We Are Church Intl.

Council Meeting 2021

We celebrated 25 years of WAC International with delegates from 13 countries

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Pakistan
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • USA

Review of 25 years

Martha Heizer and Christian Weisner gave a brief overview of our 25 years with regular meetings, attending synods and supporting our 5 Goals with Press Releases and letters and organizing demonstrations, while building networks with like minded groups around the world.

Be the Church God is calling us to be

Colm Holmes presented his 80 - 20 proposal: We Are Church has promoted our 5 Goals for reform in our church for 25 years. The best way to continue to promote reforms is to BE THE CHURCH WE WANT TO SEE. That means democratic structures and all ministries open to all. So we should give 80% of our efforts to this and only 20% to trying to persuade our hierarchy to introduce reforms. He gave Pope Francis a score of 27% measured over 12 reform issues.

Involvement in German Synodal Path

Christian Weisner spoke about the MHG study which led to the Synodal Path. The MHG study identified 4 risk factors: Clericalism; Sexual morality; exclusion of women; misuse of power. WAC Germany are not part of the Synodal Path but are providing regular briefing papers and press statements. The Synodal Path has led to deep discussions on the main issues (Power; Priesthood; Sexual Morality; Women). Pope Francis in his June 2019 letter to the German people called for evangelization. But before evangelization can proceed the obstacles to it need to be cleared up. He noted none of the German Laity Association had been invited to the Vatican – only bishops are received. “Priests transform the hosts; Pastoral workers transform the people”.


Martha & Gert Heizer and Harald Prinz confirmed that Fr Helmut Schüller and 7 other parish priests are each training 4/5 lay people to lead their parishes when the parish priest retires. What if the lay people are not allowed to take over the parishes? That bridge will be crossed when they come to it. We are all baptized as “Priests, Prophets and Kings”. If no specialist is available, then the community can still celebrate the Eucharist. Official theology is built mainly on the Eucharist. With fewer priests, all should be allowed to celebrate the Eucharist. In one parish the pastoral assistant took over after the priest became ill and left. There were two religious communities in the parish with priests and one priest gave his name to avoid problems. Priests celebrated mass every 2 weeks. In between there were Liturgies of the Word with distribution of pre-consecrated hosts, led mainly by women. Baptisms were performed for 10 years without permission; that permission has now been given by the bishop. We can’t always wait for permission. Very little contact with bishop. Some bishops try to forbid Liturgies of the Word with pre-consecrated hosts on Sundays. Do we need priests? “Where two or three are gathered in my name…” For larger groups the presider needs to be qualified. It can be stressful preparing such events. It was suggested replacing the word “priest” with “presbyter”. Can a community not ordain their own presbyter?

It was agreed to set up 5 Project teams:

  • NEXT CONCLAVE – Prepare draft statement.
  • ARCHIVE – 25 years of WAC records need to be collated and stored.
  • SYNOD 2023 PREPARATORY DOCUMENT – Prepare a statement about this document.
  • SYNODALITY OBSERVANCE – Monitor response from each diocese.
  • STUDY DAY ON PRIESTHOOD – pilot in 2022

Further Observations

  • Request that we send a delegate to attend the Continental phase of the Synodal process.
  • Marlies and Adrian represented young people. We must be the wise elders welcoming the energy of the young whenever possible.
  • We must continue to achieve our Five Goals
  • We must support important issues like Climate Change; Just Society; Fair Trade; Human Rights.
  • We remain witnesses to Vatican 2.
  • It would have been better if the bishops of the Domitilla catacomb pact had proclaimed their beliefs from the steps of St Peter’s.
  • It can be hard to find others to set up a House Eucharist. We are used to being consumers at mass. Suggested to start with one friend at the kitchen table. It takes time to build up with engagement & commitment & reliability. Some groups celebrate House Eucharists in free style with little or no preparation: just read the gospel. Pray and share bread & wine.
  • ZOOM Eucharists links us around the world with Jesus present in many people’s rooms.
  • We need to contact other grass roots groups. Responsibilities could be shared.
  • How can Christianity be preserved? The hierarchical church has lost many people’s trust. The institution is dysfunctional. The message of Christ is fundamental. What kind of institution do we need?
  • We were exhorted not to worry! There will be something new and it will be good.