I found an abundance of information on the doctrinal errors of the Neocatechumenal Way from the faithful magazine "Christian Order," specifically a 1995 article. Here is some information from that magazine relating to the doctrinal errors of Neocatechumenal Way. And here is an additional source written by Fr. Zoffoli on the problems in the Way.
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1. SIN: man cannot avoid committing it, in the same way as he can neither accomplish good nor acquire merits for himself;
- conversion is possible only as recognition, by everyone, of their own moral poverty, not as a determined wish to correct one’s
- sin cannot offend God, and man does not incur the duty to expiate it by satisfying the requirements of His justice.
2. REDEMPTION: Jesus has not brought this about by liberating man from his faults and reconciling him with God;
- the passion and death of Christ has not been a true sacrifice offered to the Father in order to remedy sin and to redeem man;
- Jesus saved the world by virtue of His Resurrection: in order to enjoy the fruits of His work it is enough to confess to be sinners and to believe in the power of the risen Christ.
3. THE CHURCH was not founded by Christ as his only Sheepfold: it is also possible to save oneself by following other religions;
- the Church is not a juridical and hierarchical society, but a spiritual, charismatic one;
- in it there is not found a priesthood derived from the sacrament of the Order - as it is sufficient to have the Baptism which, incorporating all the believers in Christ, makes them participants of His priestly dignity.
4. THE MASS is not a “sacrifice”: the Church, at the altar, does not offer to God any Victim;
- in place of the altar, there is nothing but the table, which in the Eucharist allows a festive party to be celebrated among brothers united by the same faith in the Resurrection;
- the consecrated bread and wine are only the symbol of the presence of the risen Christ which unites the fellow-guests by communicating their own spirit, thus making them participants in his triumph over death;
- the Mass, thus conceived, is not celebrated by the priest, but by the Assembly, from which “springs the Eucharist.”
5. EUCHARISTIC WORSHIP does not have any meaning, it negates the true, real and substantial presence of Christ under the sacramental species. Acts of faith such as genuflections before the Tabernacle, frequent Communions, hours of adoration, benedictions, processions, congresses, etc. are not therefore justified.
6. CONFESSION is reduced to the sacrament of Baptism: their distinction does not go back to the primitive Church:
- the Church “gestates and leads to the conversion.” “The important thing is not the absolution” of the priest, because the value of the confession is essentially its community and ecclesial nature;
- in the “passages” and in the, “scrutinies” the acknowledgement of one’s transgressions, including the serious ones, is public, as can still be the case during the “redditio.”
7. THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, as a voluntary effort of self-discipline, and therefore an exercise and progress in virtue, is an illusion;
- everyone remains intrinsically a sinner, incapable of obtaining true justice as a perfection of the love of God and of one’s fellow creatures;
- on the other hand, Jesus has not been presented to anyone as a “model” to be imitated;
- He has commanded that we should actually hate our parents, brothers, relatives etc, not just, if necessary, to be prepared to prefer Him to them;
- in order to follow Christ, we need to sell our own goods; but, once this renunciation has been accomplished, it is permissible to acquire others and to enjoy all the pleasures of life. “Poverty” as understood by St. Francis, is inspired by the “natural religion,” and was also practised by the pagans: it is not a Christian virtue;
- Jesus, having suffered for us, has made our sufferings superfluous, therefore the austerities of the ascetics, the slow martyrdom of the Saints and the religious life itself, involving the effective practice of the evangelical counsels, are not justifiable;
- eternal salvation is offered freely to all by the mercy of God, who forgives everything. Hell should not exist, nor should one speak of Purgatory, of prayers and of indulgences for the dead.
8. THE HISTORY of the true Church founded by Christ comes to an end with the Pax Constantinia and does not resume its course until the 20th century with the Second Vatican Council, having remained frozen for about 1,600 years ... ;
- in this long interval, the exercise of the triple power of the hierarchical Church (teaching, sanctification, guidance) would have been improper, illegitimate ... ; and in particular the Council of Trent would be responsible for the paralysis of the Church, determined to fix formulae of faith, liturgical rites, disciplinary, rules ... ;
- the interpretation of the Word of God is not reserved for the Hierarchy, it is possible for all believers: “the Bible is explained by itself.” This freedom of examination in the exegesis excludes the ecclesiastical Teaching, the tradition of the Elders and the doctrine of the theologies.
