CCRI’ntl preparing for 2015 Synad

Here is the summary report of last Monday’s strategy team meeting. As you will see, we are in process of proposing our strategy and approach for the coming year in preparation for the 2015 synod. This is not an easy task and is taking us some time. The attached will give you an update of where the team is at the moment. When we have something more complete, we will be sharing it with all of you for your input.



      Grateful to you all,


Report on Press Conferences


The press conferences held around the world were a success.


From Germany:

The press conference went well with about 8 but important journalists. Actually today they were a little bit more interested into the ongoing conference of the German bishops. But I will have a telephone call tomorrow with a very important weekly magazine and probably will have an interview with one of the major TV-channels on Tuesday.

From Spain:

Three main journalists attended the conference. The press release was sent to many of them, so hopefully there will be several mentions in the media during the following days. 

From the UK:

The press conference in London was held on Wed at 14.30 and was a disappointment in that although a dozen vocal Catholics attended, there was only one journalist.   But the main work was done in distributing the Press Release and the LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS to some eighty journalists.

The Tablet therefore has a report on page 38 in its latest edition (28 Sept, attached) and Sister Myra Poole will be in the BBC Studio on Sunday from 07.00 to 09.00 doing live pieces for various local radio stations.

We believe the exercise was well worth the investment of time and energy.   There are bound to be other interviews – Ruth Gledhill of The Times has done some but I do not see the Murdoch press so do not know if anything has been published yet.    There may be bits in the Sunday papers this coming weekend.

From Chicago:


Location:  In front of the Chicago Archdiocesan office building (looks like a Harry Potter castle)

  • 26 media outlets contacted
  • 1 cameraman showed up representing 5 different local TV channels
  • 1 cameraman slipped in from the Archdiocese of Chicago
  • 1 female blogger taped the session requesting permission to share the tape on her blog

We had six speakers:

Janet Hauter delivered the talking points and covered Point #1 related to justice (Anne Brennan, our scheduled speaker on this point, had a conflict and canceled the night before). 

We scheduled other speakers who had expertise in each of the 5 points mentioned in the letter to the Pope:

Bob Kopp, President of the Chicagoland VOTF, spoke on the issue of dialogue and the Pope’s statements around the value of dialogue as the key to human progress.

Ryan Hoffmann, Communications Director of Call to Action (CTA), addressed the need for equality of all people.

Dr. Paul Culhane, Secretary of the Chicagoland VOTF, addressed the need for greater participation of the Baptized in governance and highlighted the bishop selection research engaged in by this affiliate.

Rick Springer and Tony Jannotta addressed the confrontation and prevention of sexual abuse.  Rick is a victim, age 76 (abused at 14) appeared with oxygen apparatus commenting on how flashbacks still persecute him and Tony Jannotta, a deacon with the Archdiocese, related how this affiliate fought for a nearly unanimous vote to eliminate the statutes of limitations for criminal and civil child abuse crimes.

There were 5 other “supporters” that stood by in support.

In Chicago, our efforts were somewhat compromised because of the death of Bishop Timothy Lyne, the former pastor of Holy Name Cathedral for many years, who died that morning.  He was 94 and the news of his death took precedence in the news the next morning.

From Los Angeles:

Representatives from Call to Action and Catholic Workers presented to the Hispanic TV station in town. Given the large numbers of Catholic Hispanics here, this was a good station to have present. 

From Australia:

We are sending press releases around the country today. In speaking with the publicist that has been running our campaign we decided to send the release and make Bishop Bill Morris available for interviews.  He is the spokesperson on behalf of the letter.  Bishop Robinson will remain key spokesman for the petition.  Bill and Geoff are speaking on Friday 27 Sept in Brisbane and our press release invites media to attend.  They will also be available for interview as needed.   We had more success with one on one interviews than we did with the press conference when we launched the petition.

Today I am sending an email to the 100,000+ signatories to the petition advising of the initiative which will include points from the press release and talking points.   I have contacted the supportive Catholic media and they will run stories in upcoming issues.

The Australian correspondence for The Tablet in the UK is including information in his next submission to his editor so hopefully it gets a run.  Geoff has written to his contact in the NCR also but I imagine you have that covered anyway.

It’s hard to gauge whether the secular media will pick up the story here. The government enquiry into sexual abuse is the key religious story here and so we are working to weave the letter in to that conversation.

From Philadelphia:

I just spoke with


UNIVERSITY MARKETING : UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS TEMPLE UNIVERSITY. He says that they hardly ever do a press conference these days—newspapers are in such a shambles! Nobody comes. There is only the Inquirer’s Riley who at times does religion issues. Best to put together a news release and send it to him to see if he can peddle it more or less effectively.

From Latin America:

I have sent and recommended strongly the publication of the press release to the three biggest or more important sites for Latin American: the one of UNISINOS, the ADITAL site (simultaneously in English and Spanish), and ATRIO.ORG (this in Spain, but very followed in Latin America.  In the next days I hope to be connected in São Paulo, in the Methodist University, but perhaps I'll not have too much access in terms of time and connection, because I'll be in the midst of a Theological Congress.

From Ireland:

Sept. 30: Just returned from our press conference. All three national newspapers were there , Irish Times , Irish Independent and the Irish Examiner. The Tablet Irish correspondent was also there and she was covering for Catholic news Service. So overall it was a successful outcome.

From Italy:

We agree with Vittorio, the national spokesman of “We are church movement”, to organize the press conference that will take place in Rome on Wednesday, 25 September. Tomorrow we are going to check the availability of the Foreign press head office in order to hold the conference.

It will be important that some of you from the USA would come to participate at the press conference in Rome. What about this possibility? I think it will be impossible to us to have the press conference in Rome without some of you from USA.

Due to our inability to get a spokesperson to Rome, this press conference was cancelled

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