faith, and cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington – were at their side in Nervi Hall on January 12. But criticisms have also rained down upon the Neocatechumenals over the years, especially against their carving out a separate place for themselves in the Church, with their own secret catechism, their own rituals, and their own parallel hierarchy. But these criticisms were always overruled by the unconditional support given to them by John Paul II.
But that’s no longer the case with pope Ratzinger. There is one thing about the Neocatechumenals that the pope does not accept, and which touches the heart of Christian life: the unusual way in which they celebrate the Mass (1).
In effect, the Mass that every one of the 20,000 communities of the Way celebrates each Saturday evening – separately from the parishes and the other sister communities – follows the dictates of its founder Kiko Argüello much more closely than it does the liturgical canons that are universally valid for the Catholic Church.
Instead of the altar in the apse, at the center of the hall is a large square dinner table, around which the Neocatechumenals receive communion in a seated position.
Instead of hosts, a large loaf of unleavened wheat bread, made with two-thirds white flour and one-third whole wheat flour, is divided and eaten. The bread, which is baked for a quarter of an hour, is prepared according to very detailed guidelines established by Kiko.
The wine is drunk from cups, also in a sitting position.
The homily is replaced by spontaneous comments from those present, before and after the readings from the Gospel, the letters of Saint Paul, and the Old Testament.
Benedict XVI has ordered that all of this come to an end. He did this through a letter delivered in mid-December to the three main leaders of the Way: Kiko, Carmen, and the Italian priest Mario Pezzi. The letter was signed by cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Vatican congregation for the liturgy, but from its very first lines it clearly states that these are “the decisions of the Holy Father.” Six unambiguous commands follow.
For example, regarding communion, the exact dispositions of the letter are these:
“On the manner of receiving Holy Communion, a period of transition (not exceeding two years) is granted to the Neocatechumenal Way to pass from the widespread manner of receiving Holy Communion in its communities (seated, with a cloth-covered table placed at the center of the church instead of the dedicated altar in the sanctuary) to the normal way in which the entire Church receives Holy Communion. This means that the Neocatechumenal Way must begin to adopt the manner of distributing the Body and Blood of Christ that is provided in the liturgical books.” (2)
But instead of simply obeying, the Neocatechumenals disobeyed while asserting that they were perfectly obedient.
When Vatican analyst Andrea Tornielli first gave the news of the pope’s directions, the official spokesman and director of the Way in the United States, Giuseppe Gennarini, protested that in reality these orders amounted to an approval (3).
When on December 27 www.chiesa published Arinze’s letter in its entirety, Gennarini called the very authenticity of this letter into question. He added that “this does not change its nature of a confidential and internal instrumentum laboris (working instrument),” devoid of any normative force. He restated that the only valid norm is “the confirmation by the Holy Father of the liturgical praxis of the Way.” And by way of proof he cited the blessing that the pope would bestow a few days later upon the Neocatechumenal families leaving on mission, during the audience of January 12 (4).
The audience did, in fact, take place. And so did the blessing. But there was also a second, ringing summons to obedience from Benedict XVI:
“Recently the congregation for divine worship and the discipline of the sacraments imparted to you, in my name, some norms concerning the Eucharistic celebration, after the trial period that had been granted by the servant of God John Paul II. I am certain that these norms, which draw upon the provisions of the liturgical books approved by the Church, will meet with attentive compliance from you.” (5)
There was no comment from the directors of the Way after this second call from the pope. But word was given to the 20,000 communities to continue as before.
Tenor range? Ummm, having Queen of the Night notes, tenor range is more like light mezzo.
Besides, I like listening to gentlemen's schola. Really, it's quite beautiful and quite freeing to be able to just kneel and listen.
OK, I read it. I'm not clear on what you are trying to convey with it. Which do you contend, that this article shows they are schimatic or heretical, and exactly what in the article do you think shows this? Because I see nothing new over what was in our article on this thread.
