„Synod holds hope for positive change in the Church's history“

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Media release                                                                                                Rome, October 5, 2014

The International Movement We Are Church welcomes the fact that Pope Francis has today launched a bold new process of broad and open dialogue in the Catholic Church. With the beginning of the Synod we are sure it will be accompanied by the Holy Spirit and cannot be stopped.

We are Church asks the Cardinals and Bishops at the Synod not to waste time with fundamentalistic discussions but honestly and jointly pursue pastoral solutions to the many pressing questions. Theological doctrine and pastoral needs should not be played off against each other.

After years of oppression of all dialogue within the church, it was a remarkable development when Pope Francis invited all believers, the “people of God” to answer a questionnaire in preparation for the synod. The worldwide results that the survey “Instrumentum laboris“ clearly shows cannot be ignored: The traditional teaching of the Church has lost contact with real life and with the different types of family life in our time. What they call “irregular or not accepted situations“ is a widespread reality in all parts of the world. „The reality is more important than the idea“ (Evangelii Gaudium 231).

  • It is high time that the theological basis for the sexual teaching of the church are re-developed in line with the findings of modern human sciences. Even the survey „Instrumentum laboris” finds the traditional understanding of natural law “highly problematic, if not completely incomprehensible”.
  • It is high time that the “sensus fidelium” (the „sense of the faithful”) as well as the primacy of individual conscience (Cardinal John Henry Newman) is re-discovered as the key point of Christian life and teaching.
  • It is high time that church leaders open up a new approach to homosexual partners and divorced and remarried couples - not only out of mercy but of justice. Why don’t they follow the example of the Orthodox Churches with remarried couples?
  • It is high time that the church supports all families who live in very poor and hard situations because of the neoliberal economic systems in an authentic and credible way.

This first meeting of the Synod has an overwhelming majority of Cardinals and Bishops who were appointed by the two previous Popes. There are very few women, experts and auditors in the Synod. Until now, people from reform groups are not invited to the synod, although We Are Church proposed a number of experts to Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri. Therefore the process of the Synod can not and must not be limited to the Synod Hall. The International Movement We Are Church will support processes of open dialogue in many countries in the period up to the second Synod meeting in October 2015.

Dr. Martha Heizer (Chair), cell phone in Rome: +43 650 4168500, martha.heizer@inode.at

Christian Weisner, cell phone in Rome: + 49-172-5 18 40 82, media@we-are-church.org