Friday, October 11, 2013
CATHOLIC BISHOPS URGE POPE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE RIGHTS OF CATHOLICS TO HAVE A VOICE IN THE DECISION MAKING OF THEIR CHURCH
Bishops Robinson, Morris and Power recently joined with 100 church organisations backed by over four million Catholics around the world calling on Pope Francis to give priests, religious, and laity a major role in church decision making in matters such as dealing with sexual abuse, on the eve of his meeting with an eight member council of cardinals to discuss church governance.
Representatives of reform groups throughout the world submitted a letter tracing the current crisis in the church, including sex abuse and fiscal corruption in the Vatican and outlining the destructive effects of clericalism and an all-male celibate governing body on the church has been submitted to Pope Francis and the eight Cardinals, including Cardinal Pell, that are meeting in Rome now.
The three bishops are lending their support to this movement. Other supporters include Catholics for Renewal in Australia, US based groups: Call to Action, Voice of the Faithful, American Catholic Council, and the We Are Church movement worldwide. The latter has a membership of several million Catholics in nearly 50 countries.
Pope Francis has inaugurated some reforms at the Vatican. He has criticised clericalism, saying that the episcopate is a ministry of service and not one of domination. He has also insisted that newly appointed bishops be “close to the people, fathers and brothers and …not have the psychology of 'Princes.’” And in his recent interview that received worldwide circulation, he said, "The Church is the people of God, pastors and people put together. The church is the totality of God's people."
But the Pope has yet to specify to what extent the laity will be included in sharing church authority.
The letter, respectful and supportive of the direction Pope Francis appears to be moving, states that full participation of all baptised Catholics in the church’s decision making it fundamental to church reform and is firmly based on the Gospel, tradition, and the vision of the Second Vatican Council.
The letter also calls for open dialogue among its members and urges Pope Francis to reinstate theologians who have been censored in previous pontificates and to cease its “unjust and unwarranted” investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
“Our fondest hope is that Pope Francis will accept a delegation of our leaders at the Vatican,” said Bishop Morris, on behalf of Bishops Robinson and Power. “He has been reaching out to atheists, gays and others. He wants dialogue. We want that too.”
To view the letter that has been sent go to
Bishop Morris and Robinson have also been in the media go to http://forchristssake.info/index.php/media/ to view the latest articles.
Please continue to promote the petition.
'Like' the For Christ's Sake Petition page on Facebook and encourage others to sign.
To date we have:
116,205 signatures on line and
2,618 signed on paper (via parishes and other groups)
Giving a total of 118,823