Anonymous May 8, 2014 at 12:24 PM left the following as a comment:
So here is Diana's response again to receiving communion... receive the host standing up, the sit and consume it.
"If consuming the body of Christ sitting down is ok, why do your Statutes say: 'Regarding the distribution of Holy Communion under the two species, he neocatechumens receive it STANDING, remaining at their place,'?"
This is my answer:
The Statues said that we are to RECEIVE it standing. It did not say we are to CONSUME it standing. We are following the Statutes. As I said, we RECEIVE the Body of Christ by hand standing up, then we sit down and later CONSUME it sitting down.
This, of course, has been at the center of our dispute with the Neocatechumenal Way. It is more than just a variation or an anomaly. It is a practice that speaks loudly about 1) the rebellious arrogance of its leadership, and 2) a theology of the eucharist that in conflict with that of the Catholic Church.
And because the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, what we believe about it and how we treat it determines to what degree we are in union with the Church. And on this count, the Neocatechumenal Way, at least its leadership, is NOT.
Let's review. Prior to 2008, the neocatechumens received the Eucharist (the consecrated species) remaining in their place and sitting. In addition, they did not consume the consecrated bread until all the communicants had received it and were signaled by the minister to consume it.
In 2002, St. John Paul II, ordered a study of the teachings and practices of the Neocatechumenal Way for a five year "ad experimentum" period. After three years of study, one of the practices that the Holy See asked to see suspended was the manner of receiving the consecrated species described above.
On December 1, 2005, Cardinal Arinze, Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, beginning his letter with "The Holy Father wishes you to know...", wrote to the leaders of the Neocatechumenal Way (Kiko, Carmen, and Fr. Mario), instructing them as follows:
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. (emphases mine)
There are no if, ands, or buts here. It is a straightforward demand by the Holy Father through the Congregation to the Neocatechumenal Way to change its practice and do as the rest of the Church does. Period.
The leaders of the Neocatechumenal Way immediately objected causing the Holy Father a few weeks later to issue a direct personal plea to the leadership in front of a large gathering of neocatechumens to please heed the directive:
Precisely to help the Neocatechumenal Way to render even more effective its evangelizing action in communion with all the People of God, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments recently imparted to you in my name certain norms concerning the Eucharistic Celebration, after the trial period that the Servant of God John Paul II conceded. I am sure you will attentively observe these norms that reflect what is provided for in the liturgical books approved by the Church.
By faithfully keeping to every Church directive, you will make your apostolate even more effective, in tune and in full communion with the Pope and the Pastors of every Diocese. And in so doing, the Lord will continue to bless you with abundant pastoral fruits. (ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO MEMBERS OF THE NEOCATECHUMENAL WAY, Paul VI Audience Hall, Thursday, 12 January 2006)
Every person in the Neocatechmenal Way during this period KNOWS that their leaders, and in our case even the Archbishop who is a member, IGNORED this directive. So what else are we to make of this other than insolence? How are we to respect the Neocatechumenal Way and even the Archbishop if our Holy Father will not be respected by either?
What are we to think other than this is a group that has placed itself outside the Church? One can disagree with the Pope on many things. But in matters of the liturgy, which is ultimately the Pope's domain, while one can disagree, NO ONE can disobey without separating oneself from the Church.
With the approval of the Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way in 2008, THE ONLY CONCESSION given in the matter of distributing the consecrated species was that the neocatechumens could remain in their place. Everything else in the 2005 directive applies. And to emphasize that it applies the Statute includes both the 2005 directive from the CDW and the Holy Father's January 12, 2006 address in the footnote to this section of the Statute as well as the explicit following directive (emphases mine):
For the celebration of the Eucharist in the small communities the approved liturgical books of the Roman Rite are followed, with the exception of the explicit concessions from the Holy See. Regarding the distribution of Holy Communion under the two species, the neocatechumens receive it standing, remaining at their place. (Art. 13 § 3)
Let's review. There is NO permission to receive the Holy Eucharist in any way, shape, or form differently than the rest of the Church other than when the Eucharist is celebrated in the small communities, the neocatechumens may "receive it standing, remaining in their place." That's it. Everything else MUST BE the same as the rest of the Church.
The "rest of the Church" CANNOT take the host back to the pew and sit down. The "rest of the Church cannot continue to hold the host. The "rest of the Church" CANNOT wait to consume until all have received. The "rest of the Church" is directed to consume the host "as soon as" it is received, NOT "as soon as" everyone has received. (GIRM 161)
And as we have noticed many times before, the only defense the NCW offers for this blatant violation is either "so what?" or "we haven't been told to stop."
Well, that's because the BISHOP of each diocese is charged with the protection of the liturgy and seeing to it that the norms issued by the Holy See are followed!
And this is why we have constantly implored Archbishop Apuron to please advise the flock entrusted to his care to instruct us if some other permission has been issued other than what is stated in the Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way. Otherwise the scandal and division will continue to grow and he is ultimately culpable.