Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Church Authority Or Your Own Authority?

God planted the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the center of the Garden of Eden.  Then He gave man this rule: You shall not touch nor eat of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil for on that day you eat of it, you shall die (Genesis 2:16-17).  God did not plant the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil to tempt man, but to remind him of his place despite that man was made in the image and likeness of God.  Man is a creature who is not above nor equal to God.  It is God who determines what is good and what is evil.  It was God who made the rule "Do not touch nor eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil for on that day, you shall die."  God made this rule, and man disobeyed. 

By eating the forbidden fruit, man now determines for himself what he thinks is good and evil.  And man has not been doing a great job of it.  Abortion, for example, was legalized in Guam and the United States because man decided that it was good.  In some places of the United States, same sex marriage was legalized because in man's eyes, same sex marriage was determined to be good and just.  Those who support abortion rationalize that a woman has a right to make choices in all matters including her own body.  Others rationalize that overpopulation would destroy the resources of the earth.  Some of the reasonable excuses man has come up with are very convincing that it sounds "good and just" despite that it goes against Church teaching. 

Although homosexuality, abortion, same sex marriage, contraception, and pre-marital sex are against Church teaching, our conscience can make an erroneous judgment.  Some will rationalize by saying that the Catholic Church needs to update herself with modern times.  After all, they say....we are no longer living during biblical times and have grown more knowledgeable than people living during biblical times.  So, how can we know for certain especially when our conscience can be in ignorance and even make erroneous judgements (CCC 1801 and 1786)?  If one is unsure, the best thing is to follow the Church's moral teachings because it has not changed in over 2000 years. 

However, in the case of the Neocatechumenal Way, there has been a lot of controversy.  Some probably feel that our Archbishop is not obeying the Pope by joining the Neocatechumenal Way.  In the first place, did the Pope ever say that one should NEVER join the Way?  No.  Did the Pope ever say that the Way is illegitimate.  No.  Did the Pope ever excommunicate Kiko Arguello, the Founder of the Neocatechumenal Way?  No.  Did the Pope ever say that the Way is not Catholic?  No.  Thus, how can one conclude that the Archbishop has disobeyed the Pope when the Pope supports and endorses the Way in the first place? 

As Catholics, we accept all the moral teachings of the Catholic Church because we believe these teachings come from Christ, who is Head of the Church.  In the same way, are we also not supposed to support and endorse all that the Church embraces?  Or do we doubt and think that the Church does not have the right discernment on what is good and evil, on what is right and wrong, on what is just and unjust, and on what is Christian and unchristian? 

CCC 1269   Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to "obey and submit" to the Church's leaders, holding them in respect and affection. Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.

Do we doubt what is clearly written in this Catechism of the Catholic Church?  Should we question this Catechism?  If so, then who exactly are we supposed to follow if not God's Church?  Do we believe that Christ is the Head of the Church who guides her into all truths or not?  When we want to become our own authority, we then put ourselves as God.   


  1. Then why does the Vatican have to keep writing letters through its cardinals on behalf of the pope to say follow thus, do this, conform make changes. But yet NO ONE ever changes or takes it seriously? 4 pope, 8 presidents, 30 seasons of Dr. Who, doesn't make it right. The. Vatican moves Really slow and they don't want to say ok- no more and you all become angry and leave so like a good father they keep close watch and will discipline when needed and if need be correct. Has the Pope ever wrote something down that approves it? I know he approved your bible studies and questioned you celebration. Last time I checked he sends his blessings, prayers, etc. he does it to everyone he writes to- it doesn't make it different. In my view. Doing something they way you want and waiting for someone to tell you to fix it is not gaining approval. 4. Popes haven't stopped us, I'm sure if they REALLY know what is being taught, done and practiced you be shut down and stopped dead in your tracks. That is why Kiko keeps writing to the Vatican. He wants Pope Francis to say what he wants him to say and the Pope blew him off. Stay tuned. Breaking news coming.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 7:29 a.m.,

      How do you know that he is WAITING for us to change it? The Pope is fully aware of how we practiced our celebrations and of all the things being taught because we live in the age of information. Everything is on the Internet. We do not keep our celebrations or the catechesis a secret. It is out there in the open public.