I am just beating the Pope to the inevitable finish line by calling them schismatics.
Call me prophetic :)
You should hear me do Alto...
Yes, and that is what I usually do but I've been studing chant for a little over a year seriously and it helped me to practice some with the schola. This past summer I had to have my thyroid removed and then go on that awful low thyroid diet, I was a bariton for awhile and so it was easy to sing in their octave. As my voice climbs higher it isn't so easy but, the women get to sing chant in our octave during Holy Week. And, if I can make it to Mass on weekdays mornings, the congregation sings Gregorian Chant Masses, we know 16. I just have to get there and remember my Kyriale!
I hope I get to one day!
You're starting to sound a little like Pope Lazamataz :-).
" You cannot deny the SSPX is using a different Mass Rite than the current normative Rite. "
Sure I can. The Tridentine Rite was never suppressed, it WAS the 'normative' Mass and it sill is valid and legal for every priest in the Latin Rite.
" Re hierarchy: I assume you are willing to concede they have a separate hierarchy now, and that this has been true since 1988..."
Talk about word games! They have the SAME hierarchical structure they were chartered with, they have not changed that.
As for the Catechism, the "Modern" Catechism (like the many flavors of "modern" liturgy) has been translated and retranslated and yet the Baltimore Catechism is still legal, still (and always will be) Catholic and suffers none of the odd problem that plague the modern versions.
The Neos aren't continueing to use what the Church was using during their lifetime, they are crafting (as have many others in the Church) an entirely different faith than the one they were given. The SSPX has taught nothing that the Church didn't teach within most of our lifetimes - they reject the heretical and embrace the Traditional.
You have to be joking. While the Tridentine was once the norm, it is not currently the normative Rite. It just isnt, and to deny that is to go beyond mere argumentation, it is to step into a fantasy land. Good luck narses, but if you cant even admit what the current normative Rite of the Mass is, there is no point in discussion with you. It is absolutely pointless to respond to the remainder of your post. You are too far gone." You cannot deny the SSPX is using a different Mass Rite than the current normative Rite. "Sure I can. The Tridentine Rite was never suppressed, it WAS the 'normative' Mass and it sill is valid and legal for every priest in the Latin Rite.
OK, when was the Tridentine Rite suppressed? By what decree?
>>>OK, when was the Tridentine Rite suppressed? By what decree?
Narses, I have better things to do than argue SSPX fantasies again. There is one normative Rite for the western clergy. That is just how it is, and if you can't recognize that reality, like I said, its a waste of time to argue this with you. The Tridentine is valid, but its limited to the indult. The Novus Ordo is the normative Rite for the West. Sophistry hardly changes that.
Sure, no way can you argue the point. The reality is this, the Normative Mass was the Tridentine. It was NEVER suppressed. The Novus Ordo was added. They co-exist.
If you have any intellectual curiosity, explore the question - when was the Tridentine Mass suppressed or replaced?
you wrote: If I were Pope, I'd publicly state, "Y'all have until Good Friday to get right with the Lord and the Church. That goes for anyone who goes to the illicit Masses of the SSPX to those who go to Neocatechumenal Liturgues and anyone else who opposes me. If y'all aren't in union with me, if you do not obey legitimate and Divinely Ordained authority, y'all can go to hell. Capiche? Y'all got to Good Friday. Period. Come the Monday after Easter, Y'all are excomunicated. That's it. We Popes haven't been doing our jobs. We have been too lenient. Good Friday, that ends. Good Friday is the day we bury leniency and tolerance. This Easter, the Church will rise purified and on fire. Y'all either with me or against me. Choose life or death."
