Via Media

Via Media


NW on their instructions..

posted by awelborn

From Zenit, a response to the Congregation of Divine Worship’s instruction to the Neocatechumenal Way:

Q: Some media articles written about this letter presents it as a scolding and as a rejection of the Way by Benedict XVI.

Gennarini: There could be nothing farther from the truth.

Our relationship with Benedict XVI before becoming Pope has always been very good. The then Cardinal Ratzinger met the Way in the 1970s and introduced it in his native Germany. As prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he has always helped us and has mentioned the Way in a very positive way in several of his books.

Benedict XVI received in an audience the initiators of the Way last November and personally confirmed his support for the Way and his joy for the great fruits that it is giving to the Church.

As a sign of his love for the fruits of the Way, the Holy Father will send this coming 12th of January 200 new families in mission who will go to the most de-Christianized parts of the world to announce the Gospel.

Without the intervention of the Holy Father, the approval of these liturgical variations would have never taken place. We feel fully confirmed by Peter. Those who are trying to oppose Benedict XVI and John Paul II are altering the reality.

These days we are reading news articles that are absolutely unfounded: I wish to clarify that never has a lay person of the Neocatechumenal communities given a homily in place of a priest.

An international news agency even contradicted itself when it accused the Way at one and the same time of having "innovative practices" and having "a very conservative worldview."

Jimmy Akin sez it’s spin…



Advertisement
Comments read comments(15)
post a comment
dad

posted January 2, 2006 at 10:15 pm


I hear the dance music and I see the dance.
So what’s the poor fellow trying to say? That there IS no letter?
Cardinal McCarrick, call your office!



report abuse
 

RC

posted January 2, 2006 at 10:40 pm


Usually one gets this level of spin from lawyers, not priests.



report abuse
 

Tom Haessler

posted January 2, 2006 at 11:11 pm


I found the “spin” to be completely credible, and more importantly, informed. Fortunately, this new movement understands that liturgy is not rubrics. I’m pleased that the Vatican is still open to some of the more valid forms of experimentation. Now if only the concession concerning the sign of peace can be extended to the requesting national hierarchies, a modicum of mutual respect can be recovered.
Question: Does anyone know how many non-Christians have been attracted to Catholicism by experiencing Eucharist in Tridentine litugies? Are these parishes loaded with adult converts from atheism, agnosticism, secularism? This is the bottom line. If the fruits of evangelization are absent, where is the Spirit? I’ve been in several parishes where the NO is celebrated with dignity and serious preparation without the “performance” aspect. RCIA is filled to overflowing – not just with those being received into full communion, but with large numbers of converts.



report abuse
 

RC

posted January 3, 2006 at 2:03 am


Hi, Amy–
I should revise my wisecrack back there: it was a mistake for me to think that Gennarini was a priest, as the Zenit article says only that he’s a spokesman for NCW. Since that’s a lay movement, I should assume he’s a layman.
Pace Tom, I can’t help thinking it’s spin when Mr. Gennarini speaks of the Communion practices as “fully legitimate” when the NCW has been ordered to eliminate those practices. It’s not necessarily an erroneous statement (in itself), but it is “a special point of view, emphasis, or interpretation” (definition from m-w.com).
I’m hoping the guidance Rome is giving in this letter and in the NCW’s statutes (whatever they may be) will help the group avoid mistakes and make clearer its integration with the rest of the Church. Such an integration is a necessary part of an ‘itinerary’ of formation, because, as in any journey, the itinerary (NCW) must not be confused with the destination (the Church).



report abuse
 

John B

posted January 3, 2006 at 2:16 am


The Letter to the NCW has not been denied by the Vatican, and to be blunt, this seems to be CYA spin by the NCW. They have been indeed ordered to conform more aspects of their liturgical practices to the rest of the church.
Tom, as for converts going into parishe sthat celebrate the TLM, the problem is the TLM has been so supressed, and difficult to get to in so many diocese, that a fair comparison can not be made, and to tell you the truth, it sickens me to no end that such organizations, I think in part because of the novolties they represent come so close to a radical take on “The Sprit of Vatican II”, that they are allowed to reign free. While they tend to habve a conservative theological view from what I read, again that is negated by the way the celebrate mass.
Again, while I can not say that the traditional mass has gained converts, I can say that silliness such as the NCW way, and other various incarnations tried since 1964 such as folk masses, experimental masses, contempoary music masses and so on has chased away tens of millions of Catholics in the US alone.
Lastly, 88% of converts to the faith in the US are spouses of Catholic converting to the faith, they are not seekers.