      The catechesis is being taught publically, and the Way is very big in Rome where the Pope is. So, when the NCW in Rome goes out to proclaim the catechesis, surely you cannot tell me that the Pope does not know what is being taught right there in the public squares of Rome? So, you cannot use the excuse that the Popes have not stopped us because they do not know what is REALLY being taught. Pope Francis is fully aware of what is being taught in the Way and how we practice our celebrations. And what has he done? He ceased all investigations of the Way and confirmed Kiko Arguello as Consultor of the Pontifical Council for another five years. If we were REALLY against what Church teaches, I doubt that Kiko would even be the Consulter for another five years.

    2. Dear Friend, you wrote: " I know he approved your bible studies and questioned you celebration." First of all, not bible studies... because "a bible study" I can do at home and there is no need for me to go to the Church for such things. The bible study is called celebration of the Word of God. (See Statue, Chapter III, Sec.1, Art.11, Paragraph 1) and Caeremoniale Episcoporum 221-226.
      Could you, please, give some quotation of Popes and maybe just in case, some Congregations in the Vatican, that questioned these and others celebration. I ask so that your answer is based on facts and not on "i heard..."

      "Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclessia"

  2. Diana, for the sake of the argument, let's say that, for whatever reason, the NCW communities do something not entirely concordant with the statutes. For example, receive communion in an illicit way; or celebrate a separate Easter Vigil; or violate the internal forum, or put undue and unfair pressure on members etc.

    In your immense wisdom, what do you believe the pope should do or say to address these things? How would you expect him to respond? And then, having responded - how do you think the ordinary NCW member would react to that? Would they listen to the pope/dicastries, or would they suspend any response and wait for Kiko/catechists/responsibles to tell them what to think?

    1. Dear Anonymous at 12:08 pm,

      I would expect the Pope to act sternly by giving Kiko Arguello a strong warning and that any further disobedience would end in excommunication just as what happened to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre when he disobeyed then Pope John Paul II.

      Now, let us assume for argument's sake that the NCW is being obedient and following the Statutes including the way we receive communion, celebrate the Easter Vigil, etc.......What would YOU do?

    2. "Now, let us assume for argument's sake that the NCW is being obedient and following the Statutes including the way we receive communion, celebrate the Easter Vigil, etc"

      Diana, I'm happy to discuss hypotheticals, but I don't speculate on fairy tales.

    3. Dear Anonymous at 4:10 p.m.,

      Your first proposal was already a fairy tale.

  3. Incidentally, will the NCW be moving the sign (kiss) of peace back to the place in the Mass where it takes place for all other Catholics ? I noticed that in footnote 49 of your statutes, the transfer of the "Rite of Peace" to after the Prayer of the Faithful was only "ad experimentum". Now that the Congregation has given a definitive ruling, will the NCW be adjusting its practises?

    1. Dear Anonymous at 12:16 p.m.,

      "Ad experimentum"????? What book are you using? Our Statutes is no longer "ad experimentum."

    2. "49 See Benedict XVI, Speech to the Neocatechumenal Communities on January 12, 2006, in Notitiae 41 (2005), 554–556;
      CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP, Letter of December 1, 2005 in Notitiae 41 (2005), 563–565; “Notification of the Congregation for Divine Worship on celebrations in groups of the Neocatechumenal Way,” L’Osservatore Romano, December 24, 1988: “The Congregation consents that among the adaptations foreseen by the instruction “Actio Pastoralis”, nn. 6-11, the
      groups of the above-mentioned “Way” may receive communion under two species, always with unleavened bread, and transfer “ad experimentum” the Rite of Peace to after the Prayer of the Faithful.”

