Friday, July 11, 2014

The Neocatechumenal Way

In the recent issue of the Peace Weekly, reported was the interview of the  ambassador emeritus  to the Vatican with  Kiko Arguello, the founder of the Neocatechumenal Way. The movement  began in Spain in 1968 and has spread throughout the world and received approval from the Vatican in 2008. 20,000 communities exist in 124 countries. 34 communities exist in Korea. The movement has had criticism over the years for the way it conducts their teaching, liturgy  and for not being sensitive to the cultures in which they work, but the popes continue to give approval to the movement.

Mr. Thomas Han  asked about the beginnings of the movement.  After the Second Vatican Council at a time when many were trying to come to terms in what happened during the Second World War, the atrocities and the suffering moved Kiko to go to a shanty town to live with the Gypsies bringing along only his Bible and guitar. It was at this time that he began teaching the catechism and forming communities.

Pope John Paul gave the movement approval as a valid spirituality for the present age. Why did the pope describe the community in this way?  The parishes are places in which the sacramental life is lived, but many are not familiar with the Jesus they receive in the Eucharist. The first gospel imperative is the love of one another. This does  not begin in the church but within ourselves.

In response to his recent book, Kerygma, which has been translated into 26 languages, Kiko mentioned the word means to proclaim the Gospel. By the Gospel message, we are liberated from all that keeps us from the joy of life. The book is the story of his life with the movement which he was asked to write by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, and he complied in a wish to be of service.

St. John Paul II  often said that the third millennium would be the time for the evangelization of Asia. What did Kiko think of this  and the place of Korea in this future? God is inviting us to participate in this work. This is a reason I have come to Korea. We have a number of countries that are under the influence of atheism and communism, which is a reason to make the message of the Gospel heard.

Neocatechumen way, for this reason is concerned about  fostering priests for the work. At a meeting in Manila, 200 young man have volunteered to become priests. At baptism, we received the Holy Spirit  that makes us a part of the new creation. We are new people. 'Love each other and you will be my disciples be united, and the world will believe.' When this becomes a reality, all will change.

What is the relationship with the family? Young people are searching for the truth. They want their lives to be in harmony with God's will.  The devil is fighting against the families.  Christian families  will save society and the Church. The marital act has to be open to life is the teaching of the Church and  in Europe at the present  those who are following the neocatechumen way are having more children than Muslims. In many parts of the world members of the Way are volunteering  for missionary service overseas. Members of the way are trying to live the way the early Christians lived.

In conclusion, Kiko was asked what meaning do we need to accept from the teaching of the martyrs. They have a lot to teach us, and they should be an occasion to give new life to the Church and bring about renewal.

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