We Are Church Germany Press Release 28 October 2018
"Unmissable learning process in Rome, necessary concrete implementations are near"
First statement of We are Church at the conclusion of the Youth Synod of Bishops in Rome
The Church Movement We are Church sees the 15th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which ended today in Rome, as an indispensable learning process for bishops. They owe to today's youth an appropriate as well as challenging offer of the message of Jesus. The success of this cooperation will also decisively determine the future of the church.
Despite the lack of voting possibilities, the 49 mostly younger auditors have been able to strongly influence the content and atmosphere of this synod. The letter from the young members of the Synod to Pope Francis shows their great willingness to support the necessary fundamental reform course with all their strength. The debates conducted in the protected space of the synod must now be continued in the universal Church in all freedom.
We are Church encourages the young people and all church bodies to call for and implement locally what was advocated in the Synod of Bishops. In the end, young people will judge the Church not on well-chosen words, but in concrete answers to the urgent challenges raised in Rome. In addition to migration, digitization, justice and the preservation of creation, this includes the equal status of men and women, the recognition of homosexual people and partnerships, and effective combating of sexual violence within and outside the church. But important and necessary is also a fundamental reform of traditional theology and biblical interpretation, as well as an adaptation of the liturgy to the thinking and feeling of young people today.
It is disappointing that the final document does not contain a clear admission of guilt for the decades-long cover-up of abuse by Catholic clergy. The dispute over the use of the term LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) in the "Instrumentum laboris", the working paper of the Synod, has, however, shown the great cultural diversity within the Roman Catholic world church, which can only be overcome through a further development of current teaching based on very different assumptions and habits.
The fact that all 167 sections received the required two-thirds majority can be seen as a success of the synodal process, which was already begun with the global survey and the Pre-synod in March 2018 and which it is essential to continue. For the first time, the Pope and bishops did not appear at this Synod not just as messengers of messages, but also as listeners. In principle, we welcome the expansion of the concept of vocation, which now no longer refers only to priests and religious.
We are Church supports the recent vote of the German-speaking religious leaders, who demand not only the right to vote in episcopal synods, but the admission to all ecclesiastical ministries and services for women (> catholic.de 25.10.2018).
Press Contacts We are Church-Bundesteam:
[Translation of the original German Press Release by Colm Holmes]