After posting ZENIT: KIKO'S MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA yesterday, one reader decided to write Zenit about my concerns:
So, I wrote to Junno Arocho Esteves, the author of this Zenit article about the problems with his article. This was his response:
Thank you very much for your comments and suggestions on the article. While I had attempted to show nothing more that the Eucharist and Easter Vigil celebrated by the parishes with Neocatechumenal Way were permitted, I agree that I may have left things unclear with the title, which dealt more with allowing the celebrations to take place rather than how they are celebrated. While the Neocatechumenal Way has received the support from three Pontiffs and 5 Vatican dicasteries, there are still many misunderstandings on how they carry out their celebrations within the parish. As soon as time permits, I hope some time in the future to write a piece that may go more in depth on the celebrations or seek a liturgist who can help address those concerns from the faithful. My only goal is to report the news that I receive and I hope to do a better job in presenting a balanced view on the subject.
Many thanks for your comments and please feel free to write to me any time.
Junno Arocho Esteves
Let's look first at where he says towards the end: "My only goal is to report the news that I receive." Really? Is that how they do it at Zenit? Report news that they RECEIVE? Real reporters don't report the news that they receive, they actually go out and get the facts about a story and then report them. And where there is controversy they attempt to get both sides. But then that would be what REAL reporters do! Not Zenit-Neo hacks.
Consider for example the story that our own Pacific News Center did on the Aaron Quitugua controversy. PNC "received" the news about Aaron's unfair treatment by the Archbishop from this blog. The reporter called me to get the facts. The reporter also called the chancery to get the Archbishop's side. His chancellor, Fr. Adrian, speaking for the Archbishop, told PNC to go away. So they ended up with only one side of the story though they did include in the news report their fruitless exchange with Fr. Adrian.
Like any decent media organization, they did their due diligence. And when the PNC news director was later criticized in a letter from Mr. Dennis Santo Tomas for not getting the facts, PNC was able to demonstrate that they had done their homework.
PNC could have simply reported what they received from JungleWatch, but that's not REPORTING. That's cut and paste. And apparently, at least when it comes to the Neocatechumenal Way, this is what Zenit does, since in the story about the "Neocatechumenal liturgy" and the supposed letter from the pope to Kiko, the Zenit reporter simply copies and pastes everything Kiko says with no attempt to get the other side of the controversy which prompted Kiko's letter to Pope Francis in the first place.
From the outset there was obviously no intent by the Zenit author to "report" on anything. He confirms this in the second sentence: "I had attempted to show nothing more that the Eucharist and Easter Vigil celebrated by the parishes with Neocatechumenal Way were permitted.." In other words, the whole point of the article was to make Kiko's case to the world, to "show" that the Kiko way of doing the liturgy is permitted. IT IS NOT! But let's come back to that.*
And WHAT is a "real" reporter doing trying to "show" anything but the facts of the story? The facts were that many bishops and pastors, in the wake of Pope Francis' Feb. 1 address to the Neocatechumenal Way in which he called for unity of the NCW with the parish, had begun restricting some of the liturgical practices of the NCW communities. Kiko took offense to this, cried to the pope about it, and received a response from one of the Vatican offices.
Obviously this was quite a controversy: Kiko versus bishops and pastors around the world and a call for the pope to intervene. But does Zenit interview even one person from the other side? Does Zenit even contact the office which sent the letter with the pope's reply? No! Zenit sits down with Kiko and not only gives him a forum to vomit all his usual self-authenticating bull-crap, Zenit gives the story a false headline to assist in said self-authenticating bull-crap: "Pope Francis backs Neocatechumenal Way Liturgy."
Now look what happens next in this supposed reporter's letter. We are treated to the same default bull-crap that we have heard ad nauseum for years:
While the Neocatechumenal Way has received the support from three Pontiffs and 5 Vatican dicasteries, there are still many misunderstandings on how they carry out their celebrations within the parish.
Geez, spare us! It's the 5 popes thing again. Look, Mr. Estevez, the popes support good works wherever they find them. In fact Pope Benedict went so far as to publicly support an evil (since it was the lesser of the two) in his now infamous comment about condom use in Africa. The stupid people took it as a papal endorsement of condoms the same way you take every freaking photo-op and scribbling from every Vatican underling as a papal endorsement of the Neocatechumenal Way.
However, with the final approval of the NCW Statute in 2008, the only thing the popes can now support is the NCW's activities within the boundaries of its Statute, which is why Pope Francis, upon receiving Kiko's cry-baby complaint, referred your sniveling leader back to his "charter", spanked him, and sent him home.
Oh, and then you give us the tiresome "still many misunderstandings". Yes, we're quite used to that. It's all our fault. We don't understand. And we can't "understand" until we have spent 30 years in the neo-labyrinth of "spiritual enslavement" (as it was called by Bishop Mervyn Alexander) wherein the "flesh is stripped from our consciences with questions that no confessor would ask" (as it was described by Archbishop Luigi Bommarito). Right. And WE don't understand?????
And then Mr. Estevez says: "As soon as time permits, I hope some time in the future to write a piece that may go more in depth on the celebrations or seek a liturgist who can help address those concerns from the faithful."
Umm, let's see now Mr. Estevez, "as soon as time permits"?? Really?? You had no problem making time for Kiko's side. In fact, by the number of your articles about him you seem to have plenty of time. This controversy has been raging for years and particularly since 2008 when the Statute was finalized and the liturgical provisions continued to be ignored. That's SIX YEARS Mr, Estevez. Count them: SIX.
I could go on, but never mind. Just hit UNSUBSCRIBE.
* For an explanation of why the NCW is not permitted to celebrate the Easter Vigil separate from the parish, go here.