Sunday, May 10, 2015

Convivience In Israel

Rabbis, Cardinals and Bishops together
in the first International Meeting organized by
the Neocatechumenal Way in Israel

This Thursday, the first International Meeting between Rabbis, Cardinals and Bishops organized in Israel by the Neocatechumenal Way has come to a close. On the 50th anniversary of the Declaration Nostra Aetate and in memory of the 70 anniversary since the end of the Shoah (Holocaust), the meeting took place in the Domus Galilaeae, in the Galilee region. 7 cardinals, 20 bishops and 120 rabbis from all over the world participated as well as people of both faiths renown in the fields of education, art and culture.
The cardinals which participated were:

-      Card. George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy of the Holy See

-      Card. Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity

-      Card. Arz. Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Ranchi (India)

-      Card. Arz. Christoph Schönborn, Vienna (Austria)

-      Card. Josef Cordes, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum

-      Card. Arz. Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung, Seoul (South Korea)

-      Card. Arz. Paolo Romeo, Palermo (Italia)

The meeting was moderated by the International Team of the Neocatechumenal Way made up of Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernández and Fr. Mario Pezzi, together with the director of the Domus Galilaeae, Fr, Rino Rossi.
Many presbyters as well as itinerant catechists of the Neocatechumenal Way also participated. The overall number was of about 400 people.
It was an unprecedented initiative supported by the Vatican. Pope Francis sent a message to recognize and underscore the importance of this initiative as an instrument to foster fraternity among the two peoples.

A Symphonic Homage and Prayer

Among the key moments during the Meeting was “The Suffering of the Innocents”, a symphony that is both a Homage and Prayer. Performed by the Orchestra and Choir of the Neocatechumenal Way, it was meant as an act of love and reconciliation with the Jewish people for the suffering endured in the Shoah (the Holocaust).
The Neocatechumenal Way has already performed “The Suffering of the Innocents” in concert on various occasions. In 2012, this moving piece was performed first in Boston and later in the prestigious Lincoln Center of New York before an audience of 3,000 Jews and about fifty rabbis. That same year it was also performed in the Bechar Gerard of Jerusalem. In June of 2013 it was heard in Auschwitz by 15,000 people, in front of the “gate of death”.
This International Meeting is the direct result of the fact that many Jews have identified deeply with the music and its message. On various occasions, they have expressed the profound emotion produced by listening to the music and remembering the murders perpetrated in the Shoah.

Pope Francis’ Message

I extend greetings to all of you participating in this meeting, and I assure you of my spiritual closeness. I hope that your encounter will be an occasion to strengthen the bonds of fraternity which you share, and to deepen your commitment to making known the cry of the innocents trough the language of music.

In union with you, I ask the Lord to hear this cry and to heal the afflictions of all who suffer. So too I pray that hearts may be opened to the plight of the innocents throughout the world.

With these sentiments, I invoke abundant divine blessings upon all of you as a pledge of peace and strength.”

Throughout the course of the four days, the participants spoke about some common challenges: the salvific mission of the Jewish people and of the Catholic Church in today's world; the transmission of faith to the next generation; the contrast between the Judeo-Christian anthropology and those anthropologies which hold as premise the negation of God; and the resurgence of antisemitism and xenophobic fundamentalism.
On the very last day, while sharing their experience of the meeting, the rabbis expressed their surprise at witnessing the presence of God shown in the wonderful communion. “It has been a historic meeting. Never before in the Jewish world had we successfully gathered so many rabbis from such a wide array of movements: orthodox, conservative, reform, reconstructionist, etc.”
Each rabbi spoke about the communion felt with the Cardinals and Bishops and thanked the Neocatechumenal Way for accomplishing this true miracle.

Final statement by the Rabbis
The rabbis present, on their part, drafted a final statement:

“We were impressed by how, in the Neocatechumenal Way, faith is been transmitted to the children, by how families are rebuilt and by how people come to know the Scriptures and the roots Christianity: the faith of Abraham, the passage of the Red Sea, the Exodus, the history of salvation. From this a great respect and love for the Jewish people is born.

