October 27, 2017
Calling on all who support Pope Francis:
Silence implies Consent - We must Speak Up!
"Alone, the Pope cannot change the world. A Pope for the People needs a People for the Pope." Gaston Roberge, S.J., India
Pope Francis is under attack by the right-winged conservative minority within our Church. Admittedly some of us are not happy with the speed of reform nor has our Holy Father adequately addressed the issues of clerical sexual abuse or the role of women. Nevertheless, he doesn't deserve to be accused of heresy. In Germany, several bishops, theologians, philosophers, spiritual leaders, and academicians have penned a letter to Pope Francis. If you wish to join in expressing to him "our gratitude for your courageous and theologically sound papal leadership," we invite you to go now to www.WeSupportPopeFrancis.net and at the top left click Pro Pope Francis link to add your signature to the German letter. While there, we also invite you to join a movement begun in Spain to "support the Pope and his reforms in search of a more evangelical Church" by clicking the Pro Pope Francis banner on the top right link to add your signature "to support him and follow him through the ecclesiastical 'updating' path."
All are invited to create an account on www.WeSupportPopeFrancis.net to share your comments on the website. We welcome your views, favorite quotes, and articles that particularly speak to you. Please share other sites which discuss Pope Francis's teaching in a constructive way. Positive criticism is also welcomed.
You are invited to join the Facebook group and follow these postings on Twitter. Go to www.WeSupportPopeFrancis.net and click on the icons in the top righthand corner to be taken to the pages.
Pope Francis: Embodying the Human Touch of the Spirit
"Without doubt, in Francis we have a Pope who through his freeing leadership witnesses to the world a new and different way of being Church today. His attempts to give a more human face to the Church in a way that makes the heart of God more tangible, may be disconcerting to many. Yet, the Spirit blows where it wills, and it is undeniable that in the person of Pope Francis, the world encounters the human touch of the Spirit." So says Dr. Kochurani Abraham, a feminist theologian, who left a congregation of women religious to lead an independent religious life in her home state of Kerala, southern India. The 57-year-old scholar has a doctorate in feminist theology from the University of Madras in southern India. She completed her bachelor's degree in theology from St. Pius College in Mumbai, western India, and licentiate in systematic theology from Comillas University in Madrid. Click here to read her full article.
Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther's Reformation
We Are Church Int'l (WACI) is inviting us to join in organizing vigils outside our local cathedrals and churches this Sunday the 29th of October 2017. It is an opportunity to stand up for the needed reforms in our Church. What Luther began 500 years on October 31, 1517, we can continue to move forward today. WACI would love to have photos from every continent in the world sent to them.
Document based on Sound Theology
- LGBT Catholics
- role of women
- divorce and remarriage
- husband and wife relations
- being an inclusive church.
- the environment
- world economy
- young adults
Please let us know of any additional topics that you'd like to see addressed.
Spread the Word
Please pass this newsletter onto your friends and family and post on your social media pages. The more grassroots support the bishops see for Pope Francis's style of leadership, the more likely we are to bring about reform and the more likely that the next Conclave will elect someone of similar outlook.
October 8, 2017
To all who support Pope Francis:
Opposition to Pope Francis encourages support to flourish
A small minority of Catholics are voicing their disquiet, opposition - even to Pope Francis’s emphasis on mercy and God’s love for all. You may have read the recent NCR article about a lengthy document accusing Pope Francis of heresy in his Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. Most Catholics would applaud the Papal stance that the Eucharist is not a reward for the perfect but healing for the needy.
A group of reformers from across the world met in cyberspace a week or so ago to explore how support for Pope Francis might be demonstrated. One idea was to counter the claims of his opposition - not by way of responding to the accusers - but with a solid, theologically-based document or an open letter to Pope Francis. The group also supported our Webmaster’s idea of launching a new website: www.WeSupportPopeFrancis.net. She explains it thus:
I expect you have heard about the importance of ordinary people in the Church showing support for Pope Francis’s leadership and teaching. Silence only allows misinformation to fester and the papal desire for us to follow Micah: 6:8 to be suppressed.
We could spend a lot of time moaning and grumbling about the tiny minority who don't like Pope Francis's leadership and will try to demolish him at every opportunity. Rather than be reactive, we need to be proactive in his support. Admittedly some of us are not happy with the speed of reform and change in the institution but others would say that a considered, slow and steady pace is probably the best way to proceed. The aim of reform, after all, is to have all the people of God on side and not to exclude anyone.
A website that I envisage is not created in a day. It is still embryonic but hopefully, with your help and input, it will grow and show what the true Catholic Christian tradition is all about.
- There are already links and quotes to the major documents which Pope Francis has written. The website needs more. As you read the documents, do send me quotes which particularly speak to you.
- I need positive and stimulating articles to encourage reflection and response.
- Are you a theologian, catechist, group leader, pastor? Your insights, expertise, and pastoral experience will be very welcome.
- I am also seeking comment and input from ordinary Catholics like myself. There is an opportunity to comment on the articles which are already on the website.
- It would also be good to hear from friends in other Christian Churches and indeed in other religions - or of no persuasion at all.
My plan is also to link to other sites and groups who are actively engaged in supporting Pope Francis:
- We are in contact with Religión Digital who are creating a similar website for the Hispanic world. They are gathering signatures in support of our Pope and have collected 10,500 in just a few days. No point in duplicating processes: please go there and add your signature. (The information is in English as well as Spanish.)
- Do let me know about other sites which discuss Pope Francis’s teaching in a constructive way. Positive criticism is all to the good, too.
- News about communities which are implementing his words will be warmly welcome.
The meeting of reformers threw up all sorts of ideas. Time and energy permitting, we can explore them all.
You are invited to join the Facebook group and follow us on Twitter. Go to www.WeSupportPopeFrancis.net, and click on the icons in the top right-hand corner to be taken to the pages.
Please tell your friends and family about the website and social media pages. The more grassroots support the bishops see for Pope Francis's style of leadership, the more likely it is that the next Conclave will elect someone of similar outlook.
Meanwhile please pray for the success of the website and social media platforms.
Finally, if God moves you to offer your time and talent to work on the website, please let me know - wherever you are in the world.
If we like Pope Francis’ leadership we need to speak out!
We recognize that Pope Francis has not moved fully in the direction some of us would like - especially as it relates to the advancement of women in the church or his response to clergy sex abuse. Nonetheless, we support the overall direction in which the Holy Father is taking us. As soon as the document is drafted, we will post it and invite you to sign it.
In the meantime, if you would like to log in, have articles to contribute or comments to add to the new website, www.WeSupportPopeFrancis.net, please go there now.
We are delighted by the many people who take time to send short reponses, generally of appreciation, for our newsletters. The Directors and Strategy Team take note of all they say.
From time to time there is a longer response which the CCRI leadership would like to share more widely..