Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Brain Storm, Pt. 1 Neocat Priests Learn TLM?

Seriously - bear with me on this one.

The Neocatechumenal Way is one of the responses to the Conciliar renewal. The group counts hundreds of thousands of members, and has several seminaries in different dioceses throughout the world, including one in Rome.

Strong on promotion of the family, the organization has serious issues with its understanding of Catholic doctrine and dogma, and also with its liturgical understanding and practice.

This is not to cast aspersions - it is only to state a fact.

So here is what I propose: that the rectors of Redemptoris Mater seminaries commit to training their men in the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, and strongly encourage their men to make celebration of the EF an integral part of their pastoral ministry.

NB I most emphatically do not advocate imposing the EF on the Neocatechumenal communities.

I rather envision RM-trained priests actively looking for opportunities to celebrate for traditional groups in need of celebrants, and making a conscious effort to celebrate, say, one EF Mass a week in their parish churches or the chapels where they are assigned - letting the faithful know that they will be doing so.

I can envision three good results:

  • The Neocatechumenal Way would be served by priests with a deeper formation in and appreciation for the roots of Catholic worship. This would help them overcome some of the intellectual and spiritual limitations of the NW vision of the Church and the liturgy as offered by and found in the catechetical texts of the NW's founder, Kiko Arguello.
  • The Way would send a clear message to the Holy Father and to its lay membership, which constitute the group's bulk and strength: "We are really on board with you 100%! We understand that we must be obedient to you, Holy Father, and to your brother bishops in communion with you. We've experienced some growing pains, sure, but now, we are more than ready - we are truly happy to toe the line." It would send the message by action, which speaks louder than words.
  • Some of the liturgical practices of the group have been criticised, and even condemned as unacceptable abuses. This has been cause of confusion and tension for many in the group, who have only known the NW celebration, and/or are emotionally attached to the NW liturgy for understandable reasons. A deeper formation in the richness of the Church's liturgical tradition would go a long way toward making NW priests better able to explain the reasons for the changes in "their" liturgy. Where the light of knowledge shines, there, the fear and resentment that feed on the darkness of ignorance are starved and wither.
These are just three, mind you. Anyone with any thoughts please let me know.


puellapaschalis said...

lex orandi lex credendi....sounds good to me :)

Lazy Disciple said...

Yes, as usual, you cut right to the heart of the matter.

Next year you're getting a Cannonball nom yourself, BTW., don't care what I have to do.


Anonymous said...

I like the idea. As far as I know, though, this is up to their local bishop. He's the on ultimately responsible for their formation and training. Let's see how they respond if their bishop asks them to learn the TLM.

Lazy Disciple said...

Dear Anonymous,

I do not think a local bishop would pick a fight if the RM rector decided sua sponte to start training his men in the TLM.

Of course, the local ordinary is ultimately responsible, as you say. Still, central to my idea is to see this happen from the inside, as it were.