Sunday, April 13, 2014

DOES THE NCW HAVE PUBLIC CONFESSIONS?


Technically, the Neocatechumenal Way does not have public confessions. Members are asked to share their "crosses". Think of it is as an AA meeting. There is nothing wrong with this of course and it can be, as the AA has proved, the first step towards healing. 

The problem is that most people's "crosses" are often their personal sins. There is the additional problem of a cross also being the sins of others, such as an adulterous spouse. So you can see how quickly sharing a "cross" can become a revealing of ones deepest personal sins as well as the telling of the sins of others. 

Such a thing is extremely dangerous. It works in the AA because usually there is a skilled counselor in control of the session and everyone's "sin" (alcohol addiction) is already known, which is why they are there in the first place. But in the NCW, we are taking people who for the most part only signed up to learn more about their faith and suddenly find themselves learning about the deepest personal sins of others. 

The pretext for this is probably James 5:16 where it says "confess your sins to one another". However, the preceding verses put this exhortation in the context of "summoning the presbyters". Thus we are not to confess our sins to just anyone. Logic should tell us that anyway. We are to confess to the presbyter. 

And to emphasize this, the exhortation to confess in James is followed by: "the prayer of the righteous man availeth much." The idea, being of course, even in that primitive context, is that we should confess to one who is righteous, and by design, it is supposed to be the presbyter/priest.

As a side note, this public sharing of crosses is nothing new. The eminent psychologist Carl Rogers developed it in the 1960's as part of his system of self-actualization therapy. Curiously, Rogers ended up using an order of nuns in the diocese of Los Angeles for his first large group test. The results were disastrous. 

Within one year, over 300 of the original group of 560 nuns were petitioning Rome to be relieved of their vows. And by the end of the second year, though the experiment had been designed for three years, Rogers himself, alarmed at the results, terminated the experiment.

In 1990, William Coulson, who was Roger's chief of staff and, at the time, in charge of the experiment, gave a talk to members of the L.A. diocese wherein he explained why the experiment was a disaster and publicly apologized for taking part in it. His talk was recorded and is available here. You can also learn more about the experiment in a piece I wrote here.


36 comments:

  1. Tim you have flaunted your "well-informed" speculative mindset again. You have no idea how this works in reality in the Way. We have our 1st scrutiny after 2-3 years of walking. Naming your cross in front of your brothers and sisters, including many presbyters has nothing to do with confession. You are welcome to visit some of our communities and get your first hand experience before you make your uninformed judgment.

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    1. And you have flaunted your uninformed mindset again. I in fact said exactly what you said: sharing of cross is not "confession". Once again, the fruits of the Neocatechumenal Way have been displayed. BTW, do you have a name? A real one? Or are you just always this brave?

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    2. Anon 6:53 am. You know very well that sexual sins and temptations are often shared at the first scrutiny. And how do I, as an outsider, know? Therein lies the problem!

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    3. Excuse me 653am. Three years ago shared my personal cross as a gay man wanting to live a good life. The open sharing was used against and led to certain person calling to always go dinner who is gay but in closet wanting to come out but cannot. This happen to friends also.

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  2. They actually share their crosses twice during the convivence associated with the First Scrutiny, which occurs approximately 2 years after the community is formed.

    First they are asked to reflect on this question, and write down the answer: “What is your cross today and what does it mean in your life? Why does God allow it?”

    The share the answer with the whole group twice - once with the Archbishop or his delegate present. This could be very problematic, I believe, if the cross involves issues of sexuality and intimacy, especially if the one's spouse does not belong to that community. Moreover, communities are often broken up and reassembled after the second scrutiny, which happens approximately two years later. Since members are known to quit at this point, secret crosses may not be so secret anymore.

    At its best, this could work like AA, as you suggest. At its worst, it's a classic cult technique called "hotseating", a powerful method of psychological leveraging.

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    1. Chuck, I respond to you because I still consider you guys brothers in faith, although you are getting very close of breaking communion with us. If you break the communion and let your jealousy destroy you, you can only blame yourself.

