Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 (202) 541-3250


 This material
 may not
 be published,
 rewritten or
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

 CNS Story:

JAPAN-NEOCATECUMENAL (UPDATED) Dec-16-2010 (400 words) xxxi

Pope meets with Japanese bishops to discuss Neocatechumenal Way

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Japanese bishops, including the president of the bishops' conference, met with Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials to discuss the Neocatechumenal Way.

The Dec. 13 meeting with four Japanese bishops had been called by Pope Benedict, said the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, Archbishop Leo Jun Ikenaga of Osaka.

He told Catholic News Service that the meeting lasted nearly two hours and included the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and "several other cardinals."

While the archbishop would not comment on the substance of the meeting, he said the bishops would have to have further discussions with the Vatican and the Neocatechumenal Way's co-founder, Kiko Arguello.

The Japanese bishops "have to make a plan to proceed," he said, adding, "We have to proceed slowly."

Giuseppe Gennarini, a spokesman for the Way in the United States, told CNS Dec. 15 that the Vatican was going to appoint a delegate to continue the dialogue between the bishops and the Way.

The meeting came more than a year after the Neocatechumenal Way's Redemptoris Mater seminary in Takamatsu was closed and transferred to Rome.

Bishop Francis Osamu Mizobe of Takamatsu and the diocesan pastoral council wanted to shut down the seminary because of concerns that the activity of the Way's members was damaging the unity of Japan's small Catholic community.

The Vatican conducted an investigation in 2007, and in 2008, Cardinal Bertone released a letter announcing the seminary would be closed and that many of the seminarians and faculty would be transferred to the Redemptoris Mater seminary in Rome.

According to an April 2009 news release on the Japanese bishops' website, the Neocatechumenal Way disagreed with the closure.

The bishops' concerns with the Way and the seminary were so strong that they traveled to Rome twice in early 2008 after their "ad limina" visit in December 2007.

They met with Vatican officials and the pope to discuss what Tokyo Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada, then-president of the bishops' conference, said was "a serious problem."

"The powerful sect-like activity of Way members is divisive and confrontational. It has caused sharp, painful division and strife within the church," the archbishop said Dec. 15, 2007, in an address to the pope during the bishops' "ad limina" visit, made every five years to report on the status of the dioceses. The archbishop appealed to the pope for assistance, saying his input "was direly needed."


Copyright (c) 2010 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250