Neocatechumenal Rite and Catholic Eucarist

« No one is permitted to undervalue the mystery entrusted to our hands: It is too great for anyone to feel free to treat it lightly and with disregard for its sacredness and its universality.»
[John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 52]

This page is meant to show the main liturgical differences between the Neocatechumenal celebration and the Catholic Eucharist.

The instructions contained in the Vatican letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to the NCW dated December 1st, 2005 and signed by Cardinal Francis Arinze concern also the ways the Eucharist has to be celebrated: It is allowed to use bread and wine, but the attention is called on their distribution, not around the table, but as a procession, by the presbyter.

It’s not a mere formal detail, since the Neocatechumenals stress the importance of the ‘banquet’, living and overestimating conviviality to the detriment of ‘sacrifice’. Observe the dimensions of the Porto San Giorgio’s and Domus Galileae’s tables—the latter being used for the 2006 mission of priests in Europe with the Chanukiah in place of the Cross! [See: The Misuse of Jewish Symbols]

(click to see full images)

The matter is complex and it ought not be underestimated because the authenticity and the profoundness of our relation with the Lord in accordance with His teachings handed down inside and by the Church—lex credendi—is given by the way we interpret and celebrate these moments.

To live liturgy in the presence of the Lord, as He taught us, is essential to actualize again for us, for the Church and for the world, the memorial of His death and resurrection, so that it may transform our lives and history, harmonizing our presence in the world with the Father’s will: “Here I come...”

Of course, this cannot happen if the sacrament is adulterated both in its form and in its substance. The maximum result you can achieve is to set up an exalting, consolatory group therapy and a nourishing approach to the Scriptures; sometimes, you cannot carry out even that. Anyway, all this has nothing to do with Eucharist and with the authentic worship of God, that is the primary duty of the Church.

To summarize: According to Neocatechumenals, the Mass is not a ‘sacrifice’, so, in the place of the altar, they put only the table and in Eucharist they celebrate a mere convivial party between fellows who share the same faith in Resurrection; the consecrated bread and wine are only the symbol of the presence of the resurrected Christ, that ends with the celebration and joins the fellow diners by communicating them His spirit, allowing them to participate of His triumph over death. The Neocatechumenal doctrine asserts that the passion and death of Jesus Christ wasn’t a true sacrifice offered to the Father to amend our sins and redeem humanity; still, human beings inexorably remain sinners (that is true, but the effect of Grace is not considered). As a result, to enjoy the fruits of His work, it’s sufficient for the believer to admit to be a sinner and believe in the power of the resurrected Christ (which—as an evident echo of Lutheran doctrine—totally eliminates personal response and responsibility).

Furthermore, the words of consecration—“This is my Body offered in sacrifice for you”—don’t hold the pregnant meaning (factive, not narrative) such as the one that is fostered by the Church. Consequently, Eucharist is not lived in all its sacrality and its transformative power as the foundation and source of the life of faith in the Lord, nor it renders actual again His death and resurrection: “Do THIS in My memory.”

This is the reason why Neocatechumenal celebrations are quite a different thing than the Catholic celebration we live after the Church handed it over to us—in spite of the fervor of their hymns and the echos of the proclaimed Word. In Neocatechumenal celebrations we witnessed a lot of exaltation, scarce meditation and the trivialization of the mystery (the priest pronounces the words “before celebrating the sacred mysteries” at the beginning of the Holy Mass).

The Communion of Saints is also denied and substituted by the belief that the Spirit circulates exclusively in the concrete, restricted community you’re affiliated to. That’s the reason why celebrations are so fragmented—one per community—and why they bar the great Assembly of the parishioners. There is another reason, too: After the readings, the so-called “resonances” represent one of the moments in which the rhythm of the rite is broken and its sacral, intangible and unchangeable form is bended to Kiko’s diktat: Kiko thinks that this moment is the most pregnant with meaning—and it is—with regard to the community’s cohesion. That’s the reason why the rite is twisted this way.

I replied with Saint Paul’s words (1 Cor 9:24) to the neocatechumenal priest who reprimanded me exactly on the ‘Community of Saints’, telling me that the Spirit circulates only inside the concrete community: Our ‘good fight’ resembles a race in a stadium, at the end of which everyone expects to obtain the crown of victory and during which from the tribunes arises the public’s incitement, sounding as ‘humming bees’ (see Heb 12:1, “surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses”; the Community of Saints pulls for us the same way. This is a beautiful metaphor who has always comforted and strengthened me; the priest, however, labeled it as “cheap mysticism”. Fortunately, my spiritual father confirmed me that the Community of Saints is a great, very important reality: It enriches our faith and introduces us into a new reality, the ‘World to come’, the Reign that is almost preset here, in our troubled earth, in our lives and in our history. In the Mass, not only the communion with the congregation is reached, but also with the past, the present Church and the Church of the future, earthly and heavenly, both inside and outside the time.