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The above statements are heresy. The Neocatechumenal Way does not refer to the Altar as anything more than a "table" when it is a symbol of our Lord Jesus Christ and one of the holiest objects on Earth. Here is a comment concerning liturgical abuses performed by the Neocatechumenal Way on EWTN's Catholic Q and A:
"This group engages in various practices within their special liturgy that are regularly considered abuses, such as standing at the Consecration, decorating the Altar with flowers, dancing around the Altar, or 'Table' as they call it, after Mass, accompanying the chanting of the Eucharistic Prayer with guitars, to name a few." I found a picture of a Baptism done by a deacon instead of a priest via Yahoo Images. It is done very differently than in a typical parish. Also, notice the flowers on the altar, which should not be there as this is a violation of the laws of the Church.
Thankfully Pope Benedict XVI has at least required certain changes as dictated by a December 2005 letter. Let us hope and pray for this community to stop participating in liturgical abuses and amend their celebration of the Liturgy to reflect that of our Lord Jesus Christ's Sacrifice on Calvary. And let us pray that they start teaching true Catholic teaching and not protestant heresy.
- Charistmatic Heresy
- Catholic Answers Forum
- EWTN Q&A Question
- Christian Order Magazine Article
- Another Christian Order Article
I would like to highlight the comment by Rob which I share below:
Thank you for posting the article "Avoid The Neocatechumenal Way". Four years worth of comments - Wow. I just included the following in my comment and hope you'll consider it.Update: August 13, 2011
"The four years worth of comments here are mostly tantrums of the teenage angst vein - "you don't understand me" - instead of intelligent discussion. There are a couple really great comments though and it would be helpful if the original poster would stick in a P.S. to advise all new commentors to at least read these two before they post their own.
1. - two part post beginning February 24, 2010 - 12:42 AM
2. - seven part post beginning July 18, 2010 - 3:18 PM"
First and foremost, to those of you who say that the Neocatechumenal Way is to be accepted because the Holy Father has approved its decrees, you are mistaken. Read carefully: "Blind obedience is not Catholic; nobody is exempt from responsibility for having obeyed man rather than God if he accepts orders from a higher authority, even the Pope, when these are contrary to the Will of God as it is known with certainty from Tradition. It is true that one cannot envisage such an eventuality when the papal infallibility is engaged; but this happens only in a limited number of cases. It is an error to think that every word uttered by the Pope is infallible" (Open Letter to Confused Catholics)
The problem with our modern times is that modernism and errors have affected even the Holy Father. He is not sinless. And, if I might say, he is incorrect to approve the Neocatechumenal Way which at its core is not Catholic. It is protestant for the reasons aforementioned in this post.
You might say, how is the Holy Father in error? Unfortunately, even he has fallen into some of the snares of liberal Catholics. I'd encourage you to read my post outlining the six errors of liberal Catholics with an analysis on how the hierarchy no longer believes "outside the Church there is no salvation." From this fundamental error, liberalism has infected the Church and has begun to pollute the Liturgy. The NeoCat Way is nothing more than a protestant infection in the Church founded by Jesus Christ.
Update: January 23, 2012
From the Catholic News Agency after news items claim that the Neocatechumenal Way has received approval for their Celebration of the Mass. The Vatican clarifies.
The Vatican’s approval of the Neo-Catechumenal Way’s forms of “celebration” only applies to non-liturgical prayers within their catechesis and not to the Mass or other liturgies of the Church.
“With respect to the celebrations of the Holy Mass and the other liturgies of the Church,” communities of the Neo-Catechumenal Way must “follow the norms of the Church as indicated in the liturgical books – to do otherwise must be understood to be a liturgical abuse,” a Vatican official told CNA on Jan. 21.
Pope Benedict XVI met with around 7000 members of the movement in the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall on Jan. 20 for an annual event to send families on mission destinations worldwide.
The invitation issued by the movement to bishops for yesterday’s event stated that “the purpose of this meeting is that His Holiness will sign a Decree from the Congregation of Divine Worship recognizing the full approval of the liturgies of the Neo-Catechumenal Way.”
However, the approval for non-liturgical practices of the group came by way of another source. It was Pontifical Council for the Laity that issued a decree of approval – after having consulted the Congregation for Divine Worship – for those “celebrations” present in their Catechetical Directory.
In this process, “the Neocatechumenal Way obtained no new permissions whatsoever,” said the official, who is familiar with the approval process for prayers and liturgies.
“Essentially, the Pontifical Council is only approving these things that are found in the Catechetical Directory of the Neocatechumenal Way, and in no way touches those things contained in the liturgical books.”