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What next after the close of the 2015 Assembly of the Synod of Bishops?

Join with other Reform Groups and individuals in signing letter to Pope Francis

While it is easy for those of us in the reform movement to be impatient with the slowness of the Synod, we must also recognize that Pope Francis did get a 2/3 majority on some pressing issues. The purpose of our letter is to honor the good that come from the Synod, lay out our concerns for what didn't get done, and propose a plan for where to go from here. We invite you to make your voice heard by  joining with other Reform Groups and individuals from around the world to sign this letter to Pope Francis wherein we acknowledge him for his personal involvement in bringing certain behaviors and lifestyles to the table which were formerly condemned as sinful. We support the resolve of the Synod to build a Church of adult Catholics but share with him what still causes us pain:

  • that there was not enough compassionate listening to allow the voices of hurting people to enter the final document, faithful who have left in anger or despair because they were not welcomed at the table of the Lord;
  • that there were insufficient votes to be welcoming of all people into the Church, especially those who live with alternative sexual orientations;
  • that the number of women represented in the Synod reflected their marginalization in the leadership of the church notwithstanding their often extraordinary service in keeping families and local churches alive and fruitful under often daunting circumstances throughout the world, and for many their nurturing of families often in challenging  circumstances;
  • that the Synod, notwithstanding your example in Philadelphia, did not find a place in the closing document to express repentance to the survivors of clerical sex abuse, and to all families damaged and disrupted by this abuse, for the institutional Church's protection of pedophiles and the cover-up of their criminal acts from civil authorities. that the work of the Synod has only now just begun.

We conclude the letter by acknowledging that we recognize the work of the Synod has only just begun. To address our concerns, we find it is urgent that a reform of the governance structures and clerical culture of the Church be undertaken. We further request that all the People of God be invited to participate in what remains to be done. In the coming months and beyond, we ask the Holy Father to encourage Church leaders to promote gatherings of people, pastors and bishops, in their local churches and communities, to dialogue in a spirit of listening and compassionate encounter, about "difficulties and uncertainties which challenge and threaten the family." If you agree with these points, you may sign the letter as an individual or on behalf of your organization or both.