Neocatechumenal Way Cult
Date: December 31, 2012 11:34PM

The Neocatechumenal Way was founded in 1964 by a Spanish flamenco guitarist who is also a painter, Kiko Arguello, and his friend Carmen Hernandez, a former nun with a PHd. They started the religious movement in the shantytowns of Spain near Madrid, and administered religious advice to the poor.

Soon, they earned the favors of the Vatican and moved to Italy, into much nicer homes and lifestyles.

The Neocatechumenal Way calls itself an adult baptismal path, or Way, and dishonestly sneaks itself into parishes and churches by offering "courses" or "meetings" without revealing its name or purpose until the members have joined.

They arrange marriages between community members, and couples often have 11 kids, even though the cult mandates members not love their spouses, since they must love Jesus and the cult instead, and Kiko. Kiko once said parents hug their children because they want to murder them, so don't be too attached to your kids.

To advance to the next "stage" in the Way, members must pass humiliating public scrutinies, give up 10% of their income, and have the community intrude into their private life. They may also have to give up idols, things, people, or activities which are a distraction from the Way, even necessities like caring for children or visiting relatives who do not support the Way.

Way members are told not to have sex before marriage, and that they must marry within a year of dating a person to reduce the likelihood of "sin". They are told to cut off contact with non-Way persons if those persons oppose the Way or will lead the member into "sin". Mothers have thrown their own children out of the house.

How do I get a friend out of this cult? He lives in another country so I cannot visit him easily. But can someone tell me what to say to him to get him not to ignore me anymore? Should I tell him I see the good aspects of the group, so he will not think me a "bigoted outsider"? (I will not lie and say I agree with the bad, just mention the good).

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Re: Neocatechumenal Way Cult
Posted by: iib ()
Date: February 05, 2013 10:45PM

Hi, I joined the site specifically to get more info on catholic issues, so it was interesting to see this post near the top.

I have some experience with groups that are sort of skirting the line within the Catholic church. One of the first things to understand is that the church is much more distributed and individual groups and bishops are much more autonomous than most people think. Here you can see that the group may not have as much support as the group says:



It's also funny to see that it was founded by a Spaniard. I don't know what it is about Spanish roots (some think it goes back to the militance instilled into the culture after fighting the 800 year Moorish occupation of Spain), but almost all of these problematic sects are Spanish speaking.

What these groups do is appeal to someone's desire to live a holy life. They will use the church, the sacraments, tradition, and teaching to appeal to the person. Many of the things they say will be true to church teaching (like sex before marriage being less than ideal), but then they'll mix in other things that aren't exactly true. The latter usually aren't doctrinal issues, they are usually behavioral things related to authority via a spiritual director or religious superior if they are in a religious community. They'll support the dysfunctional behavior by quoting saints and the church, but it is almost always taken out of context. Then they will usually take that to the point where disobeying a superior or even thinking for yourself is also sinful and that's where you start to get the really strange behavior.

People with common sense, some proper background, and confidence can usually identify the problems and get out, but these groups are expert at tugging on a person's conscience. Very smart, capable people can be sucked in and it can take extraordinary circumstances to get out.

I don't know if you are catholic (it doesn't appear you are), so you aren't going to have much credibility with your friend. If you were catholic, I'd say to stay faithful to the Church and treat your friend charitably, don't criticize the group, but don't say nice things about it either - it might reinforce what the group's leaders are telling them. If you aren't catholic, stay in touch the best you can. If/when they leave, be open and accepting because they probably will need it.

Others on this forum will probably have more experience and better advice on how to help him, but I hope this helps you, at least.

This guy has a good post on charismatic leaders and the issues they present within the church.
(Use Chrome browser to translate automatically)

He points out there is a long history of charismatic Founders (Mostly Spanish speaking):

- Father Luigi Gino Burresi, founder of the Congregation of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, resigned in 2005.

- Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnun Christi resigned in 2006.

- Father Fernando Karadima FariƱa, forming many prelates of the Curia Chilena, resigned in 2006.

- Father Alphonsus Maria Duran, founder of Miles Jesu resigned in 2007.

- Father Carlos Miguel Buela-founder of the Institute of the Incarnate Word resigned in 2010.

- Luis Fernando Figari Rodrigo founder resigned Sodality of Christian life in 2011 and his right hand was Mr. German Doig closed the case / beatification process in the same year for similar conduct.

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