Monday, August 29, 2016


(Posted by Glaucon Jr)

Ever since I began writing posts dealing with the Neocatechumenal Way, I have in faith and in charity been compelling to become immersed in their theology. I knew there was grave error present if only from the de facto liturgical schism on Guam as well as the shockingly prideful statements of the superiority of NCW member faith over “traditional Catholics” whom they regard as quasi-Catholics, half-pagan and wholly immature in everything Christ.

So we had to get into the nitty-gritty, and man, this is nasty, pungent stuff!

 I asked more than a few NCW people to help me understand a few points. They (rightfully) complain that we assume things about their theology without getting info from them, so in fairness, I wanted to know their doctrine as they understand it. So I asked questions. But no dice. Not a single person helped. I was relegated to waiting until the next Invitation to Joy (which is like buying a car because your friend heard it was pretty), or reading. So off I went--not to any "anti-NCW" website, but to the actual texts available, which though there aren't many available, they do give us a pretty clear picture.

Reading all of this stuff, and breaking things down systematically to give Kiko's thought a bit of room to flex and explain itself, has made me gradually not even want to bother. It’s so laden with philosophical misreading, sociological assumption, and theological error that it’s almost unreadable. Yet, there is work to be done, and sooner or later, we must put out systematic accounts of the heresies and misrepresentations, even if others in the Curia can't be bothered to do so in a timely manner.

After all, it took years and years for them to sort through the Roger Haight problem. Ditto Teillard de Chardin. And you practically have to be far into outer space to be outright censured by the CDF. But their delays don't make Kiko right, any more than the decades it took to get rid of  Arianism proved Arius right.

So after all this study, what I knew was coming—but hoped wouldn’t—finally did. After all these weeks, and just as Pope Francis has called us to do in the Year of Mercy, I now stand up with the stench of the theological stinky-stuff on me. He wants us to get down and dirty in the name of mercy to accompany others in their journey, to get involved and not judge those we seek to help, especially those we seek to help and who hate us all the more for it.

I'm overstating things, of course.I doubt this is what he had in mind. But then again, it's apropos.

The truth is that it’s hard not to make any sort of moral judgment or have an aversion to anyone who is clearly destroying themselves and--intentionally or not--working to destroy you too. Without the active work of the Holy Spirit, it’s impossible. And even purification takes time; to borrow a line from St John of the Cross, if it takes a 58 year old man 58 years to get this way, we can’t very well expect him to be utterly transformed overnight.

But for me, this theology of the NCW in all of its Porta-Potty-after-the-Liberation-Day-Parade glory isn’t transformative so much as illuminating. It makes me see so clearly that things are far worse in the Church at large, and in that sense, the NCW—though a major problem, especially on Guam—it is really symptomatic of a much larger corruption.

The vast majority of Westernized Catholic Christians (indeed, Westernized Christians period) are so saddled with the need to break free from faithfulness to the Tradition that it feels as though the Church is in free-fall. Evangelize, but don’t prosyletize. Convert the nations, just not the Jews. Or Muslims. Or the Evangelicals. Or Buddhists. Oh, and atheists are in good stead as long as they live according to their consciences. Call people to repentance, but don't be a Pharisee. A person can objectively be in mortal sin but subjectively not, so they're good. Be merciful, but ignore justice. Condemn the errors of Martin Luther, but then prepare to actually celebrate the Reformation. Most sacramental marriages are invalid, but someone intentionally living with another person in imitation of marriage is good to go. What in the world is going on here?

In fact, the Church is in a state of crisis, but it’s because it is in a period of purification. The Church, I’m sorry to say, must lose its fat and lay off its spiritual soda and fried food diet if it’s ever to get itself healthy again. Good news/bad news: if we don't seek genuine purification and renewal, Christ will do it for us.  In its post-Vatican II desire to live a less austere and more "joyful" life, it became gluttonous for comforts and in particular for novelty. It grew up on meat and bread and milk, but has moved on to Capri-Sun and Hot Pockets. Forget the Fathers: TMZ Online is the standard for self-assessment just like any other 24-hour "news" reporting that feeds on our desire for new trash.

In short,  Justin Martyr, Augustine, and Aquinas have been exchanged for Kiko Arguello.  Catherine of Sienna, Gemma Galgani, and Mother Teresa have been exchanged for Carmen Hernandez. And don't even bother with the Cure of Ars, right, Fr Pius?

This is the exact opposite of what we should be seeking. The NCW seeks a missionary, evangelizing Church. So do we. We always have been so. We always have done so. The view of things on Guam isn’t representative of anything other than Guam. So when we read Kiko Arguello’s writings, not only is it completely out of bounds, but for those who don’t know any better, it sounds all the more reasonable. They have no idea what missionary work is really. These are the same "missionaries" who couldn't even be bothered to be visible in the fight for the unborn. If their vision of "mission" is limited to small-group Bible study in someone's house and calling someone "brother," then I think perhaps they're misappropriating the power of that word.

But then, no one reads Kiko's writings. They listen to his words as interpreted through catechists and responsibles, and that's that. 

It's nauseating. Literally. Someone get me some Vicks to rub under my nose.

In an unhappy marriage, if enough bad time has passed and the spouses’ view of one another skewed enough, horrible advice can sound pretty good.  Men may turn to alcohol  or pornography, and women's girlfriends advise them to have affairs. ANYTHING but the status quo!

