The so-called “Filial Correction on the Propagation of Heresies” directed towards Pope Francis and signed by 62 individuals represents the desperate complaints of a tiny group of extremist conservatives, according to We Are Church International, a coalition of 21 Catholic Church reform organizations from around the globe.
“We Are Church International has long supported Pope Francis’ efforts to emphasize our Church’s mission of caring for those who are hurting,” said Sigrid Grabmeier, of Germany, Chair of We Are Church International. “These 62 self-identified ‘scholars’ are far out of the mainstream of the Church. They seem to want to take our Church back to some ideal time when everyone lived by their rules. The reality is that time never existed!”
Grabmeier continued, “These people have been harassing Pope Francis for years, and seem to be very frustrated that he has not responded to their attacks. Instead, he has turned the other cheek, and continued to focus on listening to the needs of the people, and trying to reform a very broken governance system in the Church. We believe these are the correct priorities.”
We Are Church International is rooted in a commitment to a Catholic Church that evolves to ensure the Gospel can be made accessible to peoples of all times and cultures. “A Church that is inflexible and refuses to change will wither and die,” said Grabmeier. “A Church that excludes and condemns is the antithesis of Jesus Christ.”
We Are Church International and its member organizations expressed their ongoing commitment to further the development of new structures and governance methods in the Catholic Church, so that more of the Baptized can shape Church policy and dogma. “It is not only the Bishops, the Cardinals and the Pope who hold truth,” said Grabmeier. “All of the people of the Church have important and vital experience of the Divine, and that is what should shape our teachings. We the people are the ones who know the realities of marriage and divorce, of yearning to be a full member of our faith community without condemnation, of what the struggle to interpret Church teaching in the reality of life feels like. Those who signed this terrible document do not seem to know, or perhaps they do not care. This document is bad theology, it is harmful to our Church, and it is harmful to the people of God.”
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.