Catholic women's network in German-speaking countries: "That's the only way forward!"
Catholic women of women's associations, initiatives, women religious orders and church bodies from Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland came together over the weekend to network for the very first time.
The global initiative Voices of Faith had invited the key figures to Stuttgart from 1 to 3 November 2019.
The women's network agreed that in view of the catastrophic church crisis, urgently needed reforms must now be tackled.
The network agrees with Doris Wagner's statement that we women urgently need to stop supporting violent structures. The effective participation of women is needed now, so that vulnerable and wounded people and the mortally threatened creation can once again be at the centre of church commitment. "We women no longer have time to wait. We stand up together and do our utmost to ensure that the church has a future: life-friendly and women-friendly. We call on all women: Use your positive power for change!" said Chantal Götz, Managing Director of Voices of Faith.
At this first meeting, the network identified key issues and gave working groups authority and confidence to work on these issues to overcome internal church blockages. Some of these issues discussed were: Sacrament theology and office structure, criteria and transparency in episcopal ordinations and appointments, symbolic order and vulnerability.
The network also agreed: We urgently need an international meeting at world church level. The participants empower Voices of Faith, with the support of the networks mentioned below, to take the organisation of this meeting into their own hands.
We Are Church Sees Hope for the World and the Catholic Church in Final Report of Amazon Synod;
But the perpetuation of women’s lower-class status in our Church remains a grave injustice
October 27, 2019. We Are Church International sees reason for hope in the final document issued at the conclusion of the Amazon Synod. We Are Church International (WAC-International) stands in solidarity with all the people of the Amazon whose representatives have so bravely and passionately articulated the urgent crisis facing all of humanity due to the ecological destruction that has been underway in the region for decades. We stand with the indigenous leaders who spoke so passionately about the threats to their peoples and cultures and who stood firm against the economic imperialism that has led to the deaths of so many in the area.
September 26, 2019
For Immediate Release
[ German ]
International Catholic Reform Network (ICRN) supports the ongoing work in parishes that are calling women and men to prepare them to preside over the Eucharist. This includes being responsible for the pastoral care and sacramental life of their parish community as was practiced in the early Church before the institution of the ordained priesthood.
ICRN calls on the Polish Bishops to comply with Church teaching regarding LGBT people that calls all to respect the intrinsic dignity of each person in word, action, and law. Attached below is our Warsaw Statement on LGBT.
ICRN voted unanimously to support the charter on the Fundamental Rights and Responsibilities of all Catholics worldwide which obligates the entire church to respect the primacy of conscience; the equality of all Catholics in the church; freedom of expression, including the freedom to dissent; the right and responsibility to participate in a Eucharistic community and to receive responsible pastoral care; genuine participation in decision making, including the selection of their leaders; due and just process when accusations are made; protection of children, and others.
NSAE (Nous sommes aussi l’Église - We also are Church) has been informed of very disturbing news from India, concerning rape cases of nuns.
In early 2018, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of Jalandhar, was accused by a Missionary sister of Jesus of having raped her repeatedly between 2014 and 2016. The bishop always denied it, under the well-known argument that it would be a conspiracy against the Church. For several months no one paid attention to the nun's complaint. But in September 2018, five of her sisters organized a sit-in to support her, with the participation of several nuns from different congregations and members of laity.
They were asking for the bishop's arrest, which they finally got : he was charged with rape and released on bail.
One of the sisters who supported her, Sr Lucy Kalappura, belonging to another congregation, the Franciscan Clarist Congregation, is currently the subject of vexations and sanctions, and has just been expelled from her community. Such a decision is extremely serious, as it denies the commitment a nun has made for the entire life, and that she intends to continue to assume. These sanctions are directly linked to her support for the raped sister. Sr. Lucy is known for her effective involvement with the poor and vulnerable people.