Maybe the above is partly an attempt at humor but in case it's not it doesn't sound like the voice of the our Holy Father. This sounds like the sort of triumphalism that Vatican II was supposed to do away with in its attempt to bring the Gospel to the modern world. I do much prefer Pope Benedict's approach to that stated above. Are the Orthodox also just a bunch of hell-bound schizzies? What about the Chinese Patriotic catholics? What does the above say to Protestants if Catholics decide to pronounce anathemas on Christian groups who already agree with 98-99.5 of Church teaching? All Christian groups owe their existence to the Catholic Church, it's a historical fact, and all have elements of the truth in them, some a whole lot more than others. Launching emotional verbal tirades (as if such will truly convert people)shows about much charity as such useless utterances as "the NO is evil"
promote the truth. Faith, hope and charity and the greatest of these is
I like listening to [a] gentlemen's schola. Really, it's quite beautiful and quite freeing to be able to just kneel and listen.
Agreed, but women have been chanting the liturgy for centuries in abbbeys and monasteries around the world. I have the good fortune to live within driving distance of the Abbey of Regina Laudis. I have gone there for Vespers. The nuns' voices sounded angelic. It was a wonderful experience.
The choir I sing in has the men chant the Mass propers from the Liber Usualis and the men and women chant the ordinary of the Mass. We have started Vespers and Benediction once a month with both men and women chanting the Psalms. The men usually, but not always, chant the antiphons associated with the Psalms.
The abbey sounds lovely, but still, it's a schola. I wish more choirs around here would discover chant, but I'm afriad that if Adorote Devote scares them, an actual Mass would be terrifying.
*It could. He has free will
This sounds like the sort of triumphalism that Vatican II was supposed to do away with in its attempt to bring the Gospel to the modern world. I do much prefer Pope Benedict's approach to that stated above.
*Maybe so, but, mine is a lot more direct and therapeutic.
Are the Orthodox also just a bunch of hell-bound schizzies?
*No, and my post didn't address them, did it?
What about the Chinese Patriotic catholics?
*Same as for the Orthos
What does the above say to Protestants if Catholics decide to pronounce anathemas on Christian groups who already agree with 98-99.5 of Church teaching?
*The difference should be obvious without stating it. If it isn't clear to you, I will explain it. Those who I was writing about, the sspx and the NCW are/were born catholic. Protestants weren't. Different rules apply to different groups. THe SSPX and the NCW are opposing the Body of Christ they are/were part of.The individual born and raised in protestantism is a horse of a different color. He is doing what he was taught to do.
I am letting my subscription to Chronicles run out - for obvious reasons - but I gotta tell you about this latest issue "New words for old."
Bill Buckley is savagely and insanely attacked in the issue. Tom Fleming "Lost in translation" article cites a column by Buckley and concludes "Mr. Buckley's reality is of a piece with Mr. Bush's facts. Both are subjective mental states that can only be analyzed by speech therapists and abnormal psychologists. The bizarre speech of pundits and politicans reveals more than ignorance; Sloppy imagery, mixed metaphors, and confused syntax are indications of a mental disturbance that is somewhere between imbecility and dishonesty."
Sobran, predictably, attacks Buckley in an article "Conservatism's Ancient Mariner" in which he (after a few paragraphs praising Buckley's humor) derides Bill as, essentially, a faux conservative who took his marching orders from Mr and Mrs Podhoretz (Again with the Jews). Of course, Sobarn has written the same damn article about Bill repeatedly - several times in the Wanderer, in his own "Sobran's" and in the "Catholic Family News" He can't let it go.
PJB is another old horse recently welcomed into the Chronicles We hate Bush and Israel sucks Stable
Is it any wonder I am one of scores who are just letting their subscriptions run out?
BTW, the old BBC pundit, Srdja Trifkovic was recently (six weeks ago?) warning us that the President of Syria was an independent we could work with but the bad old Bushies were working behind the scenes to unhorse him. Trifkovic is often right but he sometimes makes insane statements in his "The American Interest" articles. And, need it be said it was in the American interest to, essentially, abandon Israel?
What is it with the "Paleos" and their antipathy towards the Jews and Israel?
Again, I know this is WAY off the topic but I just had to post something about this craziness.
I must admit that attitudes such as this leave me speechless.