Action Alert!
Catholic World News

Holy See overrules Japanese bishops on Neocatechumenal Way

January 10, 2011

The Vatican Secretariat of State has overruled the Japanese bishops’ decision to suspend the activities of the Neocatechumenal Way in the nation for five years.

A group of Japanese prelates met with Pope Benedict and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone on December 13 to discuss their concerns about the lay movement. The prelates complained that the group’s activities are secretive and that its activities, including its manner of celebrating the sacred liturgy, harm the unity among the faithful.

According to a Neocatechumenal Way spokesman, the Secretariat of State has made the following decisions:

  • “the suspension of the Neocatechumenal Way in Japan for five years-- as attempted by the country’s episcopal conference-- is not admissible”
  • “the dialogue between the bishops of Japan and the Neocatechumenal Way must be taken up again as soon as possible with the help of a competent delegate who loves the Way and respects the problems of the bishops”
  • “if necessary, the latter must give concrete indications to the Way for each of its own dioceses, avoiding pronouncements of the episcopal conference”
  • “the Secretariat of State will be in charge of giving the necessary instructions and will address, in contact with the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the questions referring to the presence of the Way in said country”

    For all current news, visit our News home page.

    Further information:
    Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

    All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

    Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
    • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jan. 12, 2011 10:08 PM ET USA

      These lay movements in some areas "cherry pick" the most faithful, the most energetic Catholics from exactly the parishes where they are most needed build up the local Church.

    • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Jan. 11, 2011 4:11 PM ET USA

      Quite a slapdown. Would that the Vatican would be so firm with the USCCB!

    • Posted by: voxfem - Jan. 10, 2011 7:30 PM ET USA

      Anything on the liturgy that is secretive is wrong. I tried to do some research on it a couple years ago and couldn't find much. A lot of talk about how it's a great way to revitalize the people in the pew but few details. Suspicion is the right response until they are more open. Pray for the Pope and his staff so that they can see clearly.

    • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Jan. 10, 2011 4:43 PM ET USA

      I'm on the side of the Japanese bishops on this one. Once again the Vatican disappoints.

    • Posted by: Don Vicente - Jan. 10, 2011 9:40 AM ET USA

      I thought that Pope Benedict had given the Neos 2 years to conform their liturgical practice to that of the Roman Rite -- I thought that he did this back in 2005! Quico Arguello, their founder, seems to have had some notions arising from the very real Jewish roots of the Liturgy. He's an artist. Good intentions with debatable results. The Japanese bishops know Japan and their people better than the Secretariat of State. This is going to look like just another example of Western insensitivity.