November 14, 2016. We Are Church International, which represents Catholics from around the world committed to Church reform, recently concluded its meeting in Rome, Italy. Highlights of the meeting included:
- A mixed assessment of the Papacy of Francis. The delegates expressed support for Pope Francis’ ongoing attempts to make the Catholic church more consultative, and for his vision for an “inverted pyramid” model of Church. In such a model, the Pope and bishops are at the narrow bottom of the pyramid, looking up to the people of the Church for direction. The delegates expressed disappointment with the Pope’s recent statements in which he failed to move beyond Saint Pope John Paul II’s teaching that women could never be ordained in the Catholic Church.
- Solidarity with Popular Movements. Two-thirds of the delegates to the We Are Church International gathering accepted an invitation to join the closing sessions of the Third World Meeting of Popular Movements, which included an audience with Pope Francis. The two groups share a commitment to social justice, and support the ongoing application of the Church’s social justice principles in service of human dignity and liberation.
- Reports from Council 50 and the Global Council Networks. Following a global meeting of Catholics to mark the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of Vatican Council II, We Are Church International is supporting a series of Global Forums of Catholics to continue to work for a just and inclusive Church. The group met with organizers of the next Forum, to be held in Brazil November 2018.
- Review of representation at major Church events. We Are Church International reviewed the work done by members at the Synod on the Family, the World Meeting of Families, and the Asian Youth Academy/Asian Theology Forum. Each event provided opportunities for We Are Church to meet with other members of the Church, and to increase awareness of its work.
The next formal meeting of We Are Church International will be in Rome in March 2018.
We Are Church International (IMWAC) 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.