The Conversion of 1,000 Jews: What Does the Neocatechumenal Way on the End of Times and What Isn’t It Saying?
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Friday, January 8, 2016
Domus Galiaeae on the Mountain of Beatitudes in Palestine
(Rome) Among members of the Neocatechumenal Way it is being spread around that after a meeting of Jewish rabbis with Kiko Argüello, founder and president, several rabbis and more than a thousand Jews have come to Christ’s message.
The message was made public for the first time on 22 December by an entry on a Spanish-language Facebook page of the Neocatechumenal path “Soy del Camino Neocatecumenal”. For a better understanding: Founded in Madrid in 1964, the Neocatechumenal Way is recognized by the Catholic Church as a spiritual community and is canonically established as an independent foundation with a legal personality. The leadership position is for life on an equal footing between the three founders, the two Spaniards Kiko Argüello and Carmen Hernández and an Italian priest, Don Mario Pezzi. The Neocatechumenate is understood by its own account, neither as a movement nor as an association, but as an “instrument” of parishes to lead those who’ve strayed back to Christ. According to the website, a million Catholics belong to the Neocatechumenal Way worldwide, which maintains almost 100 seminaries and is active with 25,000 communities in 800 dioceses. A criticism repeatedly directed at the Community are its “pseudo-Jewish” special rites. The Neocatechumenal Way provides contacts to Judaism as part of its mission. Designed by Kiko Argüello and finished in 2000 is the branch Domus Galiaeae, on the Sea of Galilee in Israel, has been previously visited, according to their account, by more than 150,000 Jews.
A certain Elias Bautista wrote on 22 December on his personal Facebook page and the Facebook page “Soy del Camino Neocatecumenal”:
“I’ve discovered that the supreme head of the Neocatechumenal Way (Kiko and Carmen) have just met with an important group of Jewish rabbis: who among other things, (the Jews) have recognized Our Lord Jesus Christ as the true Messiah, and in turn, (the Neocatechumenates) informed that we are living “at the end of time” (not the end of the world), and that we must prepare ourselves, therefore, for what comes. But … the Neocatechumenal leaders have decided to keep the secret,’ and it is only among Kiko’s Neocatechumenals … that it is publicized … Why? I don’t know. This is a very serious sin …. I want them to come to their senses and that Our Lord gave them the distinction with respect to the need to share the information of this important, unique and anticipated event.”
Domus Galiaeae and the coming of the Lord
Yet Elias Bautista has received no reply. So he wrote on January 2 again on the “Soy del Camino Neocatecumenal” Facebook page:
“I have just learned that more than a thousand Jews have converted to the Catholic faith and accepted Our Lord as their Messiah after they have met with Kiko and Carmen. That’s a great message! These rabbis have alerted the Neocatechumenal leadership that the Parousia is very close:. The return of our Lord is really close but … Kiko, Carmen & Co have decided to reserve the message only to the Neocatechumenals. The good news however, should be disseminated and known in every corner of the planet, either among Catholics as well as among non-Catholics! This is a serious omission on the part of the Neocatechumenal leaders. Bad for them!”
Domus Galiaeae: main entrance, domed hall, library with special space for the Torah surrounded by Council seats
Confirmation without denial
The administrator of the Facebook page confirmed in its response on January 3, the prohibition to make the news public. Neither the conversion of a group of Rabbis and the “more than a thousand Jews” nor the supposedly imminent “end of time” has been denied by the administrator. This presupposes that all members have been informed within the Neocatechumenal Way.
“Brother Elias, the peace of the Lord be with you. If you belong to the Neocatechumenal Way, you should have already had the reason explained by your catechists why this message is not to be used in the social networks and the mass media. Now it is so. I’ll explain: Although it’s a nice message, and many of us are very pleased and moved, because it is a great mercy of the Lord who has enabled this whole event, the fact is that not all people in the world would accept God’s humble and reasonable message.
In the world there are always people who want to judge and criticize, and not be constructive, and also there are extremist groups that could act in the wrong way. All of this [not to make the message public is the decision of the management of the Neocatechumenal Way] is not something you decide lightly. It is also an inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as Mary at that time had concealed His message. That is why we invite you, do not be discouraged, but rather to uphold your spirits and pray so that at the appropriate moment, this message will be made public in an appropriate manner.
With best wishes, peace “
Domus Galiaeae on the Mount of Beatitudes
What does the Neocatechumenal Way know and conceal from others?
But “Brother Elias” himself was dissatisfied with this answer and wrote again on January 4:
“There’s always some excuse for cowardice, inertia and isolation. […] The world must be prepared for the grave implications which are indicated because this is the greatest message of all time: We know that what comes before this grandiose event, will be horrible and terrible and whoever is not be ready, will fall into the clutches of Satan! I insist, and I repeat: It is a serious omission. The blood of that will be drawn will fall upon all members of the Neocatechumenal Way, I assure you! “
An answer has not yet been written. What does the Neocatechumenal Way know, which all the others, including the Church do not know? Already the construction of the Domus Galiaeae was associated with End Times prophecy, according to which the Neocatechumenal Way is expecting the return of the Lord on the Mount of Beatitudes. An extensive, symbolically charged building complex of an unusual style, which is difficult for the outsider to decipher.
The Community was critical in Osservatorio sul Camino Neocatecumenale doubting the news that a group of rabbis, and more than a thousand Jews have converted to the Catholic Church.