    3. Dear Anonymous at 4:05 p.m.,

      The rite of Peace has already been transferred "ad experimentum" TO after the Prayer of the Faithful.

    4. Dear Anon. at 12:16PM
      You should read the footnote in its entirety. In that very footnote 49 of the Statute there is "CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP, Letter of December 1, 2005 in Notitiae 41 (2005), 563-565"
      That letter in number 4 says:
      Sullo scambio della pace, si concede che il Cammino Neocatecumenale possa usufruire dell’indulto già concesso, fino ad ulteriore disposizione.
      Translation (by Google): On the exchange of peace, permission is granted to the Neocatechumenal Way to continue using the indult already granted, pending further instructions.

      So the "ad experimentum" for the sign of peace is as long as they don't tell us otherwise. Get it?

  4. Neocatechumenal Way is following Kiko's authority....not the Pope nor the Church. It's not a Catholic Church but of its own. They have their own liturgical way of celebrating Mass and does not follow sacred liturgical traditions.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 3:20 p.m.,

      Kiko is following the Pope, and the NCW is Catholic. It is a Christian Initiation similar to the RCIA program.

    2. Except the RCIA doesn't seek to change the liturgy in any way, the RCIA doesn't take up collections, The RCIA doesn't operate any seminaries, the RCIA doesn't hold, or encourage, separate weekly masses and separate celebrations of the Easter Triduum, the RCIA uses the CCC etc and so on....

    3. The Neocatechumenal Way did not change the liturgy, the Holy See gave special permissions since it is a valid Christian Initiation for the present time. Celebrations are separated because of the nature of this Christian Initiation. And it has been accepted by the Holy See. Regarding the seminaries, buildings, house of formation...everything belongs to the diocese. Get a copy of the Neocatechumenal Way statues and do not judge out of ignorance.

    4. Dear Anonymous at 4:07 p.m.,

      That is because the NCW imitates the Early Christians. The Early Christians celebrated in homes in small communities like we do. The Early Christians used a table as they celebrated in small communities in the home like we do. The Early Christians took up collections every first day of the week (See 1 Corinthians 16:2). The Early Christians had an Easter Vigil lasting for 5 or 6 hours rather than having a 2 hour Mass. And if you think the Early Christians were celebrating Mass exactly as you do in the regular Mass, you are sadly mistaken.

    5. RCIA can't change the liturgy and so on. Do you know why? Because RCIA is a book. Not a program. RCIA = Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It's a book with the Rite but it doesn't have implementation itself. It gives suggestions, gives readings for stages etc. The proper name that should be used for the process is Catechumenate. I will mention Pre- Cat. Read introduction to RCIA. BTW if you don't have it please ask a copy of your pastor.

      "Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclessia"

  5. Diana.....NCW celebrates mass differently than regular parish does. Holy See never approved liturgical variants in celebrating the Eucharistic Liturgy. These variants were never in the NCW Statutes. If so, please produce.

    ....and why do they have to CHANGE the existing icons to KIKOs icons.... some churchs icons were older than this NCW....and yet had to be removed since NCW took over....sign of a sect or cult

    ....also NCW is supposed to introduce members into the regular parish life....but so far...already 15years....and Mass is still separated from main church......

    please explain as I'm trying to understand all this....maybe its not the NCW fault....but leaders of NCW not following law according to how its supposed to be done.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 4:50 p.m.,

      When celebrating the Eucharist, the NCW has the Penitential act, the Kyrie, the Glory to God or Gloria, the Readings which is the same readings on Sunday Mass including the Responsorial Psalm, the homily, the prayer of the faithful, the profession of faith, the presentation and preparation of the gifts, the Kiss of Peace, the Echaristic prayer, the Anaphora which include the Holy, Holy, Holy and the Lamb of God song, the Lord's prayer, the Communion rite, and the closing prayer.

      The only difference is and the reason why our Mass is longer is because of the admontions and ehoes (or sharings). These admonitions and echoes are approved by the Vatican in our Statutes.

