DECREE OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR THE LAITY:
This new catechetical experience, born in the wake of the renewal inspired by the Second Vatican Council, attracted the keen interest of Archbishop Casimiro Morcillo, then Archbishop of Madrid, who encouraged the initiators of the Way to spread it to the parishes who asked for it. This experience of evangelization thus spread gradually through the Archdiocese of Madrid and to other Spanish dioceses.
The Way - whose itinerary is lived in parishes and in small communities made up of people of different ages and social conditions - has the ultimate goal of gradually bringing the faithful to intimacy with Jesus Christ, making them active subjects of the Church and credible witnesses of the Good News of our Saviour everywhere. The Neocatechumenal Way is also an instrument for the Christian initiation of adults who are preparing themselves to receive Baptism.
At different times and in different ways, the Holy Father has addressed the Neocatechumenal Way in order to stress the abundant fruits of Gospel radicalism and the extraordinary missionary zeal that it brings to the life of the lay faithful, to families, to parish communities, and the wealth of vocations it inspires to the priestly and religious life, proving to be an "itinerary of Catholic formation, valid for our society and our time" (AAS 82  1513-1515).
In the audience granted to the initiators and directors of the Neocatechumenal Way from around the world on 24 January 1997, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 30 years of life of the Way, the Holy Father expressly urged the drafting of the Statutes, "a very important step that will open the way to the formal juridical recognition by the Church, and giving you a further guarantee of the authenticity of your charism" (Address to the Neocatechumenal Way, 25 January 1997, p. 4; ORE, 5 February 1997, p. 9). From that moment, accompanied by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the initiators began the process of elaborating a set of norms that would able to regulate the pratice and integration of the Neocatechumenal Way into the ecclesial framework.
Taking into account the numerous spiritual fruits that the practice of the Neocatechumenal Way - whose existence has been accepted and appreciated in many local Churches for more than 30 years - has contributed to the new evangelization, and which have been reported to the Pontifical Council for the Laity by many letters of recommendation of Cardinals, Patriarchs and Bishops;
After careful examination of the text of the Statutes, the result of a laborious process of collaboration between the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way and the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who made use of the contribution in their areas of specific competence offered by the different departments of the Roman Curia;
Taking note of the request sent to this Council on 5 April 2002, of Mr Francisco (Kiko) Argüello, Ms Carmen Hernández and Fr Mario Pezzi, members of the international leadership team of the Neocatechumenal Way, asking the Council to hasten the approval of the Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way;
Relying on articles 131 and 133, 1 and 2, of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus on the Roman Curia, the Pontifical Council for the Laity
the approval "ad experimentum" for a period of five years of the Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way, as duly authenticated by the Council, of which a copy must be deposited in the archives of the Council. This is done with the confidence that the approved statutes offer firm and secure guidelines for the life of the Way and are an important aid for Pastors in their fatherly and careful accompaniment of the neocatechumenal communities.
Given in the Vatican on 29 June 2002, Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul, Apostles, Patrons of the City of Rome.
James Francis Card. Stafford