By Rene Reid, CCRI Director
(The following is the united statement of Catholic Church Reform International (CCRInt’l) and the American Catholic Council to mark the Jubilee Year of Mercy.They released it for the consideration of coming Ordinary Rome Synod, Oct.4-25. The stress is on Pastoral path of Mercy which alone is the way forward for the church today.: Visit http://sites.google.com/site/jameskottoorspeaking/ to read more on “Medicine of Mercy not Severity” – james kottoor, editor)
CATHOLICS WORLDWIDE OVERWHELMINGLY ECHO POPE FRANCIS'S CALL FOR CHURCH TO CHOOSE PASTORAL PATH OF MERCY IN MINISTERING TO THE FAITHFUL
A few days after his election, Pope Francis, when speaking to his first Sunday audience in St. Peter's Square, recalled Jesus's striking attitude toward the woman taken in adultery, "We do not hear words of scorn, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, that invite us to conversion. Neither do I condemn you: go and It is within the context of this generous spirit of mercy that Catholic Church Reform International (CCRInt’l) and the American Catholic Council have united to mark the Jubilee Year of Mercy by releasing The People Speak, a global report based on the feedback of over 5000 participants, who rated the efficacy of Church teaching on the Baptized and often added personal comments giving context to their ratings. In many areas of family life, significant majorities of respondents rated Church teachings as ineffective or extremely ineffective.
The report contains the painful stories of ordinary people, the vast majority of whom identify as committed, active Catholics, who struggle to maintain dignity and authenticity in situations not honored in Church doctrine or Canon Law. "The Church has betrayed children of her own family and, with no allowance for communication, has cut off all who are unable to live within its rules," said Rene Reid, director of Catholic Church Reform Int'l. "The wounded, the hurting, those in greatest need of the Sacraments are banned from the Eucharistic Table. This is unconscionable!" The survey respondents call for the Church to show some understanding for families who seek God and have good will, but who are nonetheless judged unworthy and marginalized. The CCRI-ACC coalition sees this not as a call for the cheap mercy of less stringent doctrine, but rather as witness to the priority which Christ gave to responding more closely to what is written on the human heart. The survey results identify areas in which this priority needs further attention by church hierarchy, including: divorce and remarriage without annulment, cohabitation, and issues related to Gay-Lesbian respect and equality.
It is the hope of the CCRI-ACC coalition that the integrity of The People Speak, containing the thoughts, feelings, opinions, experiences, hopes and faith of Catholics throughout the world, will help our leaders from the Pope through to local pastors prepare for the October 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops taking place in Rome in October, 2015. "We are committed to building a welcoming, inviting, and nurturing Church and to work side by side with Pope Francis to transform our Church into one that lives and practices the joy of the Gospel," said Janet Hauter, director of the U.S. based American Catholic Council