Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Rites along the Neocatechumenal Way

The Vatican's approval of all the additional liturgical forms used by the Neocatechumenal Way on January 20th has caused quite an outpouring in the blogosphere.

I would merely point those interested to this background article by the respected Vatican watcher Sandro Magister in his column "'Placet' or 'Non placet?' The wager of Carmen and Kiko" and to two linked articles on the excellent Rorate Caeli blog: Neocatechumenal Rite approved? Let's call it the New Liturgical Way and From his own mouth: how the founder of the Neocatechumenal Way interpreted the January 20 "approval"

I have only once encountered the Neocatechumenate. That was a few years ago when I attended a friend's wedding at St Charles Borromeo Ogle Street in London. As a wedding it was a very happy and joyful occasion, but, as the bridegroom himself said to two of us who are frequenters of the Oxford and London Oratories it was probably not the sort of worship we had experienced before. That was true. My liturgical tastes lie elsewhere. The bride and groom, and most ot the congregation (but not me and a few others) dancing a two-step round the altar at the end of the Nuptial Mass was, well, different.

However one could not but be struck by the sense of commitment and enthusiasm by the regular members of the community to the liturgy as it was celebrated. Such factors have, I am sure, influenced the officials in the Vatican in their decision - I suspect they consider it better to have the movement within the framework of the Church, with the hope - maybe faint - of keeping it online or in line, rather than unregulated.

The Pope has compared the New Movements and their relationship to the Papacy as like that of the early mendicants and the Popes in the early thirteenth century. The historian in me sees these movements as more Franciscan than Dominican in their ethos - so perhaps we had better watch out for new "Spirituals " and "Fraticelli", or another Fra Dolfino...

We have, no doubt, not heard the last on this matter.


Anonymous said...

One could only wonder about this new blog which offers citations to the idiotic article of Sandro Magister (not even half of it is true, hence see its rebuttal here: http://www.praytellblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/ODonoghue-response.pdf) and to the even more idiotic rorate caeli blog with its ill willed badmouthing of something it does not really know yet really hates, perhaps you should complete the phrase: "but I am clever no longer."

Once I Was A Clever Boy said...

Dear me, I, and indeed Sando Magister and Rorate Coeli, seem to have touched a tender nerve somewhere.

Anonymous said...

as a member of these communities, all I can say is that it has revitalised my life and my faith. I have an on-going reltionship with God , very aware of my sinful natutre I keep walking leaning on him who has saved my marriage, given me 6 wonderful children and help me to forgive and see Him in whoever I meet!I'm sur that it would not have happened with only Sunday Mass. Or maybe I'm deaf and hard, so He had to work harder with me!

Anonymous said...

mmmmh. A movement they are calling it. instead this journey of faith is bringing union in a way that is unbelievable, men are called to be disciples of Christ everyday and are unable to hear this call. The Neocat. Way makes this possible even more. The old man within us who thinks with the mind, of how things should be and not by faith needs to drown in the water of baptism and the Neocat. Way is leading us to that water we are so quick to forget. The Way is reaping true catholics, christians and the fruits of the way are being seen. the book of Wisdom has a nice passage for those wise men of the world. What is foolish to you is something completely different for God. Peace brothers of the way. We are not fighters not even with words, God defends us with what we are allowing Him to do with us on this way, And the Holy father sees it.