We are deeply grateful for your warm pastoral care, good humour and powerful emphasis on the core Good News of Jesus Christ
- that we are all precious daughters and sons of God;
- that God is close to us in all of creation;
- that we are all loved by God and that we should respond with joyful gratitude, selfless care for others and action for justice;
- that we are all called to wholeness and healing;
- that we are called to live to the full and to journey along the road together with Jesus Christ to Resurrection.
We are honest, truthful Catholics and we wish to travel with you beyond superficial chitchat and public razzmatazz.
Accordingly, Pope Francis, we Catholic people, will gladly SPEAK OUT in response to your repeated invitations. Yes – we will affirm our core faith but we will also express our doubts about outdated clerical traditions, teachings and practices within the Catholic institution which drive people away from the basic Good News of Jesus Christ and parish community involvement. Yes, we will share our constructive criticism together with positive suggestions for change and reform in our Catholic Church.
Yes, Pope Francis we have lived in families, listened to fellow Catholics and our young people. We are proud of the selfless service provided by caring Catholics worldwide at this moment and over the centuries. However, we are increasingly aware of the negative aspects of our Catholic history together with the growing crisis in our Church. We know that good priests are now grossly overburdened and that there is a growing Eucharistic famine. We know that there are serious health issues in our societies and that there is a great hunger for genuine Good News around meaning, purpose and direction in our lives. We are aware that reformers and prophets in our Catholic Church have not been welcomed and that the Roman Control Group does not appear to be listening to the sincere Catholic voices crying out for change in our lifetime. As a result, many Catholics have walked away from clerical medieval nonsense and are no longer available to build up local parish communities. That does not mean they have walked away from God or the core faith.
Pope Francis, we parents desperately want the core Good News of Jesus Christ to be available and accessible to all in new narrative / language / concepts / ritual / systems / structures and action for justice that makes sense to 21st century people. A start could be made on this massive project via open parish meetings, diocesan synods, expert consultations plus Vatican III by 2022. We are convinced that it is not possible to evangelise people today in the language of inequality / sexism / injustice / negative sexuality / misogyny / monarchy / patriarchy / homophobia or exclusion. We fully agree with you that the Good News of Jesus Christ is best expressed in the language of love, selfless service, church reunion, mercy, action for justice, honest dialogue plus ongoing change and reform.
Yes, Pope Francis, we are very grateful for your historic invitation to speak out and to be involved together with other Catholics in the painstaking work for change, reform and justice in our Catholic Church and our world. Thank you for providing us with a positive option and a glimmer of hope. We fully approve of your emphasis on collegiality and your invitation to all bishops to assess the pastoral needs of their diocese. We know that there are huge differences between different countries and regions together with widely varying pastoral needs. We understand that there may be some opposition in the Roman Curia to your pastoral approach together with some reluctance by bishops to respond to your call. We will do our best to register our support for your historic pastoral initiative and will communicate our point of view to your nuncios, bishops and parish priests. Most of us do not wish to live in the past and refuse to accept that change can only happen in 500 years’ time! We will consider all our options as free people in Christ. We will pray together in our families and homes. We will dialogue, reflect and act in small groups in our parishes. We are more than willing to volunteer our services and ministries together with other Christians within a Vatican III Catholic Church!
Yes – Pope Francis – you gave us hope with your historic pastoral initiative. We are with you – we love you! May the Lord bless and sustain you!
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