The Latin Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, has written a letter to members of the Neocatechumate Way, urging them to be faithful to liturgical norms.
“We are grateful for your presence in some of our parishes, for the proclamation of the Gospel and the aid which you bring to our faithful,” wrote the Patriarch to members of the lay movement, which has been active in the Holy Land for over 25 years.
However, Archbishop Sabbah reminded the Neocatechumenate members that they are required to follow the Church’s norms for the celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy. “We are very attached to our liturgy and our traditions,” he wrote. “We beg you to understand and respect them.”
Questions and complaints about the distinctive liturgical practices of the Neocatechumenate Way came to a head in December 2005, when the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Francis Arinze, wrote to leaders of the lay movement insisting that they “follow the liturgical books approved by the Church, without omitting or adding anything."