Once we point out those differences—that are not trivial at all—with the ‘sensus fidei’ handed down by the Church, the liturgical celebration loses all its solemnity and beauty, losing—we believe—its deepest beauty because of its twisted reality.

Benedict XVI’s thought about the way the Eucharist should be celebrated is well expressed in “The Ratzinger Report”, a book in which the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is interviewed by Vittorio Messori. On page 130 we read: «Liturgy is not an exhibition, a show that needs smart directors and talented actors. Liturgy is not based on “funny” surprises, “captivating” stunts, but on solemn repetitions. It must not express current, ephemeral events, but the mystery of the Sacred. Many people thought and told that Liturgy must be “done” by the whole community, in order that it can really belong to the assembly. It’s a point of view that led to measure its “success” by its spectacular efficacy, its ability to entertain. This is exactly how Liturgy’s nature—that doesn’t depend on what we do but on what is happening—got dispersed. We cannot “do” Liturgy all together. In Liturgy there’s a force, a power operating that not even the Church may attribute to itself: In Liturgy the absolutely Other manifest itself and reaches us through the community: Consequently, the latter is not the master but a servant, a mere instrument. For the Catholic believer, Liturgy is the common Motherland, it’s his identity’s very same source: That’s why it must be “predetermined”, “imperturbable”, because God’s Holiness manifest Itself through the rite. The revolt against what has been called “the old scrupulous and superficial rigidity”, accused of banning “creativity”, has involved even Liturgy in the “do-it-yourself” vortex instead, trivializing it by adapting it to our mediocre standards.»

In the “Orientations for the Teams of Catechists”, Kiko states: “There’s no Eucharist without the assembly. It is the whole assembly who celebrates the feast and the Eucharist; because Eucharist is the exultance of human assembly in communion; because this created Church, this communion is exactly the place where God’s action is manifested. It is from this assembly that Eucharist springs.”

Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical “Ecclesia De Eucharistia” (2003), n. 31, writes instead: “We can understand, then, how important it is for the spiritual life of the priest, as well as for the good of the Church and the world, that priests follow the Council's recommendation to celebrate the Eucharist daily: ‘for even if the faithful are unable to be present, it is an act of Christ and the Church.’”

We want to remind that every Christian is aware of the importance of the participation of the assembly, but nobody would never forget that the priest celebrates ‘in persona Christi’. The Christian lives, participates, receives, and the assembly is formed not only by his community: It is in communion with all the Triumphant, Purgant and Militant Church, that is, with us.

Of course, there’s something good in claiming the attention on the need for more concreteness and more involvement of the fellow parishioners in order to live the rite as a community; however, the formative contents are not those taught in and by the Church. The real result is a great concentration of the spiritual experience in the context of small communities, with an out-and-out exclusion of the ‘others’.

Furthermore, only by living the Eucharist in conformity to the teaching of the Church we can say “Here I am” in a total and meaningful way and let it transform our whole lives (thoughts, wishes, undertakings, actions, relations with other people, the deepness of our souls and the intensity of our relation with the Lord, with the others and with the events of our lives). It’s difficult to talk about so complex and rich an experience: It’s even better to share it and live it. The key is contained in Jesus’ words: “Do THIS in memory of ME.” What do we mean with the word THIS? We must interpret it as the exhortation to offer ourselves unconditionally to the Father; in this way He ‘re-members’ (as a re-actualization, not just as the mere remembrance) His Son and operates our transformation into the Christ. We must be eager to be turned into a ‘holy, perennial sacrifice pleasing to God’ (how Saint Paul teaches us) allowing God to make us a ‘living Eucharist’, not just at the moment of Eucharist. Only this way we can go beyond Kiko’s teaching and live an authentically Christian life.

