Another confirmation that NeoCats must follow official liturgical books for Mass

From CNA comes this about the NeoCats and their liturgical variants.

Rome, Italy, Jan 25, 2012 / 01:56 pm (CNA).- Father Ricardo Reyes Castillo, a member of the Neocatechumenal Way, said Pope Benedict XVI’s approval of the movement’s non-liturgical celebrations “has changed absolutely nothing.”

The Panamanian priest told CNA on Jan. 23 that the papal approval of the celebrations contained in the Neocatechumenal Catechetical Directory means “simply that the Church has confirmed that the rites used in the different stages of formation in the Neocatechumenal Way are in accord with the tradition of the Church.”

“This is just another step in the process through which the Church lovingly follows the faithful who belong to this experience of faith,” he added.

The Pontifical Council for the Laity approved the ceremonies outlined in the Catechetical Directory of the Neocatechumenal Way, specifying that this approval applied to those celebrations “which are not, by their nature, already regulated by the liturgical books of the Church.”

[...]

Again, the NeoCats are required to follow the official liturgical books, though, as I understand, with the permission of the local bishop, they can move the Sign of Peace.

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25 Responses to Another confirmation that NeoCats must follow official liturgical books for Mass

  1. Finarfin says:

    Well, now I am sure that I can breathe a sigh of relief. The Pope has not gone along to get along! I never really thought he would approve it, after writing such books as Spirit of the Liturgy.

  2. Speravi says:

    I am happy they didn’t get explicit approval, but if they were doing weird stuff, and “absolutely nothing” has changed, doesn’t that mean that they will continue doing weird stuff?

  3. discerningguy says:

    ^^Not necessarily. They could have gotten a further private admonition after the audience.

  4. siciliano says:

    Isn’t if funny that when you go to their official website, there is absolutely no mention of what has been discussed for over a week. My inkling is that (here’s a suprise I’m sure) they will continue with their liturgy. I have attended only one after having been invited. It was atrocious. In fact, after being forced to dance around Cranmer’s table, another member of “The Way” told me that I have to belong to the Way in order to attend their liturgy. This flies in the face of the directive that their service should be open to the entire parish.

  5. A more detailed explanation by a NCW priest of how they follow the liturgical books and rubrics (apart from a couple of approved variances, regarding the moving of the rite of peace and the manner of receiving communion):

    A reaction to Sandro Magister’s conjectures on the liturgy as celebrated in Neocatechumal communities

    Though one might wonder whether abuses of the prescribed norms are less common at NCW Masses than at regular parish Masses. Or whether videos of flacky NCW Masses are any more relevant to the rite than off-beat videos of clowns or liturgical puppets at NO Masses.

  6. Catholicity says:

    “the Church lovingly follows the faithful who belong to this experience of faith”?

    The Church lovingly follows?

    I thought the Church leads the faithful.

  7. Catholicity: That is a translation problem. For example, Italian “segue” can have the effect of “support”.

  8. Joseph says:

    Why is it, that important instructions as the one issued to the Neocats, is given in Vatican speak so to say. All is as clear as mud and the people go off their merry way totally misled. And judging by past records, the neocats have thumbed their noses at Rom always. Nothing has and will change unless someone is willing to enforce, what has been issued.
    Furter, if the accusation, they do not believe transubstanciation takes place at consecration, then their “mass” is invalid. Though I can’t see, how the Holy Father even talks to those people, if this assumption is correct. [A lot of sweeping generalizations in that comment. Be careful, people.]

  9. ContraMundum says:

    Every time I see “neocat” I think this is some sort of Catholic equivalent of a “neocon”, or maybe a “neo-Catholic” in the sense of the hermeneutics of rupture.