report abuse
 

Fr. Brian Stanley

posted January 3, 2006 at 6:33 am


Tom puts up a straw man: the Vatican is not telling the Neocatechumenate to celebrate the Tridentine Mass.
And prior to Vatican II and its liturgical revisions, yes, thousands and millions came to the Catholic Church because of the Tridentine Mass. But this is a red herring and Tom knows it. Tom knows better: he is a better theologian than this, and I am sorely disappointed that he mounted a straw man argument here.
By the way, I’ve been to Neocatechumenate way liturgies, in Kalamazoo, back in the ’90’s, before I was ordained but while I was in formation for the priesthood. There most definitely were homilies given by the laity in these NW Masses, and I heard things that were not consistent with the theological training I received in the seminary, not consistent with Church teaching. I think these instructions to NW are long overdue, and I would not be surprised if this group begins to recede as the novelty of liturgical experimentation is withdrawn. The experimentation aspect was central to its attraction, and at least in Kalamazoo, the group failed to make any kind of substantive connection with the parish community, or participation in the liturgical life of the parish. I think of the Neocatechumenate as a kind of liturgical disco, and that it will go the way of leisure suits, pet rocks, and all that ’70’s stuff. I am sure that some will lament the loss of disco, leisure suits and pet rocks — I am not one of them. They served their purpose, however brief that service was. Perhaps I am wrong, and would welcome being wrong in this instance. But I was there, and saw it with my own eyes, and I shed no tears for it now.



report abuse
 

Susan Peterson

posted January 3, 2006 at 11:13 am


In support of the Tridentine mass:
My oldest son, whom I tried unsuccessfully to raise as a Catholic,but who is a professed unbeliever, told me over Christmas that he sometimes goes to a Tridentine mass in a church near where he lives in Boston. He says he goes because he appreciates the ceremonial and that if the church had dragged him to had been something like that it might have stuck with him. He said something like that it was good for people to get together and do something like that, if only it didn’t require God as an excuse for it. I said God was the reason for it and he said I was lucky to be able to believe that. It was the kind of “you’re lucky” which really means “You’re lucky to be deluded and happy, but I am superior to that and prefer to be undeluded .” But something has made him go there, and go back more than once.
I myself have only been to one and, as celebrated that particular time, I wasn’t all that impressed. I have spoken of this here before. But hearing my son say this certainly gave me a “think again” message.
Susan Peterson



report abuse
 

Susan Peterson

posted January 3, 2006 at 11:15 am


Of course, it isn’t Neocats vs Tridentines, and it is unclear why the subject of the Tridentine mass was introduced here.
Also, it doesn’t seem right to call the Neocat. Way “silliness” as it had the approval of JPII and has apparently attracted many vocations to the priesthood.
Susan F. Peterson



report abuse
 

Tom Haessler

posted January 3, 2006 at 6:06 pm


Hello, Father Brian,
Sorry my response disappointed you. I was really responding to the very brief comments of “dad” and “RC”. My concern was to insist that the Neo-Catechumenate Way folks are really being supported by the last two popes and not a “far out” group, even if their liturgical practice needs attention. I believe that Mother Angelica deserves credit for making major contributions to the life of the Church in the United States despite the fact that some have pointed out certain somewhat minor violations of the letter of the rubrics in certain Masses broadcast by EWTN. It often happens in Church history that groups and movements that have had a major impact on the development of ecclesial life (in a very positive way) have had problematical theological or liturgical aspects that eventually needed attention by those in authority. Examples would be the spiritual Franciscans, some of those emphasizing the social dimension of the Gospel (who, at times, were insufficiently critical of certain aspects of socialism), etc. Typically, the Church has been slow to prune new movements because there’s danger of extinguishing the Spirit. It seems you’ve had bad experiences with the NW, but I’m wondering how representative your experience is. I’d be surprised if Benedict XVI would have wanted to introduce the NW into Germany if that’s all there was to this new movement. Without knowing a lot about the NW, I would certainly identify as a major weakness of the way RCIA is conducted in some places that insufficient attention is given to kerygmatic presentation of the basics of Christianity. Yes, often there’s insufficient catechesis, but catechesis is supposed to come AFTER an initial experience of evangelization and proclamation does need to focus on a personal encounter with the Lord. And these folks seem to be concerned about that, and isn’t that good?
I wish now that I’d said nothing in this context about the Tridentine Mass. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had both good experiences (in Chicago) and bad experiences (anti-Semitism, rudeness to my wife when she was a new Catholic, etc.) with people making use of the indult. I do believe very strongly that hopes for a restoration of the pre-Vatican II liturgy (as opposed to a generous pastoral provision for those who continue to be attracted to this form of the liturgy) are fueled by restorationist agendas that are insufficiently appreciative of the major gains made since Vatican II (and this is exactly the position of the bishops at the Synod on the Eucharist).



