Thursday, March 27, 2014


Absent an explanation from the Chancery as to our question about the Liturgy of the Word, we must assume that the Archbishop has either created a new liturgical event or he has simply misnamed it. All searches for the term reference the Liturgy of the Word as the second part of the celebration of the four part Mass: 1. Introductory Rite, 2. Liturgy of the Word, 3. Liturgy of the Eucharist, 4. Concluding Rite. 

A search for the term in the Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way produces one instance which is copied here:
“Celebrations of the Word of God are arranged for their benefit, and at Mass they may also attend the Liturgy of the Word with the faithful, thus better preparing themselves for participation in the Eucharist in time to come. (Art. 24 §2.)
Notice that the Statute distinguishes between "Celebration of the Word" and the "Liturgy of the Word" which occurs "at Mass". The weekly celebration of the Word in the NCW community, which is essentially a study of four readings, is authorized in the Statute. (Art. 11, §1.) It is NOT the Liturgy of the Word. 

Since the weekly celebration of the Word is recognized in the Statute, and a stand alone Liturgy of the Word is not, it would be helpful if the Chancery would either clarify or correct the instance of this in the DECREE on the Boys' Chapel as posted in last Sunday's U Matuna. Meanwhile, we will have to assume that it was a mistake.

But it is a "telling" mistake. It tells us two things:  1) that the chapel, while closed to most normal sacred uses, is permitted to be used by the Neocatechumenal Way;  and 2) that the "chancery" is so entrenched in the Neocatechumenal Way that its internal erroneous language has been adopted to the extent that it actually now appears in an episcopal decree. 

This is "nuncio level" stuff. But I have a feeling that the powerful people who financed the Boys' Chapel will have much more to say, and say it sooner, than the Nuncio. 

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