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Why people are insisting that their voices be heard at the Synod

Next month, each diocese will be receiving a questionnaire from the Office of the Synod of Bishops inviting the people to voice their opinions and concerns about the future of the institutional Church. From October 2021 through April 2022, Pope Francis has called upon every diocese throughout the world for bishops and the people to engage in dialogue. The pope wants to hear from all the people - not only those who are engaged in regular Mass attendance but even those who've walked away from the institutional Church valuing their personal faith over so called "Church laws" and prescripts.

 Read why so many others are signing the petition:

You may appreciate reading just a few of the comments from the hundreds of responses from the People of God explaining why so many are signing this petition to bishops and are contacting their bishops to ensure that there will be a synod held in their region of the world:

 "I'm signing because I can no longer accept the Catholic Church as it has evolved. I now pray to Christ who began our Faith but did not include the manner in which it has evolved. I have learned that the Church that we know began to evolve at least 1,000 years later and was totally delivered by men who did not marry and did not include women." Dublin, Ireland

 "The Church has strayed and needs to get back on mission and reflect its true role. We also owe it to those who have left and are leaving the Church in droves, particularly young people, and again become relevant to the times we live in, the needs we have, and the new understandings we have gained." John, Melbourne, Australia

 "I believe all that is written in this petition from the depths of my being! We have lost so much that Vatican II enabled - and we desperately need to get it back before this patriarchal hierarchy smothers us all. We need to pray for those who stand in the way of Pope Francis’ efforts to bring us back much more closely to what Jesus had envisioned!" Mary, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

 "I am deeply committed to the Catholic Church because this is how I came to know God. Most of my heroes have been and are here. I love the Mass and Sacraments, but I think that we have to move beyond the present clericalism and learn to better hear Jesus and live the Gospels." Kathryn, Raleigh, N. Carolina

 “I am signing because I believe in an evolutionary Church; that Jesus expects and guides us to change in order to grow. I believe our young people are underscoring this understanding.”

Harry, St Paul, Minnesota, USA

 Sign the petition to Bishops in your own language

Sign this petition in your own language

 

Firme esta petición en su propio idioma

 

Unterschreibe diese Petition in deiner eigenen Sprache

 

Signez cette pétition dans votre langue

 

Assine esta petição em seu próprio idioma

 

귀하의 언어로 이 청원서에 서명하십시오

 

あなたの母国語でこの請願書に署名してください

 

Saini ombi hili kwa lugha yako mwenyewe

 

To ensure that there will be a synod in your region of the world, send a letter to your bishop, pastor, or priest also in your own language.

Pope Francis has called for a diocesan synod to be held in every diocese throughout the world beginning this coming October. This first step is scheduled to conclude by April 2022. Without encouragement from the People, some bishops will choose not to hold this synod in their diocese.

 

Below you will find a model letter in your own language that you are encouraged to use to help you formulate your own letter to your bishop, pastor, or priest. The purpose is to let the clergy know how important it is for the People of God to be included and listened to in these forthcoming diocesan synods.

 

model letter in English

 

model letter in Spanish

 

model letter in German

 

model letter in French

 

model letter in Portuguese

 

model letter in Korean

 

model letter in Japanese

 

model letter in Swahili / Kiswahili

 

"I would like to contribute to the discussion, to hear opinions and insights that can broaden my horizon and hopefully, contribute to the understanding of others by sharing my own." Valerie, Tallaght, Ireland

 

"The peoples voice is often missing from the conversations that affect them...they have insights about their church, their futures and are the ones who are out in society, in the world seeing the issues that impact the world and all the people. Give them the opportunity to share and be a part of the Church's future." Barb. St. Louis, Missouri, USA

"I am signing because I believe in an evolutionary Church; that Jesus expects and guides us to change in order to grow. I believe our young people are underscoring this understanding." Harry, St Paul, USA

 

"I am signing this in order that the Holy Spirit might be heard and followed in the Catholic Church and to support Pope Francis's leadership." William, Tweksbury, USA