  10. Denis says:

    So, this means an end to all of the usual Neocat oddities? Or does the statement that the approval “has changed absolutely nothing” mean that all of their oddities are still going to be permitted? I suspect the latter, given the strictness with which even the minimal requirements of the Novus Ordo are followed. For example, I am told that holding hands at the Our Father ought not to be done–and yet in some parts of the US it seems to be the norm. I am told that after Vatican II there really should not have been all that destruction and upheaval, and yet there was. I guess I no longer have ANY confidence in the claim that “the Vatican” or “the Church” means X when 95% of the Church seems to be doing the opposite, and “the Vatican” does nothing. Bp. WIlliamson is absolutely wrong about sedevacantism being preferable to the mentality of “the Romans”. But he is right in his remark about the “Romans” (a disgusting term, really, which is why I use the scare quotes) who recognize that the hermeneutic of rupture appears to be winning, and that this is a serious problem: they do exist in a state of mind that approaches insanity. They string together thoughtful and empty platitudes, but on the ground nothing changes. They save all of their strict punishments for the traditionalists, with whom they, allegedly, agree. And now this non-approval/approval that “has changed absolutely nothing.” One step forward, one hundred steps back.

  11. It is no surprise that the Pope has approved the replacement of the Sign of peace to the beginning of the offertory, since he indicated in “Spirit of the Liturgy” that would be a better place. I agree.

  12. Maltese says:

    The Mass is only “the memorial of the Pasch of Jesus, of his passage from death to life”, and, “The notion of sacrifice is a condescension for the pagan mentality (.). At the beginning of the Church, in the theology of the Mass, there was no sacrifice of Jesus, no sacrifice of the Cross, no Calvary, but only a sacrifice of praise.”Kiko, founder of the NCW.

  13. Maltese says:

    (Canon 1) “If anyone say that in the Mass, a true and real sacrifice is not offered to God (.), let him be anathema”

    (Canon 3) “If anyone says that the sacrifice of the Mass is that only of praise and thanksgiving, or that it is a mere commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the Cross but not a propitiatory one (.) let him be anathema”–Council of Trent

    So, which is right: NCW or the dogmatic Council of Trent? Apparently, many Modernist Bishops think the former…

  14. Wade says:

    With all due respect Maltese, your first post above gives the impression that you are directly quoting Kiko Arguello. I followed the link, and you are actually quoting from a lengthy blog post subtitled “CULT FICTION – Protestant cuckoo in the Catholic nest, or what you see is most definitely not what you get.” It attributes the quote above to an “Orientation Guide” from NW, but provides no link, copy or other source material. I will believe it when I see the source. That’s pretty thin to be making such a serious charge – especially with your conclusion that many Bishops are in opposition to Trent and anathema. I am curious if you include the Bishop of Rome in this category.

  15. jhayes says:

    Maltese,

    As Wade pointed out “It attributes the quote above to an “Orientation Guide” from NW, but provides no link, copy or other source material”

    In addition, that most recent dated quote in that reticle is from 2002. The “Catechetical Directory” of he NCW was not approved by the Vatican until 2011 – and only after many changes had been made.

    I would not use that pejorative article from ten years ago as a reliable statement of the theology of the NCW.

  16. jhayes says:

    Fr.Z,

    I think it is more than just moving the sign of peace. The article linked by Henry Edwards provides a very helpful description of the differences in the NCW Eucharist by a priest who has many. . 

    Responding to a criticism by Sandro Magister, he says:

    “He [Magister] makes reference to the celebration of the Eucharist being “convivial.” This is presented as if it was a bad thing, however my Oxford American Dictionary gives a primary definition of “convivial” as “(of an atmosphere or event) friendly, lively, and enjoyable.” I am not sure how this is a problem, although if it is bandied about enough in a negative sense, people will tend to assume that it is somehow bad. I would hope that even the members of the SSPX would hope that their Masses were “friendly, lively and enjoyable.” Even though I am Irish, I am afraid that I don’t see misery and drudgery as being absolute virtues in liturgy! Just because the celebratory element of the Paschal Mystery of the Eucharist is emphasized in the liturgy of the Neocatechumenal Way, this in no way denies the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist. No particular metaphor can hold all the graces contained in the Eucharist and it is ridiculous to try to penalize people for actually enjoying and taking life from the saving mysteries.”

    He quotes the Prefect of the CDW:

    “In an op?ed piece entitled “A breath of Fresh Air” in the current edition of Madrid’s La Razón Cardinal Cañizares (the Prefect of the CDW) did mention the Eucharist as celebrated in the Neocatechumenal communities: “The celebration of the Eucharist, in the interior of the itinerary proper to these communities, is carried out in a very dignified and beautiful manner, with a great sense of faith, with an ecclesial spirit that is both festive and liturgical, with a deep ‘sense of mystery and the sacred’” (my own translation from the Spanish original…)”

    It’s worth the time to read the whole article for a description of other differences. 

