In 2006, Kiko wrote a "thank you" letter to Pope Benedict XVI. This letter was twisted and misconstrued by those who oppose the NCW. Nowhere in Kiko's letter did he say that he would disobey the Pope. According to the letter:
"We also wish to thank you for the benevolence, mercy, and goodness You have shown to those farthest away in allowing the moving of the sign of peace and in granting a period of two years for the adaptation of the manner of distributing the Communion of the Body and the Blood of the Lord: we have always shown to the many brothers who have emerged from hell, full of wounds and of self-loathing, that in the Holy Eucharist the Lord makes present his love, dying and rising for them; and not only that, but prepares a table, an eschatological banquet, which makes Heaven present and where He himself, full of love, has them sit down and comes to serve them: “He will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them” (Lk 12:37)."
First of all, as anyone can see above, Kiko THANKED the Pope for two things in the above paragraph of his letter: 1) for moving the sign of peace, AND 2) for granting them a period of two years for the adaptation of the manner of distributing the Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Kiko acknowledged his gratitude when the Pope moved the sign of peace and in granting a period of two years for the adaptation of the manner of distributing the Body and Blood of Christ. A colon punctuation was used after he expressed his gratitude. In grammatical usage, a colon punctuation is used between independent clauses when the second sentence explains or expands on the first sentence such as the following:
He got what he worked for: he really earned that promotion.
See the explanation here.
Kiko was explaining or expanding more on what those adaptions were regarding the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ. Furthermore, this was how Kiko ended his letter:
Thank You, Your Holiness! Together with the Cardinals and the many Bishops who have supported us, and above all in the name of the many who were far away and today bless Christ, we thank You with our whole heart.
Asking for Your Apostolic Blessing,
Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernández, Fr. Mario Pezzi
The end of his letter showed an expression of joy and happiness because of the support they received. If there had been no support, there would not have been a thank you letter as well. Common sense dictates that one does not give a thank you letter to someone who gave no support. That letter was written in 2006. In 2007, we know that Kiko Arguello and Pope Benedict XVI continued to have private meetings with each other. According to news report:
According to Giuseppe Gennarini, this way of receiving Communion sprang from a private meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Kiko Arguello on May 26, 2007. The Holy Father liked the idea of the priest coming to each person with the Eucharist because it shows that Christ comes to you in the person of the priest, Gennarini said.
Private Meetings with Pope
In 2008, the Statues were approved, and a new way of receiving the Body of Christ was introduced in the Way. In other words, there was a change. We received the Body of Christ standing, then we sit down and contemplate on His Body. We consume the Body of Christ together sitting down. That was the change. Previously, we would receive the Body of Christ sitting down and consume His body together in a sitting position.
How the NCW celebrate the Eucharist was NEVER kept a secret. If Kiko and the NCW were deliberately being disobedient, why didn't they hide it? Even a thief would not reveal his crime in the open. The NCW never kept the way they celebrated their Eucharist a secret; therefore, everyone knew how the Eucharist was celebrated. As a result of that openess, complaints poured into the Vatican accusing the Way of celebrating the Mass illicitly.
As a matter of fact, in 2009, some of the Bishops in Japan closed the Way's seminary and wanted to expel the Neocatechumenal Way from Japan. Despite complaints coming in, Pope Benedict XVI intervened and rejected the plan to expel the NCW from Japan. According to news report:
Alvaro de Juana Hernandez, a spokesman for the Way told CNA Jan. 12 that Pope Benedict XVI had rejected the bishops’ plan. During the meeting, he said, "the Holy See communicated that the Neocatechumenal Way cannot be suspended, cannot be thrown out or taken out of Japan."
Pope rejects plan of Japanese Bishops
The Holy See said that the NCW cannot be suspended, cannot be thrown out or taken out of Japan. The same would be true of Guam as well. Nevertheless, as more complaints poured into the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI ordered an investigation to determine whether these complaints were actually true. The investigation was ordered on April 11, 2012. Thanks to the NCW who have never kept their Eucharistic celebration a secret, those investigations should be very easy to conduct.
On February 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI resigned. Almost a year had gone by and nothing came out from the investigation. On March 13, 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope and took the name Francis. A few months later, Pope Francis ceased all investigations on the Neocatechumenal Way that Pope Benedict XVI had started.
Then on February 2014, Pope Francis confirmed Kiko Arguello for five more years as Consultor for the Pontifical Council for the Laity. On March 6, 2015, Pope Francis gave the NCW his strongest support. And on May 16, 2015, Kiko Arguello and Carmen Hernandez received an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of America.
So, to those who oppose the Way and think that we are celebrating the Mass illicitly, continue to write your letters of complaint to the Vatican. Your complaints are simply old news to the ears of the Vatican. We have already given our answer. We have the permission from the Pope to celebrate the Eucharist the way we do and are not in violation of it. But if you do not believe us, then take it up with the Vatican because you have no authority over the NCW.