Summary of the conference
We Are Church has been sending a delegate to the Asian Youth Academy (AYA) and Asian Theology Forum (ATF) since 2013 (Didier van Houtte; Jean Pierre Schmitz; Martha Heizer and myself). It is organised by the Asian Lay Leaders (ALL) Forum which is managed by Paul Hwang. ALL invites young leaders (aged 25 – 35) from 12 – 15 different Asian countries to spend 10 days together learning about each others countries especially regarding Indigenous Peoples (IP), the environment, climate change, community building, cultures and faith development. In 2019 the meeting was in ChiangMai in Thailand, based in the CLUMP Centre in Doi Thong.
The program started with a Welcoming Ceremony lead by tribal chiefs. We were divided into 5 groups to visit and live in small remote villages of the Karen people. My group was based in Mae Aeb, a village of 150 people, 7 km off the main road along a bumpy twisting road. We tried planting rice, which was a wonderful experience to remove socks and shoes and squelch in the muddy water. We visited the weaving operations and had a long Question & Answer session with the village chief via interpreters and facilitators as the Karen people have their own language, which is very different to the Thai language; we had meals in our host families who looked after their guests first before eating themselves. We helped the village repair their access road with stone chippings, which we helped distribute to fill in holes and repair the road. Our village has now got many links with the outside world; 30 years ago they were totally agriculture based and self sufficient; today many of the young work in the city; and today the village has several pick up trucks, motor bikes, water & electricity supply, Satellite TV and mobile phone network coverage. They are mostly Catholic with a good number of Buddhists who cooperate well together.
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The German Bishops have announced a "binding synodal path" which will address (1) "Power, participation and separation of powers", (2) "Sexual morality" and (3) "Priestly life form". Pressure from Maria 2.0 and WAC Germany made the bishops add a 4th point: (4) "Women in the offices and ministries of the Church"
Synodal route in Germany: Third attempt
In response to the shocking results of the so-called abuse study published at the end of September 2018 ("MHG study"), the German bishops announced at their spring meeting in March 2019 a "binding synodal path" (see April issue CHURCH IN). Christian Weisner analyzes the opportunities and possibilities.
Ora i viri probati dovranno celebrare l’Eucaristia.A ottobre il Sinodo.
[ English ]
Il documento preparatorio per il Sinodo sull’Amazzonia (6-27 ottobre), il cd Instrumentum Laboris, è, al solito, troppo lungo ma ottimo sia nelle analisi socioeconomicheambientali sia nelle proposte pastorali. Pensiamo che questa sua insolita ricchezza sia una conseguenza della vastissima consultazione di base che l’ha preceduto. Abbiamo notizie che il processo di ascolto ha coinvolto circa centomila persone, tra cui 170 etnie originali (quasi la metà di quelle censite) mediante assemblee nelle 103 chiese locali e molti forum tematici. Il Popolo di Dio ha parlato, il Sinodo dovrebbe andare su questa strada. Possiamo dire che in gran parte il “lavoro” dovrebbe essere già stato fatto. Indichiamo i punti principali che si susseguono e si ripetono nel documento e le questioni aperte. Il documento vale una lettura integrale.
[ Swedish ]
On the 25th Anniversary of ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS (22 May 1994) we see even more clearly that equality for women is the Christian way forward for the Catholic Church.
Pope John Paul ll reacted to the ordination of women in the Church of England in March 1994 by declaring that only men could be ordained as priests and that his judgment should be definitively held.
The argument was based on:
- The church not having the authority to ordain women
- That Mary the mother of Jesus was never ordained a priest
None of these arguments stands up:
- The church has the authority to ordain women and stop treating them as second class
- Jesus did not ordain anyone
- Women were leaders in the church for many centuries
The Church must constantly reform itself to remain faithful to Christ’s message to love another and to understand the signs of the times. In the world today we see more clearly than ever that women and men are fully equal in Christ. They must also be fully equal in our Church.
We Are Church International (WAC-I) founded in Rome in 1996, is a global coalition of national church reform groups. It is committed to the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church based on the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological spirit developed from it.
