Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS POST BY DIANA?

Got this in a comment:

Tim,

What are your thoughts on this post by Diana?

The following is Diana's post:

Sunday, May 18, 2014 Pope Francis Backs the Neocatechumenal Way Liturgy 
During the Lenten announcement, a letter was read to the communities. Kiko Arguello had written a letter to Pope Francis because some of the things he stated on his February 1st address were taken out of context. The Pope then wrote to Kiko, assuring him that he stands beside him. This event has now been published on May 16, 2014. One can read the full story below: 

Pope Francis Backs the Neocatechumenal Way

According to the news report (the bold is my emphasis). I also underlined Paschal Vigil: 
The Vatican Secretariat of State sent a letter on April 3rd from the Holy Father to Kiko Arguello, initiator of the Neocatechumenal Way, along with Carmen Hernandez, confirming the liturgical praxis of the Way with regards to the Eucharist and the Paschal Vigil.  
In the letter, the Holy Father confirms that "as far as it pertains to the celebrations of the Paschal Vigil and the Sunday Eucharist, [...] articles 12 and 13 [of the Statutes], read in their entirety, constitute therefore the regulatory charter of reference." 
This letter was in response to a letter sent previously by Kiko Arguello in which he 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.  
In his response, Pope Francis not only confirmed the full validity of the Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way, but acknowledged "the evangelizing dynamism of the Neocatechumenal way, the experience of authentic conversion of life of so very many faithful, and the fruits of good generated thanks to the presence of the communities all over the world." 
The Pope confirms his "paternal closeness" and sent "loving encouragement to [Arguello] and to all adherents to the Way." The letter concludes assuring the initiator of the Way of the "closeness" and "memory in the Lord" of Pope Francis, while sending "from his heart to you, to the International Team and to all the adherents to the Neocatechumenal Way, his Apostolic Blessing." 
As I have been saying all along..... because the Statutes mentions the Easter Vigil, this is already an indication that the Holy See has allowed us to celebrate the Easter Vigil and that our Easter Vigil is one with the Easter Vigil of the Parish. Yet, those who oppose the Way constantly cite Church law in the GIRM or the Roman Missal, which stated that there is to be only ONE Easter Vigil. 

So, to those who accused the NCW of going against Church law in the GIRM because you state that "there should only be ONE Easter Vigil".......I "RECOMMEND" that you take it up with the Pope who has confirmed our celebration of the Easter Vigil as well as the Eucharist. 

To the brothers in the Way, celebrate!!!! Pope Francis has given us his APOSOLIC BLESSING!!!

****

MY THOUGHTS

First, let us take a look at the actual letter supposedly "from the Holy Father". Here it is
Vatican, April 3rd, 2014 
Most Esteemed Sir 
Mr. Francisco ARGÜELLO, 
With a respectful letter of the past March 15th, you expressed to the Holy Father your grave concern because some people interpreted a quote from the discourse of the past February 1st in a negative way towards the Neocatechumenal Way; there, where His Holiness said that, at times, it would be better to renounce to live in all its details what the itinerary of the Way would demand, in order to ensure unity among the brethren who form the one ecclesial community.   
I have to assure you that Pope Francis has considered carefully what you explained and wishes to confirm, as he has already expressed in the context of the Audience and of His Speech on February 1st, His paternal closeness and His loving encouragement to you and to all adherents to the Way.     
The Holy Father does well know the evangelizing dynamism of the Neocatechumenal Way, the experience of authentic conversion of life of so very many faithful, and the fruits of good generated thanks to the presence of the communities all over the world. His Holiness is convinced that the words above mentioned, which aimed to underline the need to safeguard the precious good of ecclesial communion, do not lend themselves to misunderstandings, above all because they are valid for any form of Christian life. 
Such words do not in any way modify the Statutes, rather they confirm them: as far as it pertains to the celebrations of the Paschal Vigil and the Sunday Eucharist, mentioned by you, articles 12 and 13, read in their entirety, constitute therefore the regulatory charter of reference.           
As the Paschal Solemnities approach, Pope Francis assures His closeness and His memory in the Lord and, while he asks to persevere in prayer for His universal ministry, He sends from His heart to you, to the International Team and to all the adherents to the Neocatechumenal Way, His Apostolic Blessing. 
With feelings of profound esteem and a heartfelt greeting in the Lord.
                                                                                         + Angelo Becciu
                                                                                          Substitute 




