It turns out that, like Guam, the Catholic faithful in that diocese are suffering from the devastation wrought by the Neocatechumenal Way. Click here or here to read a letter to the bishop of Copenhagen, Bishop Czeslaw Kozon, and copied to their Nuncio, regarding the problems brought on by the Neocatechumenal Way in that country. The signatories are Catholic laypersons from 10 of the country’s 50 parishes and represent virtually every area of the country. While some of them are cradle Catholics, others are converts to the Faith. Young and old alike are represented. One signatory, Ole Schnell, has received the “Pro Ecclesia a Pontifice” award.
Here is a translation of the letter in English:
Bishop Czeslaw Kozon
Members of the Episcopal Council
Members of the Priesthood Council
Maria Truelsen, President of the Pastoral Council
April 24, 2015
Dear Bishop Czeslaw Kozon, dear members of the Episcopal Council, Priest Council and Chairman of the Pastoral Council
With this letter we wish to express concern about the Church’s future in Denmark, concerns, in our view, that arise from the activities and growing influence of the Neocatechumenal Way in the diocese.
Over the years, the bishop repeatedly been made aware of the often serious problems and divisions in the churches, which many believers have experienced when an NCW priest has got responsibility as parish priest or other priest in the Catholic Church in Denmark. We consider this matter and its serious treatment to be not only urgent but urgent and vital for the future of the Church in Denmark, and we turn thus simultaneously to the episcopal Council, Priest Council and the Pastoral Council. We shall also send the letter to the Holy See nuncio in the Nordic countries and the Nordic Bishops’ Conference for their information.
We are individuals, but together represent a broad spectrum of the Catholic Church in Denmark, and we all have been long involved in the life of the Church. Some of us, through a period in a broader informal study and experience, have formed a network in response to a series of experiences with the NCW in a church context, and several of us have first-hand knowledge of the NCW, either as former participants in “walking” or through parish work with an NCW-priest.
To assess the NCW’s efforts fairly, we examined whether similar problems also exist in other countries. Is it for example only with us that NK priests and NK laymen have trouble integrating into existing parish communities? We have studied what the NCW stands for, and what is behind the concerns expressed by a number of bishops and pastors of souls, theological scholars and lay people from all parts of the world, regarding the NCW’s work. A significant portion of these sources expressing significant reservations to the NCW with questioning of the organization’s theology, catechesis and mission practice and its specific organizational structure and lack of inculturation in the communities it operates in. The result is a marked tendency to form isolated enclaves in the consisting congregations with a special catechetical course, their own liturgical practices, and closed communities.
These sources have confirmed our concerns about the impact of the NCW’s work for the Catholic Church in Denmark. In the attached note, ‘Conditions of the Neocatechumenal Way of Particular Concern‘, we have highlighted the specificities of the NCW’s work, which in our view particularly leads to and causes problems for the Church, and thus the faithful in Denmark.
However, it is important for us to emphasize that the content of this letter is in no way directed at specific individuals in the organization.
Our intention is rather to point out the risk that a relatively massive presence and influence of the the NCW in a small diocese like our Danish diocese, and in our opinion, involves the long term. This applies to both the Danish Catholics life of faith and church membership, and of the Catholic Church in Denmark and the Catholic practice, as developed and built by the bishop’s predecessors in the episcopate with both ex ante and current generations of priests, sisters and Catholic laity.
We cherish all a deep caring and love for the Church. This approach is therefore an urgent call to the bishop, in cooperation with the diocesan relevant bodies and based on the diocesan vision of the Church, also on the parish level, to look at the direction the Church and church life in Denmark going in, and reconsider it. This in order to ensure that the Church retains its catholicity and to discourage the bias that is already seen with the NCW’s work and great influence in a small diocese as the Danish diocese.
We must ask that the response to this request be sent to the undersigned. Our e-mail addresses on in the transmission. We are happy to participate in a discussion with a view to deepening the inquiry, if desired.
The best greetings,
Niels Henrik Assing, Sct. Andreas-Sct. Therese, Hellerup-Charlottenlund
Nina Marie Lassen, Vor Frue, Herlev
Frans Josef Meyer, Sct. Ansgar, Domkirken
Grethe Livbjerg, Sct. Andreas-Sct. Therese, Hellerup Charlottenlund
Kristian Assing, Sct. Albani, Odense
Erik Schou, Sct. Maria, Hjørring
Ole Schnell, Sct. Mariæ, Aalborg
Ursula Assing, Sct. Andreas-Sct. Therese, Hellerup-Charlottenlund
Pablo Cristoffanini, Sct. Mariæ, Aalborg
Ingerid Cristoffanini, Sct. Mariæ, Aalborg
Jean-Pierre Duclos, Vor Frue, Herlev
Gunhild Lindstrøm, Vor Frue, Herlev
Hans Kargaard Thomsen, Sct. Mariæ, Frederiksberg
Kirsten Wenneberg, Jesu Hjerte, København
Marianne Meyer, St. Vilhelm, Hillerød
Birte Just Kjølby, Skt. Knud, Ringsted
Gertrud Kristine Petersson, Sct. Pauls, Taastrup
Ruth Pallisgaard Meyer, Sct. Ansgar, Domkirken
Per Meyer, Sct. Ansgar, Domkirken
Sigrid M. Lassen, Vor Frue, Herlev
Alison Høyer, Sct. Knud Lavard, Kgs. Lyngby
Astrid Andresen, Sct. Andreas-Sct. Therese, Hellerup-Charlottenlund
Arturo Pacheco, Sct. Andreas-Sct. Therese, Hellerup-Charlottenlund
C. C. The Apostolic Nuntiature and the Nordic Bishops’ Conference
Tags: Neokatekumenale Vandring problemer