      Many Catholics in the NCW were already introduced into the Parish community when they were baptized. You do not need to introduce them as new members. These Catholics are not new, but Catholics who have not attended Mass in a very long time. Through their baptism, they are and have always been part of the Catholic Church.

    2. How can you tell to a blind man see? He is blind!
      Very grateful for your job Diana.

    3. I have link here for the Eucharist presided by Cardinal Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid.

      There is a link to the Eucharist celebrated by Cardinal Canizares in Porto San Giorgio on 40th anniversary of Neocatechumenal Way.

      "Ubi Petrus, Ibi Ecclesia"

      BTW. Card. Antonio Cañizares Llovera is a Spanish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who is the current Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
      Simply Cardinal, responsible for the Liturgy.

    4. Anon at 7:34PM. Thankyou for the videos. I find it really interesting that when Card Varela presided at Mass, he took communion before any of the faithful. That's not what you do in your community is it?

      Its also interesting that during the Mass with Card Canizares, the faithful seem to be remaining standing after the distribution of the Body? Is that because the Cardinal was present? We know that's not the usual practise though. Very curious, don't you think?

    5. Dear Anonymous at 9:44 p.m.,

      That is an NCW Eucharistic celebration, but that is NOT celebrating in small communities. The community there was too large. A few modifications were made. They remain standing because the Blood of Christ was already coming their way after they receive the Body of Christ. However, if you look more closely at those who were distributing the Body of Christ without the cup of Blood in sight yet, some of them did sit down and a few consume the Body as they started to sit.


      Are there Christian priests mentioned in the Bible? The only high priest mentioned is Jesus Christ. The priesthood of all believers is mentioned, however, there is not an office of Christian priest for selected individuals.


      Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession;


      Hebrews 2:17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

      The so-called Christians priests of today cannot grant forgiveness from sins nor can they make atonement for the sins of the people. Only Jesus is a high priest.

      Hebrews 7:11-12 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.

      The Levitical priesthood ended when Jesus died on the cross. There is and never has been a Christian priesthood of individual priests, overseeing, or acting as priests of congregations. THE INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIAN PRIEST IS A MAN-MADE PRIESTHOOD.

      Hebrews 8:3-4 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. 4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law;

      Christians nor anyone else are under the Law. If Jesus were here on earth He would not be a priest. Why would any Christian, here on earth, consider himself to be a priest able to offer gifts or sacrifices.


      1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Jesus Christ,


      1 Peter 2:4-9 ....5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ...... 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God' own possession....

      Peter was talking to Christians who were throughout the world. (Peter 1:1). Peter was not addressing certain individuals who were selected to the office of priest.

      THE OFFICE OF CHRISTIAN PRIEST IS NOT MENTION IN THE BIBLE. Christian priests are only mentioned in church catechisms and other extra-Biblical books. Man-made writings are not Scripture.

      Ephesians 4:11-12 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for equipping of the saints for the work of service, to building up the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith...

      You will notice priests were not mentioned as equipping the saints. Why? Because Jesus is the priest. There is no office of "CHRISTIAN PRIEST."

      YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

    7. Dear Steve Finnell,

      My blog site was not established to debate against my fellow Christians on the Protestant side. Although I welcome honest dialogue with you, my blog was mainly established to defend the Archbishop (who represents the Catholic Church), the Neocatechumenal Way (which is part of the Catholic Church), and the Catholic Church herself.

      You say that the office of a Christian priest is not mention in the Bible. The office of Bishop is mentioned in the Bible, and the word "Bishop" is often used interchangeably with "priest."

      1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

      (Taken from the King James Bible)

  6. AnonymousAugust 6, 2014 at 4:50 PM Sister of Charity has statutes, Opus Dei has statutes. Why can you believe the statutes were approved. Is not invented but endorse by the HOLY SEE. This is the same question that has already been answered.