"But I wanna feel loved!"

It's the same in the Church. So much time has passed since Vatican II with years and years of bad teaching and bad example from bishops that people will latch onto anything. Like the NCW. Any novelty will do, just make us feel something again.

And it's not just the NCW; it's the same for many lay movements. They are seen as the salvation of the laity, when everything was there for them in the Tradition all along (that's not to say lay movements are bad, but that certainly explains why they're so praised while ordinary Mass-going Catholics are viewed as inferior). So while the lay movements may do much good for the Church, the spirit that drives people to glorify them is NOT of the Church.

And the punchline is that all this desire for novelty, all this work to make things relevant, is nothing more than rehashing of heresies. The same ones always pop up every few centuries, and the 21st Century is no different. Everything old is new again.

That is partly where the NCW gets its strength: on the one hand, it feeds on the whole "Spirit of Vatican II" do-what-you-want manta, and on the other hand, it's a reaction against all the freedom and license. Hence, it's cult-like control over members while at the same time flaunting the Tradition.

And that’s where all this desire for novelty, and the rejection of what is true and good and beautiful and always has been, flows from. We on the ground level in the post-Vatican II Church are so wearied by our own spiritual promiscuity and fornications that we have forgotten how blessed is the chastity that is the Tradition.

Diving into this NCW theological muck shows that we have a long way to go, even beyond eliminating the influence of the NCW over the Archdiocese. As we’ve said repeatedly, we need our own renewal, and this experience has thus far driven the point home for me personally every single day.

So a word to my critics:  I meant what I said. God does sometimes use great error and occasions of sin to bring about conversions. Just dealing with the noxious smell of Kiko sacrilege has made me more and more focused on Eucharistic Adoration and has further strengthened my resolve to pray the Litany of Humility every day throughout the day. And I'm more committed than ever to making acts of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in preparation for 2017. So some good does come from all of it, I guess.

Such is the nature of purification. And now I really think I need a shower.  


  1. Thank you, Glaucon, for reporting about your personal renewal: Eucharistic Adoration, praying the Litany of Humility, and making acts of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. How, in particular, do they renew you?

    1. You have a lot of gall Guille. You're a bore.

    2. I agree Bruce! And so Timothy Guile, why do you want to take people through uninspiring caves? Just not interested.

    3. For instance, one way the Cursillo Movement renews is by giving Catholics opportunities to talk about or share their faith with others. I found myself eager to hear the faith stories of others or their insights into how their faith impacted their lives. I also found myself wanting to share with others my own faith experiences. This is typically something we can expect from Protestants, not Catholics. But Cursillo promotes this sharing in small groups among Catholic Christians. It is a good, faith-strengthening activity.

    4. Dear Anonymous and Mr. Williams,

      I aim for intimacy with Christ, to be united with His sufferings and those of others under the cross. If your caves can lead me there, take me with you.

  2. Again to the topic of renewal: Cursillo, which is older than Vatican II by nearly two decades, relies on a three-pronged approach to personal renewal or growth: study, acts of holiness/piety and evangelization. Study may involve reading works of the Tradition (i.e., the Liturgy of the Hours, sermons of great homilists like Augustine, or the lives of the saints, etc.) including the Bible. Acts of holiness or piety include Eucharistic Adoration, participation in daily Mass, daily rosary, weekly or monthly confession, etc. And evangelization involves reaching out to people at work, in the street, abroad or even within the family to express one's own faith and the role it plays in one's life.

  3. I have had a waft of this love.

  4. Almost thought I was reading myself :) Slam Bam!

  5. as wrong as it is, the ncw has succeeded in collecting so many people because it filled a void where Catholics, for whatever reason, at whatever level, failed. the question is: how do we fix this problem?

    renewal, though always needed, has been misinterpreted. renewal is always needed because life itself is a process of continuous renewal. but renewal is not replacement. the "new springtime in the Church" invokes the image of springtime because that's when new leaves and flowers grow from *the same tree*.

  6. The feeling of filth I get everytime I have to immerse myself in that environment to research and understand this sect, can be overwhelming. The only thing missing is the smell of sulfur.
    For me only prayers, gregorian chants, some soothing classicals and more prayers allow me to feel whole again.

    The vague and elusive feeling of being in the presence of the evil one, is not something easily brushed off. Yet, this is what we face. So I fully share Glaucon's analysis.
    St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle...

  7. Glaucon Jr., thank you for validating what Roman Catholicism is about. I wish we can encourage more people to read the classics of Catholicism, the unwatered-down version reflected in the erecting of huge cathedrals, rise of pious devotions, mortification of the flesh and spirit, spirituality of monasticism, struggles of the saints, the victory of persecuted Christians - reminders all of the sublime presence of the Almighty in the Church amid the reality of earthly realities and challenges. Alas, it is a subverted world given to hedonism, nihilism, relativism and many "isms" that destroyed the human will to transcend. NCW is symptomatic of this downward slide: a mere license to give in to their voyeuristic pleasures, through public confessions that should remain in the realm of discreetness and in the sacredness of the confessional. Kiko Arguello bastardized sound Catholic constructs and usurped traditional practice by inserting his own eccentricities thereby dragging multitudes down that slippery slope. NCW is "leeching" in the worst possible way by hijacking the Catholic Church to succumb to his judeo-protestant-prosperity predilections.