Now, let us contrast the actual letter with the Zenit report. Zenit is a known in-the-tank Kiko news organ. And they aren't even good at hiding it. The Zenit report starts off:
 "The Vatican Secretariat of State sent a letter on April 3rd from the Holy Father to Kiko Arguello…
The allusion is that Pope Francis sat down and wrote a personal note to Kiko which was then forwarded by the Vatican Secretariat of State. 

However, the actual letter says something quite different. First of all the letter is NOT from the pope. It is not even from the Vatican Secretary of State. It is from Cardinal Becciu, whose office is that of Substitute for General Affairs to the Secretary of State. And it is exactly as it sounds: "general affairs", basically "to do" matters that do not rise to a level requiring the specific attention of the actual Secretary of State and can be handled at a lower level, thus: "general affairs." 

So we go from a mere politely worded note assembled in the office of "general affairs" by an underling to the Secretary of State to, in Kiko's version, a personal letter from Pope Francis himself, written in his own hand, to the much persecuted and suffering Kiko Arguello, a letter read to all the communities, and transformed into the personal backing of Pope Francis for all things Kiko!

Now notice how in the first paragraph of the actual letter, not Zenit's reporting of it, Kiko is reminded that the intent of the pope's address was to ensure ecclesial communion, even if it means renouncing the Way:
His Holiness said that, at times, it would be better to renounce to live in all its details what the itinerary of the Way would demand, in order to ensure unity among the brethren who form the one ecclesial community.
Notice, that Zenit makes no mention of these words in its own story EVEN THOUGH 1) it was the primary intent of the pope's address, and 2) they are repeated right off the bat in the response to Kiko. 

The next two paragraphs of the actual letter simply reaffirm the good things that have come from the Way, and like a good father, the pope expresses his "paternal closeness" and his "loving encouragement". Wonderful. But to whom DOESN'T the pope express the same sentiments?? As pope, it is his duty and desire to be paternally close to all of us and to lovingly encourage us all. So for members of the Way to see this as some sort of singular papal validation of themselves is both the height of narcissism and evidence of a severe identity crisis.

Now note the last half of the third paragraph of the actual letter where it says:
His Holiness is convinced that the words above mentioned, which aimed to underline the need to safeguard the precious good of ecclesial communion, do not lend themselves to misunderstandings, above all because they are valid for any form of Christian life. 
Note that Kiko's original letter to the pope was a complaint about how the pope's words were "taken out of context." And note here, in the actual letter, that Kiko is told that the pope's words were NOT taken out of context but that: "His Holiness is convinced that the words…do not lend themselves to misunderstandings…." 

Let's repeat, Pope Francis is saying that he meant what he said and there can be no misunderstanding, that there is no "out of context"!! It actually borders on the satanic that Kiko can take this clear message and turn it into a papal validation of his complaint. But then, he knows he can. No one questions Kiko.

The fourth paragraph of the actual letter says something curious. It references the Paschal Vigil and the Sunday Eucharist "as mentioned by you". That's strange. The pope's Feb. 1 address said nothing about either the Vigil or the Eucharist, yet Kiko for some reason ("mentioned by you") apparently includes them in his list of complaints to the pope. In any event, the pope takes the occasion to remind Kiko that the liturgical celebrations of the Way are licit only insofar as they conform to the Statute, particularly articles 12 and 13, which (and this is a very strong way of saying it) CONSTITUTE THEREFORE THE REGULATORY CHARTER OF REFERENCE. 

