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Press-statement and press-conference

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Press-statement in English – For Immediate Release   October 21, 2016

Deborah Rose-Milavec, FutureChurch – 513.673.1401 (c) 216.228.0869 (o), debrose@futurechurch
Kate McElwee, Women’s Ordination Conference – 607-725-1364 (c),This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Bob Bonnot, Association of U.S. Catholic Priests – 330-397-1257 (c), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

International Catholic Priest Movements and Reform Groups Urge Church Progress on Key Issues during October meeting

From October 17 – 20, 2016, forty priests and lay persons from ten countries gathered in Chicago to develop strategies supporting reform in the Catholic Church. The group called for progress on: full equality for women in the Church; rights for LGBT Catholics; fundamental rights for all Catholics; and developing emerging models of parish ministry such as the Bishop Fritz Lobinger model. 

Read more: 3rd International Conference of Priests' Initiatives and Reform Groups

Report on my participation, as invited delegate from IMWAC, to the AYA/ATF (Asian Youth Academy/ Asian Theology Forum) held in Suratthani (South Thailand) on August 17 to 27, 2016.

The conference in 2016The last AYA/ATF meetings took place:

In 2013 in Changmai (northern Thailand) Didier Vanhoutte participated as IMWAC representative

In 2014 in Manila (Philippines)

In 2015 in Kerala (South India)

In 2016 in Suratthani, the specific themes were the following :

Youth Forum (AYA): “Solidarity with Migrants suffering poverty and inhumane living conditions.

Asian Theology Forum (ATF): “Sustainable development and integral ecology for peace on Asia”

General purpose of AYA/ATF as defined by Paul Hwang, main responsible of event organization.

Paul Hwang is director of the Center for Asia Peace and Solidarity under Woori Theology Institute, Chairperson of Theological Committee of Pax Romana- ICMICA, co-creator of ALL (Asian Lay Leader Forum)

Young lay activists in Asia are being called to strengthen their Christian identity as they embrace their local, traditional cultures, histories and religions. Although it is a complex work, it is necessary work. For Catholics to succeed in justice activities they need to cooperate with other religions similarly seeking a more just world order. This is yet another reason Asian lay Catholics need solid formation. Inter-religious work begins with solid Catholic formation. It is why AYA/ATF program put much emphasis on “Triple Dialogue” of FABC (Federation of Asian Bishops Conference) namely dialogue with the poor, diverse religious and cultural traditions in Asia, as well as Christian spirituality. Unfortunately, because of a lack of resources, they don’t get adequate support from their Church. In some cases they have been largely abandoned by some ones in the Church hierarchy who do not understand or do not agree with the idea of “the People of God” from Vatican II and Pope Francis’ vision of the “synodal church”. While our Church eagerly provides support for seminarians who want to enter the priesthood, it does very little for young lay leaders in great need of Catholic formation.

Read more: Report on the AYA/ATF meeting - 2016

'A re-thinking of the church’s official position is long overdue. The progressive Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research, recently issued a lengthy and detailed rebuttal to Humanae Vitae, which has done so much harm in the fifty years since it was issued — harm not only to women, but to the church itself. To date, the statement has been signed by more than 80 scholars, ethicists and scientists.' (Huffington Post)

'Former Irish president Mary McAleese is supporting a campaign by a Catholic think tank to persuade the Vatican to revoke its 48-year-old ban on contraception.' (The Times)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Local bishops have an obligation to welcome new movements and communities and guide them, while the groups have an obligation to obey the local bishop and avoid the appearance of setting up a parallel church, said a new Vatican document.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's letter to bishops around the world on "the relationship between hierarchical and charismatic gifts in the life and mission of the church" was released June 14.

The hierarchical gifts -- teaching, sanctifying and governing -- are those conferred with ordination. The charismatic gifts refer to those given by the Holy Spirit to groups or individuals to help them live the faith more intensely and to share the faith with others through missionary activity and acts of charity.

Read the article

Read Iuvenescit Ecclesia

Francis must now accelerate his ongoing reform and development of the Synod of Bishops so that, by law, it becomes the primary structure to assist the Bishop of Rome in his ministry of universal governance. The monarchical model on which it is currently based is not only an anachronism at this stage of history. More crucially, it is an overly centralized model that is inadequate for governing a 1.2 billion-member worldwide church.

Read Robert Mickens' article in NCR