Women and men delegates from ten countries, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, South Tyrol (Italy), Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States of America, gathered in Rome from 22-25 November 1996 to further the work of reform in the Roman Catholic Church.
At the tomb of St Peter they remembered the words: "You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of One who has called you out of darkness into wonderful light." (1 Peter 2:9-10)
They founded the International Movement We Are Church to network and create communication inside the Church and to spread the Petition of the people. This Petition which was begun in Austria, Germany and South Tyrol focuses on the need for a Church
- which values participation
- with all ministries open to women and men,
- with optional celibacy,
- which values sexuality and primacy of conscience,
- which is committed to social justice and human rights,
- which does not marginalise its own people.
This came as a response to the suffering of many in the Church due to lack of freedom, justice and compassion. In the spirit of Vatican II we demand dialogue to bring about authentic renewal and substantial reform. We are taking steps to achieve these objectives immediately.
The delegates are in solidarity with Christians and organisations in the 'second' and 'third' world who fight for a Church engaged in the liberation of women and men.
The delegates agreed to organise a pilgrimage, "INCONTRO DEL POPOLO DI DIO", from their countries to Rome on 11 October 1997, the 35th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II, which made promised to God's people which have not yet been kept.
(The Roman Declaration was signed by the delegates on 25 November 1996)