Kiko’s Virgins

In his 2015 book, “Il Fango e il Segreto” (“The Mud and the Secret”) , Lino Lista points out yet another egregious example of Kiko Argüello’s penchant for twisting Sacred Scripture for his own sectarian purposes.

This time, it’s a scriptural passage presented at the Neocatechumenal “Shema Convivence“, which members undergo approximately one year after the First Scrutiny and one year prior to the Second Scrutiny.  In his introductory catechesis in that convivence, Kiko says,

You will see how all the Word of God which you listen to in this Convivence continually references this:  “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.” You see for example the Parable of the Virgins: the meaning of this Convivence is given in full by the Parable of the Virgins. Guidelines for Teams of Catechists, Vol. III, p. 7

“The Parable of the Virgins.”  Perhaps you remember that parable of Jesus, which can be found in Matthew 25:1-12.  Ten virgins had the responsibility of meeting the bridegroom when he returned home.  The bridegroom was delayed, and five of the ten virgins foolishly did not bring enough oil for their torches, and were locked out of the house when the groom returned while they were shopping for more oil.  They begged to be allowed to enter, but the groom told them that he did not know them.

This parable is sandwiched between the Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servant and the Parable of the Talents in the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus clearly says in both that the unfaithful will be cast into a place where “men will weep and gnash their teeth.” (Matthew 24:51, Matthew 25:30)

The Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins, Matthew 25:1-12
The Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins, Matthew 25:1-12

This “door shutting” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” is serious business, and Christians should take Christ’s words seriously.  After all, being shut out and consigned to a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth is literally…hell.

But before we get to Kiko’s terrible deformation of this parable, let’s see how some Church Fathers, all Doctors of the Church, interpreted it1:

St. Hilary: “The ‘oil’ is the fruit of good works, the “vessels” are the human bodies in whose inward parts the treasure of a good conscience is to be laid up.”

St. Augustine:  “’But the wise took oil with their lamps,’ that is, the gladness of good works, ‘in their vessels,’ that is, they stored it in their heart and conscience..“The lamps” which they carry in their hands are their works, of which it was said above, ‘Let your works shine before men.” [Matt 5:16]…They ‘trimmed their lamps,’ that is, prepared to give an account of their deeds.”

St. John Chrysostom:  “..the “oil” denotes charity, alms, and every aid rendered to the needy…

St. Jerome:  “The virgins that have oil are they who, besides their faith, have the ornament of good works – they that have not oil, are they that seem to confess with like faith, but neglect the works of virtue…After the day of judgment, there is no more opportunity for good works, or for righteousness, and therefore it follows, ‘And the door was shut.’

In short, these four saints preached that the virgins’ oil was their good works, or, as St. Augustine attests, the “gladness of good works“. In other words, a Christian keeps watch for the return of Christ through a habit of good works or works of mercy.  Failure to do so puts one at risk of losing heaven.

So, what does Kiko say about this parable?

Perhaps in the first scrutiny you did not take the oil with you.  As you know in the Bible oil signifies the Holy Spirit. Now brothers, we say to you that maybe your whole catechumenate depended upon that convivence.  On this convivence, perhaps, your whole future depends.  It is today, not tomorrow. It is not “tomorrow I will convert.” It ‘s time. This convivence says “Wake up because it is the groom.” And if you did not take oil in the first scrutiny, take the opportunity now.  It does not happen again.  It is done and then it is the end.  The groom comes when you least expect him.

It is the second scrutiny and do they know where you are?  I want to tell you:  it happens that you have a sister who is  sick and you have to go see her.  They made the second scrutinies and closed the door. And it is already has been a month since you’ve come to the community. Thing have not been good since that time.  The door closed, most entered [the Scrutiny] and their life really changed, filling with joy and you will find yourself in trouble, as so many people are. Vol. III, p. 9

For Kiko, then, the watchfulness of the virgins is not analogous to being faithful in works of love and mercy, e.g. the care of a sick sister, but rather, to faithful attendance at the Scrutinies!  Absenteism from the community is the primary issue! Take care of a sick loved one, and the door closes on you! 2

In his book, Lino Lista points out, “ …the Way is shown as an itinerary of practices essential for salvation, above all the scrutinies. (p. 42)

he adds,

“To argue that oil, if you have not acquired it in the first [scrutiny], can only be acquired in the second scrutiny, otherwise “it is the end”, means scorning any previous or subsequent experience of faith.” (p. 44)


“In the Newspeak of the Way, in fact, happiness is closely related with the salvation; “to be in trouble” (used as a synonymic expression for perdition, used for scribes and Pharisees in the Gospels) is the person who has done a work of mercy!” (p. 45)

For Kiko, it’s not works of mercy, but rather the merciless grilling and humiliation of the Scrutinies that matter!

Now that you know this, are you still sure that you want to be one of Kiko’s virgins?




1Catena Aurea, St. Thomas Aquinas, December 17, 2015.

