We Are Church International

IMWAC (International Movement We Are Church) is surprised at Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation and wants to express its sincere appreciation for the Pope's decision. In the final phase of Pope John Paul II’s illness, the possibility of a pope’s resignation was already advocated by IMWAC. With Pope Benedict’s resignation, the Church avoids the danger of having a church run by people who speak and decide on behalf of the Pope who is seemingly no longer able to fulfill his duties. It also reduces the glorification of papacy and allows viewing the pope as a human being and as a bishop among other bishops, even though he is an important symbol of unity for the communities of the believers. IMWAC hopes that the leaders of the Church will advance in this direction so as to give more importance to the aspect of humaneness in the church and also to other issues. For example, the electoral college of the pope should represent the plurality of the Catholic Church at large, of the rich and the poor, of men and women and not only of clerics.

Benedict XVI’s decision to resign also sheds a light on the situation the Church is currently in. We expect great changes to take place in the future provoked and fostered by emerging cultures, relations between religions and between nations. Ours is the time of change, yet the leaders of the Church refuse to adapt. By resigning Pope Benedict seems to demonstrate that traditional church structures can be changed. IMWAC will issue a critical assessment of Pope Benedict’s papacy in due time and will also initiate and organize a monitoring meeting in Rome at the time of the conclave.

IMWAC wishes Pope Benedict all the best for the future.