report abuse
 

Tom Haessler

posted January 3, 2006 at 6:07 pm


Hello, Father Brian,
Sorry my response disappointed you. I was really responding to the very brief comments of “dad” and “RC”. My concern was to insist that the Neo-Catechumenate Way folks are really being supported by the last two popes and not a “far out” group, even if their liturgical practice needs attention. I believe that Mother Angelica deserves credit for making major contributions to the life of the Church in the United States despite the fact that some have pointed out certain somewhat minor violations of the letter of the rubrics in certain Masses broadcast by EWTN. It often happens in Church history that groups and movements that have had a major impact on the development of ecclesial life (in a very positive way) have had problematical theological or liturgical aspects that eventually needed attention by those in authority. Examples would be the spiritual Franciscans, some of those emphasizing the social dimension of the Gospel (who, at times, were insufficiently critical of certain aspects of socialism), etc. Typically, the Church has been slow to prune new movements because there’s danger of extinguishing the Spirit. It seems you’ve had bad experiences with the NW, but I’m wondering how representative your experience is. I’d be surprised if Benedict XVI would have wanted to introduce the NW into Germany if that’s all there was to this new movement. Without knowing a lot about the NW, I would certainly identify as a major weakness of the way RCIA is conducted in some places that insufficient attention is given to kerygmatic presentation of the basics of Christianity. Yes, often there’s insufficient catechesis, but catechesis is supposed to come AFTER an initial experience of evangelization and proclamation does need to focus on a personal encounter with the Lord. And these folks seem to be concerned about that, and isn’t that good?
I wish now that I’d said nothing in this context about the Tridentine Mass. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had both good experiences (in Chicago) and bad experiences (anti-Semitism, rudeness to my wife when she was a new Catholic, etc.) with people making use of the indult. I do believe very strongly that hopes for a restoration of the pre-Vatican II liturgy (as opposed to a generous pastoral provision for those who continue to be attracted to this form of the liturgy) are fueled by restorationist agendas that are insufficiently appreciative of the major gains made since Vatican II (and this is exactly the position of the bishops at the Synod on the Eucharist).



report abuse
 

Tom Haessler

posted January 3, 2006 at 6:09 pm


Hello, Susan,
Thanks for sharing your interesting comments about your son’s experience with the Tridentine Mass. This post comes with a prayer to Our Lady that she will watch over his spiritual growth with her maternal intercession.



report abuse
 

Fr. Brian Stanley

posted January 3, 2006 at 6:39 pm


Tom,
Thank you for your response, and for wishing the “Tridentine insertion” away. As the saying goes, you’ll attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.
I think the problem with the NW liturgy is that the emphasis is too catechetical and not enough worship, simply put. That’s my experience of their liturgies; I stopped attending after the fourth one. I kept thinking: can’t we just pray? I just came to praise the Lord, as the song goes. Like papal liturgies under the late John Paul the Great, NW liturgies attempt to do too much. Less is more: my new year’s resolution is to keep it simple, stupid. Yes, I call myself “stupid.”



report abuse
 

patrick

posted January 3, 2006 at 8:41 pm


I do not think the zenit interview is spin at all. it just puts things in context and gives some of the history of the recent decision.
this is not some silly group for the 1970’s. It has given more vocations to the prieshood than any recent movement in the church and has many of its own seminaries all over the world.
it is not some sect, its theology, catechesis, and statutes have been studied by rome and approved.
the problem is not with NW, it will grow and work out things with the church. the problem is with people who must always judge and condemn with very little insight or knowlegde. Opus Dei, NW, Tridentine, Novu Ordo…..people can’t think outside of their little box and see in a more catholic way.
it is amazing how bloogers in the US have deeper insight into these things than even the Pope and the roman congregations who have spent years studying them.
and the NW is just one movement, no one is saying it is the answer for all…… but it is hard to see how someone who has made themselves familiar with it cannot see the good fruits that have come out of it. And this is the same for other movements in the church…Opus Dei, Schoenstatt, Charismatic movement etc….they all have been a blessing to the church. what is everyone so afraid of ???



