We Are Church in Rome
Vittorio Bellavite (Italy) +39-3331309765
Basilio Buffoni (Italy) +39-3485602477
Dr Paul Collins (Australia) +39 389 6137526
Marylin Hatton (Australia) +39 389 6137526
Dr. Martha Heizer (Austria) +43 650 4168500
Prof. Anthony Padovano (USA)
Prof. Michael Walsh (UK)
Christian Weisner (Germany) +49 172 5184082
from CBC Radio
Last week, Michael Enright interviewed the preeminent Catholic theologian, Hans Küng, about the crisis in the Catholic Church and the need for reform and liberalization.
At the time, Dr. Küng wasn't very optimistic about the prospects of the current cohort of cardinals choosing a reform-minded Pope. But the election of Francis has restored hope in many of the faithful, that reform in the Vatican might be possible.
We checking in with Dr. Küng again for his thoughts on Pope Francis. Micheal Enright spoke to Dr. Küng from his office in Tübingen, Germany.
From Christian Weisner in Rome
Today is the second day of the Conclave. I tried to prepare everything for THE moment e.g. inform the journalists how they could reach us for interviews, send lists of email addresses to Laura so that she could send out our press release directly after the announcement of the new Pope. At midday Martha and I moved to the hotel near St. Peter. Then Martha went to a liturgy by Janice from Women's Ordination Worldwide. In the afternoon I wrote a draft for our press release which didn't comment on the new Pope (who we still don't know) but on the agenda he has to work on. Valerie and Brendan, our native English speakers, polished up my draft. Now all documents are posted on the website www.we.are.church.org which was fixed and updated by Valerie just in time. While I started to work on the translation into German I suddeny heard the word "bianco" from the TV, it was 19:06. Shocked that THE moment came so early I phoned Martha and just said to her "white smoke". Then Martha, Marilyn and I together with many thousands of Romans rushed to St. Peter's Square.
We waited in the rain until Cardinal Tauran said the words "Habemus Papam" (applause) and "Cardinal Bergoglio" (silence) - because nobody knew him and he was not on the list of the journalists. His name Francesco (from Assisi), never been used by another Pope before, hopefully is also a programme and a promise that he wants the Church to work for and with the poor. It was Francesco who wanted to rebuild and renew the Church. What a huge task! His first welcome was moving. He asked us to pray for him, only then he blessed us. That was a form of acceptance of the bishop by the People of God that was done in the first centuries.
This was the moment I expected to receive many phone calls from journalists but no phone call reached me - the mobile networks just broke down because so many wanted to make phone calls from here. So I had to give many interviews later on until midnight from the hotel. After midnight I sent emails to our Argentinian group Helder Camara and to some Jesuits I knew. I congratulated them on the new Pope and asked for further information about Jorge Mario Bergoglio. In principle they said: Give him a chance for the future.
On Thursday I had the first interview at 6:30 on an empty and sunny St. Peter's Square, and from then onwards almost every 15 minutes. I didn't count them and I didn't count the taxi rides I had between TV interviews at St. Peter's Square or on roofs around St. Peter and telephone interviews in our hotel. Martha was getting a bad cold because of the rain yesterday. So I had to do most of them but I was in close contact with Martha, our chair, about what to say. Martha's train left Rome at 16:15 but she got stuck in Verona. So her husband will have to fetch her at the border to Austria. I'm now on the nighttrain to Munich where I will give another radio interview immediately after my arrival and will report to our Bundesversammlung this weekend in Bamberg. Among many others I will
After 11 stressful and hectic but also thrilling and very interesting days in a rainy and sunny city of Rome I want to thank everbody for her and his contribution in this enormous teamwork. Not everybody worked in Rome but we all worked with the same aim. So I hope for a new spring in nature and to a certain extend also in our church. The petition we launched today (thanks, Sigrid Grabmeier!) will help to make our visions come true.
We are Church congratulates
Pope Francis I from Argentina
Press release, Rome, 13 March 2013
The International Movement We are Church congratulates the new Pope on his election and hopes the Holy Spirit will accompany him for the good of the whole Church and the good of Christianity.
At a critical moment in both the Church and the world the Catholic Church is at a turning point in history. That’s why, joined by many faithful Catholics around the globe, we are calling on the new Pope, the new Bishop of Rome, to follow the need for a renewed Church.
First, he needs to start to reform the Vatican and decision making process inside of the Roman Curia, especially he has to clarify its banking system and should give much more self-determination to local churches. We furthermore need a Church much more sincerely committed to social justice, especially to the poor and disadvantaged. We hope that the new Pope will be sensitive enough to build bridges to other religions so that we can all work together for peace and development.
We need equal rights and responsibilities of men and women in the Church if we want to have the credibility to foster human rights and justice in the world. We need a new understanding of priesthood, including the acceptance of married priests. And we need a revised moral teaching, especially on contraception and homosexuality. The future of the Catholic Church depends on seeking truth, justice, and reconciliation for the grave crimes committed and concealed by Catholic clergy worldwide.
The agenda the new Pope has to work on – hopefully with the Cardinals, the Bishops and the People of God all over the world – is very long. To make changes for the better the Cardinals, particularly those who will return to their dioceses, must be more accountable to the people of God in the future.
The new Pope has to accept and follow the teachings of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), which are still valid but not put into practice consistently. One of the keywords of this council was dialogue. It is high time that the new Pope and the Catholic hierarchy began talks with loyal and devout Catholics seeking reform and renewal according to the Second Vatican Council. Only then will the new Pope be listened to and his teaching respected by all members of the Church worldwide..
Press contact in Rome:
- Dr. Martha Heizer (We are Church Austria / Intern. Movement We are Church),
Press contact in Italy:
- Vittorio Bellavite (Noi siamo chiesa Italy)