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People in reform organizations from North America, India, Africa, Europe and Oceana have responded with care to what Pope Francis is saying about women's ordination. Along with Pope Francis, reformers recognize that in the current teaching of the Church, the Magisterium is without authority to ordain women. This teaching, as expressed by Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter of 1994, is an impediment to full removal of gender discrimination from priestly ministry. For many faithful conservatives, current teaching is part of the deposit of faith. As reformers see it, Francis has a fiduciary responsibility for a worldwide Church, and this responsibility includes consideration of these members of the faithful as well as consideration of those who see gender discrimination in priestly ministry as contrary to the whole of Christ's teaching.
When asked if he saw the ordination of women as something that would "never, ever" happen, Francis said that John Paul's apostolic letter "goes in that direction." This is consistent with the obligation upon a fiduciary to preserve continuity over the course of a history which continues to respond to the Spirit of Christ. Reformers see his words as still another in a long series of invitations for the "grassroots" to follow through on their heritage as full members of the People of God, serving as a channel for the Church to listen more closely to the voice of the Spirit. Reformers note that the Biblical Commission appointed in 1976 by Pope Paul VI found nothing in the New Testament which prohibits the ordination of women, a conclusion which leaves the question of women's ordination open for further reflection.
Statement from the National Consultation at Montfort Social Institute, Hyderabad,
23rd – 26th September, 2016.
We bring only our determination to serve and our willingness to be free. We will not hesitate to leave our old ways behind: we fear, silence and submission.
Only surrender is to the need of the time: to do justice and walk humbly with God.
Though we set out in the dark.
We are confident that God will be present with us in fire and in the cloud to encourage us.
(Alla Renee Bozarth)
Down the ages men have been perceived to be the sole recipients and transmitters of divine messages. Women on the other hand, have been socialized by patriarchal religious structures and practices to passively accept religious teachings as interpreted by men. These andocentric and patriarchal interpretations have defined and shaped the social and cultural contexts of Indian women resulting in their disempowerment and second class status. Recognizing the influence of religion and culture on Indian women’s lives, Streevani took the initiative to organize a National Consultation on the theme “Impact of Religion and Culture on Women’s Empowerment – An Indian Perspective” from 23rd to 26th September, 2016 at Hyderabad. The Montfort Social Institute hosted the meeting and were also co-organizers together with the Indian Christian Women’s Movement, The Indian Women Theologians Forum, and Satyashodak. 50 people, religious women and men, lay women and one diocesan priest were present.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis at the end of his Angelus on Sunday announced the creation of 17 new Cardinals. A consistory will be held on the 19 of November, the eve of the closing of the Jubilee of Mercy.
13 of the new Cardinals will be under 80 years and will be eligible to vote in a conclave.
The Holy Father said that those chosen come from five continents. They include three American Archbishops and Archbishops from Mauritius and Bangladesh. Read more
CCRI Director Rene Reid said, "This is wonderful news for the reform movement. The U.S. appointees are all progressive. I hope the same is true for those appointed in the rest of the world. This gives us hope that, when Francis retires, the next pope will continue his vision of mercy and may even be more open."
1 September 2016
Contact: Rene Reid
Work phone: 775-825-9196; Cell phone: 775-772-1210
Catholic Church Reform Int'l urges newly appointed Bishop Kevin Farrell to welcome and support lay-led initiatives as he launches the Dicastery for the Laity today.
While acknowledging disappointment that a lay person, a family man or woman, was not assigned to head the department for the laity, family and life, through an Open Letter, Catholic Church Reform Int'l congratulates the recently appointed head, Bishop Kevin Farrell, for having long pushed for a greater involvement of the laity in the life of the church. The Reform Group asks specifically for these actions to be part of the new department:
"Pope Francis continues to call for the laity to 'play a major role in the life and mission of the church,'" says CCRI director, Rene Reid. "He seems to recognize that the reform needed will not come without the people speaking up and assuming some leadership. With this new department being launched today, we fully expect lay-led initiatives to be welcomed and supported." A case in point: In 1968 South American bishops held a conference in Meddellin Columbia where the principles of the Second Vatican Council were emphasized. Now 50 years later in 2018, a group of lay-led Catholics calling themselves Council 50 are calling for a People's Synod to be held in Brazil to carry on the work still left undone by the Vatican Council. "We've had two recent synods attended primarily by bishops. The time is right to call a People's Synod and we hope to see this new dicastery support us in our efforts," says Ed Schreurs, a member of both CCRI and Council 50. The group is currently in process of collecting an opinion poll and calling local dialogue meetings for the purpose of producing statements that will be placed on the agenda of the 2018 Synod. Agreeing with the critical importance of calling local gatherings where the people can share their opinions with one another, Catholic Church Reform Int'l is currently encouraging these small local gatherings in communities in various cities around the world. All are welcomed to participate and let their voice be heard.
Dear Bishop Farrell:
Congratulations on your appointment as the head of the newly established department for the Laity, Family and Life. We are pleased to see the implementation of this office so soon after the publication of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.
Admittedly, at first some of us were disappointed that a lay person, a family man or woman, was not assigned to head the department for the laity, family and life. However, as we learn more about you, it appears that, if a bishop must be placed in this role, that you an excellent choice. We are most gratified to know that you share Pope Francis pastoral vision for the church and have long pushed for a greater involvement of the laity in the life of the church. In setting out a description of the role of this new department, the Vatican reports that the dicastery will “have responsibility for lay associations and movements in the church.” With this understanding, we urge you to seriously consider the following: