‘We Are Church’ battles on despite papal snubs
British Church Newspaper – 8th December 2006
British Church Newspaper
The international, Roman Catholic, lay movement, We Are Church, has sent yet another letter to the pope seeking dialogue to discuss reforms in the new century.
As a world wide reform movement within the Roman Catholic Church We Are Church is committed to the renewal of the Church on the basis of the second Vatican council (1962-1965) and the theological spirit developed from it.
For the third time, We Are Church is asking Pope Benedict XVI for a personal meeting to launch what it calls, "an open, broad, constructive, and mutual dialogue on the current questions and problems in the Church".
There was no reply to the first letter. The reply to the second letter, on instructions from the Vatican's Secretary of State, recommended dialogue with local bishops and priests.
In its third letter to the Pope dated 25 November We Are Church points out the necessity of dialogue with the Vatican, because many dialogues with local bishops during the last 10 years made it clear that the questions and pastoral problems were not their responsibility but that of the Vatican.
"If the Pope demands dialogue with Islam there should also be an open and substantial dialogue within the Church", says Raquel Mallavibarrena, Chair of We Are Church.
Its stated goals are:
Today, says We Are Church, the institutional Church is far more conservative than it was in the times of the Vatican Council, but there is still deep yearning for change.
- creation of a Church of brothers and sisters; [i.e. less hierarchy]
- full participation of women in all aspects of Church life; [i.e. female priests]
- removal of the obligation of clerical celibacy;
- a positive attitude towards sexuality; [i.e. homosexuality]
- a message of joy and not threat or discrimination.
In the Synods for Asia, Africa and America, as well as during the Synod on the Eucharist in 2005, more and more bishops demonstrated that they are moving in a reform orientated direction, but until now the Pope and the Roman Curia have not taken any action to face the huge pastoral problems in all parts of the world, says We Are Church.