Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Pope Francis appears to be very aware of the disunity in dioceses throughout the world where the Neocatechumenal Way is present. Tells Neocats: Church's unity more important than their practices.


VATICAN CITY  — Pope Francis told members of a missionary movement Saturday they must respect local customs and bishops’ guidance while globally spreading the faith, saying the Catholic Church’s overall unity is more important than the details of their own practices.

Francis held an audience with several thousand members of the Neocatechumenal Way, a community founded in Spain in the 1960s that seeks to train Catholic adults in their faith and is known for sending teams of large families out as missionaries around the globe.

The group, whose growing membership is reported at around 1 million, is one of the so-called new religious movements in the church, emboldened by the Vatican’s call for renewed evangelizing, but also criticized for divisive practices and alleged liturgical abuses that greatly concerned Pope Benedict XVI.

While appreciating the movement’s religious zeal, bishops in Japan, the Philippines and elsewhere in Asia and Europe have accused the movement of wreaking havoc in their dioceses and have tried to limit the Neocatechumenals’ activities, shutting their seminaries and complaining to the Vatican.

The archbishop of Tokyo penned an article in 2011 noting the country’s bishops wanted to suspend the Neocatechumenals’ work completely in the country for five years. The archbishop of Lingayen-Daugupan in the Philippines, Monsignor Socrates Villegas, went so far as to bar the community from seeking new recruits and revoked existing members’ right to teach catechism lessons.

Francis appeared to have taken such criticisms seriously, telling the group that they must be patient and merciful with all they encounter.

The freedom of each person must not be forced, and you must respect even the possible choice of those who decide to search for other forms of Christian life outside the Way,” he warned.

Francis is less a liturgical purist than his predecessor, and has said he wants a missionary church that goes out to the peripheries of the world to spread the faith. But in his audience with the Neocatechumenals, Francis made clear the community still had issues that needed addressing.

While encouraging 40 new teams of missionaries, he told the families and the movements’ founders their priority must be keeping the church unified.

“Communion is essential,” Francis said. “Sometimes it might be better to renounce living what your path calls for in all its details for the sake of guaranteeing unity.”

The movement’s Saturday evening liturgies, celebrated in small groups around a table as if it were Jesus’ banquet, have been a source of concern among bishops who find such practices confuse the faithful. The Vatican has yet to approve the liturgical practices.

Francis also told the groups’ members to respect the authority and guidance of local bishops, and to pay attention to cultural differences when they go about seeking converts.

One of the community’s co-founders, Francisco “Kiko” Arguello noted during the audience that missionaries are only sent to places where bishops request them.

Benedict was mostly concerned about alleged liturgical abuses in the movement and had instructed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to study whether its Masses violated church regulations, according to a 2012 report in L’Espresso magazine. Francis has reportedly called off the study ordered by Benedict, and he made no mention in his remarks Saturday about liturgical problems.


  1. I think the Pope read this blog!

  2. If Pope Francis called off the study, then maybe we should scratch the way Neos receive communion off the list. What do we hope to attain through our efforts in knowing the truth when it seems as though Rome is not concerned? What is the goal? What do we hope to accomplish? What if nothing becomes of all these efforts and letters to Rome? Will the Non-Neo Catholics on Guam become like the 1st century Christians -- meeting secretly for traditional Masses, hiding our true identity for fear of some sort of retribution?

    1. Will reply to your concern in a post.

    2. 4:55 am Earthquake in Guam. That was Mr. Tim Rohr thinking up his reply post.

  3. Doubt it. These are the problems all over the world that the NEO brings to Local Churches. Those were one size fits all comments. Inspired comments.

  4. Same problems with neo all over the world. Most bishops will not allow them to rule their dioceses as tony Apuron did. Kiko promised him he would help make him a cardinal and make his two minions bishops. In exchange for using Guam as a platform.

    1. Sadly, this story about "being made a cardinal" is believable. I've heard it before. But how on earth do you know that this offer was actually made? Do you have proof? Did the Archbishop discuss it with anyone?

    2. RE: Feb. 5, 2:44 AM-- Given his very transparent undisguised lack of humility, there are people who would not put it pass this archbishop to include in his list of personal ambitions: “to become ‘the 1st Guam Cardinal’” especially dangled in his head and strategized by neo rulers as a way to keep this archbishop wrapped around their plan and goal of a Guam take-over!

      Wouldn’t that be the perfect plan? And then, inching the neo’s feet in Rome’s door, enhancing the neo influence at that level? And this archbishop just follows along like a trained, submissive puppy. Wake up, not only Guam Catholics, but all Catholics experiencing the neo infiltration in your Dioceses or countries, or who are following this blog about the underhanded neo goals on Guam!!