Therefore, we repeat that celebrating an ‘eschatological banquet’ (as the NCW teaches) and celebrating the ‘sacrifice of Jesus Christ’, born, dead and resurrected, who ALSO invites us to the intimate nuptial ‘banquet’ with Him, prepared by the Father before all the centuries (how the Church teaches) is not quite the same thing. There is a great difference: If I’m just participating to a feast, I’m a fellow diner who shares the “joy” (those are the unheard-of words Kiko used talking to the Pope); if I participate to a sacrifice, I receive by the Christ the gift to offer myself just as He did, not as Kiko teaches [see the interview to him, June 2008].

We cite from Paul VI’s “Misterium Fidei”:

4. “At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of His Death and Resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.”

5. These words highlight both the sacrifice, which pertains to the essence of the Mass that is celebrated daily, and the sacrament in which those who participate in it through holy Communion eat the flesh of Christ and drink the blood of Christ, and thus receive grace, which is the beginning of eternal life, and the “medicine of immortality” according to Our Lord's words: “The man who eats my flesh and drinks my blood enjoys eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (2)

Reasons for pastoral concern and anxiety:

9. There are, however, Venerable Brothers, a number of reasons for serious pastoral concern and anxiety in this very matter that we are now discussing, and because of Our consciousness of Our Apostolic office, We cannot remain silent about them.

10. For We can see that some of those who are dealing with this Most Holy Mystery in speech and writing are disseminating opinions on Masses celebrated in private or on the dogma of transubstantiation that are disturbing the minds of the faithful and causing them no small measure of confusion about matters of faith, just as if it were all right for someone to take doctrine that has already been defined by the Church and consign it to oblivion or else interpret it in such a way as to weaken the genuine meaning of the words or the recognized force of the concepts involved.

11. To give an example of what We are talking about, it is not permissible to extol the so-called “community” Mass in such a way as to detract from Masses that are celebrated privately; or to concentrate on the notion of sacramental sign as if the symbolism—which no one will deny is certainly present in the Most Blessed Eucharist—fully expressed and exhausted the manner of Christ's presence in this Sacrament; or to discuss the mystery of transubstantiation without mentioning what the Council of Trent had to say about the marvelous conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ, as if they involve nothing more than “transignification,” or “transfinalization” as they call it; or, finally, to propose and act upon the opinion that Christ Our Lord is no longer present in the consecrated Hosts that remain after the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass has been completed.

12. Everyone can see that the spread of these and similar opinions does great harm to belief in and devotion to the Eucharist.

13. And so, with the aim of seeing to it that the hope to which the Council has given rise—that a new wave of Eucharistic devotion will sweep over the Church—not be reduced to nil through the sowing of the seeds of false opinions, We have decided to use Our apostolic authority and speak Our mind to you on this subject, Venerable Brothers.

14. We certainly do not deny that those who are spreading these strange opinions are making a praiseworthy effort to investigate this lofty Mystery and to set forth its inexhaustible riches and to make it more understandable to the men of today; rather, We acknowledge this and We approve of it. But We cannot approve the opinions that they set forth, and We have an obligation to warn you about the grave danger that these opinions involve for true faith.

Let’s compare these teachings with those contained in Kiko’s “Orientations for the Teams of Catechists”:

“Jesus Christ doesn’t invent a sign that was very ancient; He just give it another meaning, another content: This bread is my body that offers itself to death for us. Jesus gives depth to this sign by fulfilling Easter in Himself; He carries out the passage from the slavery of death to the promise land, that is, to the Father, ... the real Jerusalem.”

“With the Concilium of Trent, in XVI century, all is rigidly fixed. In this age all the theories about Eucharist were born.”

“When you don’t understand what a sacrament is, because of the enormous debasement of the signs as sacraments; when you don’t understand what a memorial is, you start rationalizing, trying to give explications to the mystery enclosed in it. The sacrament exists just because mystery transcends its explication. The sacrament is more eloquent than reasoning; but at that times philosophical explications to mystery were searched, ... because it was no longer understood. So, debates about “how is He present?” started. Luther never denied the real presence, he just rejected the little word ‘transubstantiation’, which is a philosophical word (sic) that tries to explain mystery.”

“The primitive Church never had doubts about the real presence ... But the most important thing is not the presence of Jesus Christ. He says: ‘That’s the reason why I came: to pass from this world to the Father.’ That is, the goal of His physical presence in the world is the resurrection from death. This is what matters. His presence is a means of fulfilling Easter mystery. His presence is in function of Eucharist, of Easter.” When he was interviewed in the month of June 2008, the day after the ratification of the Statutes, Kiko openly refers to Jewish Easter.

Is this the ‘Christian Catholic initiation’? In any case, it is not a monopoly of the NCW, that made of this expression its ‘Trojan horse’ and uses it to enter aggressively into the Church, in order to undermine its bases and its truth from inside.