Chair, We Are Church International
M: +353 86 606 3636
Marianne Duddy-Burke, USA
Media, We Are Church International
M: +1 617 669 7810
25 Jahre "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis"
ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS oder die Absurdität der Unfehlbarkeit
Wir sind Kirche zum 25. Jahrestag der „endgültigen“ Feststellung der Weiheunfähigkeit von Frauen in der römisch-katholischen Kirche am 22. Mai 1994
Pressemitteilung, München und Innsbruck, 16. Mai 2019
Die deutsche KirchenVolksBewegung und die österreichische Plattform Wir sind Kirche protestieren nach wie vor energisch gegen das Apostolische Schreiben ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS von Papst Johannes Paul II über die nur Männern vorbehaltene Priesterweihe. Die Erklärung des Papstes, dass die Kirche keine Vollmacht habe, Frauen zu Diakoninnen und Priesterinnen zu weihen, steht in einer Reihe von Verlautbarungen aus Rom, in denen die Verkünder endgültiger Entscheidungen weder die Erkenntnisse eigener Expert*innen innerhalb und außerhalb der Hierarchie noch die Zeichen der Zeit erkannt haben.
Pressemitteilung Innsbruck, 8. Mai 2019
Im Hinblick auf die ausweichende Antwort von Papst Franziskus auf die am Rückflug von Nord-Mazedonien durch einen Journalisten gestellte Frage nach Diakoninnen fordert „Wir sind Kirche“ einmal mehr, sämtliche Ämter der Katholischen Kirche für Frauen zu öffnen.
Dass die von Franziskus eingesetzte Kommission zur Frage von Diakoninnen in der frühen Kirche offensichtlich zu keinem einheitlichen Ergebnis gekommen ist, mag kirchengeschichtlich interessant sein und zu weiteren Forschungen durch Historikerinnen und Historiker führen. Die Kirche aber wird niemals nur um ihre Vergangenheit kreisen dürfen, sondern wird Geschichte immer auch fortschreiben müssen. Eine Kirche des 21. Jahrhunderts kommt nicht umhin, Frauen und Männern unterschiedslos die gleiche Würde und die gleichen Rechte zuzusprechen, will sie in einer aufgeklärten Gesellschaft, die die Menschenrechte ernst nimmt, eine Rolle übernehmen.
Vittorio Bellavite, coordinatore nazionale di Noi Siamo Chiesa
[ English ]
[ English ]
L’apertura completa dell’archivio vaticano relativo al pontificato di Pio XII è notizia di grande importanza che è stata sottovalutata sia in ambienti cattolici che laici. E’ un fatto molto positivo e più importante per aperture analoghe degli archivi di altri papi. Infatti Pio XII era uomo molto accentratore e per definizione papa diplomatico. Di conseguenza moltissimo, in modo diretto o indiretto, dipendeva solo da lui, inoltre è noto che egli praticamente svolse anche le funzioni di segretario di Stato (il Card. Maglione ebbe un ruolo minore e solo fino all’agosto del 1944). Inoltre il suo fu un pontificato in un periodo assolutamente straordinario in presenza di una guerra più complessa e generale di quella del ’15-’18 , con fortissime componenti ideologiche inedite (nazismo, comunismo). La comprensione e le interpretazioni delle decisioni di allora di papa Pacelli influenzano ancora oggi e direttamente la politica e la cultura soprattutto per la questione relativa al suo atteggiamento nei confronti della Shoah sul quale il dibattito e le ricerca continuano da sempre.
Press Release - 9 March 2019
Sexual Abuse of Religious Sisters by Priests in the Catholic Church: No more silence, No more cover-ups and No more in-action.
[ Italian ]
The behaviour of the Vatican and the hierarchy towards women religious has been shocking. They have sanctioned the spiritual and sexual abuse (including rape, prostitution and forced abortions) of women religious in many countries and on every continent for over 20 years and probably much longer. Their response has been silence, cover-up and in-action. “Any criminal organization would not have done worse” said Sr Véronique Margron OP, President of the French Conference of Men and Women Religious (CORREF). It is up to the people to direct our church back to the message of Christ.
