Sandro Magister writes that Pope Benedict has begun a crackdown on liturgical abuse. Ironically, he’s started with a conservative group, the NeoCatechumenal Way. I don’t know too much about the group, although they are apparently very successful and very excited, based on my encounters with the groups at World Youth Days. They also have lots of vocations.
Unfortunately, it appears that they engage in some … unique … liturgical practices that in the past they defended by saying that they had verbal permission from Pope John Paul. Now Magister prints a confidential letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship to the Way with “the Holy Father’s decisions” admonishing them to stop certain practices.
So who’s next? Life Teen has already had some practices stopped by Phoenix Bishop Olmsted. Will there be more? I suspect that part of the reason the Way has been addressed is because it is a unified group that professes magisterial obedience to the Holy Father and it will be easier to get them to comply.
More heterodox liturgical abuses, such as those that are widespread in the Church in the US, will be harder to rein in because most of those doing the abusing are not all that keen on magisterial obedience to begin with and because there is not an authority telling to all to do it one, wrong way. Still it tells me that Pope Benedict is not turning a blind eye to the problem of liturgical abuse.
The problem began to be addressed under John Paul with Redemptionis Sacramentum and Liturgiam Authenticam, and now it is being implemented.