2017 June 26 – Strategy Team Meeting

Present on the call:
Don (Mexico), Michael (Canada), Christina (New Zealand), Socorro (Mexico), Virginia (India), Rachael (India), Astrid (India), Clyde (U.S.), Rene (U.S.)

Support CTA
Don reported that CTA has five areas of social justice: (1) Church worker justice, (2) Lay engagement, (3) LGBT,(4) Racial justice, and (5) Women, girls and equality. Once CTA has social justice issues they’re promoting, CCRI could support this.  Two specific issues coming up:

  1. In Denver, a primarily Latino parish is closing there. Don asked if Christina might want to connect the New Zealand parish closing with the Denver parish. She will check with that parish.
  2. In Chicago, a gay teacher named Matt was fired.

CTA would appreciate CCRI support for both of these issues. A signature campaign was discussed. Don has agreed to draft writes the letter on behalf of CCRI, and we post it and have others sign it. Don asks if everyone on the call could promote
Look at change.org Rachael will send link.
Action: (1) Don will provide CCRI with the publicity that CTA sent out and ask Michael to post it on our Facebook page; (2) Don will send out a sample letter re the fired teacher inviting all of us to personalize the letter and send our own letter to the principal; (3) Each of us pass this campaign onto our contacts; (4) Valerie is asked to post it on the CCRI website.
Don’s goal is to have the principal get a bunch of emails from all over the world.

Letter to Cardinal Farrell
Once we learned that there is no Year of the Laity being celebrated, Clyde suggested that we redraft the letter proposing that Francis create a Year of the Laity. Further discussion led to suggesting that we combine two things: continue our focus on small local gatherings and at them take notes or record the discussions and send the outcomes to Pope Francis and Cardinal Farrell. Christina suggested that dioceses be encouraged to hold people’s forums and gather people’s input. It’s important that we have a mechanism for gathering people’s views. We were reminded that the Dicastery for the laity has its own advisors. We’ve sent two letters to the Cardinal and not had either answered. This time we quote Francis demonstrating that we are supporting him and copy the letter to the Pope. This fits in with our objective of organizing small local faith communities.  
Action: Clyde will rewrite the letter and send out the draft to the ST.

Press Release re: the dubia of the four conservative cardinals: Virginia said cardinals are putting pressure on Pope Francis. We should support Francis in Amoris Latitia. Do not focus on the Cardinals. Put our emphasis on supporting the pope.  Francis in his silence is just like Jesus – not choosing to be caught in a trap. His silence is golden. Could tie this issue together with the proposal of the Year of the Laity. Action: Christina will send out the first draft of the press release.

Update from young adult committee: Rachael has not succeeded in reaching Liz over the last several weeks. Rachael is creating a short alternate questionnaire and has 2 or 3 people who have agreed to respond to it. In her communication with Briege from New Zealand, she finds no problem with the Vatican questionnaire. Rachael is educating young adults with the problem she sees in the Vatican Questionnaire.  Christina suggests that Rachael’s alternative questionnaire be shared with the Jakarta group. Virginia reported that Paul Hwang might not be prepared to have the group respond to the questionnaire. Astrid suggested that it might be worthwhile to have a workshop first and then present the alternate questionnaire. Rachael said she is not prepared to conduct a full workshop but what she is doing is working with people who are feminists and meeting with small groups of people she can trust. She can’t go to her parish as it’s too conservative. Rene reminded everyone that we have an insider on the drafting committee in the Synod office. He recommended that young people (or those who work with them) send in 1 or 2 page documents that just express your concerns and indicate what you want included on the agenda of the Youth Synod.

Collaborating with progressive bishops and cardinals
Astrid pointed out that there is a divide among the cardinals. Perhaps we should consider collaborating with the progressive cardinals so that there is less of a laity-clergy divide. She said there is no real opposition to Francis in India. There is a need to work on the openings Francis has already created. Let’s not give the 4 cardinals too much importance. Instead, let’s focus on building up theology to support Francis’s pastoral practices.

Decentralization will inevitably result in diversity  in the Church
Don reported what the cardinals are upset about: Germany allows divorced and remarried to receive communion and Poland does not. The Church needs to address this. Similarly, there is a difference on LGBT issues between Africa and U.S.  We need to point out that there is still integrity in diversity. Needs some theological support for this diversity.

Astrid recently wrote an article comparing what is happening with the divorced and remarried with those in interfaith marriages. They are much the same. Theology on these kinds of issues has to change. Canon law flows from the old theology. Practice has to go before the theology. We need to find a way to support Francis. Need a theology that is inclusive and provide the sacraments for those who want them.

Interaction of small faith communities
We are still attempting to bring together small faith communities and have them interact with others from around the world. 
Action: Socorro will send Rene the information of her contact in Latin America. Christina has a group that still wants to e involved. Clyde also does.

Next week’s meeting
Jean-Pierre will give us a full report of the planning meeting for Aparecido.  Don will try to bring Celso on. Regarding bringing Bishop Moiro on to meet the ST, we will need to adjust our time to suit the Bishop’s schedule.

Actions resulting from this meeting:
Don will send sample email and ask all of us to write to the principal of the school in Chicago.
Christina will send draft press release.
Clyde will send out rewrite of letter to Farrell.
Socorro will send Rene the contact person for the CEBs in Latin America.

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