      Sharing your cross with your brothers and sisters is an act of faith. We trust our great challenge of our life, our cross, to the loving presence of the Holy Spirit who is there in the form of love. Unloading our cross has great spiritual benefits. Even the Lord unloaded his cross to Simeon on the way of the Calvary.

      Yes, you see people struggling with addiction or sexual orientation, but you don't have to spell this out only if you wish to get help in your fight through the love of the Spirit. Once you do spell out the name of your cross, the community will be there for you with loving care of the brothers and sisters who provide indispensable support in your walking with your cross. Hey, we all follow the Lord!

      Would your grudgeful approach to your own faith be able to produce these kinds of fruit, Chuck?

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    2. Hey Chuck. Did you know we were jealous?

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    3. 930am anon. Find your comment not only lacking in basic respect but also very much miss guided. I was walking and I stop walking after I was forced to share my cross . Sharing was ok but then the group asked questions on the sharing that not even a priest would ask in confession. Had to give the number of times, who with, location, really strange attitude.

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    4. Anon 930am. The statement is not true and you know it. Please do not write untruths on this page.

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    5. What do you mean by the term "breaking communion with us." explain yourself please.

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    6. Anon 9:30 am: Please know that I am not the least bit jealous of you, or your self-absorbed communities.

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    7. 9:30am, sounding more and more like a Jim Jones-Jonestown cult movement.

      I'll stick with Magisterium and Confession thank you!

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  3. As a recovering AA I was walking for a period of time. But no longer. At several meetings was forced to confess my cross and how the neo was the answer for my life to recover. Others in the group would ask me questions that made me look bad, felt like a worm. The neo Prost asked for money from me, I have him, but later it was enough pain walking so left. Monsignor said I was in danger of lost soul never went back.

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  4. Chuck, sincere thanks. Reading your comment was reminded of my pilgrimage of walking . My problem was concerned with relationship, catholic spirituality, the Eucharist, and walking. In the end I became confused and ended walking because of a fear that evolved in the general sharings of human weakness regarding sharings. The catechists told me some strange things regarding the cross and sexuality so I ended walking. In my mind the community is a cult with its own teaching which are not the official catholic church.

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    1. Anon how can you say CULT when the Archbishop walks. So the rest of us walks are CATHOLICS . Ratzinger knew about it and celebrated in the way. Maybe it's a cult to you because it did not go to your favor or perhaps PRIDE plague your heart cus you follow your will not the HOLY SPIRIT. PSALM 140-141

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    2. Actually you may want to rethink your using the Archbishop as a source of credibility for the Way. At the moment, he has some extreme issues that are not becoming of an Archbishop.

      As for Ratzinger, and even JP2, celebration with you, that was before the period of "ad experimentum" in which the Statutes were reviewed, revised, and published, along with the directives to change your liturgy to conform with the liturgical books. A directive which has been ignored. But you are not alone. Liturgical norms are violated all the time.

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  5. To Anonymous at 6:02 pm Kiko and Carmen's teachings on the Eucharist, Resurrection, Man does not offend God, etc. are all false teachings. Welcome back to the Mother Church! God Bless you!

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    1. How can you say is false teachings when the VATICAN approved it. LOL!

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    2. Well LOL! How can we know that? Where are these teachings? How do we know you are even using what the Vatican approved? LOL!

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    3. Why don't you write the Pope's secretary? LOL!. It kills you because is not available for you to twist things. WHO ARE you by the way to access it??? The only way to find out is to enter to it. Also, Most Rev. Bishop Enrico dal Covolo, SDB, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome visited Guam for a week in a half I believe to visit RMS but yet YOU still don't believe. I think you won't believe till Pope Francis writes you Tim that the Neocathecumanale is valid with no violation. Hahahaha even Pope Leo the great appear to you won't be satisfied. I witness here many threw answer to you but you REFUSE to accept it and you ridicule them. So is it worth giving you any answer? No cus you and Chuck White accuse the Neocathemunale is heretical. I obey the POPE and the Archbishop. Yeah you prayed...... to disobey the Archbishop Apuron because you care for Fr.Gofigan cus he is well loved. Is all about gaining affection. Christ was rejected and not love til he was crucified. To be a servant of GOD is not meant to gain affection but to do his will. Interesting Gospel this past weekend, what side are you on? Barabas or Jesus Christ. I ask myself that...