“A symphonic homage and prayer, remembering the tragedy of the Shoah, helped us to focus on the suffering of the innocents, which continues today also among Christians in some countries of Africa and the Middle East.

“We expressed our shared commitment to the presence of God in the world and our common desire to engage in tikkun olam, in repair of the world for all humanity, including the growing concern for the suffering of the poor, a greater respect for creation and the strengthening of the family.

“Reflecting on Nostra Aetate and the dramatic change it promoted, opportunities and challenges were highlighted.

“However an immense change from the prejudices and divisions of the past is being born. This event foreshadows a new spring, the birth of something new in the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.”



  1. Just a few days ago….

    Cardinal George Pell is the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy : “I have known the Way for many years from when I was in Melbourne and Sydney as Archbishop and I can verify personally to its great fruits.

    “I can assure you that Pope Francis also has a great appreciation and esteem for the Way as he demonstrated at the last meeting on 6 March in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican. On that occasion, he sent 32 groups missio ad gentes, formed from numerous families of the Neocatechumenal communities with many children to a host of Gentile nations in the five continents – including China, Vietnam, Cambodia – and he said “this Way is a true gift of Providence!”

    The Pope reaffirmed the mission of the Way: “How much loneliness, how much suffering, how much distance from God in many peripheries of Europe, of America and in many cities of Asia. How much need has today’s man in every latitude to hear that God loves him and that love is possible… awaken the faith!”

    We do not need any more affirmation. The Pope, Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops… all praise and support the Neocatechumenal Way. Thanks be to God. Archbishop Apuron is on the right track…

    1. Spiritual growth is one thing. Causing division is unacceptable.

    2. Spiritual growth is a grace...a gift. Causing division is blindness....death

  2. Why is no one addressing the blatant antisemitism of the jungle?

    1. Who are we to defend the Church?

      It is the quality of the suffering; not being afraid to be badmouthed; persecuted by words of the blind. suffering in humility that counts.......besides; Jesus Christ did not defend himself; did he?


    2. I don't see how your comment relates to the jungle's antisemitism.

      Yes, Jesus did not call armies of angels to strike the Romans dead, but he spoke the truth! When asked he did not attack, but he said the truth.

  3. Who is causing division? Definitely NOT Archbishop...

  4. JUST A REMINDER... this coming saturday

    Catholic University of America Confers Honorary Degree on Initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way

    The conferral of the honoris causa by the only Pontifical University in the United States was proposed several years ago and was decided following Pope Francis' meeting with the Neocatechumenal Way on March 6th.

    During that meeting, in which 250 families were sent in mission, the Holy Father defined the itinerary of Christian formation as "a true gift of Providence to the Church of our time."

    Argüello and Hernandez introduced the Neocatechumenal Way in the United States in 1974, following an invitation by the then head of liturgy of the diocese of Brooklyn, Msgr. James Donegan. Following an invitation to speak on sacred music, the late Cardinal Terence Cooke welcomed the initiators, allowing them to visit the parishes in New York.

    Currently, the Neocatechumenal Way is present in 82 dioceses and 350 parishes with about 1000 communities throughout the United States. About 1.5 million faithful follow the itinerary of Christian formation throughout the world.

    This is the third honoris causadegree conferred upon Argüello who received an honorary doctorate from the John Paul II Institute of Rome in 2009 and an honorary doctorate in Theology from the University of Lublin (Poland) in 2013.

    The conferral of the honorary degree from CUA on Carmen Hernandez as well, according to a communique released by the Neocatechumenal Way, "underlines her fundamental contribution to the formation of the theological-catechetical synthesis of the Way."

    "Without her existential and profound knowledge of Scripture, of the renewal of the Second Vatican Council and of the history of the Church, it would not have been possible to create this itinerary of Christian initiation," the press release stated. (J.A.E.)