 

"Because it makes sense to involve lay people who are the church, who’s voices, wisdom & experiences are valid expressions of God’s presence in all things." Sara, Ann Arbor, USA

 

"I know too many people who were raised catholic and no longer attend Mass. They don't feel welcome so have found other ways to commune with God than through the Catholic Church. In order to be the church modeled by Jesus and early Christians, the bishops need to hear all of our voices." Katherine, St. Paul, USA

 

"I want to see the renewed spirit of Vatican 11, that started so strongly but has been stifled and left Catholics disillusioned and lost. We have a Christ-like leader in Pope Francis....let's follow him with faith and trust in God, who is LOVE." Pat, Salmon Arm, British Columbia

 

“I'm signing because it is time for the hierarchy to listen to the people in the pews. We are the church also and our views should be made known through a local synod.” Ruth, Beloit, Wisconsin, USA,

 

Join with others and sign this petition.

 

"This hierarchy seems more interested in control than demonstrating that love is the essence of Christianity."

Michael, Cork

 

"I don't receive communion because I can't say Amen to what the institution practices. It seems a time that in order to be a prophetic witness, I must walk away." Sue, Clarkston, Michigan, USA

 

"As a gay catholic, the Church has no more meaning for me because of all its anti gay statements and rules." Don, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

 

"This is very important to /for the future of our church. Please listen to all of US." Geri, St Paul Minnesota

 

"I am concerned and have been for decades about the loss of our young people. I'm also concerned about the resurgence of the anti-Vatican II element in our hierarchy. Thirdly and most importantly I'm concerned about the continued loss of and increasing age of priests. It makes our Church unsustainable." Charles, Seven Fields, Pennsylvania, USA

 

"Ik teken omdat ik me betrokken voel bij onze kerkgemeenschap en er van overtuigd ben dat ook in de toekomst de kerk van essentieel belang is voor het geloof en geluk van vele mensen."

 ("I am signing because I feel involved in our Church community and I am convinced that the Church will also be essential for the faith and happiness of many people in the future.") Thea, Hattem, Netherlands

 

"I'm very upset that after all the sexual abuse issues, all the denial that women should be allowed to be leaders and minister to people, that there are still ultra conservative old men in leadership roles in the church, along with a multitude of other problems that keep the church from being loving and inclusive as was taught by Jesus, that clerical feet are still dragging and creating political divides where there should be NONE!! Pope Francis is the best reformer we Catholics have had in an unbelievably long time. Stop gagging us an let us speak. It is our Church too!!"

Mary Pamela, Rochester, New York, USA

 

"I'm signing this petition because I think that synodality is the only way that we can bring real reform in the church. Let the church's mission lead the way, as Pope Francis says, not the church's self-preservation." Stephen, Chicago, Illinois, USA

 

"Too many serious Catholics are leaving the Church: fed up with political positions in support of a despicable former president; fed up with the unequal treatment of women; fed up with the ignorance of the tenets of Vatican II or with the pillars of social justice upon which the Church rests; fed up with clerical abuses; fed up with the new conservatism being pushed, i.e., Latin Mass, Eucharist on the tongue, altar rails..... Is the Church begging to implode?" Pam, Old Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

 

Join with others and sign this petition. To ensure that there will be a synod in your region of the world, send a letter to your bishop, pastor, or priest in your own language:

 

Below you will find a model letter in your own language that you are encouraged to use to help you formulate your own letter to your bishop, pastor, or priest. The purpose is to let the clergy know how important it is for the People of God to be included and listened to in these forthcoming diocesan synods.

