Friday, January 24, 2014


Someone asked me recently about the strategy for my posts. In other words, how do I choose what to write about and when? My answer was simple. I just go to bed and by the time I wake up there is an anonymous comment from a Neo-cat defender essentially handing me another opportunity to allow the Neocats to impugn themselves with their own words.

It's funny, because I can almost hear the sneer: "we got him this time!", but in reality, the comment is just another unfounded, unsubstantiated, silly attempt at self-authentication. Following is another example:

Responding to the post below wherein I compare "altars" in a "by the way" comment, Anonymous Neo responds:

Attached is a weblink showing the former Pope John Paul and then Cardinal Ratzinger (who later became a Pope) celebrating Mass in the Neocatechumenal Way. Notice that the altar is the same in the first picture.....just as the Neocatechumenal celebrate Mass. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI apparently has (sic) no problem with this kind of altar. Therefore, the altar of the Neocatechumenal Way has has (sic) been approved by the Pope.

The first hint that this was another example of silly grasping is that the blog referenced is "Southern Orders". Southern Orders is a more or less "rad trad" blog that regularly knocks post-Vatican II developments especially the Neocatechumenal Way. No intelligent Neocat in his right mind would want to send anyone to this blog. 

Yet our Anonymous Neo does just that, which tells us that he just did a careless internet search for some pictures to back his point, and didn't even bother to look at the context. In fact the caption over the pic of Pope John Paul II saying the Mass disparagingly reads: Pope John Paul II celebrating a "NEOCAT WAY" Mass! 

Anonymous Neo also resorts to the usual silly equation we hear ad nauseum from Neocat defenders: 
If A looks like B and B looks like C then A is C. 
So the pope celebrated Mass with the Neos, therefore the pope approves the Neos! Ummm, no. The pope also kissed the Koran, a book which denies Jesus Christ is God. So the pope approves Islam? (Sigh.)

But here's what's really sad. Anonymous Neo has no clue about the history of the thing he is in. The final Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way, the thing that says what you can and can't do, was approved in 2008. John Paul II had already been dead for three years. Prior to his death, John Paul II was sickly and stooped for several years. The pic shows a still healthy, upright John Paul II. 

So the Mass pictured probably occurred in the 90's or even earlier, which would date this picture ten to fifteen years before Rome finally codified the practices of the NCW in the Statute, and even well before John Paul II himself got around to imposing the five year "ad experimentum" period on the NCW in 2002. In other words the picture PROVES NOTHING. 

But since you bring it up, let's review what your Statute directs you to do:
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. 
This instruction was given to you on December 1, 2005 and was NOT mitigated by your Statute. In fact if is emphasized in your Statute in Article 13, Footnote 49. There is NO concession in your Statute to continue celebrating Mass with your "cloth-covered table placed at the center of the church." 

The fact that bishops and cardinals show up for your big shindigs and stand around your square table validates nothing. Sadly many bishops and cardinals persist in error and scandal regularly. In fact, it happens locally every Saturday night. 

And then Anonymous Neo gives us this little tidbit:
Also, the way the Eastern Catholics celebrate their Mass is also very different from the way the Latin-rite Catholics celebrate, but these Eastern rites are approved also by the Pope. 
Ummm, no. The pope doesn't go around examining the many different rites and approving or not approving. The fact is that the eastern rites exist because they are rites, usually ancient ones. They are in union with Rome because they recognize the pope as the rightful successor to Peter and head of the church, not because the pope has granted them some approval. 

Most silly of all is Anonymous Neo's attempt to authenticate the NCW by equating the relatively recent upstart, rebelliously disobedient Neocatechumenal Way with the ancient rites of the church. Of course he can't be faulted, he's only repeating what he's been taught. 


  1. It funny that in Wikipedia, under the title altar cloth, this altar was labeled as undetermined denomination.

  2. What is the link between the Neo-Catechumenal Way and the catechumenate of the early Church?

    ARGÜELLO: In the early Church, in the midst of paganism, a person who wanted to become a Christian had to follow instruction in Christianity that was called the 'catechumenate' from the word 'catecheo' which means 'I resound' and 'I listen'. But we might ask: 'Listen to what?' Not just God speaking through the Scriptures: a catechumen is somebody who has learned to listen to God speaking throughout history. Among the eastern religions which claim to overcome the passions by taking flight into transcendence through techniques of prayer (as does Zen philosophy, the Tao and Buddhism itself), and the divide between the sacred and the profane in natural religion in the West, which entails a divorce between religion and life, the great revolution of Christianity is the Incarnation, God who becomes man in the concrete history of mankind. The Fathers say that what befits a Christian is not humility, obedience or even sanctity but discernment, without which neither humility nor obedience nor sanctity exists. Discerning what? The divine action in our history. Discerning the snares of the devil and the reason why certain things happen to us and what sense they have ... There lies the meaning, the renewal of the post-baptismal Neocatechumenate. Christ says to the Samaritan woman: 'Believe me, woman, the moment has come when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father ... The moment has come, and it is this, in which the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and ,truth. Because the Father seeks such worshipers.' In a Christian initiation the catechumen discovers that we are the true temple and our life is a liturgy of holiness, the ritual of which is the Book of Psalms. But before everything the catechumenate of the early Church was shaped out of a synthesis between Word, Changed Life and Liturgy. What the early Church had was a kerygma, a proclamation of salvation. This proclaiming of the Gospels was done by itinerant apostles such as Paul and Silla and brought about a moral change in those who heard it. They changed their lives with the help of the Holy Spirit accompanying the apostles. This changed life was sealed and helped through the sacraments. Concretely, baptism was given in stages. The Neo-Catechumenal Way wants to bring back that 'gestation', that synthesis of Kerygma, Changed life and Liturgy.

  3. Thank you for allowing a post of my own. At any rate, I didn't go to that website because they oppose post-Vatican II. I went to it simply because of the photos they have of the altar, and in my last post, that is where I directed your attention to. The altar is the same altar that the Neocatechumenal Way uses. There is no cross on the altar, but the cross is beside the lectern, and the Pope was celebrating Mass on that altar.

    I agree with your comparison of the Way's altar to the Pope kissing the Qu'ran. You see, the Pope was making a point to the Muslim world. What he did silenced the entire Muslim world because not one of their imans or mullahs had the courage to kiss the Holy Bible. In the same way, the Pope celebrating Mass on the Way's altar was also making a point. The focus should always be on the body and blood of Christ on the altar, not on the candles, the flowers, the altar coverings, or even the cross. The focus is always on the body and blood because that is Christ's REAL body and blood. So, why are you looking around at where they put the cross?

    As for the statutes, it appears that you are fussing over the altar being at the center of the church, when it states: 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."

    The manner in which the Way had been distributing the body and blood of Christ in the past was by sitting down. This is what has changed. Those in the Way are following the Statues in that the manner in which they are now receiving the body and blood of Christ is by standing up. God bless.

    1. Thank you for this. I do not like to make accusatory posts unprovoked. You have provided plenty of material with this comment. Keep an eye out for it.