The following conversation occurred on Glaucon's post TO HON AND THE PRIESTS: THE SACRILEGES ARE ON YOU!
Well, at least I received a straight answer to my questions. So now let us proceed, once again, to demonstrate where the problem is.
While the above explanation sounds reasonable and maybe even beautiful, the explanation does not matter because the Church is not looking for an explanation. It is looking for obedience.
At any time, our Church can magisterially decide to permit the reception of communion standing on our heads if it so wishes, but it hasn't. And neither has it permitted the reception of the Body of Christ seated, nor is the celebrant permitted to delay his communion.
This was made absolutely clear on three separate occasions:
1. The directive issued on December 1, 2005 to Kiko Arguello by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
2. The admonition to obey this directive by Pope Benedict himself on January 12, 2006.
3. The directives contained in Article 13 of the Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way which received Final Approval in 2008.
Let's review each of these.
1. In 2002, Pope John Paul II established a five year "ad experimentum" period during which the teachings and practices of the Neocatechumenal Way would be scrutinized and corrected. The goal was to assure conformity with the Universal Church in order to grant the NCW the equivalent of a license to exist within the Church.
Approximately half way through this period, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, one of the key Congregations tasked with scrutinizing the NCW, issued a directive to the leadership of the NCW, outlining six items of concern. The items were to be corrected and brought into conformity with the Universal Church.
One of those items, No. 5, addressed the manner in which the NCW distributed and received communion:
5. On the manner of receiving Holy Communion, a period of transition (not exceeding two years) is granted to the Neocatechumenal Way to pass from the widespread manner of receiving Holy Communion in its communities (seated, with a cloth-covered table placed at the center of the church instead of the dedicated altar in the sanctuary) to the normal way in which the entire Church receives Holy Communion. This means that the Neocatechumenal Way must begin to adopt the manner of distributing the Body and Blood of Christ that is provided in the liturgical books. - Congregatio de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum. Prot. 2520/03/L. From Vatican City, December 1, 2005
There is no question here. The NCW was ordered to distribute and receive communion in the manner provided for "in the liturgical books." We know what that "manner" is because it is what we see at every Mass: the reception (and immediate consumption) of the Sacred Species by the recipient either standing or kneeling, either on the tongue or in the hand. In either case, immediate consumption is required (e.g. you are not permitted to take the host back to your seats).
The refusal of the NCW leadership to conform to this directive was brash and immediate. Giuseppe Gennarini lashed out publicly at the directive. He was immediately engaged by Catholic Answers apologist, Jimmy Akin, and the remnants of that engagement can still be found online. (Google "Jimmy Akin Gennarini".)
Gennarini's open trashing of the papal directive (you'll see why I call it a papal directive in a minute) was immediately echoed by Archbishop Apuron's own public "trashing" of the same directive which we captured on KOLG here (transcript here).
2. The directive from the Congregation for Divine Worship was not just a personal opinion of its then-Prefect, Cardinal Arinze, which Gennarini and Apuron wanted us to believe, but a directive issuing directly from Pope Benedict himself, which is why the directive opens with the words: "I am to inform you of the Holy Father’s decisions."
Pope Benedict became immediately aware of the NCW's REFUSAL to obey and took the occasion of meeting with the Neocats a few weeks later to public confirm, in front of thousands of Neocats and Kiko himself, that the directive was from His Holiness and that he expected it to be obeyed:
Precisely to help the Neocatechumenal Way to render even more effective its evangelizing action in communion with all the People of God, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments recently imparted to you in my name certain norms concerning the Eucharistic Celebration, after the trial period that the Servant of God John Paul II conceded. I am sure you will attentively observe these norms that reflect what is provided for in the liturgical books approved by the Church. - ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO MEMBERS OF THE NEOCATECHUMENAL WAY. Paul VI Audience Hall. Thursday, 12 January 2006
Five days later, Kiko Arguello made it clear (in Kiko speak) that he WOULD NOT OBEY:
"We also wish to thank you for the benevolence, mercy, and goodness You have shown to those farthest away in allowing the moving of the sign of peace and in granting a period of two years for the adaptation of the manner of distributing the Communion of the Body and the Blood of the Lord: we have always shown to the many brothers who have emerged from hell, full of wounds and of self-loathing, that in the Holy Eucharist the Lord makes present his love, dying and rising for them; and not only that, but prepares a table, an eschatological banquet, which makes Heaven present and where He himself, full of love, has them sit down and comes to serve them: “He will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them” (Lk 12:37). - Letter to Pope Benedict. Porto San Giorgio, January 17, 2006. Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernández, Fr. Mario Pezzi.