  17. jhayes says:

    Fr.Z,

    I think it is more than just moving the sign of peace. The article linked by Henry Edwards provides a very helpful description of the differences in the NCW Eucharist by a priest who has many. . 

    Responding to a criticism by Sandro Magister, he says:

    “He [Magister] makes reference to the celebration of the Eucharist being “convivial.” This is presented as if it was a bad thing, however my Oxford American Dictionary gives a primary definition of “convivial” as “(of an atmosphere or event) friendly, lively, and enjoyable.” I am not sure how this is a problem, although if it is bandied about enough in a negative sense, people will tend to assume that it is somehow bad. I would hope that even the members of the SSPX would hope that their Masses were “friendly, lively and enjoyable.” Even though I am Irish, I am afraid that I don’t see misery and drudgery as being absolute virtues in liturgy! Just because the celebratory element of the Paschal Mystery of the Eucharist is emphasized in the liturgy of the Neocatechumenal Way, this in no way denies the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist. No particular metaphor can hold all the graces contained in the Eucharist and it is ridiculous to try to penalize people for actually enjoying and taking life from the saving mysteries.”

    He quotes the Prefect of the CDW:

    “In an op?ed piece entitled “A breath of Fresh Air” in the current edition of Madrid’s La Razón Cardinal Cañizares (the Prefect of the CDW) did mention the Eucharist as celebrated in the Neocatechumenal communities: “The celebration of the Eucharist, in the interior of the itinerary proper to these communities, is carried out in a very dignified and beautiful manner, with a great sense of faith, with an ecclesial spirit that is both festive and liturgical, with a deep ‘sense of mystery and the sacred’” (my own translation from the Spanish original…)”

    It’s worth the time to read the whole article for a description of other differences. 

  18. jhayes says:

    Some other differences/clarifications from that article:

    “It also allows for brief monitions to the Sunday Mass readings prepared by lay members of the communities…. The only other aspect of the celebrations that are somewhat outside of the experience of the regular parish Mass is the possibility, before the priest’s homily, of the sharing of a few brief personal experiences or “echoes” by some members of the small community….

    They do not “sit round the altar in a circle,” but, as in many churches, the assembly sits on three sides in an orderly fashion and the priest sits at the head of the assembly….

    For Communion, the community uses unleavened bread, prepared not according to some arcane instruction of Dr. Kiko Argüello, but in accordance with 320?321 of the current GIRM. The community also receives from the chalice in the normal way. Both Species of Communion are administered to the individual members by the priest who (in accordance with the Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way), brings it to them in their places as they stand to receive.”

    In addition to the points mentioned by the author, the Statutes delegate to the members of the community the choice of music for the Eucharist (under the supervision of the presbyter) 

  19. disc.s.thom says:

    Can’t we give this up? All of this was decided in 2008 by Pope Benedict.

    What was just approved was the Catechetical Directory of the NCW. The liturgical questions were already approved in their Statutes–years ago! The Catechetical Directory only pertains to extra-liturgical celebrations, which is why someone can say that this most recent approval changes nothing!

    If you want to know what is allowed liturgically, then you have to read Article 13 of their Statutes. From there, you also (which most people overlook) have to confer Notitiae 41 (which is online at Ipsissima-Verba (it’s in Italian, just a warning).

    Regrettably, it permits a number of things more than the two simple changes of the movement of the Sign of Peace and the reception of Holy Communion at their seat (while standing). Read it there, translate with Google Translate if necessary and, lastly, weep.

  20. Denis says:

    jhayes,

    You can read about a synthesis of the NCW “Catechism,” published by a NCW priest, with excerpts from the catechetical teachings of NCW’s founders here:
    http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/21939?eng=y
    Father Enrico Zoffoli has also written about the NCW:
    http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/68419142?access_key=key-gtynyl13v8fph3em0j1

    The way in which the NCW celebrate their Mass makes sense only if one understands them to be expressing the belief that the Eucharist is a ‘feast’ of some sort, rather than a sacrifice.
    As a 13-year old I once, unknowingly, attended what I understood later was a private NCW Mass. It was celebrated around a coffee table, and regular bread was used. I was very puzzled by the whole thing, because I thought I had been invited to a private commemoration of the anniversary of the death of my friend’s father. But, as it turned out, my friend’s mother was really into this NCW, and the commemoration was, in fact, a private Mass. I have been told that the use of regular pita-style bread was quite common for the NCW, though they may have changed that.

