Catholic Church Reform International: What is our purpose in 2015?
My dear friends in Christ:
As I reflect on the emails of these past weeks I believe CCRI is in the midst of an identity crisis, sorting out our way forward … the “straight way” (Dante) seems lost. This is all part of any great journey.
Reformation of our beloved and beleaguered Church is our purpose and how to put purpose to action our question as we face 2015.
As I step back to see the big picture, what do I see as the answer?
It is my understanding that CCRI’s intent is to work “within” the Church’s framework to support reformation from within.
Working within or without is tricky: Too much within and we are trapped in the old metaphor but too much without and we lose touch with the very people we want to facilitate the Pope’s hearing … persons of faith, broken and unbroken … to smell the sheep … to smell of sheep … the Pope’s message to us.
In this way it is my understanding that CCRI’s market in the endeavor of helping this reform minded Pope is primarily every day Catholics, fallen away and not, and not the bishops.
Some bishops understand the need for reform, most are confused and afraid. Some believe this Pope is wrong and in conscience resist him. As a group they are, to use the current idiom a “hot mess” … in a reformed Church the bishops will not live in a culture of fear and will be able to listen to the people and talk to their Pope without fear about what the people are saying … but that is where we are going as Church … the question is how to get there?
Keeping our focus on the sheep and doing as our Pope has requested … listen to the people … let them speak … He wants to hear … this is our focus for 2015.
We can pray for our bishops, forgive them where we think them wrong, and offer to be of service to those interested in a reformed Church. The others, may God bless them and help me to keep them in our prayers.
Big Picture: Our Church needs a Second Reformation, its long term viability in question … and there are many in support of reform … we have got to find them … this is working within to assist this Pope in our Second Reformation. He is with us only for so long.
So how do we reach the vast diaspora of believers and no longer believers, faithful or not … and if we reach them, what are we asking of them?
We know from our previous survey and other sources as well that there is support for reformation … the question is how to gather that energy into one space and let it speak.
How? A survey proposal: CCRI Survey 2015, “Let the Pope Know” will reach those millions who support reform, but whose voices are not heard given our culture of fear in a Church more and more irrelevant on matters of ordinary teachings so radically out of date … particularly in the matter of human rights and family life.
I imagine this as a 10 question survey and perhaps the first question is: If the Pope called for a married male clergy to solve the priest shortage, would you support such a call. Yes or No
Why focus on this issue? The Pope is reminding us that celibate priesthood is not a sacred teachings … it is human rule that humans made to solve a human problem that has now become a human problem. It is clear he wants a married Catholic priesthood … and I believe it is fair to project that in time he wants a male and female priesthood. A reformed priesthood is on his agenda. What are other areas of reform for which he is hinting or pushing … a survey focused on his concerns will be of interest to him … just have to get the numbers to get his attention. One kind of family includes: married Catholic priest.
I imagine the other nine questions … results of our first survey being a source, also Linementa for questions… as Linda noted lots of juicy information in our first survey. Divorced and remarriage of great interest to reform minded people. So may that would be another question.
For those respondents who are willing to provide more time we could offer a 25 question survey option … going into more detail on the above questions and touching other areas in need of reform. And a place for each person to tell a story about how a Church reformed would better do the work of Jesus. Stories make it all so much more real.
We could ask Linda for her critique of the Survey 2015 as she clearly knows about such things. There is such a thing as internal and external validity in survey’s structure … and the more of that in the Survey the stronger, the more convincing the results.
The more that this survey’s questions reflect the concerns of Linementa a good thing, but a reform minded survey cannot limit itself to very thing it is trying to change.
Our intent is to offer our Church a product that will help give voice to the sheep translated in a manner the Pope can hear the call of the faithful on matters of reform in matters ordinary. That Bishops each according to conscience encourages his flock to use CRRI’s survey or not … this is no affair of ours. Each according to conscience. Working within means accepting and loving those with whom we most strongly disagree, for we are all brothers and sisters through Christ.
CCRI’s objective for 2015: CCRI Survey 2015 to be on TV the summer of 2015 to people everywhere to reach at least a million Roman Catholics (other faiths invited to respond as well). Done in a way to give the respondent the privacy of the confessional to provide Pope Francis the feedback he needs to provide wise leadership to his flock … to bring our wonderful tradition into the 21st century. The timing in summer to build a buzz surrounding the Pope’s visit to the U.S.A. … we are a conservatively dominated Church … how will this reform minded Pope play the day? We can give him some help.
In this way, the straight-way lost becomes clear to me.
Let us pray that 2015 we can do God’s work in the spirit of Pope Francis,
I am off to monastery for a Christmas week … time to recharge the battery.