The Misuse of Jewish Symbols

The founder of the NCW insists on dredging the ancient contents of Christian religion and the symbols he calls “signs” because they must have a strong semantical recognizability for the believers. From a strictly theological point of view, we should point out that those symbols are extrapolated by their ancient context to be placed in a modern reality, that is completely different since a specific historical event: The birth of Jesus Christ and His Redemptive Work.

Jewish roots ought not to be denied; however, to massively import Jewish symbols in the Catholic faith and to assign them a preeminent place in the iconography, the language and the rituals—inspired by Old Testament suggestions, as if Christianity were the modern version of the ancient Judaism—is quite another thing. Actually, Kiko is forging an irrational eclecticism between different faiths, even if they have a common historical and spiritual background.
The menorah or chanukkiah (the nine-branched candelabrum) is one of many symbols introduced by Kiko for a liturgical use also, together with other stuff that is absolutely not canonical and has nothing to do with Christian symbols: the tallit (the Jewish prayer shawl) on the lectern; the mezuzah (a decorative case containing a piece of parchment inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah, such as the Jewish prayer Shemà Yisrael) on the doorposts.

This is quite disturbing because the menorah, placed on the big ‘table’ the Neocatechumenals use instead of the ‘altar‘ [see other pages of this site], acquires a specific meaning. By the way, we believe it’s also unfair towards Jews to misappropriate one of their religious symbols to use it in a way that is different from the authentic one.

Surely enough, Jewish Menorah—whose candles are lighted during the jewish holiday of Hanukkah, that commemorates the re-consecration of the Temple after the victory of the Maccabees against Antiochus IV Epiphanes—seems completely out of place in a Catholic celebration, but it helps understanding the mentality of Neocatechumenals—or, at least, the mentality of Neocatechumenal founders—who proclaim themselves “the re-builders” of true Christianity and take offense at the words of the Archbishop of Catania, who called them “a parallel Church”—certainly, not only for this reason.

To introduce the use of another object of Jewish religion like the shofar (a ritual instrument made of a ram’s horn), to talk about Midrash, Talmud, Kadosh, Shekinah, Jewish words and symbols that mislead the beliefs of the NCW, denote only ignorance.

Here you can see an image showing the shofar used in its context: This is the evidence of its misuse—not to say its folkloric abuse—by Neocatechumenals, since it is used outside the original rituality and its wonderful, original meanings and, if it recalls something of them, it cannot recall the original spirit—which doesn’t really belong to us, being just part of our historical roots.

Neocatechumenal pretend to go back to the origins, but this is false and doesn’t help fostering the authentic, serious Jewish-Christian dialog that the Church is carrying forward since many years with great efforts and commitment.

Furthermore, in the Holy Land, through the presence of the Domus Galilaeae and the events they host in it, Neocatechumenals try to acquire the status of official interlocutors, introducing themselves as representatives of the Catholic Church, with all the ambiguities and differences that our website points out.

To demonstrate the truth of the things we say, we integrally cite a news from the website Catechumenium:

“In particular, we discovered that Jewish groups keep visiting the Domus Galileae on Saturday; these group are directed by seminarists who are specifically ‘trained’ for this kind of activity. As a matter of fact, it seems that the fame of the Domus Galileae grows each day in Israel, so that its role of a point of reference for the so-called ‘cultural visits’ by various Israeli groups and association is increasing.”

and what Sandro Magister wrote on the website on February 16th, 2005:

“Furthermore, each Saturday, a procession of uncommon visitors livens up the hill of Korazym. They’re orthodox Jews who knock the door of the ‘Domus Galileae’. Near the entrance, we find a ‘bimah’, that is, the pulpit of Jewish synagogues. At one side of the cloister, we find a marble sculpture with the words of Moses’ Decalogue engraved in Hebrew; at the center of the library there’s a XV century Torah; after the visit, the pilgrims are greeted with the song ‘Shemah Yisrael’ and leave the Domus, deeply moved.”

So Neocatechumenals pretend to represent the Catholic Church with Jews.

