for Your group reforms
Rene Reid, Director,
CCRI’tnl 19 Jul, 2016
James Kottoor, Catholic reformation Society of Kerala, India,
(Note: Rene Reid, based in USA is Director of Catholic Church Reform International (CCRI). The following letter addressed to the editor of CCV was received on 19 July 2016. CCRI is an international organization started in 2014 to support every Reform Process started by Pope Francis with the launching of two Family Synods. Ever since dr.kottoor has been a member of the CCRI which is coordinating its supportive Church Reform programmes in over 60 countries world wide. So what we publish and what you readers of CCV write is seen, read and appreciated by a global community as this letter testifies. May that encourage you to write to CCV more often to make your impact felt on a global community to speed up reform in the Catholic Church. The last sentence of the letter: “We would highly value your candid thoughts regarding this proposal, and hope that we may stand together in bringing about the reform of our Church” is addressed directly to all readers of CCV. Therefore please feel free to send in your views: james kottoor, editor).
As a follow up to our newsletter of a few days ago, we are writing to you personally. As a representative of a Church organization, you are actively involved in advancing reform in our Church. Francis has been our pope for just over three years now and, while he has opened some possibilities for movement forward, many barriers remain. The purpose of this email is to explore possibilities of how we might help one another in our various efforts to move past those barriers and move forward in bringing needed reforms to our Church.
We are convinced that one path to reform is through grassroots discussions that provide a place for people to share their views with one another. These kinds of discussions are already going on, in organizations like yours. Maybe you are already part of a network so your members may share their concerns and needs more widely. Our aim is to develop and extend this sharing to gather these concerns together and give them a loud global voice. Would you be willing to collaborate with other groups worldwide in this sharing? If people who gather in small groups knew that their concerns are widely shared, we believe that will set the tone for a further step along the path toward the people having a deliberative voice in the governance of our Church.
For meaningful reform to happen, the People, who are the Church, must find the courage to speak out. Pope Francis is describing the church as an upside down pyramid with the People at the top filtering down our needs to the focal point at the bottom, i.e., the pope. But this doesn’t work if the people are silent. Our goal is to act resolutely so that groups with local initiatives know they are not alone, and do not give yup in silence.
In order to give strength to your local initiatives, we have set up this website www.ThePeopleSpeakOut.org (1) where we can all sharereports describing the outcome of local meetings and (2) which alsooffers suggestions for making it easy for those unfamiliar with setting up meetings.
This provides a forum whereby groups and organizations may post their reports, publicize action, and hence strengthen the collaborative efforts of everyone by making them known worldwide. In addition, we are offering a template letter to bishops and pastors which may be adapted and used by groups and individuals who may be interested in inviting local clergy to your local gatherings and/or calling on them to convene Peoples’ Synods. If you have any suggestions for improving the site or making it more palatable to your group, please let us know and we’ll pass your suggestions onto our webmaster, Valerie Stroud.
Our hope is that, with this common place to offer support for one another, we may be more effective in bringing about the various changes for which we are all working. The voice of one organizationis only a whisper when we act on our own. But if many reform groups see their reflections in one another through this exchange of information about what each of us is doing, we could turn our whispers into a strong, clear symphony of voices.
We would highly value your candid thoughts regarding this proposal, and hope that we may stand together in bringing about the reform of our Church.
Jo Bock, Tax Justice Network, Belgium
Larry Carney, former priest, Canada
Jan Stephen Cavanaugh, active reformer, U.S.
Clyde Christofferson, attorney, member of NOVA, an Intentional Eucharistic Community, U.S.
Vincenzo Maria Rosario Chianese, Marian Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, Italy
Bride Counihan, Ireland
Dr. John Dayal, Former National President of All India Catholic Union, India
Sr. Barbara Dreher, CSJ; Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, U.S.
Bill Faulkner, Gathering of Friends, U.S.
Geoff Harris, member of We Are All Church South Africa
Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, Satyashodhak & Indian Women Theologians' Forum, India
Isaac Gomes, Catholic Assoc. of Bengal & Archdiocesan Social Communication Commission, India
Carol Harris, member of Alliance of Louisville Laity, U.S.
James Kottoor, journalist and author, former priest, founder of Church Citizens Voice, India
Kirit Macwan, All India Catholic Union and Ahmedabad Catholic Association, India
Joseph Mattappally, Church Citizens Voice, India
William Nerrin, former priest, U.S.
Meneldil Palantír Talmayar, President of Tol Ardor, France
Abbot Father Michael, Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, U.S.
Michael Redfearn, digital literacy consultant, Canada
Rene Reid, author and co-founder of CCRI, U.S.
Christina Reymer, active reform supporter, New Zealand
Virginia Saldanha, Indian Women Theologians' Forum, India
Laurie Sheehan, active reform supporter, Australia
Ed Schreurs, Open Church Alliance, Netherlands
Anthony Spencer, Pastoral Research Centre, United Kingdom
Scilla Stack, active reform supporter, Western Australia
Mary Beth Stein, Council of the Baptized, Minnesota, U.S.
Nessan Vaughan, Association of Catholics, Ireland
John R. Williams, University of Ottawa and Carleton University, Canada