report abuse
 

theonenonly

posted January 14, 2006 at 4:34 pm


Being part of the Neo catechumenal way since i was 2 years old till now, i can honestly say i find nothing wrong with it, but if the Pope decides to make changes then so be it. The Neo catechumenal way (The Way/El Camino) as it is known world wide to many is not a parish group as many think, we are just strongly participate in many parish functions and events. The NCW is recognized by both Popes as well as our parish Bishop. It is not a PRAYER GROUP, although we pray constantly. It is not a BIBLE CLASS or classes, it is a Community/Catequisis. The NCW is not a marriage encounter, although the largest fruit so far is rebuilt marriages. And it is not an “order” although the Holy See itself has entrusted us with Seminaries. “It is an itinerary of Catholic formation, valid for our society and for our times”.
The NCW has spread to over 105 countries and 5 continents. In 2001 alone, the NCW communities are present in more than 5,000 parishes of 880 dioceses. Giving a total of 16,700 communities in where 8,000 are found in different parts of Europe, 7,300 in America and about 800 in Asia && Australia with 600 in Africa!!! Many great fruits have come from the NCW. We have more than 46 seminaries with over 1500 seminarians and more than 500 religious women. . We have also had the most vocations as well. I am glad my family decided to join this Way.
Many of the other groups mentioned or that are being compared to the Neo catechumenal Way really should have no comparisons what so ever. Many groups do not consist of the entire family attending. I hear many of them at church, where it is only for the husband and wife, the ones with problems, marriage problems, or just for the teenagers. Then there are other groups where they have age limits. Then where do you go after that? The NCW allows you to attend as a family! It’s a great and new experience. Its just really hard to say anything about THE WAY when you haven’t been a part of it! Its just easy to criticize and get scandalized. WE all have our opinions and this one is just mine. Have a Blessed day everyone
LA PAZ



report abuse
 

Ofra

posted March 31, 2006 at 5:16 am


Hello Amy,
I’m also walking with the Way since last December 2005. I heard one of the Catechist-Priest who came from Italy telling us during the weekend of convivence that the Church had lost the Catechesis and Liturgy around Constantinia. And it was renewed by Vatican II. I’ve heard some things a bit odd, like, ‘Sex is sin’, which I talked to the same priest but he didn’t answer straight to me.
Could you tell me of any links that could help me on these matters?
Thanx very much.
A small doubter…?-)
My email adress is ofraora@yahoo.com



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

There is nothing I shall want
A couple of weeks ago, a memorial Mass for Michael was held here in Birmingham at the Cathedral. The bishop presided and offered a very nice, even charming homily in which he first focused on the Scripture readings of the day, and then turned to Michael, whom he remembered, among other things, as on

posted 9:24:16am Mar. 05, 2009 | read full post »

Revolutionary Road - Is it just me?
Why am I the only person I know..or even "know" in the Internet sense of "knowing"  - who didn't hate it? I didn't love it, either. There was a lot wrong with it. Weak characterization. Miscasting. Anvil-wielding mentally ill prophets.But here's the thing.Whether or not Yates' original novel in

posted 9:45:04pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Books for Lent
No, I'm not going to ask you about your Lenten reading lists...although I might.Not today, though. This post is about giving books to others. For Lent, and a long time after that. You know how it goes during Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, right?Well, here's a worthy recipient for your hard-

posted 9:22:07pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Why Via Media
How about....because I'm lame and hate thinking up titles to things? No?Okay...how about...St. Benedict? Yes, yes, I know the association with Anglicanism. That wasn't invovled in my purpose in naming the joint, but if draws some Googling Episcopalians, all the better.To tell the truth, you can bl

posted 8:54:17pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Brave Heart?
I don't know about you, but one of effects of childbirth on me was a compulsion to spill the details. All of them.The whole thing was fascinating to me, so of course I assumed everyone else should be fascinated as well in the recounting of every minute of labor, describing the intensity of discomfor

posted 10:19:45pm Mar. 03, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.