Further remarks:

1. From the “Orientations for the Teams of Catechists” of Kiko Argüello’s Neocatechumenal Way:

“The bread and the wine are not made to be exposed, because they rot. The bread and the wine are made to be eaten and drunk. I always tell to those who build huge tabernacles: If Jesus Christ wanted the Eucharist to stay there, He would have manifested Himself in the shape of a stone that doesn’t rot. The bread is necessary for the banquet, to lead us to Easter. The real presence is always a medium to lead us to a goal, Easter. It is not something absolute: Jesus Christ is present in function of Easter mystery.”

That’s the reason why NEOCATECHUMENALS NEVER KNEEL during the Consecration. That’s also why they didn’t admit Eucharistic Adoration. Only recently—maybe because of the rebukes they received and the fact that our Popes highlighted many times the importance of Adoration—they reintroduced it ostentatiously at least in the Parish of Canadian Martyrs, but just once a month.

2. From Joseph Ratzinger’s book “Introduction to the spirit of liturgy

“They say Transubstantiation (the transformation of bread and wine), the adoration of the Lord in the Sacrament, the Eucharistic cult with the ostensory and processions are just medieval errors which we have to dissociate us from as soon as possible. The superficiality that gathers up such silly ideas can only arouse astonishment ...

... Nobody may tell then: “Eucharist must be eaten, not worshipped.” ... Communion reaches its depths only when it is supported by adoration and included in it ... ”

Our faith make us agree with the latter statement, not with the first one. In short, according to Catholic doctrine, Jesuah ha Nozrì, the Mashiah, the Son of God, is really, not symbolically present in Eucharist; substantially, not just virtually or temporarily; actually, entirely, with all His body, His soul and His divinity, not just proportionally to our faith.

The unspoken truth is that Kiko and Carmen didn’t limit themselves to the “foot washing”, which is an “inverted rite” that introduces to the status of disciple (this is the right meaning of the words “to sit down”—as Kiko writes also in his letter to the Pope—while Christ “serves” His disciples and take them on the merkavà, the burning chariot!). The last supper, however, is not important just for the foot washing or because it may be seen as a “nuptial, eschatological banquet”—as it certainly is: It is also the institution of Eucharist and a prefiguration of the Calvary and resurrection (that’s why we call it Eucharist, that is, thanksgiving, singing of praises). This is the true Catholic meaning of the Mass, not just the initiation to the status of disciple during a banquet; furthermore, foot washing is also the symbol of Sacramental Confession, that the Lord requires so that we can be “clean” when participating to the Sacrifice.

The whole celebration is a thanksgiving (not only its final moment, as Kiko subtly argues criticizing the Church in his catechesis); it is a revival of ‘Easter mystery’, not just of the final moment of ‘resurrection’, but the mystery in its entirety: ‘Passion, death and resurrection’ of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Again, on Eucharist:

The Church spoke clearly about the celebration of Eucharist in many documents and with the official examples of our Popes; we will cite Paul VI’s “Misterium fidei” and John Paul II’s “Mane nobiscum Domine” and “Redemptionis Sacramentum”, that may be considered the seals of his pontificate and a common heritage for all believers.

On the other hand, the very same Ratzinger, commenting the First Epistle to the Corinthians in his document “Communion in the Church”—that he wrote when he was still a Cardinal—stated: “The apostle worries mainly about the local community of Corinth, that lost the real meaning of gathering together, because its many groups coexist but remain separated. However, a new horizon, opened on the Church as a whole, is extended above the local dimension: Actually, all the Eucharistic assemblies as a whole are one assembly, because the body of Christ is only one and the people of God may be only one; all communities must celebrate Eucharist so that they can gather together, beginning from Christ and through Christ. Those who don’t celebrate Eucharist with all the others, are celebrating just a caricatural Eucharist. Eucharist is celebrated with the only Christ, therefore it must be celebrated with the whole Church or it must not celebrated at all. Who, celebrating Eucharist, is just looking for his own group, who doesn’t involve himself in the whole Church in and through Eucharist, who doesn’t go beyond his own particular point of view, is doing exactly what the Corinthians were reprimanded for by Saint Paul. Somehow, he sits turning his back to the others; in doing so, he destroys the value Eucharist holds for himself and spoils the value Eucharist holds for the others. He is just eating his dinner, despising the Church of God. (1 Cor 11:21)”

However, how is it possible to follow these instructions for somebody who lacking of any theological basis, being sincerely orientated to the faith but not provided with any capacity of reasoning, approaches Neocatechumenal Eucharist? As a final result, he will reject any other Eucharist celebrated outside the NCW, considering it a valid ritual but inferior in its range and its content.

