Remnant News Watch

Neocatechumenal Way Builds Adoration Monastery on Mount of Beatitudes

Mark Alessio

Christ in the Eucharist will be “perpetually adored on the mountain where he preached the Beatitudes, thanks to an adoration monastery built next to a retreat center entrusted to the Neocatechumenal Way,” reports Zenit (Apr. 3, 2008):

The monastery is made up of 23 cells surrounding a circular chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. On the roof there is a sculpture by Kiko Argüello, the founder of the Neocatechumenal Way (NCW), which depicts Jesus and the Twelve Apostles during the preaching of the Sermon on the Mount.

According to the Independent Catholic News (Apr. 3, 2008), the March 29th inauguration of the monastery, built next to the Domus Galilaeae (the NCW international center/retreat facility) was attended by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah; the Caretaker of the Holy Land, Pierbattista Pizzaballa; the Nuncio in Israel, Monsignor Antonio Franco and bishops from the various rites.

Also present at the inauguration were 160 bishops and 9 cardinals who had attended a meeting (from March 24-30) at the Neocatechumenal Way’s Domus Galilaeae International Center on the “New Evangelization in Europe.”

Present at this meeting were Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, and Vatican representatives Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes and Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Zenit reports (Apr. 1, 2008) that, “participants in the meeting, which was organized by Kilo Argüello, Carmen Hernández and Father Mario Pezzi, founders of the Neocatechumenal Way, were greeted by a telegram sent by the Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who sent greetings and the blessing of Benedict XVI.”

Regarding the situation in Europe concerning such matters as abortion, contraception, low birth-rate figures and homosexual “marriage,” Cardinal Schönborn said:

This is an objective “no” to the future. The only voice in Europe that has promoted and is promoting the future is the Catholic Church with Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and so many others. The Neocatechumenal Way is without a doubt an answer of the Holy Spirit to this situation and I have been able to see it as a bishop and as a shepherd. I have seen parents saying “yes” to life in an encouraging and generous way; they are saying “yes” to the future.

After the meeting, the bishops released “a joint declaration to launch the re-evangelization of Europe.” The declaration states:

We declare that the future of the Neocatechumenal Way will greatly depend upon the fatherly love with which we bishops welcome this charism, closely follow the Redemptoris Mater seminaries and encourage the precious families of the Neocatechumenal Communities, inserting them, more and more, into the life of the local Church.

What does NCW founders Kiko & Carmen teach their catechists concerning Eucharistic Adoration? In their Schema for Catechists (a training manual for NCW catechists, unavailable to the general public), Carmen speaks of the Eucharistic Processions and Adoration of the Middle Ages:

Great shows began to the Most High, which had never existed before because the Presence was there for the Eucharistic celebration and not the other way around. The bread and wine are not to be shown because they can go off. They’re to be eaten and drunk. I’m always saying to the Sacramentines of Rome that they’ve made an enormous custody of the whole thing: If Christ had wanted the Eucharist in order to be there, He’d have made Himself present in a stone, for instance, because stones can’t go off.

The Sacramentines, founded in Rome by a Franciscan nun, are the Perpetual Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. The order was approved by Pope Pius VII in 1807. It appears that Pius found great merit in an order that the learned Carmen chastises as a superstitious “enormous custody.” And she is considered the great “theologian/church historian” of the NCW!

This profound lack of respect for the traditional Catholic view of Eucharistic Adoration tallies with Carmen’s heretical teachings on the Real Presence, among them:

- “The signs [i.e., bread and wine] prepare the man and put him into a disposition for the Sacrament to be realized in him. The bread and wine prepare and help man to receive the action of God.”

- “For the Sacrament is not only the bread and wine, but also the assembly – the whole Church which proclaims the Eucharist. Without this assembly proclaiming the Eucharist, there can be no Eucharist.”

In November of 2005, Pope Benedict XVI granted NCW founders, Kiko Arguello and Carmen Hernandez a private audience, after Kiko had participated in a Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. One month later, the NCW founders received a letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Among other things, the letter stated that the NCW had been granted a period of transition (not to exceed two years), during which NCW communities must change over from their usual manner of receiving Holy Communion (seated, with a cloth-covered table placed at the center of the church instead of the dedicated altar in the sanctuary) to the manner in which the entire Church receives Communion. The two-year grace period for compliance ended in December, 2007.

Earlier, in 2002, the Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way had been approved by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. This approval was designated ad experimentum (i.e., provisional) for five years. This five-year period ended in June, 2007.

Mixed signals are anathema to the Church which rightly claims to have been founded by Jesus Christ. On the one hand, we have the fruits of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum. However one feels about this document, or however angry one may be at those Catholic shepherds who have dropped the ball over the years, the fact remains that, because of this, the Traditional Latin Mass is finally making fresh inroads into the landscape of a nearly devastated Church. What seemed impossible under the reign of John Paul II has become a reality, as more and more people experience the power of the Traditional rite.

On the other hand, the continued coddling of the “New Evangelization” proponents (and those groups which, in saner times, would have been considered rogue elements and purveyors of doctrinal error) by members of the Catholic hierarchy can only serve as a hindrance to the eventual triumph of Catholic Tradition. It is as though a flagman were waving a speeding train on, while tossing logs onto the tracks at the same time.

There has been so much talk of “unity” over the past few decades, always at the service of false ecumenism. When the Catholic Church once again offers a unified front to the world – unified in doctrine and liturgy – then the Church will once again make a difference. When groups of bishops traverse the globe in support of Tradition, not novelty, then the Church will once again recover her authentic voice.


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