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To all Catholic Women,
Catholic Women Speak and Voices of Faith have collaborated to write an open letter to Pope Francis appealing for greater participation of and dialogue with women in the worldwide Church. They have asked for our support of this effort to open a meaningful dialogue with women in the church so that women can have a more "decisive" presence in the universal Church. Please read the letter and, if you agree, you are invited to sign the letter and, in turn, circulate it to your networks.
As you will see, the letter is supportive of Pope Francis and seeks to open up a dialogue. The creators of this website believe it is important to express our concerns about the language used to describe women, and this letter strives to do so gently - not to provoke a confrontation
Here is the link to the website with the letter and the signature form: We are grateful in advance for your support.
May 17, 2018.
[ Italian ]
Leaders of We Are Church International today expressed serious concerns about the expansion of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life to include deepened reflection on the role of women. The broadening of the mission, headed by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, is the result of new statutes issued by Pope Francis that took effect May 13, 2018.
Colm Holmes of Dublin, Ireland, Chairperson of We Are Church International, said, “It is certainly critically important that the Vatican reflect and take action on the oppression women experience in our Church and in most cultures. However, putting this responsibility under the direction of the very man who recently banned at least two equality-minded women from speaking at the Vatican raises doubt that real progress will be possible. In addition, couching the consideration of women’s roles in the traditional Vatican language of ‘the relationship between men and women in their respective specificity, reciprocity, complementarity and equal dignity’ and ‘feminine genius’ indicates a tenacious commitment to the very beliefs that put women in a second class status.”
Holmes continued, “We Are Church International calls on Pope Francis to establish a Dicastery for Women’s Equality. As former Irish President Mary McAleese pointed out in her remarkable address on International Women’s Day earlier this year, the Catholic Church needs to stop spreading the virus of misogyny and inequality throughout the world. A separate dicastery with a clear mission of dismantling the structures of oppression that result from Church teachings and practices is a necessary first step. We believe this Dicastery should be led by a team of directors, women and men, who can work collaboratively, modeling a new form of ministry and leadership at the Vatican. Their first mission should be to travel around the world, listening to women about their lives, their faith, and their relationship with the Church with no closed doors. What they learn should inform the Dicastery’s ongoing work of discerning the work of the Spirit.”
We Are Church International has long stood for women’s equality in the Church, including opening ministry and decision-making roles to women. The group supports all efforts that help advance this goal but sees the current direction as ineffective and problematic.
We Are Church International (WAC-I) founded in Rome in 1996, is a global coalition of national church reform groups. It is committed to the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church based on the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological spirit developed from it.
March 28, 2018
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, U.S.A. have begun a global revolution.
Pictured is just the gathering in Washington D.C. alone. There were "March for our Lives" rallies in 800 cities around the world from London to Berlin to Sydney. Young people are behaving like adults and too many adults are behaving like children. Martin Luther King's nine-year-old granddaughter led the crowd in cheering : "I have a dream: enough is enough!"
In the wake of this global movement, and coming on the heels of a meeting of 300 young people from various religions and cultural backgrounds who met with the pope, in his Palm Sunday message in St. Peter's Square, Francis urged young people to keep shouting and not allow the older generations to silence their voices or anesthetize their idealism.
This summary of the pre-synod meeting with young people was written by a team based on the input of all the participants from 20 different language groups and 6 from social media. They told the Vatican that they want a more transparent and authentic church. Their message will be delivered to the Bishops who gather for the Synod on Youth scheduled to be held in October later this year.
So much of our Christian social justice values overlap with our political values today. Young people are standing up and speaking out. All of us need to listen to these vibrant and deeply committed voices and give them a platform to join all people of goodwill towards building a more just and caring society. The future of our families, our communities, our nations, and our world depends on all of us. Together we must change the way we govern ourselves. Together we can bring peace to our war-torn world. Together we can create a Church that is truly open, inclusive, and welcoming to all. We join with Pope Francis in asking you, young people, to inspire us saying: ""It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?"
We invite you to "cry out" and make your voices heard on our Facebook page . Go there now and let tell us what is on your mind.
We acknowledge that our organization is mostly comprised of older members of the Catholic community. But we assure you, our younger sisters and brothers, that we want to hear your voices. Please share with us your thoughts, your perspectives, your ideas and your aspirations for our Church and our world.
Catholic Church Reform Int'l joins with We Are Church International (WAC-I) and the European Network Church on the Move (EN-RE) as we all gather at their joint conference in Rome to offer congratulations to Professor Hans Küng on his 90th birthday.
In 1962, we were pleased when he was appointed by Pope John XXIII to be a theological advisor to members of the Second Vatican Council. We recall, in the late '60s, his becoming the first major Roman Catholic theologian since the late 19th century Old Catholic Church schism to publicly reject the doctrine of papal infallibility, in particular in his book Infallible? An Inquiry (1971). We remember with sadness in 1979 when he was stripped of his "missio canonica," his license to teach as a Roman Catholic theologian. He carried on teaching as a tenured professor of ecumenical theology at the University of Tübingen until his retirement in 1996. Author of numerous books, including Can We Save the Catholic Church (2014), he addressed, so simply yet eloquently, the challenges that Catholics face in today's world.
We shared his joy when, in March of 2016, Hans Küng received a personal letter from Pope Francis addressing him "Lieber Mitbruder" (Dear Brother in German) and responding to his request for a free and open dialogue on the dogma of infallibility. Shortly afterwards, we sent a letter to Pope Francis requesting "that we do not wait until years after his death to reinstate him, as was the case with Galileo, Teilhard de Chardin, and other distinguished Fathers of the past." We asked then and we again ask now: "Pope Francis, we earnestly and respectfully urge you to reinstate him now." Fr. Küng has been one of the great inspirations to Catholics and reform movements worldwide. He has served as one of our consultors since our founding in 2013. If he has been a voice of hope and encouragement for you as well, we invite you to join with us and so many others in signing this letter now.
Grateful for your continued support,
Rene Reid, CCRI director
W hear catholic voices from across the globe speaking on women and leadership in the Catholic Church.