I just read a discourse of the Holy Father to a gathering of members of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, NeoCats. There has been some buzz, and some anxiety, that the Pope might approve their own brand of liturgy.
In this address, the Pope said that, in a Decree which had just been read, there was approval of some non-liturgical celebrations they have:
Poco fa vi è stato letto il Decreto con cui vengono approvate le celebrazioni presenti nel “Direttorio Catechetico del Cammino Neocatecumenale”, che non sono strettamente liturgiche, ma fanno parte dell’itinerario di crescita nella fede….
Then the Pope launches into a couple paragraphs about liturgy. He stressed the need for all liturgical celebrations to be harmony with the whole Church and not out of step with parishes under the diocesan bishop.
He finishes with a paragraph that begins with “Coraggio!”
This didn’t sound to me like the thought of a Pope about to approve the NeoCat liturgy.
In the meantime, on VIS I read (my emphases and comments):
APPROVAL FOR CELEBRATIONS OF NEO-CATECHUMENAL WAY
VATICAN CITY, 20 JAN 2012 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for the Laity today published a decree approving the celebrations contained in the Catechetical Directory of the Neo-Catechumenal Way. The decree is dated 8 January, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and bears the signatures of Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko and Bishop Josef Clemens, respectively president and secretary of the council. [These must be the “celebrations” to which the Pope in his address referred to as “not strictly liturgical”.]
The text published today reads: “By a decree of 11 May 2008 the Pontifical Council for the Laity gave definitive approval to the Statutes of the Neo-Catechumenal Way. Subsequently, following due consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by a decree of 26 December 2010, the council gave approval to the publication of the Catechetical Directory as a valid and binding instrument for the catechesis of the Neo-Catechumenal Way.
“Now, pursuant to articles 131 and 133 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Apostolic Constitution ‘Pastor Bonus’ on the Roman Curia, the Pontifical Council forthe Laity, having received the ‘nulla osta’ of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, grants approval to those celebrations contained in the Catechetical Directory of the Neo-Catechumenal Way which are not, by their nature, already regulated by the liturgical books of the Church“. [Did you get that? “which are NOT… already regulated by the liturgical books…” Mass IS regulated by liturgical books.]
It seems to me that the NeoCat liturgy for Mass was NOT approved, which some other non-liturgical celebrations were.
I could be wrong about this, of course. We will get to the bottom of this soon, I am sure.