The previous post was rather long so here's the abbreviated version.
The title of the Zenit story is: Pope Francis Backs Neocatechumenal Way Liturgy.
The story is about a letter Kiko Arguello reportedly received from Pope Francis. The pope's letter was reported to be a response to Kiko's own letter to the pope in which, as per the Zenit story, Kiko "told the Pope of his concern about several negative interpretations of the words of the Holy Father addressed to a group of some 12,000 neocatechumens on February 1st, 2014."
As a result of those words, Kiko claims that certain pastors began:
- taking away the the Eucharist celebrated in community on Saturday night, and
- eliminated the Paschal Vigil of the community.
Of course Zenit does not ask him "who, what, where, and when", so he is allowed to construct his usual straw man. Zenit only asks him what the pope's response means, and Kiko replies: "thanks to God, the Pope has saved us...We are very happy that the Pope loves us and defends us."
Of course, the Pope does no such thing. What the pope DOES do is:
- Tell Kiko that there can be no misunderstanding about his words.
- Defends ecclesial communion by reminding Kiko that the Paschal Vigil and the Sunday Eucharist must conform to the Way's "regulatory charter."
The pope relies on Kiko's integrity to know that the Statute, the "regulatory charter":
- does not allow for a separate celebration of the Easter Vigil in the Neocatechumenal communities - as per the reference to the letter Paschalis Solemnitatis wherein it says "(t)he celebration of the Easter Vigil for special groups is not to be encouraged...";
- does not permit a closed celebration of the Eucharist apart from the church; and
- does not permit the distribution of communion as it is practiced in the neocatechumenal "eucharists".
So, via the usual Kiko-spin, what is essentially a very strong reply from the pope 1) affirming that his words relative to ecclesial communion were NOT taken out of context, and 2) to conform to the "regulatory charter", we get from Kiko via Zenit:
- The pope loves us!
- The pope saves us!
- The pope defends us!
- The pope backs the Neocatechumenal Way Liturgy!
And for the record:
THERE IS NO "NEOCATECHUMENAL WAY LITURGY"!
There is only THE LITURGY as provided for in the approved Liturgical Books (the Missal and the GIRM). The Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way DOES NOT provide for a Neocatechumenal Way Liturgy. What it does provide for (in Art. 13) are three exceptions. They are:
- the communicants may receive communion under two species,
- the communicants may receive the sacred species remaining in their place standing (not sitting), and
- the Rite of Peace may be transferred to after the Prayer of the Faithful.
In all other matters: "the approved liturgical books of the Roman Rite are followed..." (Art 13 § 3)
- There is NO allowance for the priest to move his own communion till after the consecrated bread has been distributed.
- There is NO allowance not to consume the consecrated bread immediately upon receiving it as is required of the rest of the Church.
- And there is NO allowance to sit back down after receiving without first consuming.
In all THREE of these practices, the Neocatechumenal Way departs from its Statute and by doing so, places itself outside its "charter" and outside "ecclesial communion."
The letter was a WARNING not and endorsement!