We Are Church Intl.

“Pope Francis' reform process already changed our Church”


Pope Francis' reform process has already changed our Church, We are Church International says after observing and accompanying the first half of the 2023 Synod in Rome. The presence of voting members who are not bishops, half of them women, changed the climate fundamentally as well as the round tables that visualise a new type of non-hierarchical communication inside the church. We are Church International has asked for the inclusion of the laity from the very beginning and this certainly has to be extended.

The task for the eleven months until the Synod in October 2024 is clear: Within its own network and together with other reform networks present in Rome, We are Church International will foster the reform spirit that has become visible inside and outside the Synod hall in many private talks and meetings with members of the Synod. In this climate of trust the Church’s traditional teaching on the questions of leadership, women’s equality, inclusion of minority groups and other issues were addressed by many local churches all over the world.

The recent disclosures of spiritual and sexualised violence in Switzerland and France has already shaken the church in many countries. We are Church International hope that the Synod finally will address the root causes of spiritual and sexual abuse that so deeply continue to destroy the credibility of our church.

Supporting the positive spirit in Rome demands that the Synod address fundamental problems like misuse of clerical power, subordination of women and outdated sexual doctrine.

“Equality for all” was the goal of a vigil in the evening of October 12th with more than 30 persons from 13 countries on St Peter’s Square. On October 13th and 14th the weeklong conference “Human Rights in the Emerging Catholic Church”, organised by Spirit Unbounded and strongly supported by We are Church International, gave very clear insights into the challenges of the Roman Catholic Church today to help the church be a convincing witness of the gospel. Sr Joan Chittister OSB and the former Irish president Mary McAleese together with more than 110 speakers from all continents gave hope for the excluded at this lay-led synodal assembly coinciding with the official Synod in Rome. Website: https://spiritunbounded.org/

On October 15th and 16th, 2023 We are Church International held its biennial conference “Equality for all” in Casa Bonus Pastor in Rome. 27 delegates present in Rome and 5 who joined virtually elected a new coordinating team for We are Church International: Christiane Bascou (France), Dr Martha Heizer (Austria), Colm Holmes (Ireland), Jamie Manson (United States), Mary Morrissey (Ireland), Ashik Naz Khokhar (Pakistan), Jean Pierre Schmitz (France), Dr Martin Schockenhoff (Germany), Ed Schreurs (Netherlands), Valerie Stroud (United Kingdom).

Media contact:

Colm Holmes, Dublin/Ireland, Chair We are Church International
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: +353 86606 3636

Dr Martha Heizer, Innsbruck/Austria, Vice-Chair We are Church International 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: +43 650 4168500