 

model letter in English

 

model letter in Spanish

 

model letter in German

 

model letter in French

 

model letter in Portuguese

 

model letter in Korean

 

model letter in Japanese

 

model letter in Swahili / Kiswahili

 

"I was heartened by Pope Francis’s comments to the Italian bishops (May 24) that the Synod must have a “bottom-up” focus with the process beginning in small, local communities and parishes. He called for patience, allowing all to speak freely, giving space to “the wisdom of the People of God.” Réjeanne, Montréal, Canada

 

"If the people are not given a voice - and heard the church will continue to wither and die and deservedly so. The wrong-doers are still in charge and the child abuse and cover-ups continue. Also, for how much longer are the women going to be 'kept in their place?'" Monica, Mudgee, South Whales, Australia

 

"I read the Bible daily and know that the early church kept alive Jesus' message by having small, self-governing communities. We should get back to them. Surely by now, Christians have learnt by bitter experience that the great Catholic layperson, John Acton, was correct in his judgement that absolute power corrupts absolutely."

David, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 

"I am signing this petition because I fully agree with the contents of the petition to bishops and I also believe that if and until the faithful have full access to participate in the upcoming synod, the positive change in the Catholic Church will remain a far cry." Rosaline, East Elmhurst, New York, USA

"I'm signing because I believe that the Church will not continue unless it moves away from its present hierarchical structure to a synodal structure as championed by Pope Francis." Ian, Eltham, England

 

Join with others and sign this petition.

 

"The Church I grew up in is gone. The Church is now ruled by bishops who tell us everything and anything they think we should think and do. The laity exists only to execute the directives of the bishops. How tragic!"

Michael, Tucson, Arizona, USA

 

"I’m signing because I want women priests, married clergy and religious, third rite reconciliation and welcoming of everyone present to receive the Eucharist." Leonie, Carlton, Oregon, USA

 

"The upcoming Australian Plenary Council has not allowed for enough lay people to participate in meaningful ways and to have any real say in decision making. People continue to vote with their feet and as a life-long Catholic, I worry about the future and relevance of our church in people’s lives today."

Kathryn, Wangaratta, Australia

"The Church established by Jesus, and kept alive by Paul and Stephen in Acts was an inclusive, equal community where every part of the Mystical Body interacted with every other part. This was affirmed by Vatican II as we are a Church of the baptized not just the ordained. Wayne, Forest Hill, Victoria, Australia

 

"I'm signing because I believe synodality is meaningless unless a synod properly represents those who are affected by its deliberations and decisions. Laurence, Hazelbrook, New South Whales, Australia

 

"The Catholic Church is the People of God. For too long, the wisdom and spiritual gifts of all the people have been downplayed or overlooked by the hierarchy. We need to hear all voices to once again be a vibrant faith community. Joanne, Vestal, New York, USA

 

"I feel the hierarchy of the Church has no understanding of the needs of us who make the church what it is. We, the congregation, want and need the Church to move into the 21st century. The archaic attitude of the bishops and cardinals are driving people away from the doors of our churches. Women are still treated as second class citizens, yet they are the mainstay of the church.... The Church accepted married Episcopal ministers to perform the Mass when it suited them. It’s time to allow priests to be married in order to ensure the Church moves forward. It’s an outdated policy in today’s world not to allow this. As is not allowing women to be priests. The Church's attitude to divorce and homosexuality is just wrong. It is encouraging division, bigotry, and hatred by it’s attitude. The Church needs to be led by modern, forward thinking individuals, of both sexes or it will cease to exist. The pandemic has shown that we, the people, can worship in our own homes.... I pray 🙏 that God will be in the heart of those responsible for looking at change and that they will put aside their own prejudices for the good of the Church and it’s congregation." Nina, Sale, Australia

 

"I’m signing because I am disillusioned with our Catholic Church. Women who are the largest cohort attending our local Catholic Parish and carry out many of the activities are being sidelined throughout the world. I'm grateful that our parish is very ecumenical since that isn’t the norm in most parishes in our diocese or indeed the world." Marie, Kooringal, Australia

 

"I'm signing this petition because too often in the past too many voices have not been included in synods and synodal reflections have not drawn upon the breadth of experience of the faithful. John, Hightown, Liverpool, England

 

"I am a conscientious objector Catholic who has chosen exile from the malignant Roman institution.

William, Lutz, Florida, USA

 

Join with others and sign this petition.

