The bishop of Lancaster has provoked dismay among members of the Neocatechumenal Way by issuing new rules for their liturgies.
Bishop Michael Campbell said that, although the Way had been a “blessing” for many people, there was a “growing sense of unease” about the movement’s liturgical practices.
His new norms include Masses always being celebrated at the main altar or approved chapel in a church and for there to be “no delay” in communicants receiving Holy Communion once it has been placed in their hands. Among some Neocatechumenal groups Communion is only consumed once everyone has been given the Host.
Paul Hayward, speaking on behalf of Neocatechumenal groups in the north of England, said he had asked Bishop Campbell to hold off implementing the new norms until representatives of the Way had had a chance to meet him.
He said they had requested a meeting but were told the bishop would not be available until August. The norms will come into effect on July 1.
“We have begged him not to initiate any of this before we can explain how we do things and why,” Mr Hayward said. He was speaking from Rome a day before he was due to meet Kiko Argüello, the Way’s founder.
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