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    4. So let's take this idiocy one thing at a time:

      1. Why don't I write the Pope's secretary? Ummm, that's why we have a bishop. It is the bishop's job to answer these questions. I have asked them. He has not answered. Many people have asked them. He has not answered. People have been asking these questions for 10 years. He HAS NOT ANSWERED.

      2. So Bishop Covolo visited RMS. And that proves???? Do you even know the reason for the visit? BTW, Covolo has nothing to do with RMS. He was here to visit the Blessed Diego Institute. And the reason was to check to see if the Institute was in conformance with the curriculum of the Lateran. We have seen no report from Covolo or from the Institute, so might well assume that the Institute flunked. The institute is welcome to prove otherwise.

      3. Show me where I said the NCW is heretical. Do you even know what the word means?

      4. I do not "care" for Fr. Gofigan. I care for the rights of all priests in the face of a bishop who feels he is above the law. He is not. If this was just about obedience, no canon lawyer would have taken the case and it would not now be in Rome awaiting a trial, would it?

      5. English as a second language gives you away. Is it any wonder why there is so little money being given for the appeal? We are tired of your insults and disrespect for our Catholic Faith.

      Just a P.S., why do you think there are twice as many seminarians in Guam's RMS as there is in Boston's RMS, which has a Catholic population 21 times the size of Guam's? Multiple choice:

      a. seminarians that can't make it elsewhere are sent here
      b. seminarians that can't make it elsewhere are sent here
      c. seminarians that can't make it elsewhere are sent here
      d. all of the above

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    5. Another sniveling coward calls me out by name yet refuses to use their own real name. No courage, no adult faith, and no real conviction there.

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  6. It is obvious that people who write here about the Way don't have the slightest clue about what they are talking about. At the 1st scrutiny, those who are walking share their cross with their brothers and sisters in front of the catechists, presbyters and the bishop. This sharing is not discussed whatsoever, not in the communities, not with the catechists, not with the presbyters. Not with anybody else. Not at all! Those who claim otherwise may have walked in a different group, but NOT in the Neocatechumenal Way!

    Now, the 2nd scrutiny is a more serious endeavor, brothers and sisters go through serious soul searching. The overwhelming majority ends up in the 2nd scrutiny with great spiritual growth. A few would get offended and leave. Fine. But they should not make up fake stories about the Way that everybody immediately recognize as completely untrue.

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    1. Actually, we don't even know if you know what you're talking about. Because nothing is ever in writing, because nothing is available to the general public for their own investigation, everybody on this blog can be right.

      It is precisely to keep the story straight that the New Testament was written and why the Fathers of the Church committed so much to writing.

      However, in contrast to the true Church, which keeps no secrets, the NCW chooses to sequester its "catechism" and other teachings. So we are all free to speculate. If you want to prove everyone here wrong, then show us where we're wrong. Otherwise, we are free to say you are wrong as well.

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    2. Well Tim why don't you go to then Cathechisist instead of speculating.

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    3. One of the great attributes of the Catholic Church is that it is just that: Catholic, meaning for all (as opposed to just a chosen race).

      In order to make it available for all, the Catholic Church, from its first days, has endeavored to make the truth known to all in every way possible.

      Paul wrote his letters so that those he could not preach directly to would still have access to the truth of Jesus Christ. The writers of the gospels, the other books of the New Testament, the Fathers, the doctors, the saints…all endeavored to make the truth of the Catholic faith plain, open, and accessible to all.

      In our own time, John Paul II has made the Catechism of the Catholic Church available to us so that we all might learn and know the truth of our faith. Publishing the Catechism was a direct response to all the errors that were propagated in the wake of Vatican II.

      The pope wanted us, the regular Catholics, to have in hand, a sure guide by which we could compare what we were taught from pulpits and podiums with what the Church actually taught.

      When one goes to your Catechist, one has no such assurance. One has only the Catechist who, like the gnostics, possesses teachings reserved only for an inner caste. This is profoundly anti-Catholic and is in fact the very reason why gnosticism is condemned by the Church.

