Friday, March 28, 2008

Yet Another Reason Why Catholicism In Europe Is Self-Destructing
Roman Protestantism at it's best

Sorry for the long post... but this one's worth it. Stick with me, gang. You'll be glad you did. European bishops flock to Neocatechumenate meeting

Jerusalem, Mar. 25, 2008 ( - More than 100 European bishops have traveled to the Holy Land to attend a gathering at the Neocatechumenal Way’s Domus Galilaeae. The meeting begins today and concludes March 29.
Now I know the following is rather lengthy, but it's just a portion of the original article from Chiesa news (of Italy). If you get the chance, read the entire article. It's very illuminating. (Emphasis mine) Bad History, Bad Guide. The Strange Liturgy of the Neocatechumenals
A book authorized by founders Kiko and Carmen presents a doctrinal and liturgical defense of the Neocatechumenal Way. But the criticisms about how they celebrate the mass remain intact
by Sandro Magister

ROMA, January 24, 2005 – Among the new movements that have arisen within the Catholic Church in recent decades – on the "dangers" of which an editorial in "La Civiltà Cattolica" sounded the alarm on August 19, 2004 – there is one that is under closer observation than the rest: the Neocatechumenal Way.

In effect, the catechisms written by Kiko and Carmen, which provide a model for all of the Way, have never been made public, and are still under examination by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Written "in a somewhat chaotic way, with unclear theoretical formulations, with recourse to paradoxes, using images more than concepts" (this is one evaluation of the original draft, made by the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy), these catechetical writings have lent themselves over the years to accusations of doctrinal error, which a reviewed and corrected publication should put to rest.

The Neocatechumenals customarily celebrate the Sunday mass on Saturday evening, separately from the parish community to which they belong.

That's not all. Given that each Neocatechumenal community corresponds to a precise stage of The Way, each community of twenty or thirty persons has its own mass. If there are ten communities in a parish, on Saturday evening there will be ten discrete masses, in separate locations.

Since 2002, the statutes approved by the Holy See have obligated these masses to be "open also to other members of the faithful" (art. 13.3), but in point of fact nothing has changed.

The book "authorized" by Fr. Devoto seeks to defend The Way from some of the recurrent accusations: in particular, that it obscures the sacrificial nature of the mass and minimizes the permanent real presence of Christ in the consecrated bread.
And to justify the liturgical praxis of The Way, the author refers to unpublished texts by Kiko and Carmen, in which they recount to their disciples their own highly particular history of the mass, according to which the great merit of the Way is that of restoring the celebration of the mass to its original purity.

But this historical reconstruction – with the practices which are derived from it – is itself the most questionable point of the apology.

Here by way of example are some passages taken from pages 71-77:

"Over the course of the centuries, the eucharist has been fragmented and crusted over, repackaged to the point at which we did not see anywhere in our mass the resurrection of Jesus Christ"...

"And while the people lived out the privatization of the mass, the erudite elaborated rational theologies which, although they contain the essence of revelation ‘in nuce,’ are wrapped in philosophical garments foreign to Christ and the apostles"...

"So it is understandable why Luther emerged, making a clean break with everything he believed was a purely human addition or tradition"...

"When what a sacrament is, what a memorial is, is lost from sight, one proceeds to give philosophical definitions which not only cannot exhaust the reality that they contain, but are not even necessarily linked to the philosophy used to express them. Thus Luther, who never doubted the real presence of Christ in the eucharist, rejected 'transubstantiation,' because it was bound to the Aristotelian-Thomistic concept of substance, which is foreign to the Church of the apostles and the Fathers"...

"The rigidity and fixity of the Council of Trent generated a static mentality in the liturgy, which has persisted to our day, quick to be scandalized by any change or transformation. And this is an error, because the liturgy is life, a reality of the Spirit living among men. For this reason, it can never be bottled up"...

"Having emerged from a legalistic and rigid mentality, we witnessed at Vatican II a profound renewal of the liturgy. The cloaks that had covered the eucharist were removed from it. It is interesting to see that originally, the anaphora [the prayer of consecration] was not written, but was improvised by the presider"...

"The Church has tolerated inauthentic forms for centuries. Thus it is seen that the 'Gloria,' which was part of the liturgy of the hours recited by the monks, entered into the mass when a single celebration was made of the two actions, and that the 'Credo' emerged with the appearance of heresies and apostasies. Even the 'Orate Fratres' is a culminating example of the prayers with which the mass was stuffed full"...

"The celebration of the eucharist on Saturday evening is not intended to facilitate Sunday recreation, but to go back to the roots: the day of rest for the Jews begins with the sighting of the first three stars on Friday, and the first vespers of Sunday for the entire Church have always been on Saturday evening"...

"On Saturday, we join the feast with our whole being, to sit at the table of the Great King and taste even now the banquet of eternal life. After the supper, the day concludes with a cordial and friendly celebration"...

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...

The statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way were approved by the Holy See in 2002 on an "ad experimentum" basis for five years. The bishops are entrusted with the task of watching over their application.

John Paul II is one of their most convicted admirers. In the Vatican, they receive strong support from Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
In June 2007 the five years "ad experimentum" time of the Statutes expired. No official statement by the Catholic Church has been made about their prolongation or definitive approval.


Blogger nypd green said...

I have been waiting to hear about the status of the NCW. We had a rather trying time with it as our pastor tried to implement it into our parish last year. The majority of the interest seemed to come from those of use who were warned about it and attended the 8 week catechesis to see for ourselves exactly how bad it was. Besides a headache from the talking in circles by the Neocat catechists, I walked away with the clear understanding that they view the Mass as a celebration, not a sacrifice, that we should be more concerned with offending our community when we sin(God apparently knows we cannot help it)and that anyone who opposes them, is "Judas." Which is how all those who stood against this movement are reminded of to this day by our treatment from the man who promoted the NCW.

From what I've read about and experienced myself about the NCW, wherever it goes, there is division. Straight answers are hard to come by as there is nothing explaining their catechesis that has been put to paper(The head catechist that visited our parish told us that his instructions are received verbally). So pinning them to anything is about as easy as nailing jello to the wall.

I think that the concerns addressed by Cardinal Arinze speaks volumes though:

We had seen numerous 'omissions' during some of our Masses that had many worried that we were being softened up for accepting the NCW way of doing things. In my opinion, Cardinal Arinze's letter justified those concerns.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Whenever i visit a parish that has neocats I leave. It sounds like a cult.

2:39 PM  

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