Vittorio Bellavite, We Are Church (Italy), and François Becker, FHEDLES, represented us at the World Social Forum. A flavour of the gathering is in the video.
During an interview with Iglesia Descalza, Sr Teresa Forcades was asked
So, don't you think the time has come for the "necessary renewal" of the Church which you advocate in your book?
She replied: Any change in history, both at the church and the societal level, has started from below. When John XXIII was chosen, for example, there were already renewal movements like Nouvelle Théologie in France and the Movimiento Litúrgico, which was very important here in Montserrat. Well, I see something similar happening now: constructive and faithful criticism is rising from the grassroots so that -- I don't know if it will be this pope -- but the time will come when it can't be ignored.
We are Church congratulates
Pope Francis I from Argentina
Press release, Rome, 13 March 2013
The International Movement We are Church congratulates the new Pope on his election and hopes the Holy Spirit will accompany him for the good of the whole Church and the good of Christianity.
At a critical moment in both the Church and the world the Catholic Church is at a turning point in history. That’s why, joined by many faithful Catholics around the globe, we are calling on the new Pope, the new Bishop of Rome, to follow the need for a renewed Church.
First, he needs to start to reform the Vatican and decision making process inside of the Roman Curia, especially he has to clarify its banking system and should give much more self-determination to local churches. We furthermore need a Church much more sincerely committed to social justice, especially to the poor and disadvantaged. We hope that the new Pope will be sensitive enough to build bridges to other religions so that we can all work together for peace and development.
We need equal rights and responsibilities of men and women in the Church if we want to have the credibility to foster human rights and justice in the world. We need a new understanding of priesthood, including the acceptance of married priests. And we need a revised moral teaching, especially on contraception and homosexuality. The future of the Catholic Church depends on seeking truth, justice, and reconciliation for the grave crimes committed and concealed by Catholic clergy worldwide.
The agenda the new Pope has to work on – hopefully with the Cardinals, the Bishops and the People of God all over the world – is very long. To make changes for the better the Cardinals, particularly those who will return to their dioceses, must be more accountable to the people of God in the future.
The new Pope has to accept and follow the teachings of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), which are still valid but not put into practice consistently. One of the keywords of this council was dialogue. It is high time that the new Pope and the Catholic hierarchy began talks with loyal and devout Catholics seeking reform and renewal according to the Second Vatican Council. Only then will the new Pope be listened to and his teaching respected by all members of the Church worldwide..
Press contact in Rome:
- Dr. Martha Heizer (We are Church Austria / Intern. Movement We are Church),
Press contact in Italy:
- Vittorio Bellavite (Noi siamo chiesa Italy)
Collegiality, pastoral wisdom, justice and the hopes of the people of God featured in presentations made at the Monastero delle Suore camaldolesi all'Aventino on Thursday evening (7 March 2013)
Noi Siamo Chiesa and the International Movement We Are Church arranged the meeting to offer analysis and reflection at this important moment in the the life of the Church.
Journalists, church workers and representatives of various organisations and movements heard brief presentations by Catholic speakers from three continents. More information may found by clicking on their names
- Martha Heizer (Austria), Chair and co-founder of the We Are Church movement.
- Vittorio Bellavite (Italy), Coordinator of Noi Siamo Chiesa
- Michael Walsh (United Kingdom), Church historian, writer and commentator on Roman Catholic matters.
- Marylin Hatton (Australia), represents her country to Womens Ordination Worldwide
- Anthony Padovano (USA), theologian, writer and Professor at the University of New Jersey.
- Paul Collins (Australia), broadcaster, writer and historian of the Papacy
Following the presentations the speakers were pleased to receive and answer many questions.
The opening day of the Conclave has not yet been decided; but today as in 2005, there are great expectations that this might mark a turning point in the Church and make the gospel of Jesus more and more heard in ourworld. The problems experienced during the pontificate of John Paul II are still unresolved, or have worsened. Nonetheless the conviction remains that the situation can change for the Word of salvation is powerful.
It is the duty of the College of Cardinals to recognise the seriousness of the situation, to read the signs of times. The Cardinals have in their hands both the book of the Gospel and the documents of the Second Vatican Council. They must read them, and meditate on them. Within them are the directions, sometimes implicit but often very explicit, for the road the Church must travel. The expectations of those who appeal to the Council have already often been voiced. “We are Church” has contributed to raising issues about the Church as a whole, but with especial emphasis on the reform of the Papacy, because that is the key to the entire structure of what is the modern Catholic Church. We shall briefly recall four main issues.
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC is calling for major changes in the Catholic Church and says the current crises are in large part the result of church power being invested in one gender, which is wholly unacceptable in the 21st century.
Lady Kennedy joined forces with Lord Hylton and feminist and spiritual writer Professor Ursula King at the Houses of Parliament (Tuesday March 5) to sign the Catholic Scholars’ Declaration on Authority in the Catholic Church.
The Declaration, calling for a more collegial system of church governance in the church, has already gained the backing of 180 leading theologians and Catholic Scholars worldwide. It has already been submitted to more than 20 cardinal electors in Rome this week.
Professor King signed the Declaration on behalf of women in the church, Lord Hylton signed on behalf of the underprivileged and marginalised, and Lady Kennedy added her signature for all men and women suffering from misguided church rulings on sexual ethics including contraception, homosexuality, divorce and remarriage.
Paul Collins, historian, author, former Catholic Priest and ABC Broadcaster, talks about the Catholic Church, the Papacy, his relationship with the church and his latest book The Birth of the West.
This is an interview published by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
How do you see the situation of the Church?
The Church is tired, in prosperous Europe and in America. Our culture is out of date; our Churches are big; our religious houses are empty, and the Church’s bureaucratic apparatus is growing, and our rites and our vestments are pompous. Do such things really express what we are today? ... Prosperity weighs us down. We find ourselves like the rich young man who went away sad when Jesus called him to become his disciple. I know that it’s not easy to leave everything behind. At least could we seek people who are free and closer to their neighbors, as Bishop Romero was and the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador? Where among us are heroes to inspire us? We must never limit them by institutional bonds.
With the appointment by Pope Benedict XVI of the Bishop of Regensburg, Professor Dr Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, as Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, he is taking up this office in an extremely difficult phase of Church history, in which the reception and implementation of the Second Vatican Council, which opened just fifty years ago, is at stake. It will soon become clear whether with Professor Mueller the window of the Second Vatican Council will again be opened wider, so as be effective as Church in the world – or whether the very last shutters of the window will be closed so that the Church shuts itself off from the world.