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