WOW!!!! REGULATORY CHARTER OF REFERENCE! Did you get that, Diana? Do you know what that is? The Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way is your REGULATORY CHARTER OF REFERENCE. This means that the Way has no validity outside of what is provided for it in its Statute, its REGULATORY CHARTER OF REFERENCE. It is your CHARTER. It is your "By Laws". The life of the Way is inextricably linked to its charter. Outside that charter the Way is DEAD. 

This is why, for years now, we have been aghast at how easily you violate it, how easily you discard its provisions and strictures, and how the Archbishop, the one person tasked by his holy office to see to your compliance with this charter, actually joins you in violating the only thing that guarantees your authentication! And when we call this to your attention, you tell us "SO WHAT!" 

Now, Diana, let's look at your comments:

As I have been saying all along..... because the Statutes mentions the Easter Vigil, this is already an indication that the Holy See has allowed us to celebrate the Easter Vigil and that our Easter Vigil is one with the Easter Vigil of the Parish. Yet, those who oppose the Way constantly cite Church law in the GIRM or the Roman Missal, which stated that there is to be only ONE Easter Vigil.  
So, to those who accused the NCW of going against Church law in the GIRM because you state that "there should only be ONE Easter Vigil".......I "RECOMMEND" that you take it up with the Pope who has confirmed our celebration of the Easter Vigil as well as the Eucharist. 

Diana, have you ever even read your Statute? Have you read Articles 12 and 13? Let's look at Article 12, Diana, the place where the Easter Vigil is "mentioned". Here it is:

§ 1. Axis and source of Christian life is the paschal mystery, lived and celebrated in a preeminent way in the Sacred Triduum,42 whose brilliance fills the whole liturgical year with light.43 For this reason, it constitutes the fulcrum of the Neocatechumenate, since this is a rediscovery of Christian initiation.
§ 2. “The Paschal Vigil, focal point of the Christian liturgy, and its baptismal spirituality inspire all Catechesis.”44 It is for this reason that during the itinerary, the neocatechumens are initiated gradually45 into an ever more perfect participation in all that the holy night signifies, celebrates and realizes. 
§ 3. In this way, the Neocatechumenate will stimulate the parish to have a richer celebration of the Paschal Vigil.46

Diana, please show me and everybody else, where in this statute is the papal permission to celebrate your own vigil apart from the parish. In fact, § 3 instructs the Neocatechumenate to "stimulate the parish" to a "richer celebration of the Paschal Vigil. And lest there be a question about what that means, note the footnote number 46. Footnote 46 references the letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship entitled Paschalis Sollemnitatis. You may want to read the letter, Diana. See paragraph 94 of the letter. Here is what it says:

The celebration of the Easter Vigil for special groups is not to be encouraged since, above all in this Vigil, the faithful should come together as one and should experience a sense of ecclesial community. 

But now, Diana, I am going to give you a break. I am going to give you a break because I do believe that the Neocatechumenal Way has at least one thing right about the Vigil, and that is that it should be a Vigil. In fact, Paschalis Sollemnitatis instructs clearly on this. The Vigil is not to be another Saturday night Mass of convenience that sadly almost all Saturday night Masses have become. It is not supposed to be a quickie liturgy so we can still make it to Kings before midnight. It is supposed to be a Vigil. And I am happy to say that where I celebrated the Vigil with my family, the time of the Vigil spanned from after nightfall and into the early morning hours of Easter Sunday. 

However, I am well aware that most parishes do not do this. Nor were they required. The norms issued by the chancery did not specify a time, other than to begin after sundown and end before daybreak. In fact, we do not need the Neocatechumenal Way to show us this. Since Rome issued the norms in Paschalis Sollemnitatis, the bishop has both the authority and the responsibility to see to it that the Easter Vigil in his diocese conforms to the norms issued in the letter.

But something tells me that even if this were the case, even if the bishop did institute the norms already put forth by Rome, that the neo communities would still celebrate in their own way apart from the rest of us, wouldn't they?

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