Received the following challenge via email. Him in red. Me in black.
The unfortunate part is many the posts, blogs, comments are laced with half-truths, misinterpretations and some outright lies (or lack of support to corroborate the points many make).
I take no responsibility for the truth or lack of it in the comments, and I allow comments from both sides. However, as to my posts, why not take the time to point out at least one example of a "half-truth", "misinterpretation", or "outright lie"?
I know don't know all of the details of some of the individual circumstances you and others refer to, but I do know the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and Archdiocese of Guam have greatly benefited from the Church's charisms, of which the NeoCatechumenal Way is one.
I find your categorization of the NeoCatechumenal Way as one of the "Church's charisms" enlightening and disturbing. The charisms of the Church are normally synonymous with the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. And the NeoCatechumenal Way is one of these? Of course what you probably mean is that the NCW is one of the ways in today's Church wherein these charisms are manifested. But in case you don't. In case you actually mean to equate the NCW itself with the Seven Gifts, we would not find that surprising.
As for your quotes from the Catechetical Directory and such, I invite you to a Catachesis. Go for yourself, to grow in your faith. Until you've experienced what the Catechesis has to offer and listen, you won't know what anyone is talking about. Like any charism, it's not for everyone, and there are many ways the Church provides to lead one to Heaven.
To have the directory and not have listened to/experienced a catechesis is like a car mechanic picking up an airplane maintenance manual. Some of the themes, parts and procedures seem familiar but you never receive and experience the true flavor & nature of what it's about.
At the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 1985, the bishops expressed a desire for "a catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding both faith and morals be composed." Pope John Paul II supported this desire, saying that it "wholly corresponds to a real need of the universal Church and of the particular Churches". The "real need" was prompted by the great doctrinal confusion that followed the Council. As a safeguard against false teachers and compromised doctrines the pastors of the Church desired that all Catholics have direct and immediate access to Catholic doctrine. Thus the publication in 1992 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its wide availability today in every possible format.
The wide availability of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the intent of the pastors who desired it is in direct contradiction to the "catechism" of the Neocatechumenal Way, which only certain people are allowed to see. Attendees at your catechesis must blindly depend on the teachings of a man or a woman which is precisely what the pastors of the Church were trying to protect against when they sought to put a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church into the hands of every Catholic.
However, I would have to agree with you as to what you say about Kiko's "catechetical directory". You are right, it IS like a "car mechanic picking up an airplane maintenance manual." And reading it gives one the feeling that a car mechanic (Kiko) is trying to fly an airplane. Fortunately for the rest of us "regular Catholics", our pastors saw to it that our Catechism of the Catholic Church (and the even simpler Compendium to the Catechism) was not an airplane manual. We don't get our faith from a book, but the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as was our pastors' intent, at least allows us to make sure that what we are taught is actually in the book.
As far as the heretical talk, I only know what the Church tells me. Five different dicasteries duly reviewed, rechecked and confirmed what the Neocatechumenal Way is and does. Many great theologians, liturgists & canonists have double-checked, triple-checked the information. The last 6 Popes have approved and esteem the Way and what is does.
Then perhaps you can answer for me WHERE do any of the "five different dicasteries" permit:
- The celebrant to distribute holy communion before communicating himself.
- The holding of the consecrated bread until all have received versus consuming it "as soon as" it is received as the rest of the Church is required to do.
We already accept what the Church has approved about the Neocatechumenal Way. What we don't accept is what we see that we don't see approved. We even accept that Rome has approved your Catechetical Directory. The problem is no one knows if you're actually using what Rome approved because no one but a select few can get a copy. This is gnosticism. And by the way, only 5 popes. Working backwards: Francis, Benedict, JPII, JPI (did he live long enough to "approve and esteem you"?), and Paul VI. That's five. Paul VI became Pope in 1963. The NCW, as all generally available accounts record, was formed in 1964. However, if you're counting Kiko then you would be correct.
As the Gospel of Matthew says, judge it by its fruits (not subjectively but objectively).
Alas, we come to the ever present "fruits". Does this mean you will also take the blame for bad fruits? In fact we have seen and judged by your fruits.
- We have seen what it has done to the three men on the hill.
- We have seen how they treat people who do not acquiesce to the demands of the Kiko's.
- We have seen the Kiko Junta from New Jersey attempt to steal away a significant portion of the Archdiocese's patrimony.
- We have seen the Archbishop illegally terminate the members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council when they stopped the Kiko Junta from doing so (though they may have found another underhanded way to do it).
- We have seen your leaders and members violate the General Instruction for the Roman Missal and then tell us "So what?"
- I personally have seen and experienced verbal violence against me for daring to question the practices of the Neocatechumenal Way as well as personal threats against me and my family.
Shall I go on?
With your "fruits" as some sort of litmus test we would need to condemn the Second Vatican Council given that in its wake massively fewer people practice their faith, wouldn't we? And I can point to many former Catholics who have better marriages and family lives today after joining some other church. What should we make of that? Their "fruits" are certainly better. On the cross, what "fruits" did Jesus have? One apostle, his mother, and a few scared women.
The problem with your version of relying on "fruits" to test what is good is that we must "lean on our own understanding" to understand whether those fruits are truly good or bad. This is why we "regular Catholics" do not take the verse from Matthew, which you quote, out of the Church. This is why all that must be tested must be with the mind of the Church, not just my mind or yours. This is why, the Church, in its great care for the salvation of souls has seen to it that we have access to a published Catechism where what we are taught by mere men can be tested against the whole doctrine and will of the Church. And this is precisely why no one can get a copy of yours. You do not want your fruits to be really tested.
At stake is the salvation of our souls. We regular Catholics stake our salvation on what is taught clearly by the Catholic Church and guaranteed by the one to whom Jesus gave the keys. You stake your salvation on the tightly controlled teaching of a former atheist. We'll stick with Peter.