I myself experienced great discomfort listening to that aberrant preaching, living the moment of ‘communion’ in a general outcry and assisting to the coarse, final part of the Mass (the so-called ‘davidic dances’, that are absolutely out of control) instead of enjoying an intimate moment with the Lord, as I used—and use—to do in ‘normal’ celebrations, those of second-class Christians without guitars, rhythmical, gipsy songs, that can give us exaltation and project us outside ourselves instead of helping us concentrating the powers of our soul and offering them to the Lord.

What can we say then about the NCW Eucharistic prayer, in which the priest thanks God “for admitting us to Your presence to perform the sacerdotal service”, mistaking it for its ministerial role and with the common priesthood (such distortions are borrowed from Luther and its proselytes)

It’s not a chance that Arinze’s letter, at the sixth paragraph, requires what follows:

6. The Neocatechumenal Way must also make use of the other Eucharistic Prayers contained in the missal, and not only Eucharistic Prayer II.

It is also convenient not to ignore other reflections about Eucharist based respectively on the General instruction of the Roman Missal and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, fundamental documents that those who follow Kiko’s catechesis deem irrelevant.

From the General instruction of the Roman Missal:

44. Among gestures included are also actions and processions: of the priest going with the deacon and ministers to the altar; of the deacon carrying the Evangeliary or Book of the Gospels to the ambo before the proclamation of the Gospel; of the faithful presenting the gifts and coming forward to receive Communion. It is appropriate that actions and processions of this sort be carried out with decorum while the chants proper to them occur, in keeping with the norms prescribed for each.
86. While the priest is receiving the Sacrament, the Communion chant is begun. Its purpose is to express the communicants’ union in spirit by means of the unity of their voices, to show joy of heart, and to highlight more clearly the “communitarian” nature of the procession to receive Communion. The singing is continued for as long as the Sacrament is being administered to the faithful. If, however, there is to be a hymn after Communion, the Communion chant should be ended in a timely manner.

Care should be taken that singers, too, can receive Communion with ease.

160. The priest then takes the paten or ciborium and goes to the communicants, who, as a rule, approach in a procession.

The faithful are not permitted to take the consecrated bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them from one to another. The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. Communicants should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel. Rather, such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful with proper catechesis on the reasons for this norm.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1373 Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us,” is present in many ways to his Church: [195] in his word, in his Church’s prayer, “where two or three are gathered in my name,” [196] in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, [197] in the sacraments of which He is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But “He is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species.” [198]

1374 The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as “the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.” [199] In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.” [200] “This presence is called ‘real’ —by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.” [201]

1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:

It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. the priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God‘s. This is my body, He says. This word transforms the things offered. [202]

and St. Ambrose says about this conversion:
Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed.... Could not Christ’s word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature. [203]

1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.” [204]

1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ. [205]

1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession.” [206]

1379 The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

1380 It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to his Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take his departure from His own in His visible form, He wanted to give us His sacramental presence; since He was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, He wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which He loved us “to the end,” [207] even to the giving of His life. In His Eucharistic presence He remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us, [208] and He remains under signs that express and communicate this love:

The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet Him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.

I believe the behavior of the community of believers—that obviously reflects its inner attitude—as it is suggested by the Missal (by the way, this has to do with Arinze’s letter, too), is perfectly appropriated to the great, sacred meaning of what believer are doing: Approaching to the Lord to receive Him in His body, His blood, His soul and His divinity.

Don’t we recognize the trivialization or—that is worst—the implicit profanation in Neocatechumenal praxis? Neocatechumenals don’t even care about the fragments of the consecrated bread; in their teachings, they sneer—now not officially—the practice of Eucharistic Adoration. Their Tabernacles are ‘black-dressed’ and ‘double bed’, because, besides the sacred host, they contain the Torah, giving the same importance to the Book and to the Person of the Lord.

Let’s meditate on Eph 4:11-14: “And to some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; to knit God's holy people together for the work of service to build up the Body of Christ, until we all reach unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God and form the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself. Then we shall no longer be children, or tossed one way and another, and carried hither and thither by every new gust of teaching, at the mercy of all the tricks people play and their unscrupulousness in deliberate deception.”

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