Fudging on the Pope’s order

Fudging on the Pope’s order

When is obedience not obedience. Apparently when it’s the NeoCatechumenal Way and its response to liturgical directives from the Vatican. The Way is a new movement that I’ve otherwise been impressed by with its doctrinal orthodoxy and evangelical spirit. Unfortunately, they appear to be lacking in the vital area of obedience to legitimate authority.

A few months back, the Vatican told them that their liturgical practices—including receiving Communion sitting down and passing the chalice to one another—was not to be done. The reply was that the letter was not authoritative. So in January, at an audience, Pope Benedict himself told the Way’s leaders to toe the line. And still, according to Sandro Magister, the leaders of the Way offer only partial obedience.

And so, in their reply to Benedict XVI, Kiko, Carmen, and Father Pezzi stated that they were willing to “follow in every way, with great respect and obedience, the rubrics of the Roman Missal.” They promised that they will make arrangements with the bishop of each diocese for their own members to participate in the Sunday Mass together with the rest of the faithful “at least one Sunday a month.” But on the crucial point of communion, they make it clear that they want to keep going their own way.

Whether conservative or liberal, traditional or progressive, obedience to the liturgical law is not optional. When the Pope himself gives the order, it shouldn’t be a long deliberation on whether you should obey.

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