Kiko Arguello, when explaining his Neocatechumenal Way to a
meeting of Capuchin Friars in Krakow, Poland in 2011, was heard to say:
“We are with the Church, with the Pope, but slowly, slowly. You know when we give the Rosary in the Way? After twelve years we give the Rosary. If we give it before that, they run away. After fifteen we bring them to the Pope. With patience, with patience, with patience. We must be very careful because people can not stand devotions. Atheists cannot stand Fatima, the devotions, Fatima, these things. So we believe that we are a new, different church. And we must demonstrate that we are not heretics and we do things out of love for them, because it says that the Good Shepherd takes the lost sheep and puts it on his shoulders and guides slowly to Christ.”
or in the original Italian:
” Noi siamo con la Chiesa, con il Papa, però lentamente. Sapete quando diamo noi il Rosario nel Cammino? Dopo dodici anni diamo il Rosario. Se lo diamo prima, scappano. Dopo quindici li portiamo dal Papa. Con pazienza, con pazienza con pazienza. Bisogna stare molto attenti perché la gente non sopporta i devozionismi. Gli atei Fatima non la sopportano, i devozionismi, Fatima, queste cose. Allora credono che noi siamo una chiesa nuova, diversa. E noi dobbiamo dimostrare che non siamo eretici e che facciamo le cose per amore a loro, perché dice che il Buon Pastore prende la pecora perduta e la mette sulle spalle e la porta lentamente a Cristo.”
“Run away when presented with the rosary?”, What is he talking about?”, you may ask. “I have friends in the Way, and they pray the Rosary!”, you say.
Exactly. Kiko is telling the good Friars a story. If we take him at his word, we’d have to believe that our friends in the Way would run in fear if their catechists presented the rosary to to them after they walked in the Way for 10 or 11 years! Doesn’t he believe that contemplating the events of the Gospel through the eyes of Mary can be formative in itself? Obviously not.
And what about “after fifteen [years] we bring them to the Pope”? We all know dozens of young members of the Way who have attended one or more World Youth Days with the Pope. It seems the thing to do if you are young and in the Way.
Or how about this:
“We must be very careful because people can not stand devotions. Atheists cannot stand Fatima, the devotions, Fatima, these things. So we believe that we are a new, different church.”
The people cannot stand devotions? Atheists? A new and different Church?
Throughout the speech to the Friars, Kiko says that the Way is a “new Church”, aimed at atheists and Communists, who hate Fatima and devotions. Kiko therefore justifies waiting the twelve years to teach the Rosary. In reality, very few members of the Way are former atheists. That the Neocatechumenal Way is directed toward “atheists and communists” is Kiko’s grand fabrication, a great story, because actually, Kiko takes 99% of his followers from parishes, and many of them have a great affection for the Rosary and devotions! Moreover, what good skeptical, secular, atheist would be attracted to a sect that demands him to submit his most basic life decisions to the authority of a “catechist” for the rest of his life? None. It’s Kiko’s fairy tale.
References and Acknowledgements
The Neocatechumenal Way’s international team of responsibles, Kiko Arguello, Carmen Hernandez, and Fr. Mario Pezzi participated in a Chapter of the Capuchin Friars held in Krakow, Poland, September 7-9, 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl1vv1dEiiU&feature=youtu.be&t=59m2s, referred to me by Lino Listo, of Naples, Italy.
Many thanks to Lino Lista and Martina Primavera for their help in extracting Kiko’s words in Italian.
tags: neocatechumenal, neocatecumenale, rosario