A friend sent the following screen shot from the "Dianas" blog. (I call it the "Dianas" blog since it is group thing.)
The rest of the post copies the first 11 positive points I made about the NCW in 2008 - and of course the Dianas do not list the following 6 negative points I made about the NCW. You can read my full 2008 post here.
As you can see on the right side bar (on themassneverends blog), the post is ranked #3 under Popular Posts. And it has pretty much remained in the top 3 every since I first posted it in 2008. It seems there are a lot of people searching for information about the NCW.
I'm actually glad the Dianas posted it. Of course the intent was to show what an ogre I've become about the NCW versus my 2008 position. But for the intelligent, it shows that I was originally very supportive of the NCW and actually never had a negative thing to say about it until July 2013 when Archbishop Apuron was given the order by his neo-masters to can Fr. Paul. And I probably would not have had much to say about it even after that had there not been the "Dianas", oh, and the Zoltans.
For the record, I am very friendly with several people who are in the Neocatechumenal Way, and I make sure that they know that my issues with the Dianas and the Kikos have nothing to do with them. The people who have been helped through their experience in the NCW have completely valid experiences and I am supportive of the improvements in their lives the same way I am supportive of the experiences of even people who have left the Catholic Church and have improved their lives.
I can do that (be supportive of positive experiences) without necessarily being supportive of the their decision to depart from the Church, or in the case of neos, their departure from Catholic Church doctrine and liturgical norms. Most of the time they don't even know it. In fact, I have yet to meet a member of the NCW who has read the NCW Statute, at least as thoroughly as I have.
We shouldn't be surprised that most Neo's haven't read the Statute. Where would they find it? Try this.
Go to www.aganaarch.org. Click on NEW EVANGELIZATION. Click on NEOCATECHUMENAL WAY. You are now at the official website of the Neocatechumenal Way. Now click on STATUTES. Now click on DEFINITIVE STATUE (2008). You will see several links, all celebrating the NCW. But we are looking for the Statute so click on STATUTE OF THE NEOCATECHUMENAL WAY. You get THIS:
...but NO Statute! (The 2008 version is on the site but you have to figure out how to find it. See comment below.)
At first you think you might have missed something or there is a hidden link somewhere. So you click all over again. Nothing. The VERY DOCUMENT which makes the Neocatechumenal Way Catholic IS NOT VISIBLE ON THE OFFICIAL NCW WEBSITE.
But what IS visible? Let's look. Go back to the STATUTES BUTTON. Click on it. Ah, we see the link to AD EXPERIMENTUM STATUTE (2002). We click on it. Another long list of self-congratulating links, but at the top of the pile is TEXT OF THE STATUTE. We click on it. Voila! The actual text of the Statute.
Ummm, but it's the WRONG ONE. It is the version of the Statute which was NOT approved. It is the 2002 Statute which was the working document which was used for the 5 year ad experimentum period ordered by St. Pope John Paul II. It is NOT the statute which was amended and corrected and rewritten into the Statute which received definitive approval in 2008.
Just an oversight? Hmmm. This is the OFFICIAL web page for the worldwide Neocatechumenal Way. So hardly an oversight especially given how much work these people do to validate themselves. So why is the 2008 Statute NOT visible and the 2002 Statute IS?
The regular obedient neos are not going to ask questions. They will see the text of the 2002 Statute and then they will see the 2008 link saying "Definitive Approval". And not knowing any better, they will think that the only text they can see, the 2002 Statute, is what received Definitive Approval in 2008. IT DID NOT.
Now, let's see why the big shots at the Neo Headquarters are officially deceiving us by examining Article 13 of both versions of the Statute. Article 13 is about the Celebration of the Eucharist, which has been and remains at the heart of our division.
Let us examine this article, in both versions, section by section. Keep in mind that the definitely approved 2008 Statute wipes out the 2002 "ad experimentum" statute. It was only valid for the "experimentum" period, and ceased to be valid upon the definitive approval of the 2008 Statute. Thus, it should NOT even be posted on the NCW website, other than for research or reference purposes. Yet, the 2002 Statute is the only version is visible on the official NCW website.
2008 Statute§ 1. The Eucharist is essential to the Neocatechumenate, since this is a post baptismal catechumenate lived in small communities. In fact, the Eucharist completes Christian initiation.
2002 Statute§ 1. The Eucharist is essential to the Neocatechumenate since the Neocatechumenate is a post-baptismal catechumenate, lived in small communities. Indeed, the Eucharist completes Christian initiation.
Okay, nothing big here, just some improvements in the language. But now watch!
2008 Statute§ 2. The neocatechumens celebrate the Sunday Eucharist in the small community after the first Vespers of Sunday. This celebration takes place according to the dispositions of the diocesan bishop. The celebrations of the Eucharist of the neocatechumenal communities on Saturday evening are part of the Sunday liturgical pastoral work of the parish and are open also to other faithful.
2002 Statute§ 2. The neocatechumens celebrate the Eucharist in the small community in order to be gradually initiated into full, conscious and active participation in the divine mysteries, according also to the example of Christ, who, in the multiplication of loaves, made the people sit down “in groups of fifty” (Lk 9:14). This custom, consolidated in the more than thirty-year old praxis of the Way, has born rich fruit.
As you can see, the 2002 Statute, written by Kiko, makes the case for sitting while receiving. The 2008 Statute, the one which received definitive approval after Rome's overhaul, completely eliminates this, but yet, it is all the visitor can see. It also emphasizes that the celebrations of the Eucharist are to be a "part of the Sunday liturgical pastoral work of the parish" whereas Kiko makes no mention of the parish.
2008 Statute§ 3. For the celebration of the Eucharist in the small communities the approved liturgical books of the Roman Rite are followed, with the exception of the explicit concessions from the Holy See. Regarding the distribution of Holy Communion under the two species, the neocatechumens receive it standing, remaining at their place.
2002 Statute§ 3. In consideration also “of specific formative and pastoral needs, taking account of the good of individuals or groups, and especially of the fruits which may be derived from them for the entire Christian community”, the small neocatechumenal community, with the authorization of the diocesan Bishop, celebrates the Dominical Eucharist after first Vespers open also to other faithful.
In the 2008 Statute, the Holy See EXPLICITLY DEMANDS that in the celebration of the Eucharist "the approved liturgical books of the Roman Rite are followed." Kiko's 2002 Statute says nothing about the approved liturgical books.
2008 Statute§ 4. The celebration of the Eucharist in the small community is prepared under the guidance of the presbyter, by a group of the neocatechumenal community, in turn, which prepares brief monitions to the readings, chooses the songs, provides the bread, the wine, the flowers, and takes care of the decorum and dignity of the liturgical signs.
2002 Statute§ 4. Each celebration of the Eucharist is prepared, when possible under the guidance of the Presbyter, by a group of the neocatechumenal community, in turn, which prepares brief monitions to the readings, chooses the songs, provides the bread, the wine, the flowers, and takes care of the decorum and dignity of the liturgical signs.
Only small language changes.
As we can all see, the heart of the matter, the different way Holy Communion is celebrated and distributed and the bone of contention from the beginning with this group, is falsely but cleverly validated on the official NCW website by hiding the access to the 2008 version of the Statute and making prominent the invalid 2002 version.
This kind of deception is what our Archbishop is promoting in this archdiocese by buying hook, line, and sinker whatever his neo-masters, Pius and Giuseppe, say. The Neocatechumenal Way, even at its most official level (this website), is misleading people, especially its own followers. All we can say is "come out of her." (Rev. 18:4)
Here's a side by side comparison of the two version of Article 13.