    If you look at videos of NCW liturgies, you will see a lot of busyness, frenetic dancing…one really gets the sense that it is all about communal emoting.

    Alas, if one is used to the more Charismatic-style celebration of the Novus Ordo, the NCW Mass may not seem very foreign, but that tells you more about the liturgical heterodoxy of Charismatic-style worship than it does about the orthodoxy of the NCW.

  21. Denis says:

    In spite of their guardedness, examples of the NCW’s feast-celebrations are pretty ubiquitous

    Here is the pretty typical convivial dancing as the meal is prepared:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHEkULqZrcE&feature=related

    Here is the elevation, with pita bread, and everyone sitting around the dinner table:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywdythMStrs&feature=related

    I am not doubting the sincerity and orthodoxy of most of those involved with the NCW. I don’t doubt that they are good Christians, and good Catholics. I do believe, however, that their liturgical practices are based in error, and express a mistaken view of the eucharistic. Unfortunately, the same can be said of the way in which the NO is celebrated in many places. The NCW is just a more extreme version of the “Spirit of Vatican II” as applied to the liturgy.

  22. NoTambourines says:

    ContraMundum–

    That’s more highbrow than I go. I think “NyanCat Liturgy”. I could imagine the Pop Tart chasuble on Bad Vestments. The recessional hymn would be catchy, but it would go on and on…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH2-TGUlwu4

  23. jhayes says:

    Denis, the first link in your post of 9:30 pm was published in 2005

    In your second link, the last article on NCW was published in 1996

    As I explained in an earlier post, the Catechtical Directory of the NCW was not approved by the Vatican until 2011 – and only after a reported 2000 changes had been made. The NCW adaptations to the OF Mass were approved by the Vatican in 2008 as part of the NCW Statutes. Older articles like the ones you linked are out of date in relation to the approved documents.

    Here is a slideshow of Archbishop Sambi, the firmer Nuncio to the USA, celebrating the NCW Eucharist in 2010. That was after the NCW Eucharist was approved in 2008.

    SLIDESHOW

    Click the “slideshow button at the top right corner.

    That may not be your personal preference for the kind of Mass/Eucharist you would choose to attend, but it is an approved liturgy of the Church.

  24. Denis says:

    jhayes,

    I’m not really sure what the relevance of the date is. Their liturgy was designed to express that theological error: a denial of the sacrificial character of the Mass and of transubstantiation. From that error follow the gestures and practices of the NCW liturgy. That is why they do not kneel, genuflect; why they sit during what is supposed to be the sacrifice of the Mass. They sit because they do not view it as a sacrifice but a ‘feast’ or banquet. If they had changed their doctrinal commitments, they would have changed their liturgical practices. Since they haven’t changed their liturgical practices, one can conclude that either they are horribly confused, or they haven’t really changed their theological views. Either way it’s bad, and misleading.

    The Sambi pictures don’t really help matters. Yes, he is presiding over a liturgy that expresses error. Wonderful! You end with “…but it is an approved liturgy of the Church.” Well, that’s not entirely clear, is it. It is, no doubt, a wonderful thing in Sambi’s mind. But is that what was approved by the Holy Father? I doubt it. The ‘unnamed Vatican officials’ are reassuring us that it wasn’t; Kiko assures us that it was. It’s that sort of (deliberate?) lack of clarity that opened the door to the post-V2 chaos, destruction, rupture, and I’m not sure why anyone should be happy or silent about it now.

  25. Denis says:

    jhayes,

    Let me put it this way: approval of this liturgy now is nothing less than a reversal of everything that has been gained by the good side, and an doubling down on the hermeneutic of rupture; it is a reaffirmation of the idea that the post-V2 Church is a new Church; that we need not have any connection with tradition, that Vatican 2 is our apha and omega. The NCW liturgy at which Sambi presides would have been unrecognizable and scandalous even to Luther, Calvin, and Cranmer.