This is exactly how Sandro Magister exposed the whole story. Read what he wrote in a follow-up article a year later:
For example, the Neocatechumenals receive communion seated, around an altar that is shaped and decorated like a large, square dinner table. They divide and consume a large unleavened loaf, made with two-thirds white flour and one-third whole wheat flour, which is prepared and baked for a quarter of an hour, all according to detailed rules established by Kiko. They drink the wine from cups that are passed from hand to hand, always in a seated position.
But the pope wants them to “pass to the normal way in which the entire Church receives Holy Communion,” within no more than two years’ time. The details of this request and others are set forth in a letter dated December 1, 2005, written in the name of the pope to the heads of the Way by cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Vatican congregation for the liturgy: a letter made public by www.chiesa.
And so, in their reply to Benedict XVI, Kiko, Carmen, and Father Pezzi stated that they were willing to “follow in every way, with great respect and obedience, the rubrics of the Roman Missal.” They promised that they will make arrangements with the bishop of each diocese for their own members to participate in the Sunday Mass together with the rest of the faithful “at least one Sunday a month.” But on the crucial point of communion, they make it clear that they want to keep going their own way.
They stop, in fact, at thanking the pope for granting them two more years. And then they return to defending their manner of distributing communion. They give as the model for this the “eschatological banquet” at which Christ has the disciples “sit down,” as written in Luke 12:37: “He will have them recline at table, and will come to wait on them.” Furthermore, they emphasize that giving communion “in this way” is an essential instrument for converting those who are far removed from the Church, and that abandoning it would compromise their mission.
Here is the letter that the Neocatechumenal Way sent to the Holy Father:
Porto San Giorgio, January 17, 2006
The love of God the Father, the holy humility of Christ, and the consolation of the Holy Spirit be with You.
We would like to thank You from the bottom of our hearts for the Audience You granted to us, with the sending forth of 200 families, and for Your words, in which You emphasized “the importance… of the Holy Mass in evangelization” and that – as “your long experience can well attest” – “the centrality of the mystery of Christ celebrated in the liturgical rites is a privileged and indispensable way to build living and persevering Christian communities.”
After the Audience, all of the 700 itinerant catechists from all the nations met together, and we are very content with the “norms” that Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, imparted to us in Your name. In this regard, we wish to express our gratitude to You, to Cardinal Arinze, and to the Congregation for what is written in the letter.
We renewed together our willingness to follow in everything, with great respect and obedience, the rubrics of the Roman Missal (Gloria, Credo, Lavabo, Orate fratres, Agnus Dei…).
With respect to the first point of the letter (“at least one Sunday per month, the Communities of the Neocatechumenal Way must participate in the Holy Mass of the parish community), each team of itinerant catechists will speak with the Bishop of each Diocese in order to arrange this participation, paying particular attention to the least brethren and those farthest away.
We also wish to thank you for the benevolence, mercy, and goodness You have shown to those farthest away in allowing the moving of the sign of peace and in granting a period of two years for the adaptation of the manner of distributing the Communion of the Body and the Blood of the Lord: we have always shown to the many brothers who have emerged from hell, full of wounds and of self-loathing, that in the Holy Eucharist the Lord makes present his love, dying and rising for them; and not only that, but prepares a table, an eschatological banquet, which makes Heaven present and where He himself, full of love, has them sit down and comes to serve them: “He will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them” (Lk 12:37).
In this way, every time we celebrate the Eucharist we experience the power this sacrament has to draw them into the Passover of Christ, bringing them from sadness to joy, from darkness to light, from death to life…
The Lord is preparing a people to evangelize the pagans. There are millions of people today who do not know Christ. The reality is that the Lord is calling us to evangelize as Christian communities that make the life of heaven present in our midst.
Thank You, Your Holiness! Together with the Cardinals and the many Bishops who have supported us, and above all in the name of the many who were far away and today bless Christ, we thank You with our whole heart.
Asking for Your Apostolic Blessing,
Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernández, Fr. Mario Pezzi
And, I thought that the spin doctors were exclusive to both the Texas Legislature and the US Congress. With all due respect, what the movement wrote and what Cardinal Arinze wrote are two entirely different statements.