Base movements from all continents support Pope Francis’ call for substantial reforms in the Roman-Catholic Church and in Society.
Press release Rome, November 20, 2015
Convention ‘Council 50’: Towards a Church – Inspired by the Gospel – for the world’ with more than 100 delegates of worldwide catholic reform movements in Rome, November 20-22, 2015.
This Coming weekend reform movements from diverse continents, countries, cultures and theological tendencies are gathering in Rome and will present a variety of fruits and projects grown from the Second Vatican Council for an inclusive Church for the 21st century. They are bringing their practice, experience and reflexions to Rome and hope to show their potentialities for a revival of the Church, as St Francis of Assisi did in his time.
‘Council 50’ aims to reaffirm the values and the spirit of the Council and to give space and opportunity of networking between the different experiences that sprang from it. ‘Council 50’ intends to revivify the disappointed hopes, to relight the flame of the Council, and to renew the impetus towards the future. So it is making visible the prophetic part of the ‘people of God’ in the Church too often hidden and unknown.
‘Council 50’ strongly supports Pope Francis’ efforts against all resistance: for the renewal of the Roman-Catholic Church, for interreligious dialogue and for a more just and peaceful world. ‘Council 50’ wants to help change the dogmatic and legalistic attitude of the Church into a pastoral and evangelic attitude inspired by the Gospel and in line with the Second Vatican Council. Hence the leitmotiv ‘Council 50: towards a Church – inspired by the Gospel – for the world’.
‘Council 50’ is a networking process that contributes to strengthen the ‘sensum fidei fidelium’ that is one of the key theological teachings of the theological thoughts of the Second Vatican Council as expressed in the dogmatic constitution ‘Lumen Gentium’. This Council brought so much hope 50 years ago but because of unsatisfactory decrees and Pope Francis’ predecessors the prophetic part of the Church at the peripheries of the world were too often ignored, hidden, and even condemned. The teaching of this Council is still waiting to be implemented.
Soon it will be the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Catacomb Pact, in which 40 Bishops and Council Fathers of the Second Vatican Councils committed themselves to a Church of the Poor. An occasion which has been all but forgotten for some time, but whose groundbreaking character manifests itself again in view of the disputes recently initiated in the Catholic Church by Pope Frances. Following the motto „Remembering and renewing the Pact of the Catacombs“ it is the aim of a congregation of more than two-hundred Christians to bring this pact to the attention of the public once more and at the same time highlight the importance of a Church standing alongside the poor and excluded.
On 16 November 1965 – three weeks before the end of the Second Vatican Council – 40 Bishops from all over the world met at the Domitilla Catacomb on the outskirts of Rome. In 13 commitments they promised to lead a simple life, to renounce the insignia of power and enter into a pact with the poor. What those bishops did later became known as the Option for the Poor: „Because there are poor people we have to make a new decision. The poor are the living proof that there is something wrong with society. Because of the poor we have to take an option. From this point of view the Church has to fight against injustice,“ explains Norbert Arnzt (Münster/Germany), who has researched the Catacomb Pact and the history of its effects on the development of Liberation Theology. For the Bishops of the Catacomb Pact it was all about a certain image of the church which reappears when Pope Francis writes, „With its words and gestures the 'awakening' Church places itself inside the daily life of others, shortens distances, lowers itself if necessary to the point of humiliation and embraces human life by touching the suffering body of Christ within the people.“ (Evangelii Gaudium 24)
After 50 years, help relight the flame of Vatican II !
We are faithful Catholics loyal to the message of Vatican II. Over the past 50 years, many of us calling for reforms promised at the Council have been ignored. The second Vatican Council encouraged us to speak out for the good of our Church and Pope Francis has now echoed this message in his apostolic exhortation ‘Evangelii Gaudium’
Now is the time for the hidden part of the Church to emerge from the catacombs - Join us for this once in a lifetime meeting of reform groups and leading Catholic scholars from all over the world.
As equal disciples of Jesus, we are called to show the world and the Church that the seeds planted by the second Vatican Council have produced new growth over the past 50 years. We want to hear about our experiences of keeping the Church alive as inspired by the spirit of Vatican II, what our vision is for its future, and how local groups are living and expressing faith today within an evolving world. Our diversity will show the richness and vitality of the people of God in its unity (I cor 12), as in the different colors of a rainbow
Reform groups, associations and movements, grass-root communities, and interested associations, are organizing throughout the world local events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the close of Vatican II that opened new ways of being Church. Remembering how the apostles and disciples of Jesus came together (Acts 15, 2-4), we are inviting delegates of these movements inspired by Council Vatican II to meet together in a worldwide event in Rome on the 20th -22th of November 2015, in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the close of Vatican II, to know each other and to exchange our local experiences and reflections.
 Lumen Gentium IV, 37 : The laity should openly reveal to them their needs and desires with that freedom and confidence which is fitting for children of God and brothers in Christ. They are, by reason of the knowledge, competence or outstanding ability which they may enjoy, permitted and sometimes even obliged to express their opinion on those things which concern the good of the Church.
Evangelii Gaudium, (26), (29), (31) : At yet other times, the Bishop will have to walk after the people, helping those who lag behind and – above all – allowing the flock to strike out on new paths
Cardinal Capovilla is a great person in the history of the Council
Telegram to Don Loris Capovilla Sotto Il Monte-Bergamo
Dear Father Loris,
For your one hundred years I communicate the warm friendship and deep affection of the international movement We Are Church and of the movement Noi Siamo Chiesa Thank you for all you did for the Church in the spirit of the Gospel and of the Council especially collaborating with Pope John
A fraternal embrace
Vittorio Bellavite (National Spokeperson of Noi Siamo Chiesa)
Rome, 14 october 2015
Telegramma a Don Loris Capovilla Sottoilmonte-Bergamo
Caro don Loris per i suoi cento anni le comunico la viva amicizia e il profondo affetto del movimento internazionale We Are Church e del movimento Noi Siamo Chiesa La ringraziamo per tutto quello che ha fatto per la Chiesa nello spirito del Vangelo e del Concilio in particolare collaborando con papa Giovanni Un abbraccio fraterno Vittorio Bellavite coordinatore nazionale di Noi Siamo Chiesa
Roma, 14 ottobre 2015
“Follow Pope Francis’ way of dialogue and reform!”
To date more than 50 international Catholic organisations have signed an ‘Appeal to the Synodal Bishops’ due to meet in Rome in October 2015 to address major issues related to Catholic family life.
In a spirit of dialogue as urged by Pope Francis and motivated by the Spirit of God all of these organisations are calling on the bishops to listen attentively to what they are saying so as to make our Church a more compassionate family.
The outcomes from this Synod will have a critical bearing of the relevance of Catholicism to the needs of our time.
The Appeal outlines the fundamental problems experienced by Catholic families throughout the world:
The social and economic problems of the family should be widely discussed by the Synod, particularly those affecting the most vulnerable, children and women.
Regarding the divorced and remarried and their admission to the Eucharist, the practice of the early Church should be adopted, as it is done in the Orthodox Church.
Concerning the Motu Proprio (Apostolic letter) of Pope Francis on the canonical process of nullity of marriage we agree with and welcome the simplification of the procedure, but question the concept of annulment as such.