One commentator declared, in fact: "The one good to be derived from this will be the wry amusement one can enjoy reading the conservatives defend this action." Which seemed to confirm MY initial impression that approval was granted to the NeoCat liturgical way, or at least whatever is not already under the governance of existing Vatican liturgical norms.
Fr. Z. immediately suggested, however, a cautionary note: "This didn’t sound to me like the thought of a Pope about to approve the NeoCat liturgy." He suggests that these are the "celebrations" to which the Pope in his address refers to as "not strictly liturgical," and which "are NOT, by their nature, already regulated by the liturgical books of the Church" (emphasis added).
Then, sure enough, reports out yesterday and today confirmed that my first impressions were mistaken:
- "Vatican approval for Neo-Catechumenal Way only applies to non-liturgical catechesis" (CNA, January 21, 2012)
- "The Holy See did NOT approve NeoCat liturgical variants for Mass" (WDTPRS, January 22, 2012).
- "From his own mouth: how the founder of the Neocatechumenal Way interpreted the January 20 'approval'" (Rorate Caeli, January 23, 2012):
Exactly as our blog predicted a few days ago: the NCW will interpret the January 20 decree of the Pontifical Council of the Laity regarding their catechetical celebrations as a blanket approval of their doctrinal teachings and liturgical practices.Read more >>