Press Release - 27 February 2019
[ Swedish ]
The Abuse Summit (21-24 Feb 2019) was a disappointment and a missed opportunity.
For over 3 decades clerical child sex abuse scandals have been prominent in several countries (Austria, Germany, USA, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Chile) who have introduced safeguarding measures. These measures have been refined through experience and audits. More recently clerical child sex abuse scandals have surfaced in many other countries (France, Spain, India, etc) and continue to be reported where previously such abuse was kept secret.
The Abuse Summit was therefore an opportunity to share the knowledge and expertise that has been built up so that children in Delhi or Dar es Salaam are as safe as children in Dallas or Dublin. But this did not happen. There was an absence of concrete actions to safeguard children:
‘Guided by the Holy Spirit we must come together and find new inclusive governance structures to replace the old patriarchal model, which has broken down’, writes Colm Holmes.
SENIOR CATHOLIC BISHOPS from all over the world gather in Rome this week for a four-day summit on clerical sexual abuse, which some say is the most serious crisis in the church since the Reformation.
Child sexual abuse will rightly top of the agenda, but it’s also just this month that Pope Francis admitted that Catholic priests and bishops have sexually abused nuns. Pope Francis said: “I think it is still going on, because it’s not something that just goes away like that.” And Pope Francis said this was a cultural problem, the roots of which lie in “seeing women as second class.”
That is a very honest admission by Pope Francis that women are seen as second class. That is the way it had been for many centuries. Women were there to raise children; the men were in charge. But that has changed dramatically in the last 100 years, with women getting the vote and every role becoming open to women – except of course in the Catholic Church.
All Nice things were said about the responsibility to victims – listen, take on the journey and responsibility to respond.
We tried to provide listening to victims, heard the cry of young, have guidelines to stimulate discussions which include financial responsibility, relationship between Bishops and Superiors of Religious Congregations, ensuring health community life of priests, etc.
Pope gave a short speech he emphasized listening, Spirit of solidarity and what he expects to happen, a conversion and purification. We need to obtain concrete results. He has prepared a handout of 21 points which will be made into a booklet. Collaboration with all people of goodwill. He will raise marriage age (and change Canon Law), from 14 to 16 (is this progress??? Which century are we living in??)
The intentions of pope John XXIII, of Schillebeekx and our bishops in 1962/65 with Vaticum II have been supported by millions in the Netherlands. Stalemate in the application of decisions made more than 10.000 people gather on a protest meeting in the Hague. It didn’t help. Neither did and do thousands of press release and letters sent since. Now members of Marienburg, the Dutch union of critically Catholics have discovered that the structural church is almost dead and unable to answer questions. Christians themselves have to go for the core of their faith in home celebrations, listening to the grass roots in vision dialogues and organizing folk synods. An ecumenical synod in the Netherlands will be organized as soon as more than 200 of such dialogues have been registered or the stories of more than 1000 people have been heard. This might be spring 2021 or earlier if in time the result of similar efforts in more countries would be available. A guide has been translated into English www.dialogue-in-sixes.click
Says this is the “Final Opportunity” for Church Leaders to Correct Failings
[ Italian ]
1 February 2019. In advance of the 21-24 February 2019 meeting Pope Francis has called with leaders of all of the national bishops’ conferences from around the world, We Are Church International stresses the need for the Vatican to take decisive, consistent, and clear action that prioritizes the needs of clerical sexual abuse victims over protection of the institution.
“This summit is the final opportunity that Catholic leaders have to show the Church, the world, and, most importantly, victims of clerical sexual abuse that they take this issue seriously and are ready to undertake real reform,” stated Colm Holmes of Dublin, Ireland, Chair of We Are Church International. “People who suffered abuse at the hands of priests, who saw their abusers protected by church officials, and whose repeated calls for justice have been ignored for too long have been speaking out for more than four decades. It is long past time for their needs to be our Church’s clear priority.”
