The CCRI (Catholic Church Reform Int'l) Strategy Team has prepared a letter to be sent to Pope Francis as a follow up to the work of the Synod. Much work has gone into finding the best language to express our concerns and our call for specific actions that are now needed. Of course, we also need to act quickly while the energy from the Synod remains strong. With your support, we continue to work toward bringing needed change to our Church.
The strategy team
November 4, 2015
Dear Pope Francis,
These are times of joy and vigor in our Church. You have called us to a path of accompaniment, of “walking with” the other, of evangelizing and being evangelized by going to the peripheries.
We are encouraged by the work of the Synod. We are encouraged not because the Synod was fully responsive to those who suffer – it was not, and much work remains to right injustices of long standing – but because it is evident that the Spirit is at work. Your personal involvement in bringing issues to the table which were formerly condemned as sinful, has helped so many people to feel worthwhile again. Thank you for being with wounded individuals and families and for being insistent with those leaders in the Church who tend to be deaf to the voices of those who are hurting. You have endeared yourself to young and old, baptized and non-baptized, believers and atheists, because of your openness to listen and understand people’s pain.
In your opening remarks, you called upon the bishops to listen to the Spirit and to openly dialogue, and that is what happened. Bishop after bishop, notwithstanding clear indications of strong disagreements on the floor of the Synod, affirmed that there was in these three weeks a sense of life and excitement that marks an openness to the Spirit. Even so, we are pained that there was not enough compassionate listening to allow the voices of hurting people to enter the final document. We are pained that there were insufficient votes to be welcoming of all people into the Church. We are pained that the number of women represented in the Synod does not correspond with the numbers of women who fill the pews of Churches all over the world and are faithful adherents and workers in the field of the Church mission.
And so we make this request: to continue the work of the Synod, beyond the session on the family just concluded. It is our belief that there is much yet to be done, and we want to see all the People of God invited to participate in what remains to be done. In the coming months and beyond, we will encourage people in their local churches and communities to dialogue among themselves and with their pastors and bishops about their needs for more compassion and forgiveness from our Church. We ask you to encourage Church leaders to promote these gatherings — so that a spirit of listening and encounter will prevail.
In these meetings, we will urge Church leaders to attend to and act to relieve the pain and cries of the people so that, in the not-too-distant future, the tent of our Church will be enlarged to include all those who continue to feel left out and disillusioned at the end of this Synod.
May the peace of Christ be with you, with our bishops, pastors, clergy, and with us all.
Signed by the Strategy Team of Catholic Church Reform Int’l
on behalf of all supporters of CCRI