Saturday, January 11, 2014


Letter from the Catholic Bishops of the Holy land and neocatechumenal “misleading advertisement” to emphasize its activity from the Wikipedia’s English website

A letter from the Bishops of the Holy Land (2/2007)

Three days later, on the 25, The Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land wrote a letter to Kiko saying, amongst other things: The Catholic bishops of the Holy Land wrote a letter welcoming the Neocatechumenal Way, giving indications for its work in the area.

“Brothers and sisters of the Way: You are welcome in our dioceses,” the bishops wrote in their letter released Sunday. "We thank God for the grace the Lord has given you and for the charism that the Holy Spirit has infused in the Church through your ministry of post-baptismal formation.

“We are grateful for your presence in some of our parishes, for the preaching of the Word of God, for the help given to our faithful in deepening their faith and in rooting them in their own local church.”

The Bishops of the Holy Land weighed in on this same topic of the turbulent relationship between the Neocatechumenal communities and the parishes and dioceses in which they operate. 

Their comments came in a joint letter addressed to the members of the Way, a letter courteous in form but stern in content. 

The bishops of the Holy Land reprimanded the Neocatechumenals for making themselves a group apart, for celebrating the Mass separately from the parishes, for not observing the liturgical rites, for remaining aloof from the language and culture of the local people. 

Wikipedia inserted the preamble, but not the substantial part of the letter, that is, the corrections and prescriptions of the Bishops of the Holy Land, that we publish here, wondering how is it possible that a group that defines itself an ‘ecclesial reality’ may use “misleading advertisement” to emphasize its activity:


“Following the Letter that Pope Benedict XVI sent you on January 12th, 2006, and the Letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship sent on December 1st, 2005, we ask you to take place in the heart of the parish in which you announce the Word of God, avoiding to form a separated group. We would like you to say, with Saint Paul: “I put myself in slavery to all people, to win as many as I could.” (1 Cor 9:19)

The principle to which we all must remain faithful and on which we must ground our pastoral action should be that of “one parish and one Eucharist.” Therefore, if you wish to help believers growing up in their faith, your first duty is to root them in the parishes and in the liturgical traditions in which they have lived for generations.

In the East, we care about our liturgy and our traditions. Liturgy has hugely contributed to preserve the Christian faith in our countries along the history. Rite is like an identity card, not just a way like another to pray, so we ask you to have enough charity as to understand and respect our believers’ attachment to their liturgies.

2. Eucharist is not the sacrament of separation but unity inside the parish. Therefore, we demand that the parish priest preside over all Eucharistic celebrations, in all the Oriental Rites, as much as in the Latin Rite, or—as to the Latin Rite—that you at least celebrate Eucharist in full agreement with him. “Where the Bishop is, there is the Church,” wrote Saint Ignatius of Antioch. Teach the believers love for their liturgical traditions and put your charisma to use for unity.

3. Furthermore, we ask you to thoroughly study the people’s languages and culture, as a sign of respect for them and as an instrument to understand their soul and their history, in the context of the Holy Land: a religious, cultural and national pluralism. Indeed, in our Countries, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, everybody is seeking peace and justice: this quest is an integral part of our life as Christians. Each sermon should orient our believers about the concrete attitudes to observe in the different contexts of life and in the very same conflict that still continues in Palestine: an attitude of forgiving and love for their enemy, on the one hand; on the other, a claim to their fundamental rights, such as dignity, freedom and justice.

We ask you to preach a Gospel incarnated in life, a Gospel that may enlighten the many facets of life and root the believers in the Resurrected Jesus Christ as much as in their human, cultural and ecclesial environment.

We pray God to fill your hearts with His strength and His love and to give you His grace so that you may fill believers’ hearths with His love and His strength.”

Jerusalem, February 25th, 2007.

† Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem 
† Elias Shakour, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Acre, Haifa, Nazareth and all Galilee
† George El-Murr, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia, Petra and Jordan
† Paul Sayyah, Maronite Archbishop of Haifa and the Holy Land and Maronite Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jordan
† Fouad Twal, Latin Coadjutor Bishop, Jerusalem
† Kamal Bathish, Latin Coadjutor Bishop, Jerusalem 
† Selim Sayegh, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan
† Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Israel
† Pierre Melki, Syro-Catholic Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem, the Holy Land and Jordan
† George Bakar, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem 
† Rafael Minassian, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem, the Holy Land and Jordan


In December of 2005, the congregation for divine worship and the discipline of the sacraments ordered the Neocatechumenal Way to correct the ways in which its communities celebrate the Mass. And the following January 12, 2006, Benedict XVI urged the Way to “observe attentively” the prescribed norms. Obedience to both of these admonitions has been far from complete, both at the time and afterward. 

Another controversial point concerns the catecheses that the Way preaches in its communities. The texts for these are still largely secret, and some of them have raised objections from various Vatican congregations, including the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. 

Finally, the anomalous reconfirmation of the statutes of the Way, which the Holy See approved on June 13, 2008

The Neocatechumenals have an extensive presence in the Holy Land. Their citadel is a sprawling complex on the slopes of the Mount of the Beatitudes, west of Lake Tiberias, called “Domus Galilaeae” and inaugurated on March 24, 2000 by John Paul II in person, in the presence of 50,000 Neocatechumenals who had gathered there from over the world. 

The architecture and decoration of the “Domus,” with its bizarre hodgepodge of Christian and Jewish allegories, is the work of the founder of the Way, Kiko Argüello. 

To the numerous communities they have established in the Holy Land is added a ceaseless flow of Neocatechumenal pilgrims, who are carefully separated from the other visitors. Even the Masses are celebrated separately. And the procedures for their rituals are identical to those in any other part of the world, including the songs composed by their founder and supreme leader, Kiko. 

Moreover, in the realm of politics the Neocatechumenal communities do not conceal a markedly pro-Israeli outlook, contrary to the Christians living there, almost all of whom are Arab and pro-Palestinian.


  1. Even in the holy land the NCW separates themselves from the people as if they are holier than thou! They ( NCW ) are thee ONLY Catholics that act just like Protestants! Does it not register into their brain cells how different they act??? Has it (cells) all been brain washed away?