2 “Il Fango e il Segreto”, Lino Lista, Edizione Segno, 2015., Page 43

“…he has altered the meaning of the parable; watching and waiting for the second coming of Christ, which is fulfilled in the hour of death of Christian or the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of time , is turned into a regular attendance of the community and its practices. The eschatological context of the story of the virgins is debased in the here and now of the Scrutiny, a unique opportunity of conversion of which to take advantage. Now or never: in the case of absenteeism, the door closes.””

GUIDELINES FOR THE TEAMS OF CATECHISTS FOR THE SHEMA, notes taken from the tapes of the Shema made by Kiko and Carmen in some communities of Rome and Madrid in 1974.

tags:  Kiko Arguello, Neocatechumenal, Camino Neocatecumenal

8 thoughts on “Kiko’s Virgins

  1. Kiko, the great magician, fits all Scriptures according to Neocatechumenal Way.
    It is something fascinating, when you are into the Way, to feel the Neocatechumenal Way was such a prefigurated charisma in the Scriptures.
    They constantly make you feel it really was and that is why it is so hard to belive that bishops, priest and ordinary catholic people reject it.
    They bombard you with that idea: the Way was prefigured by God. Kiko has just being brightly lit to reveal it.
    So, if you doubt about the Way, you are doubting about God’s designs. It’s with the Way or against the Way as well as with God or against God.
    And that is why the slightest criticism about the Way comes from the Devil.

  2. Well, I actually disagree with Kiko’s strategy of evangelizing. It’s a desperate way of luring in people into the faith. I really would like to think he means well, just a little bit too desperate with his means that may be harmful. Then again, let’s look at the state of the world right now. Honestly, I would rather have people become kikko nuts than become atheist or pagans. That’s just the state of the world we live in right now. Guam is predominantly catholic, yet in my workplace, I am surrounded by average catholics who speak and behave like modern secularist. I’m just sharing my thoughts. I would like to think Kikko is innocent in all of this, just a little bit on the nutty side. ( I wouldn’t know really) Didn’t he have an audience with Pope Francis a year ago? Anyways appreciate your zeal.

  3. I am from the way
    And I am from India
    The way has helped me a lot
    I don’t mind you talking bad about kiko but I can’t understand that if the holy father approves of it and thinks that the way is helping the church the most
    Then why do normal Christians have a problem with kiko and the teachings
    Do normal Christians think that they know more than the Holy Father
    The way has send many missio ad gentes and many many great things have come out of it

    People who just know to persecute will never see the good side
    Any ways what can do,it’s not your fault,the transmission of faith was not given to you.
    Now don’t get this sentence rong it simply just means that you were not taught deeply about the Bible and how to relate the bible to your self.
    If you can’t understand something just ask me I will clarify it
    Otherwise you will think that I said something bad
    That’s what people are good at
    Good at using their own brains and making a theory about it without knowing the proper truth

    And so called scrutiny is important
    Every scrutiny is important
    I don’t know what It means to you or what definition you give to that word
    But for us the definition is different
    To scrutinize oneself in the presense of God is important

    1. Thank you, Lincore, for your precious comment.

      You said:

      “it’s not your fault,the transmission of faith was not given to you.”

      Aren’t you judging me? And doesn’t Kiko forbid that? After all, you’ve never even met me.

      And let’s talk about the Pope’s “approval” of the Neocatechumenal Way. Check out the Church’s troubles with Marcial Maciel and the Legion of Christ. Pope St. John Paul II lavished praise on that man and his movement, but beneath the facade there were lots of problems. Thankfully, some brave priests and lay people stood up and spoke the truth. And that’s what I am trying to do.

    2. Lincore,
      1. The Pope has not approved the Way nor the mistreating by the sending dioceses of persons “in mission” who will in consequence have to live with unspoken worries in their new surroundings.
      2. For you, the lack of unfolding of Scriptures to us is your cynical excuse to impose a twisted version.
      3. As I am unusually uninteresting to the Way, if I end up scrutinising myself that’s something (though if in the light of inaccurate teaching, not helpful). In most cases, it was the dictatorial itinerants, “presbyters” etc that were scrutinising the members. Nothing in Scripture or tradition allows that whatsoever.

  4. Thanks for posting this article. I am from the neo-communities of Ilocos Norte. I have been in the way for more than 15 years now but I decided not to continue. What happen to me in the way is something I could not take easily, our group had this scrutinies where we are given time to answer several questions, our catechist would ask us our answer to the questions, and they also ask other questions not ealier given. This is done one to one basis with the presence of the group, and this could go an hour or more for one person. In the question and answer, they ask many things especially the more sensitive ones, and after that they come up with their judgment as to who you are. In may case I was judge as a caregiver not as a husband, because my wife has this sickness epileptic so i take care her all her needs, medicines, check up, we go together because its not advisable for her to be alone, but our catechist were quick to judge me that i am not a husband but a caregiver. I was really hurt, for a christian people to say that, where else can I get inspiration to move, is it not that the church is the refuge of people who needs Gods strenght. I think is about time for the church to see this things.

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