      To prove us all wrong, you have only to produce the Catechism used by the Catechists, all 13 volumes.

      The true Catholic Church has no such secret volumes. Anyone can order a Catechism or find it completely free online. Where is yours?

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    4. Tim did you forget someone mentioned to you a month ago Ratzinger and Pope Joh Paul II who asked Francis Arguello and Carmen Hernandez to write and form the statutes for the NCW..... You don't believe it! It's going in circles! Auuughhhhhh.

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    5. I am naturally inclined to impugn your level of intelligence as evinced in this comment. But in the spirit of Easter I shall refrain, at least this time.

      Meanwhile, to answer your questions. Yes, and I am sure I know the Statute better than you. While the founders may have been asked to write the Statute, approval only came after many modifications by the appropriate commissions and dicasteries in Rome which handle this sort of thing for hundreds of communities like the NCW.

      And so I support all that Rome has approved. What I don't support is what Rome has NOT approved. And Rome has not approved the manner in which the NCW continues to distribute Holy Communion. This is open act of defiance towards the magisterium. And the only defense I have seen so far is that you are getting away with it so it must be okay. That's how children think.

      So I've been waiting for an adult answer, and obviously you can't provide one. Please send someone who can. Now wipe that drool.

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  7. To Anon at 7:55pm The individuals that left the way are speaking of their experiences while in the way. So don't tell say they are making things up because they are only sharing the truth.. The truth is false teaching.Period.

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  8. The truth is that brothers and sisters do emerge from the hell bruised and wounded, holding onto their own cross as well as to the cross of the Lord. They embrace it as the last and only power that could save them.

    Who would dare to stop them and send them back to hell? Who would skin them alive from the Spirit? Would you?! Because all I can say is this: welcome brother, welcome sister, we are the true and eternal Catholics who don't shy away from the cross!

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    1. And there you have it folks: they are the "true and eternal Catholics". But obviously you shy away from the "cross" of attaching your name to your beliefs. A great witness.

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    2. Okay why are you interested of some ruffling your feathers Tim??? Why? Does it matter? Are you surprise that not many agree with you??

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    3. Asking people to put their names to their beliefs is "ruffling feathers"? I see you have no conviction either. More evidence.

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  9. To Anonymous on April 13, 2014 at 9:24 PM.... Here is a reliable source that says it all. Excepts from Catholic News Agency.
    Vatican approval for Neocatechumenal Way only applies to non-liturgical teachings.
    Vatican City, Jan 21, 2012 / 05:15 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s approval of the Neocatechumenal Way’s forms of “celebration” only applies to non-liturgical prayers within their catechesis and not to the Mass or other liturgies of the Church. “With respect to the celebrations of the Holy Mass and the other liturgies of the Church,” communities of the Neocatechumenal Way must “follow the norms of the Church as indicated in the liturgical books – to do otherwise must be understood to be a liturgical abuse,” a Vatican official who requested anonymity told CNA on Jan. 21.
    “the Neocatechumenal Way obtained no new permissions whatsoever,” said the official, who is familiar with the approval process for prayers and liturgies. “Essentially, the Pontifical Council is only approving these things that are found in the Catechetical Directory of the Neocatechumenal Way, and in no way touches those things contained in the liturgical books.”
    Since its foundation, however, the group has been cautioned by the Vatican for inserting various novel practices into Masses organized by the movement. These include lay preaching, standing during Eucharistic Prayer, the reception of Holy Communion while sitting down, as well as the passing of the Most Precious Blood from person to person.
    “The Neocatechumenal Way has no such permission for any of these kinds of things,” said the Vatican official. He claimed that the Vatican still receives complaints about the group’s “non-compliance with the universal norms of liturgy.”

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    1. Cowards!?
      "a Vatican official who requested anonymity told CNA on Jan. 21."
      So if we are Pro Neo we must share our identity but if we are Anti Neo, no need?
      Update your resources please. Joy!

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    2. Okay then how about the words of the Pope himself:

      In his audience talk, the pope said that while the celebrations described in the directory had been approved, the celebrations "are not strictly liturgical, but are part of an itinerary of growth in the faith."

      http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1200253.htm

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