Our coworker’s witness

The NCW has been using the Menorah—the nine-branched Jewish candelabrum used for the holiday of Hanukkah that commemorates the re-consecration of the Temple of Jerusalem by Judas Maccabee after he had been profaned by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (104 BC)—since its beginnings, putting it on the table for the eucharistic celebration. The Menorah and all the gift items sold in the Neocatechumenal stores in Porto San Giorgio, in Rome and elsewhere, were designed by Kiko Argüello.

In some parishes invaded by the Neocatechumenals, it has happened that many believers left the celebrations when they saw the candelabrum on the table, because they didn’t accept these strange eclecticisms and the absolutely unjustified misuse of an object who doesn’t belong to Christian religion. It is an appropriation of something that is part of the Jewish liturgy and iconography and that should remain in its specific religious context. It’s like if our liturgical objects were unjustly used by exoteric sects twisting their original meaning. It doesn’t seem fair to me.

I keep a picture of a celebration in the Cenacle of Jerusalem by a Neocatechumenal community. They say it had to do with converted Jews, but they lie. The main celebrant has been my parish priest for some years and it was that very same celebrant who assented to the beginning of the NCW that, from his parish, extended to the whole world.

That candelabrum—even in the Cenacle!—wasn’t there by chance, since its presence had a precise Neocatechumenal logic. I will say more: Since many decades, Neocatechumenals pay through the nose the Arabs who have in custody the Cenacle, so that they can brag to celebrate the Holy Eucharist in it! It’s just a matter of money! This is well documented on the review ”Il Cenacolo” of the Sacramentini Fathers of Ponteranica, June 6th, 1997.

Final remarks

The picture we show here was taken in Namur, Belgium. Notice the presence of the Menorah on the “table” and—at the side—the image of “Kiko’s Trinity”.

We wonder why Neocatechumenals needed to create and use new symbols if they define themselves an ‘ecclesiastical reality’. Actually, they are introduced and live in an ‘environment’—place of cult included—where all speaks of Kiko and his suggestive and very personal construction, invented, wanted and used both in the creation of new objects of sacred art and in the architectonic details, inspired by the so-called “New Aesthetics”, behind which a new ecclesiology and a new theology hide. Consider the new canons of church architecture: the nave symbolize the body of an expectant woman, pregnant whit her reborn children. The old altar disappears and in its place there’s “the mouth”, that is, the ambo with the Bible. Lower there’s “the stomach”, a great square table on which the Mass is celebrated and Communion is done with unleavened flat bread and a great number of wine cups. Lower still there’s “the womb”, the pool dug in the floor, where those who receive the baptism immerse in to re-emerge as new persons.

Say nothing of the new sacred art, formed by objects, icons and frescos ideated and painted by Kiko, with the disturbing example of Kiko’s face that replaces that of Christ in all His images even in many churches.

We don’t know what sort of a millenarian idea suggested to build the Domus Galileae [see]. Still, we can state beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ has never prescribed to dance around the Torah—as some rabbis allegedly did during a celebration. Then, where this great emphasis given to the Torah and to its blessing by rabbis comes from, since it is the New Testament—together with the Torah—the Word, the Living Word that is the Lord-with-us until the end of times and guides our steps through the world?

It’s a scenography that tends to surprise and seduce, the power of a lobby without any guarantee of transparence.

Let alone the responsibility of the bishops who accepted this ‘prefab package turnkey’ without any in-depth examination, blinded by the able Neocatechumenal propaganda or by the massive entry of people in the NCW, encouraged by the involvement techniques.

Obviously the bishops have been imprudent at least; however, as for us, it took a long time before we noticed the anomalies, that could be discovered only ‘from within’. It was discovering, experimenting—then refusing—many anomalous praxes and teachings inside the NCW that we acquired the skills to unmask many others, sharing our experiences between us and deepening our investigation.

Speaking of symbols, the NCW pretends to rediscover their meaning that would have allegedly been lost and that nobody knows nor lives anymore. That is true about both Christian and Jewish symbols. But they are not chosen randomly nor according to the meaning their context offers (provided that the symbol had lost its context and twisted it, that is false), but according to the original meaning of the “kikian revelation”. That’s why, from the outside, it is spontaneous to say that certain symbols are out of context: that’s true, Neocathecumenal say, but they had entered “another” “new” context, that of Kiko Argüello’s, so that they would have a meaning that is at the same time the old one and “another”, which is operating an authentic ‘genetic transmutation’ inside the Catholic Church.

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