November 13, 2015
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.
Help spread this latest press release we have prepared by sending it to your local media and any other media with whom you may have a personal contact.
Join with us by sending out or emailing this message to your local pastors, bishops, and church leaders
Hope for some kind of reform in our Church has never been more plausible. Francis is not only pushing for it but insisting upon it. We were far from getting everything we wanted from the Synod but Francis did manage to get a 2/3 majority support on a few key issues. The time is now for us in the reform movement to unite together and be proactive. We appreciate your help in using this email as a model and getting this message spread to every part of the world. If you don't get a response the first time you send the email, send it again. Let's carry out Francis's call to "Make a mess, but then also help to tidy it up. A mess which gives us a free heart, a mess which gives us solidarity, a mess which gives us hope."
Share your very personal story on our Blog
More than ever, we invite you to participate in our blog called The People Speak Out, which gives you an opportunity to share your views on the key topics discussed at the Synod and that are clearly still on the table for discussion. This blog will continue through the Jubilee Year and be delivered to Pope Francis and the Bishops. Here you have the opportunity to share your own very personal story of how the Church teachings being discussed at the Synod have shaped your life . . . for better or for worse.
Our blog issues include a variety of topics. If you are divorced and remarried, do you feel cut off from the Sacraments? If you are gay or lesbian, do you feel disenfranchised by the Church? If you are a woman, how have you been treated? Has the Church's teaching restricting artificial contraception had an impact on your life and marriage? If you are living with someone outside of marriage, do you feel welcomed to the Sacraments? If you were a priest and left because you fell in love, how has the obligation for celibacy impacted your life? If you left the Church, share the circumstance that led to your leaving and what, if anything, would it take to bring you back? We ask you to share your very personal story on any of these issues.
Click on the link below now. Pope Francis wants to hear your story and, more importantly, to have the Bishops hear them.
On Behalf of all of us at Catholic Church Reform International,
Rene Reid, Director