Apart from certain biblical persons, the Church refrains from bestowing the title “prophet” on even the holiest of its members. One possible reason for this is to avoid the creation of a competing “magisterium” or teaching authority that could cause confusion among the faithful.
While the Church does not bestow this title, several contemporary non-Catholic sects in our day do, and it seems, so do members of the Neocatechumenal Way.
Earlier this year, as some young members of “the Way” on Guam
were preparing to go to the Philippines to meet the founder of the sect, I posted this, which seemed to confirm our suspicions that indeed, members of “the Way” regard their founder as a “prophet” and regularly associate that title with him.
Here is another proclamation of Kiko Arguello as a “prophet”, this
time by Fr. Stanislaw Zarzycki, an adjunct professor at the Institute
of Theology Spirituality at the Catholic University of Lublin. Fr. Zarzycki lead the effort to convince the University to grant an honorary doctorate of sacred theology to Kiko. He had this to say that day:
Great is our joy for the presence among us of a prophet, yes, l don’t hesitate in using this word. This is the prophet of our times, who announces the kerygma of Our Lord Jesus Christ, risen and glorious…1,2
Members of “the Way” frequently tout this granting of the honorary doctorate to Kiko, and we’re beginning to see references to him as a “prophet” in the social media. Fr. Zarzycki’s statement undoubtedly encouraged this Neocatechumenal “meme“.
Several contemporary non-Catholic sects have deemed their founders to be “prophets”. These include the Seventh Day Adventists and their prophetess Ellen Gould White; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and their prophet Joseph Smith; and Iglesia Ni Cristo and their prophet Felix Manalo. In the same manner, the common opinion of members of “the Way” that Kiko Arguello is a prophet is one sign among many of the frightening sectarian cult of personality surrounding the person of Mr. Arguello.
- http://neotorun.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/kiko-to-prorok-naszych-czasow/ This is a Neocatechumenal Blog. This blog and news outlets report that the phrase used by Fr. Zarzycki was “To jest prorok naszych czasów!“(“This is the prophet of our time!) See also http://info.wiara.pl/doc/1610078.To-jest-prorok, retrieved November 8, 2014. See also, “Kiko to prorok naszych czasów!” (Kiko is a Prophet of Our Times) http://www.fronda.pl/a/kiko-to-prorok-naszych-czasow,29125.html, retrieved November 8, 2014. Many more news items about Fr. Zarzynki’s statements can be found here.
- A rough transcript done by an adherent of the Neocatechumenal Way may be found here: http://fr.allreadable.com/e44eGDue, with video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL1OTCqlmv8, retrieved Nov. 1, 2014.
- “Prorok naszych czasów” (A Prophet of our times), http://www.niedziela.pl/artykul/106802/nd/Prorok-naszych-czasow, retrieved Nov. 2, 2014
- http://www.news.va/it/news/luniversita-cattolica-di-lublino-conferisce-il-dot, Retrieved Nov. 2, 2014
- http://www.fronda.pl/a/kiko-to-prorok-naszych-czasow,29125.html , Retrieved Nov. 2, 2014
- http://fronda.gliwice.pl/news.php5?id=717 Retrieved Nov. 2, 2014 – NOT AVAILABLE as of Oct. 1, 2015.
Tags: Neocatechumenal Way, Camino Neocatecumenal, problemas