Suggested letter to your bishop

CCRI has been asked to design a template letter for individuals and groups to send to their bishop of national Bishops’ Conference.   You will need to adapt it as appropriate to your particular concerns, issues and needs locally.

Dear Bishop [name]

For the first time in decades we have a Pope who encourages meaningful dialogue.  We are excited by this willingness to listen.  We see in this a new way of being church, a church willing to work compassionately with the experiences lived by the people at the grass roots.  The world is desperate for spiritual nourishment, for acceptance, for love and to be loved, to be at peace with oneself and with one another, and to make sense of this life in the context of our families, communities and with all creation.

We see in this diocese the following injustices: [list those that are of most concern locally].  With Francis urging us to speak out as full partners in a synodal church, we believe that dialogue within the diocese can pave the way for pastoral action that will relieve at least some of the suffering from these injustices.  We can begin with the easier challenges, to get our feet wet, and work forward from there.  In earlier times such action might have been discouraged because of possible conflicts with doctrinal priorities.  But, with this Pope, primary emphasis is upon healing wounds and root causes.  And if that healing better mediates God’s transforming love, then doctrine which fails to mediate that love will not stand in the way.

We do not know how these wounds and root causes can be healed.  That is what dialogue is for, a dialogue in which the people participate.  This diocese has not had the benefit of a synod for such dialogue since such synods were instituted by Vatican II [or indicate when the last synod in the diocese was].  Consequently, the Church has become increasingly dysfunctional in its governance and culture.

We strongly and respectfully urge you to support our call for a new synod of the people in our diocese.  We call for an opening up of the structures and processes that enable the Spirit to work through all, male and female, religious and lay. We need to rescue our beloved Church and welcome back those it has alienated, so that it may once more reach out to all with Amoris Laetitia (the Joy of Love).

In Christ’s peace

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Speaking Out with One Unified Global Voice

"...Until we raise a common voice, we will not only not be heard, we will not even be listened to....   

My hope is that by speaking out together - a strong chorus of calls for reform - we can provide a common, a clear, a strong and ongoing voice for the yet incomplete vision of Vatican II.

In common cause, let us band together across the world. By our desire to be heard on particular issues - all of them important - let us not lose the strength of our common voice by reducing it to a whisper.

In light of this, we invite individuals and organizations to join together in making known our opinions for the good of our Church. By uniting our voices, it is not about abandoning the unique work of your organization but rather about how your work can enhance global reform."

Sr. Joan Chittister, CCRI Special advisor

"We have to join our forces in order to reach a real breakthrough in this window of opportunity." Hans Kung, CCRI Consultor

"When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion." [Ethiopian proverb]

"Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable." [Kenyan proverb]

"(The Christian faithful) have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful." (Canon 212 §3)

CCRI is also interested in helping support various causes in regions of the world by garnering the support of our entire global community for those who need support beyond their parish, organization, or locale. Send us (1) your name and affiliation, or (2) the name of your group with some description of your goals, membership, and numbers. Click here to see those organizations who have already joined together speaking out for reform of our Church.

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