November 10, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rene Reid
Work phone: 775-825-9196; Cell phone: 775-772-1210
Catholic Reform Groups join together saying,
“The Synod was a good start, but…”
Catholic Reform groups and individuals have joined together to send an Open Letter to Pope Francis expressing gratitude for the work begun at the Synod on the Family and, in particular, for “your personal involvement in bringing certain behaviors and lifestyles to the table which were formerly condemned as sinful. It helped so many people to feel worthwhile again.”
Catholic reformers express their gratitude to all those bishops around the world who have heeded the call of Pope Francis and opened their hearts and minds to the issues with which families have been grappling. In particular, they express gratitude to:
- German Cardinal Walter Kasper who promoted allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to return to Communion;
- Basilian Father Thomas Rosica for calling for an end to exclusionary language;
- Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher for suggesting that it was time for the Church to seriously consider the ordination of women to the deaconate;
- U.S. Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli for insisting that the issue of the divorced and civilly remarried remain an open issue at the Synod after others tried to close it;
- India’s Cardinal Oswald Gracias for his positive views that give hope to LGBT persons;
- U.S. Archbishop Blasé Cupich for speaking out on behalf of remarried Catholics and the gay community saying that a person's conscience is inviolable;
- German Cardinal Marx for openly promoting communion for the divorced and remarried, saying the Eucharist is "not a prize for the perfect" but nourishment for those who are struggling and seek healing;
- Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge for insisting that the Church must use more inclusive language towards gay people, for proposing a “less negative” reading of reality, and for suggesting that bishops should be “unafraid of the future;”
- the German-speaking small group of bishops for emphasizing the "great pastoral challenge" but also the "great joy" of leading people from non-binding relationships, to cohabiting partners, to couples who have only married in a register office, and finally to those in a valid, sacramental church marriage;"
- U.S. Cardinal Donald Wuerl for suggesting that the Church must “go out to meet people where they are,” not to scold them but to let each person know you know their struggle.
At the same time, reform organizations continue to express their pain over some aspects of the Synod:
So, while we give a resounding “YES!” to the Synod’s resolve to build a church of adult Catholics, we are pained 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; we are pained that there were insufficient votes to be welcoming of all people into the Church, especially those who live with alternative sexual orientations; we are pained that the number of women represented in the Synod reflected their marginalization in the leadership of the church instead of their numbers that fill the pews all over the world, and nurture families often in challenging circumstances; we are particularly pained 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.
Reformers point out that it is time for the Church to recognize that its global governance structures and clerical culture have permitted these atrocities, and it is urgent that a Christ-like reform of these structures and culture be undertaken. These same governance structures and culture are also implicated in the clericalism that has infantilized the faithful and excluded women. “We recognize that acknowledging the rights and responsibilities of the People to have a deliberative voice in the governance of our Church will help bring about the reform of these governance structures and culture, a project which we heartily support.”
In keeping with the mind of the Synod which has promoted an adult Church, reformers also request that all the People of God be invited to participate in what remains to be done. In the coming months and beyond, they urge Pope Francis 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.” They pledge to support these encounters and to urge Church leaders to attend to those in pain and take proactive steps to engage them as fully responsible adults.
To join with these groups and sign the letter to Pope Francis, go to http://www.catholicchurchreform.com/letterNovember2015.html.
Press Release Nov 10, 2015: Catholic Reform Groups join together saying "Pope Francis's Synod was a good start . . . but"
NCR article on CCRI, Feb. 27, 2015: International Church Group enters Synoy fray with "alternative survey"
Press Release Feb 27, 2015: International Church Group enters synod fray with 'alternative' survey
Press Release Feb. 26, 2015: Announcing CCRI Survey to replace unworkable Synod Questionnaire
Press Release Feb. 10, 2015: Synod Questionnaire Designed to Fail
Press Release Feb. 5, 2015: It's Time for the Church to Accept Married Clergy.
