Announcing the Peoples Synod

Inviting thinking Catholics and Christians to dialogue

These events will be held online Saturdays: August 8, 15, 22 and 29

A message from the American Catholic Council:

After decades of research and communication with some in the hierarchy of our Church and trusted People of God, it’s become obvious that as we are “victims” of our global culture and context swirling to remake itself and us. In many cases, it is succeeding—on both fronts. We ask the burning question: Where is our faith in such times? Do we choose to remain impotent as the culture re-forms us or do we choose the converse?

Clearly, we have chosen the latter. We are engaging in an experiment to test the hypothesis that Christians are ready now, willing now, and able now to live the common values of our faith intentionally with the same courage Jesus had. We developed the Peoples Synod to give voice to the People of God, just as synods provide the hierarchy with dialogue on issues that internally concern the institutional Church. We, however, live in a bigger world, an external reality, often beaten to submission by a secular hierarchy that tells us what to think, who to believe, and what to do about it.

We are challenging Christians to think, to be creative, to see new frontiers that match our reality. We already share a common perspective that all lives matter and relationships, primary deep relationships, are the cornerstone of our faith. After all, Scripture is all about relationships, the good, the bad and the ugly, and stories are there to teach us about lives with purpose and those, without.

Come join us for four consecutive Saturdays in August (beginning August 8) for either the morning or afternoon session that will stimulate us to think bigger, to see the potential we have and to create the possibilities we long for. We live in a context of cynicism that keeps many of us mute to speak out on the problems of the day. What would our world be like with thinking Catholics and Christians? Now, there is a dangerous thought to explore.

The Peoples Exhortation

Just as Pope Francis has issued his Papal Exhortation sharing his dreams for the world he’d like to see, so should the people issue a statement sharing our dreams for the world we’d like to see. To participate, you are invited to take a survey to explore whether Covid-19 has made any impact on you, changing what is important in your life and leading you through a series of questions of what kind of world you’d like to see. The outcome of the survey will result in a compendium of what people from around the world think – what we will call a Peoples Exhortation. It is time for the people to assume our rightful place in the world and in the church. What better combination than our gathering in a Peoples Synod and issuing a Peoples Exhortation.

Your donations and contributions of ideas are most appreciated

We are grateful to Janet Hauter and the American Catholic Council for having the tenacity and vision to call for The Peoples Synod. And also grateful to all of you for your donations, all of which will go toward the cost of this event. We always welcome your contributions of ideas for what you want from the Peoples Synod.


Rene Reid
CCRI, director

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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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