I've been holding off on commenting about the letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship regarding the "sign of peace", as I sort of thought we currently have more important things to attend to. (Did you see the trash Archbishop Apuron put in the U Matuna today? Talk about "new lows".)
And as you know, it was made public that I argued ﬁrst of all for the kiss of peace to be moved, or at least the possibility of having to move the kiss of peace at before the offertory after the homily, before moving into the liturgy of the eucharist as is done in the eastern church.
Kiko was pushing to transform the Roman Rite into his manufactured neocat dance-around-the-table deal he calls a "eucharist". And to move his agenda forward, he found the perfect accomplice in Archbishop Apuron. Lay observers just don't get up and give their opinions at synods. He needed a bishop and he got one.
Specific mention of the Neocats
Nine years after the Synod, the Congregation for Divine Worship has definitively decided that the sign of peace that Kiko and Archbishop Apuron wanted moved, will NOT be moved. And it is important to note that the Catholic News Agency singles out the Neocatechumenal Way in its story:
The Neo-Catechumenal Way, a lay movement in the Church, has already displaced the sign of peace, in its celebration of the Roman rite, to before the presentation of the gifts.
The neocats and the sign of peace
- The sign of peace may be moved to before the offertory (which is something they had already done.
- Communicants were permitted to remain in their places to receive communion but must stand (they had been sitting).
- Communion was permitted under both kinds (bread and wine/Body & Blood). Note: if you are receiving communion under both kinds regularly at your parish, this is not permitted. See the GIRM.
As an aside, given the above allowances as defined in the statute, you can see that there is no allowance for the neocat celebrant to move his communion from before he distributes the consecrated bread till after, something regularly done in the neo-eucharist. Nor is there an allowance for the communicants to sit back down with the consecrated bread in hand - which they do.
These are two ongoing and blatant liturgical violations of the neocats own statute. Violating the statute in this regard places them outside of Rome's approval and "blessing". Rome doesn't have to declare it. It occurs ipso facto.
In addition to leaving the sign of peace where it is, Rome also noted some abuses of the rite "which are to be stopped." And this instruction applies to ALL of us, including the neocats. Here are the abuses that "must be stopped":
- the introduction of a “song of peace,” which does not exist in the Roman rite;
- the faithful moving from their place to exchange the sign;
- the priest leaving the altar to exchange the sign with the faithful;
- and when, at occasions such as weddings or funerals, it becomes an occasion for congratulations or condolences.
Check back. I didn't have time to link all the references, but soon will.