Media Reports on presence of Reform Movement in Rome
Church Reform Group backs U.S. request for married priests dialogue, NCR, Brian Roewe, February 5, 2015
Suggestions for updating Catholic Thinking on Listening to the Sensus Fidelium, Catholica, Brian Coyne, Australia, October 8, 2014
Where is the Democracy at the Synod on the Family, NPR, Maureen Fiedler, October 6, 2014
As CCRI raises our banner asking for Families to have a vote in Family Synods, we are surrounded by the gendarmes. Future Church, October 5, 2015
International Press Conference held by Reformers, Future Church, October 4, 2014
CCRI invites all Reformers to share their hopes for the Synod, Future Church, Oct. 3, 2014
Reformers to Pope Francis: Don't wait for the Bishops, Boston Globe - Crux, October 3, 2014
Reform Group in Rome calls for Family Input in Synod, NCR, Josh McElewee, October 2, 2014
Catholic Church Reform's Alternate Gathering highlights lay vocation, NCR, Joan Chittister, Oct, 2, 2014
Synod on the Family: the new battleground for the future of Catholicism?, Catholica, Brian Coyne, Sept. 29, 2014
Invited or Not, Here They Come, NCR, Joan Chittister, July 3, 2014
Report on Press Conferences held worldwide
On September 25, 2013 press conferences were held worldwide to announce the joint effort of 100 Church Organizations who had come together to address Pope Francis and his advisors on needed reforms in our Church and to urge them to acknowledge the rights and responsibilities of baptized Catholics to have a say in matters of concern for the good of the Church
COR Press release 09-30-14 COR sending the voices of the people to the Synod.
Press Release 09-09-14 announcing CCRI's plan to hold Forum in Rome during Upcoming Synod on the Family
Press Release 06-23-14 expressing CCRI's dismay at the just released Instrumentum Laboris
Press Release 06-13-14 requesting a more amicable resolution for the excommunication of Martha and Gert Heizer in llight of the fact that no priest found guilty of sex abuse has been excommunicated.
Press Release 02-28-14 supporting the Vatican's considering appointing a married couple to the Pontifical Council for the laity and upgrading this council to the status of a Congregation.
Press Release 02-17-14 questioning the Pope's appointment of mostly clerics to the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
Press Release 10-22-13 expressing our appreciation that our proposed topic of acknowledging the role and responsibilities of the laity was discussed at his recent meeting with the eight Cardinals.
If you are in translation mode, this is a Google translation.
Press Release10-22-13 formally translated in Hungarian
Liberal Catholics urge Pope Francis for reforms as consultations start GMA News, Sept. 26, 2013
Reform Groups Write to Pope The Tablet, Sept. 25, 2013
Reform Groups Appeal to Pope Francis The Tablet, Sept. 28, 2013
Catholic reform groups demand greater say
Katholische Reformgruppen fordern mehr Mitspracherecht Fuldaer Zeitung.de Sept 25, 2013
More Dialogue Instead of Dictates Sept. 26, 2013
Mehr Dialog statt Diktat DPA (most important News Agency in Germany)
“Reform Group" sends letter to Pope asking for more participation Sept. 25, 2013
"Reformgruppen" dringen in Schreiben an Papst auf mehr Teilhabe KNA (official Catholic News Agency, Germany
Catholic reform groups are calling on Pope Francis to have a voice in the Church Sept. 25, 2013
Katholische Reformgruppen fordern Mitspracherecht von Papst Franziskus OsthessenNews.de
Bishops continue to argue about the publishing company's future Sept. 26, 2013
Bischöfe streiten weiter über Zukunft des Unternehmens, Sueddeutsche Zeitung (very important daily newspaper)
Faith without Submission Sept. 26, 2013
Glauben ohne Unterwerfung! Die Zeit (very important weekly newspaper)
Public radio station (one of 7 interviews done on public radio stations)
In Appeal to Pope reform groups call for more say Sept. 26, 2013
Appell an Papst: Reformgruppen fordern mehr Mitsprache religion.ORG.at
Katholische Gruppierungen weltweit fordern mehr Mitsprache kathweb
“Reform Group" sends letter to Pope asking for more participation Sept. 26, 2013
"Reformgruppen" dringen in Schreiben an Papst auf mehr Teilhabe Kipa
Catholic Reform Groups join together Sept. 25, 2013
Katholische Reformgruppen weltweit zur Kurienrefom
(website of the Roman Catholic Church in Switzerland)
Catholic Organizations ask Pope for a hearing to discuss reforms Sept. 25, 2013
Organizaciones de católicos piden una audiencia al papa para debatir reformas
100 Catholic reform movements send letter to Pope Oct. 2,2013
Irish join global Catholics urging Church reform Oct. 1, 2013
Catholic Bishops urge Pope to reconsider future direction of the church
Geoffrey Robinson and Bill Morris, join Tim Cox in the studio of 612 ABC in Brisbane Sept. 27 2013
The Catholic Church is no stranger to controversy, especially when it comes to claims of sexual abuse and fiscal corruption. Now, three Catholic Bishops are joining with 100 church organisations, calling on Pope Francis to acknowledge the rights of Catholics when it comes to making decisions on these issues within their church. Listen to the interview