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Leading Japanese prelate rips Neocatechumenal Way

Catholic World News - January 14, 2011

Days after the Vatican Secretariat of State overruled the Japanese bishops’ decision to suspend the activities of the Neocatechumenal Way in the nation for five years, the president of the Japanese bishops’ conference offered strong criticism of the controversial ecclesial movement.

“In those places touched by the Neocatechumenal Way, there has been rampant confusion, conflict, division, and chaos,” the Archbishop Leo Jun Ikenaga of Osaka.

The archbishop urged Japanese laity who have encountered the Neocatechumenal Way to speak about their experiences with a newly appointed papal envoy. “The fact is, it’s very difficult for the real state of affairs to be conveyed to a place as far away as Rome,” the archbishop said.

“We hope that they [the Neocatechumenal Way] will take a hard look at why things haven’t worked out here so far and, for the first time, help us root out the cause of the problems, so that we can find the path to a solution.”

In 2005, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments ordered the Neocatechumenal Way to cease certain liturgical abuses. Three years later, Pope Benedict approved a new set of statutes for the movement, in a 2009 address, the Pontiff offered praise for the movement’s evangelizing work but asked it to cooperate more closely with local dioceses.

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