Catholic Church Reform Int'l - a Global
Network of more than a hundred reform groups and individuals from 65
countries. If you would like to collaborate with us to continue on the path set
by Vatican II, you have come to the right place. Welcome!
If there is to be any reform of any kind in the Catholic Church, it must
begin with the people having a
The need has never been greater than it is at this moment in time for the
People of God to unite our
voices so as to be strong enough to be heard in our Church. Our special
advisor, Sr. Joan Chittister, reminds us: "Until we raise a common voice we will
not only not be heard, we will not even be listened to in the light of larger
issues and larger groups, all clamoring for attention."
See the worldwide
organizations who have joined together to speak out to Pope Francis
about the reform of our Church.
Alone, the pope cannot change the world. A pope for the people must have a
people for the pope. This initiative gives us a means of being with Pope
Join with other Reform Groups and individuals in signing letter to Pope Francis
While it is easy for those of us in the reform movement to be impatient with the slowness of the Synod, we must also recognize that Pope Francis did get a 2/3 majority on some pressing issues. The purpose of our letter is to honor the good that come from the Synod, lay out our concerns for what didn't get done, and propose a plan for where to go from here. We invite you to make your voice heard by joining with other Reform Groups and individuals from around the world to sign this letter to Pope Francis wherein we acknowledge him for his personal involvement in bringing certain behaviors and lifestyles to the table which were formerly condemned as sinful. We support the resolve of the Synod to build a Church of adult Catholics but share with him what still causes us pain:
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;
that there were insufficient votes to be welcoming of all people into the Church, especially those who live with alternative sexual orientations;
that the number of women represented in the Synod reflected their marginalization in the leadership of the church notwithstanding their often extraordinary service in keeping families and local churches alive and fruitful under often daunting circumstances throughout the world, and for many their nurturing of families often in challenging circumstances;
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. that the work of the Synod has only now just begun.
We conclude the letter by acknowledging that we recognize the work of the Synod has only just begun. To address our concerns, we find it is urgent that a reform of the governance structures and clerical culture of the Church be undertaken. We further request that all the People of God be invited to participate in what remains to be done. In the coming months and beyond, we ask the Holy Father 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." If you agree with these points, you may sign the letteras an individual or on behalf of your organization or both.
Help spread thislatest press release we have prepared by sending it to your local media and any other media with whom you may have a personal contact.
Join with us by sending out or emailing a message to your local pastors, bishops, and church leaders
Hope for some kind of reform in our Church has never been more plausible. Francis is not only pushing for it but insisting upon it. We were far from getting everything we wanted from the Synod but Francis did manage to get a 2/3 majority support on a few key issues. The time is now for us in the reform movement to unite together and be proactive. We are not content to wait to be invited to a local gathering by our churh leaders. We are initiating these meeting and invited church leaders to join with us. We appreciate your help in usingthis email as a model and getting this message spread to every part of the world. If you don't get a response the first time you send the email, send it again. Let's carry out Francis's call to "Make a mess, but then also help to tidy it up. A mess which gives us a free heart, a mess which gives us solidarity, a mess which gives us hope."
"...Until we raise a common voice, we will not only not be heard, we will not even be listened to....My hope is that by speaking out together - a strong chorus of calls for reform - we can provide a common, a clear, a strong and ongoing voice for the yet incomplete vision of Vatican II." Sr. Joan Chittister, CCRI Special advisor
"We have to join our forces in order to reach a real breakthrough in this window of opportunity." Hans Kung, CCRI Consultor
As the 2015 Synod is in session, let us band together across the world. By our desire to be heard on particular issues - all of them important - let us not lose the strength of our common voice by reducing it to a whisper.
"When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion." [Ethiopian proverb]
"Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable." [Kenyan proverb]
"(The Christian faithful) have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful." (Canon 212 §3)
In light of this, we invite individuals and organizations tojoin together in making known our opinions for the good of our Church. By uniting our voices, it is not about abandoning the unique work of your organization but rather about how your work can enhance global reform. CCRI is also interested in helping support various causes in regions of the world by garnering the support of our entire global community for those who need support beyond their parish, organization, or locale. Send us (1) your name and affiliation, or (2) the name of your group with some description of your goals, membership, and numbers. Click here to see those organizations who have already joined together speaking out for reform of our Church.
You will gain an insight into the pope's vision of the Church and how he sees his role by reading his pre-conclave comments to the Cardinals the evening prior to his election in 2012. These comments may guide all reform organizations toward a more effective action plan.The pope is not going to dictate changes from the top down. He has made it clear that he wants his bishops to bring proposals to him. Individually, to solve current problems, each one of us must take on the role of addressing our local bishops to get them to ask the pope for what the people feel is needed in their locale. For example, it is likely that one bishop somewhere in the world will ask to allow for the acceptance of married priests or the appointment of a community leader because he has no other alternative to make the Eucharist available to the people. And, when this is asked, it most likely will be granted. That is how we envision Pandora’s box will be opened - on a local level one region at a time. We encourage you to take this duty seriously. Make your wants known to your local bishops. Click here, to find the name of the delegates and attendees to the 2015 Family Synod.
The People Speak
Our Jubilee Year of Mercy Paper, called The People Speak, gives an "ineffective" and sometimes "very ineffective" rating on the Church hierarchy and the effects of their teachings on families today. Please join with us in getting this paper out which summarizes the results of our surveys and regional gatherings over the past two years on critical topics including Divorce and Remarriage, Catholics leaving the Church, LGBT, Use of Contraceptives, Role of Women, Cohabitation, Priestly Celibacy, and more. Recognizing that many bishops will not take the time to read our full report, we have a 2-page summary also available. We encourge you to send both out to your people.
Given that the above universal position may not fit for every region of the world, you may present this survey data adding your own and conclusion to suit the needs of your region. The objective of this paper is to give our support to Pope Francis and his Jubilee Year of Mercy which officially begins this December. But before then, and prior to the opening of the 2015 Synod in early October, it is especially important for everyone to assist in getting this paper out to the policy decision-makers for our Church.
We invite you to participate in our blog called The People Speak Out, where we invite you to share your own very personal story of how Church teachings have shaped your life . . . for better or for worse. Why stories? Because stories, whether you like it or not, crawl inside you more than facts, figures, papal bulls, or dogmas. Stories are the way that Jesus touched (and changed) people. We believe that stories, even more than summary reports and logical arguments, will put truth in front of the bishops and challenge them to seek new ways to address the very real issues facing individuals and families today.
The discussion topics in the blog - include not only the critical issues named above in our Jubilee paper but also - invlte Catholics who've left the Church (what is likely the largest denomination in the world) to tell us what issue or event led to their leaving and what it would take to bring them back. We encourage you to state your real name but, if your story is too personal or could hurt someone else, you may post your story anonymously. This may be painful but may not only help heal you but also help Bishops to make the right decision to So go now to post your story or that of someone you know personally, add a comment to someone else's story, and/or post the links below on your website:
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. See our strategy plans outlined through October 2015.
We can't leave the reform of the Church up to the all male hierarchy. Pope Francis has asked to hear from us.
Join our blog discussion and share your personal experiences of how church teachings have impacted your lives- for better or for worse. How has the church helped you in your lives and how, if at all, how church teachings caused you pain?
Share the full report of our Jubilee paper,The People Speak, and our 2-page Summary with your bishop, pastor, clergy - anyone who may have an influence with the bishops who will be voting at the Synod. Click here, to find the name of the delegates and attendees to the 2015 Family Synod.
Forum on the Family:
Listening to the Faithful
To learn about our
CCRI Gathering in Rome in 2014, click here.