Christian Lauer’s final handwritten advice for WAC written near midnight on 26 January 2019:
We need topics that inspire people and inspire us. Subjects to which people say, I join in, I can do something about this in society and / or church. Topics where there is not the danger that they will be marked by resignation. The possible subjects / topics I can’t specify now, they should be decided on the basis of tactics.
# # # # # # # #
The longtime very active leading member of We Are Church (Germany) and our IT specialist died on January 29, 2019. At the strategy meeting of the We Are Church teams from Germany and Austria from 23 to 25 January 2019 in Hofheim, Christian Lauer, despite his long and serious illness, was still actively involved with his competence and passion. But only four days later he could no longer resist influenza.
We are very shaken that Christian's life came to an end so quickly. He had fought so hard and so long for his life and for We Are Church. We are very, very much obliged to him in many ways. For 20 years, he has done all the more extensive computer tasks of We Are Church in Germany all alone with great expertise. For the last ten years he has been the first chairman to guide the organization of We Are Church (DE). Above all, he has always been wholeheartedly committed to a church that truly follows in the footsteps of Jesus. He stays in our midst.
We Are Church Germany
Ante los casos de abusos sexuales en la Iglesia y en la urgencia de reaccionar como creyentes a este gravísimo problema, queremos contribuir con nuestra reflexión a las decisiones que se puedan tomar próximamente por el Papa y los presidentes de las conferencias episcopales reunidos con él.
Que un sacerdote, o miembro de una congregación religiosa, abuse de un niño o un adolescente, utilizando la autoridad moral que ejerce sobre la persona víctima, es algo que rompe los esquemas de cualquiera. Si además se añade el encubrimiento practicado durante décadas por la jerarquía de la Iglesia, poniendo por delante a la institución sin reparar en el daño, con secuelas de por vida, que se estaba haciendo a personas inocentes, nos encontramos con un escándalo de proporciones mayúsculas y una multiplicación del número de personas abusadas en un ambiente de mentira, hipocresía y silenciamiento.
APORTA, INFORMA Y DIFUNDE:
MOVIMIENTO TAMBIÉN SOMOS IGLESIA - CHILE (MTSICH)
Miembro de Red Nacional de Laicas y Laicos de Chile
Con la participación de más de 350 personas de la iglesia católica, pertenecientes a diferentes instancias y redes de todo el país, se realizó en Santiago, la primera asamblea del llamado Sínodo Laical de Chile.
[ English ]
L’universo cristiano in questi giorni è stato profondamente colpito dalla rottura, che sembra definitiva, in seno alla Chiesa ortodossa. Questo fatto, praticamente ignorato dai media d’opinione, avrà effetti di lunga durata. Le pesanti conseguenze saranno sopportate soprattutto dai cristiani che appartengono a Chiese che sono uscite solo negli ultimi tempi da lunghi decenni di persecuzione e di emarginazione e che avrebbero avuto bisogno di una fase di completa libertà e tranquillità per organizzare nel modo migliore l’evangelizzazione e la vita comunitaria.
[ English ]
Sinodo dei giovani: opinioni abbastanza positive di Noi Siamo Chiesa
Il Sinodo dei vescovi sui giovani aveva di fronte un compito particolarmente difficile per vari motivi. Anzitutto per la sua scarsa rappresentatività, come abbiamo detto più volte. Prelati anziani, maschi e celibi insieme a pochi giovani esterni e a poche donne, per di più questi ultimi con lo status di chi non poteva votare. E poi l’argomento era costituito da una categoria molto sociologica, quella dei giovani appunto, distribuita sulla generalità dell’umanità e che dava occasione e pretesto per parlare di tutto, da problematiche di tipo psicologico o sociale, a questioni più direttamente di Chiesa, fino alle linee di tendenza della convivenza umana verso il futuro. Era giusto invocare lo Spirito Santo davanti a un tale compito!