    3. uhmmm... their feet are way past the door, as evidenced by what happened with Pope emeritus Benedict XVI.
      I wouldn't put it past this archbishop to be seeking a cardinalship.
      Thing is, this is a ROMAN Catholic Church, not the NEO Catholic church, so why force members of the Roman Catholic Church to support the NEO Catholic church's seminary, why take the assets of the Roman Catholic Church and give them to the NEO catholic church?
      If there are so many NCW members, why don't they support their church, and STOP FORCING IT DOWN OUR THROATS!
      The RCC has existed on Guam for 400 years, and they want to come in here and tell us we have no faith?!?! hahahaha
      While not perfect, if we have no faith the church would have ceased to exist. GO BACK TO MALTA! Take the rest of them with you.
      Sorry for the rant but this is getting to be to much.
      Meanwhile we have to watch what our ancestors have built be given away, what will we have for the next generation?
      Unfortunately, I must remain anon for the time being.

  5. about thirty years ago, while assigned as a Drill Sergeant to Ft Leonard Wood Missouri. I met a young man who I felt was not made to be in the military service. We had a few words and I adviced him to go back home and be what he is meant to be for I believed inwhat I had visioned him to be. today he is a Pastor in the Lutheran Christian Religion. with the current insensitivity of the bishop on the predicament of the non neo Catholics on the island and his adament request for more donation to operate a highly divisive semenary, I some times ask this non-Catholic Pastor for adive.

  6. Read between the lines. The holy father cannot blast the entire NCW in st. Peters last weekend. Impossible. So you study the exact words he used, the issues, that is how you learn what he is thinking. Thee focuses on respect for local culture, the unity of the church the most important of all. Respect for the local bishop. These are the central arease not the sending of all those roaming families who should be giving kids stability at home. On Guam we see the grave disunity that concerns the holy father. The NCW on Guam do not even respect Apuron. They use Apuron because he is a weak leader so they all use each other. NCW get episcopal support, Apuron did not become a cardinal, doubt he will now, but he made himself rich. They all use each other so it creates a fake archdiocese now in disunity. Apuron has lost respect of most people on Guam today.

  7. Kiko has no formal capacity to make Apuron a cardinal. What kiko did was to privately tell him, he will influence the cardinals who have leanings towards the NCW to encourage the holy father to make Guam the new cardinal seat of the pacific. This would raise the status of Apuron. By opening the seminary Apuron hoped it would place him on the map and gain Vatican support. The next plan was to have the two minions both ordained bishops. One to Saipan, other to assist Apuron. Then Guam and the Mariana's would become NCW hub of Asia andacific. The problem was kiko and Apuron failed to understand the one other issue not related to the NCW, that has been unresolved. Until those issues are resolved no appointments can be made.

  8. Cardinal? Credential? Apparently he was not the first clergy to be inducted into the Equestrian Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. He was bypassed by another local priest. It may only be an honorary title but I guess his credentials are not so good. It was only until a year or two later that he was made part of the equestrian order. I believe his induction took place in Manila.

    You see, the Archbishop needs to flaunt his status. All the medallions over his neck doesn't men anything. The only that happens is it drags him down, the same way this disunity is doing. In other words, get rid off the baggage!

    Like I was telling someone, wish there was a face to face forum with Father Pius present. The belittling remarks he said about me I WILL NEVER FORGET! It was not very Christian-like of him. Until then, I will remain anonymous.

  9. Tell me about it. When fr. Pius first arrived I was slowing down the NCW as I believed the archbishop was acting so,fast. Pius took me aside and told me I was preventing gods work, and I was Satan in disguise and something bad would happen to me.

    1. Amen to that! Yours takes the cake, but mine has the icing on it.

      Signed: I WILL NEVER FORGET!

  10. Correct. The archbishop is not comfortable in his own person. He has always looked for status over and above archbishop of Guam to make him secure as a person. Look back what has he really done for Guam . In 25 years he did nothing like archbishop Flores. To bring in the NCW was one last attempt to make a name for himse in Rome. Well,it certainly did that, but not in the way he wanted. Had he have lived a quiet humble life of service to the poor, then he may have been like the new cardinal in the Philippines. A non cardinal seat made a cardinal. It may have worked had he have known pope Francis was coming in 2013.

  11. I too have to remain anonymous but I know how vicious and mean spirited some of the NCW leaders can be. Even Fr Pius fake smile I could see was fake from a mile away. He plays the part of a poor, insignificant person but what he says goes. Like a smart player he uses his power only when necessary but use it he does and AA, DQ and AC all bow down. Not only him but a man I trust says he saw and heard Gennarini cuss out people on the finance board. As for some of the Neo pastors, ask their parishioners. They will tell you how demeaning they can be. Their belittling comments about our former pastors, our culture, our devotions. The Neos just need to wake up. Their days are numbered. There will always be a group of them. But the majority of this island's Catholics has made a decision. When AA goes, they will stick around for a while. If the new archbishop closes Redemtorist seminary and if slowly the Neo priests ordained for Guam transfer diocese or go on mission because the new archbishop doesn't bow to them, the NCW will be just one group along with all the other groups. Not a big deal. Mark my word those days are coming. When AA turns 75. Lets hope we dont have to wait until then. AA could give $75 miilion property to them in the years he has left; go after more of our non Neo priests and so on.

  12. To the people in Rome who can do something about all of this - PLEASE HELP US NOW!