"Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops, and your religious act like religious." - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, 1972
BISHOP ATHANASIUS SCHNEIDER: THE DOCTRINE OF KIKO ARGUELLO IS HERESY...A GRAVE ABUSE
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider
Mr. Fülep: While the tradition is persecuted, there are some new modern movements which are highly supported. One of them is the community of Kiko. What is your opinion about the Neocatechumenal Way?
His Excellency Bishop Schneider: This is a very complex and sad phenomenon. To speak openly: It is a Trojan horse in the Church. I know them very well because I was an episcopal delegate for them for several years in Kazakhstan in Karaganda. And I assisted their Masses and meetings and I read the writings of Kiko, their founder, so I know them well. When I speak openly without diplomacy, I have to state: The Neocathecumenate is a Protestant-Jewishcommunity inside the Church with a Catholic decoration only. The most dangerous aspect is regarding the Eucharist, because the Eucharist is the heart of the Church. When the heart is in a bad way, the whole body is in a bad way. For the Neocatechumenate, the Eucharist is primarily a fraternal banquet. This is a Protestant, a typically Lutheran attitude.They reject the idea and the teaching of the Eucharist as a true sacrifice. They even hold that the traditional teaching of, and belief in, the Eucharist as a sacrifice is not Christian but pagan.This is completely absurd, this is typically Lutheran, Protestant. During their liturgies of the Eucharist they treat the Most Holy Sacrament in such a banal manner, that it sometimes becomes horrible.They sit while receiving Holy Communion, and then they lose the fragments because they do not take care of them, and after Communion they dance instead of praying and adoring Jesus in silence. This is really worldly and pagan, naturalistic.
Mr. Fülep: The problem may be not just practical…
His Excellency Bishop Schneider: The second danger is their ideology. The main idea of the Neocathecumenate according their founder Kiko Argüello is the following: the Church had an ideal life only until Constantine in the 4th century, only this was effectively the real Church. And with Constantine the Church started to degenerate: doctrinal degeneration, liturgical and moral degeneration.And the Church reached the rock bottom of this degeneration of doctrine and liturgy with the decrees of the Council of Trent. However, contrary to his opinion, the opposite is true: this was one of the highlights of the history of the Church because of the clarity of doctrine and discipline. According to Kiko, the dark age of the Church lasted from the 4th century until the Second Vatican Council. It was only with Vatican Council II that light came into the Church. This is heresy because this is to say that the Holy Spirit abandoned the Church. And this is really sectarian and very much in line with Martin Luther, who said that until him the Church had been in darkness and it was only through him that there was light in the Church. The position of Kiko is fundamentally the same only that Kiko postulates the dark time of the Church from Constantine to Vatican II. So they misinterpret the Second Vatican Council. They say that they are apostles of Vatican II. Thus they justify all their heretical practices and teachings with Vatican II. This is a grave abuse.
Mr. Fülep: How could this community be officially admitted by the Church?
His Excellency Bishop Schneider:This is another tragedy.They established a powerful lobby in the Vatican at least thirty years ago. And there is another deception: at many events they present very many fruits of conversion and many vocations to the bishops. A lot of bishops are blinded by the fruits, and they don’t see the errors, and don’t examine them. They have large families, they have a lot of children, and they have a high moral standard in family life. This is, of course, a good result. However, there is also a kind of exaggerated behaviour to press the families to get a maximum number of children. This is not healthy. And they say, we are accepting Humanae Vitae,and this is, of course, good. But in the end this is an illusion, because there are also quite a lot of Protestant groups today in the world with a high moral standard, who also have a great number of children, and who also go and protest against the gender ideology, homosexuality, and who also accept Humanae Vitae. But, for me, this is not a decisive criterion of truth! There are also a lot of Protestant communities who convert a lot of sinners, people who lived with addictions such as alcoholism and drugs. So the fruit of conversions is not a decisive criterion for me and I will not invite this good Protestant group which converts sinners and has a lot of children to my diocese to engage in apostolate. This is the illusion of many bishops, who are blinded by the so-called fruits.
Mr. Fülep: What is the quoin stone of doctrine?
His Excellency Bishop Schneider: The doctrine of the Eucharist. This is the heart. It is an error to look first at the fruits and ignore or not take care of doctrine and liturgy. I am sure that there will come the time when the Church objectively examines this organisation in depth without the pressure of the lobbies of the Neocathecumenal Way, and their errors in doctrine and liturgy will truly come out.