This is typical Kiko babble. Rather than say, "Yes, Your Holiness. We will obey." Kiko lectures the pope on his own theological interpretation of a passage from Luke, twisting it to support his illicit communion practice.
The reason given to the catechists to continue in their disobedience was that the soon to be approved statute would permit their practice. In fact, just prior to its approval in 2008, Archbishop Apuron referred to this expected approval as justification for demanding the participation of three local priests. I am copying here what I wrote about it on June 30, 2014, in my post IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE LETTERS TO THE "THREE FILIPINO PRIESTS"
In his letter to one priest, Archbishop Apuron wrote
I am now asking you…as Archbishop of Agana to accompany this...Community as their presbyter for their Celebration of the Eucharist every Saturday evening at 7:30pm. If you decide you will not serve, I will have to let you know now, that your time in this Archdiocese will be for only one year from the above date.
To the other two priests, he wrote:
I would like you (name of priest) to seriously consider following the next series of catechesis which will take place in (the priest's parish) and committing yourself to the community that will later be formed as its presbyter as well as other communities born from hereon in the parish.Unless I see this desire manifest in you within the coming years, I may ask that you go elsewhere….If you do not agree to the above, then you are free to begin to look around for a benevolent bishop to accept you into his arch/diocese.
Archbishop Apuron himself KNEW at the time he wrote these letters that the "Eucharist" he was demanding these priests to celebrate was, at the time, NOT YET approved. We know this because he concludes his letters with the following:
I am very certain that Rome will promulgate the Statutes of the Neo-Catechumenal Way within a few weeks now. I am enclosing three letters of three Ordinaries in the Philippines who have endorsed The Way prior to Our Holy Father's definitive endorsement of The Way.
3. The problem, of course, is that the approved Statute did NOT permit the NCW's communion practice, as Apuron, Kiko, Gennarini, etc. expected. Article 13 of the Final Statute, not only did NOT permit the NCW communion practice, it emphatically recalled the demand made by the Congregation for Divine Worship on December 1, 2005, and Pope Benedict's affirmation of that demand a few weeks later:
§ 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. 49) Regarding the distribution of Holy Communion under the two species, the neocatechumens receive it standing, remaining at their place.
49. See Benedict XVI, Speech to the Neocatechumenal Communities on January 12, 2006, in Notitiae 41 (2005), 554–556; CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP, Letter of December 1, 2005 in Notitiae 41 (2005), 563–565; “Notification of the Congregation for Divine Worship on celebrations in groups of the Neocatechumenal Way,” L’Osservatore Romano, December 24, 1988: “The Congregation consents that among the adaptations foreseen by the instruction “Actio Pastoralis”, nn. 6-11, the groups of the above-mentioned “Way” may receive communion under two species, always with unleavened bread, and transfer “ad experimentum” the Rite of Peace to after the Prayer of the Faithful.”
STATUTE OF THE NEOCATECHUMENAL WAY
The only thing permitted to the NCW not permitted by the "liturgical books" is that they can remain standing "at their place," and this is only because the number of communicants is already small so there is no need to form a line.
The Neocats get around this by splitting the word "receive" into two acts: 1) taking the host, and 2) consuming the host. Their only defense is that no one has told them not to do it. Apparently Pope Benedict is a no one.