Kiko Arguello, founder of the Neocatechumenal Way, does not have a husband. He does, however, have a stereotype of a husband in his head, which he consistently presents to his followers and the Church. This stereotype is that of a husband who neglects his wife, often in a drunken rage, beats her.
To see this stereotype in Kiko’s teaching, one only has to read the first volume of his secret Catechetical Directory, where he uses the word “husband” 32 times. while using the word “wife” a whopping 105 times.
Here are all of the the sentences in that volume that contain the word “husband”, cut and pasted end to end. Count how many of the sentences describe enmity between a husband and wife. Count how many describe a husband’s violent, abusive behavior. Count how many describe a husband’s neglect.
I went to live in her home, trying to help her husband. Your husband never gives you lectures or dissertations on love; he simply abandons you and does his own thing and with this he acts. What stops us from letting ourselves be killed by the wife, the mother-in-law, the husband, the co worker and the children? Let’s go to the slums to see a woman whose husband gets drunk and beats her every night, who has a son in jail and another half-stupid; a woman who gets up every morning at five o’clock to go and scrub floors and has nothing to eat. What makes you suffer is everything that destroys you, everything that kills you: your wife’s defects, or of your husband, the person at work who annoys you, an illness you have, that you have been fired, that things in your home are not done the way you want them done, that you don’t earn enough money, that your boss is a rascal … So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband and he ate. She’s married, but she doesn’t love her husband, she is an unhappy woman …. Before, a married woman accepted that her husband would head the household; now, says Genesis, she will not bear to be dominated by man. If a husband is a jealous man … Poor wife! And if she’s a little bit neurotic … poor husband, he will have to sweat it out. This has become a reality because nothing else is possible. Since all the husband is interested in is being loved and the wife too, the war is already there. If Jesus Christ is not living now, able to enter within you and love you deeply, to tear out from you the serpent of hatred towards your husband which stops you from speaking to him and to give you peace, who will tell you your sins are forgiven? This woman begins to see that her husband doesn’t love her. Yes, this woman is right because her husband never helps her; he never bothers about the children etc. This situation begins to get very serious because when they go to bed and the husband wants to touch her, she does not make a sign of forgiveness, she resists stubbornly … She fights against the wickedness of her husband who neglects her. The husband in his selfishness is full of wickedness … of course! Thus the husband, so that he doesn’t suffer too much, so that he doesn’t have to put up with the situation of tension and silence for long, is forced by his wife’s violence to do her will in the end. If this woman is Christian and her husband has sinned against her, if she has chosen Jesus Christ and not Barabbas, she forgives her husband, she lets herself be killed by her husband‘s sin, she lets herself be crucified by his sin. You can imagine what a husband who does not go to Church will think of the forgiveness that his wife has received. This embrace to the brother is the forgiveness that you give to your co-worker, to your mother-in-law, to your husband, etc. And Rachel cries to her husband Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die! ( Gen 30:1) Every man has this temptation: of triumphing, of not accepting our existential reality, the reality you have now: this wife, so ugly and longfaced, with whom you find yourself; this drunken, rude husband; this daughter who comes home late at night; this son who has turned out mediocre. In this sermon we really shall hear everything: this new man who doesn’t judge, who doesn’t love money more than God, who doesn’t resist evil, who, when struck on the left cheek, offers the right one, who, if someone wants to rob him of something, doesn’t stop him, who doesn’t resist evil, (not evil in general but the concrete evil which his wife does to him at home, or the husband or the children or what they do to him at work), if someone forces him unjustly, just imagine today, in this era of justice and dissent, how these words sound, to walk for one mile under a heavy load until he cannot take it anymore, he walks two miles: he doesn’t do only what they justly demand but also what they unjustly oblige him and twice as much! A sister from a community in Madrid was saying this to me the other day, that at the convivence everything seemed impossible to her, with her husband, her children, her problems; now instead … because it is God who has done it. If it has been 13 years since your husband took you to the cinema, you no longer have to pull a long face to get him to take you. How will your husband, who is a complete egoist, who wants nothing to do with you after a day’s work, but just wants to sit in front of the television to watch the boxing, how will he know that God loves him as he is? The husband crucifies the wife and the wife the husband.