Pope Francis acknowledged and affirmed the position of all the baptized in our Church when he raised this question to the bishops in South America: "As pastors, bishops, and priests, are we conscious and convinced of the mission of the lay faithful and do we give them the freedom to continue discerning, in a way befitting their growth as disciples, the mission which the Lord has entrusted to them?" The time has come for all Catholics to assume their co-responsible role by taking tangible steps "to manifest their views on matters which concern the good of the Church” (Canon 212 #3). We, the People of God, need not wait for some other well organized group or some appointed leader to take action steps toward reform of our beloved Church. When we see wrong, it is our right and indeed our duty as baptized Catholics to speak up.
First and most Urgent Action Step:
Pope Francis wants to hear from you. He is eager to know you and your family. Take this Survey now. It is an opportunity to share the challenges of your family life with him and how effective the Church's pastoral care has been for you. Hurry as deadline is mid-March 2015.
As we spend this year preparing for the 2015 Ordinary Synod, CCRI strives to reform our Church from an exclusive club made up of members who keep all the rules to an inclusive community where all are welcomed. Like Pope Francis, our vision is a Church more like a field hospital: nursing the wounded, welcoming the forsaken, showing compassion to those hurting, and fogiving those who have made mistakes along the way.
Second Action Step Needed a.s.a.p.:
We can't leave the reform of the Church up to bishops alone. Pope Francis needs to hear from us. Support him by making your voice heard at the Synod. In addition to taking our survey, you may also want to hold a listening session with your friends or in you parish. Click here for all you need.
Follow up Action Step:
The Questionnaire released by the Synod is failing. In fact, we fear that it was designed to fail. As a worldwide network, our greatest concern is that the Lineamenta Questionnaire released by the Vatican Secretariat is not accomplishing the wishes of Pope Francis. He directed the Synod Fathers "to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront.” (Pope Francis, Concluding Discourse, 18 October 2014). But once one begins to read the 46 questions (actually 94) that all require essay-type responses, it becomes evident that the questionnaire is unworkable. We at CCRI feel this questionnaire is doomed to fail. In fact, we suspect it was designed to fail. We have also been monitoring diocesan websites around the world and we are hardpressed to find many bishops using the Vatican Questionnaire. It is so overwhelming and complex that it would appear even most bishops reallize its uselessness and find themselves stymied how to go about gathering the feedback of their people. Consequently, we have written an Open Letter to Pope Francisand invite you to go there now to join us in signing.
Last Action Step: Send a letter to your Apostolic Nuncio. CCRI has sent a letter to the U.S. Nuncio asking him to notify Pope Francis of our concerns. We have drafted a model letter to Nuncios all over the world for your convenience. We encourage you to send this letter adding your own unique concerns pertinent to your country. You can go here now to find the email address of each Apostolic Nucnio worldwide.