Key points for a new church - future through community renewal
Call of the ChurchPeopleConferenz "Communities only work with the people" 10./11. March 2017 in Würzburg
For decades, new pastoral plans and community strategy have been developed over and over again. Always new structural models such as Pastoral Care Units, Pastoral Spaces, etc. were propagated - but all under the premise of leadership by a priest. In view of the current conditions of admission to the priestly ministry and the growing lack of priesthood (58 priestly ordinations in 2015 and 80 in 2016 for the 27 German dioceses), all these paths have entered the impasse.
"We need a rethinking in the pastoral planning," the eleven priests of the Year of Consecration from Cologne write in 1967 in their open letter on the state of the church and the priestly profession. "The previous system has caused the churches to break down before our eyes. Grandparents are in every respect a guaranty: the increasing anonymisation and separation in society are then also encouraged in the church, instead of counteracting it. "
A church, which is not prophetic, builds up barricads for the future itself. To stop the erosion process of ecclesiastical life, a church change urgently needs to be addressed to the message of Jesus from the beginning of the kingdom of God and begins and begins at the level of the church. In the current cultural upheaval, the ChurchPeolpeConference invites all church members to bring the forgotten vision of Jesus of the future of a humanity reconciled in justice alive and to work consistently on a new future of world and society.
|LGBT Catholics Westminster in St. Peter's Square, following the Papal Audience, 1 March 2017||
Mass at Cardinal Vincent's Titular Church, San Alfonso - the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.
With Fr. Keith Pecklers SJ after Mass at Caravita
LGBT Catholics, parents and friends returned home on 5 March 2017 after an inspiring 6 days of pilgrimage to Rome. This 2nd LGBT Catholics Westminster Rome pilgrimage received a warm message from Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster:
I yearn for church
that is not an enclosure for the virtuous,
but more an oasis for the weary and downtrodden;
not an experience of exclusion, discrimination, and elitism,
but more an encounter of radical love, inclusiveness and solidarity;
not with an attitude of we are right and they are wrong,
but more with an attitude of openness to truth
wherever and in whomever it is to be found;
not a bastion of unchangeable doctrine and dogma,
but a source of inspiration and exploration;
not one claiming to have all the answers,
but one challenging us all to live the questions;
not with a leadership of control and clericalism,
but more with a humble service exemplified by Jesus;
not using a language of condemnation,
but more with a language of affirmation and compassion;
not preoccupied with its own maintenance and prestige,
but more with a concern for the People of God,
all of us.
See more reflections on John Chuchman's blog.
PRESS RELEASE 6 March 2017
After more than 3 years in office the efforts by Pope Francis to reform the Roman Catholic Church are stalling. The conservative curia are fighting to retain power and control and are blocking reforms by Pope Francis to make our church more compassionate in the image of Christ. The most powerful dicastry in the Vatican is the Congregation for Doctrine and Faith (CDF) with Cardinal Gerhard Müller at its head. The CDF has now been shown to have:
- Refused the request from the Pontifical Abuse Commission that all letters from survivors should receive a reply
- Refused to allow a tribunal to be set up to investigate and censure bishops regarding covering up sexual abuse
- Refused to change the processes it uses for investigating priests & religious which are unjust and in breach of natural justice
Sigrid Grabmeier, Chair of We Are Church International, said, “The CDF has come to symbolize those aspects of our Church that serve to protect and preserve institutional power, often at the expense of the people of God. Many Catholics see it as perverting rather than exemplifying the Gospel. For the good of our Church, substantive change—a conversion, really—is needed in this important office. And quickly.”
In order to move forward towards a renewed and reformed church We Are Church International call on Pope Francis to replace Cardinal Gerhard Müller with someone who will introduce transparency, justice and compassion in the CDF.
We Are Church International, 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.
It was most gratifying that the chairman of the Protestant Churches in Germany, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, accompanied by the president of the German Catholic bishops' conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, officially visited Pope Francis in Rome together on the occasion of the Reformation Jubilee. The Pope spoke of "an already reconciled diversity." He said he greatly appreciated the spiritual and theological gifts that the Reformation had given us and that he wanted to do everything he could "to overcome the obstacles that still remained."
Already in September 2016, Bishop Bedford-Strohm and Cardinal Marx presented their "Common Word" entitled "Healing Memories — Bearing Witness to Christ." After five centuries of condemning and inflicting wounds upon each other, both the two leading Churches in Germany declared that they intended to celebrate the Reformation anniversary together as a "Feast for Jesus Christ."
A further pivotal point in the commemoration process will be the main Service of Repentance and Reconciliation that the Council of the Protestant Churches and the Catholic bishops' conference will celebrate together at Hildesheim on March 11, 2017.