 

"I continue to be a practicing Catholic in my Church and am involved in the liturgy as a lector. However, I feel though my local priest is extremely welcoming, the Roman Catholic Church is not as evidenced by many of its stands on various issues. It hurts me greatly as I have family members who no longer practice the faith since they are not welcomed due to their sexual or gender status. Neither of which is something chosen. I do not feel that Jesus would be turning millions of people away, but would instead embrace them. Many people do not love themselves because of things out of their control and this is not what I believe Jesus would want for them. It is very hard to love your neighbor as yourself if you do not love yourself. After all, God made each of us and He called his creation good. Bonnie, Big Lake, Minnesota

 

"Young women very rarely are heard in the Catholic Church." Lexi, LaGrange, Georgia, USA

 

"I believe that to truly follow Jesus, there is an urgent need for Church reform and that we must all claim our Baptismal inheritance. The laity must lead so the bishops can follow." Peter, Ferntree Gully, Australia

 

“The Church needs to come into the 21st century. Regardless of your religion, your color, or sex, Jesus welcomed all when He said ‘Come as you are.’ Let us all come together in unity and peace in living out Jesus’ message: Love God and Love your neighbour as yourself.” John, Kensington, England

 

"I am signing because I believe it is very important and significant that the Pope has called for the urgent needs for the renewal of the Catholic church to be heard from all the laity who are desperate for many changes in a world that sobs for love, unity and peace." Janet, Cape Town, South Africa

 

"I am signing because I want to make sure that those who are given the opportunity to respond represent the real church and not just those selectively picked by bishops or parish priests." Judith, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA

 

"I am signing because I want the Church to acknowledge people as the Church, and for the clergy to change structurally & spiritually to conform to Jesus Christ’s teaching instead of promoting patriarchal, Victorian values." Brinda, Bengaluru, India

 

Join with others and sign this petition.

 

"I believe the time is long overdue for the laity to have an input into decision making in the Church."

Gerry, Dumfries, Scotland

 

"I believe the Church should be more than a democracy, not less. This Global Synod especially gives us the opportunity to develop such a Church of equals where all have the Holy Spirit within them and a voice that needs to be heard if we are to distil 'what the Spirit is saying to the churches' of our time."

Richard, Bristol, England

 

"It is time for the magisterium to understand that the Spirit expresses Herself not only through the ordained section of the Church. We all are expressions of the Spirit, baptized or not, Catholic or not, any gender, any nationality, any capacity, “We are” the voice God - humanity and the rest of the creation are the voices of God." Veronica, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

"As a lay person, I want to dialogue with the priests and bishops who lead Church life as it affects me. I think about the issues, and put my trust in the Holy Spirit. I want change within the Church and for the Church to use its influence to draw attention to climate change and how we can protect planet earth. We are the Church! We have a message and a mission. Alexina, Victoria, British Columbia

 

"I am signing because I deeply long for a reform in the Catholic Church where women and men are treated equally and the hierarchy is abolished along with clericalism. The times of meeting at a community Mass must be more enriching for the parish with the people taking a more responsible part and enabling their theology."

Elizabeth, London, England, UK

 

“I believe the Catholic Church, with the exception of some exceptional members, is becoming a relic, failing to respond to the needs of people today.” Deanna, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

 

“I love the Church! I want to see the doors opened wide to ALL who need her. Less orthodoxy, more orthopraxy!”Joan, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

 

“I believe the Church should be more than a democracy, not less; and synodal government and this Global Synod especially gives us the opportunity to develop such a Church of equals where all have the Holy Spirit within them and a voice that needs to be heard if we are to distil 'what the Spirit is saying to the churches' of our time.” Richard, Bristol, England

 

Join with others and sign this petition.

 

"Diocesan leadership needs parishioners’ Gospel views and values. James, Reno, Nevada, USA

 

"I'm signing because I believe that the Church is in dire need of reform, and reform that comes from the bottom up. The time is now or never!" Mary, Owensboro, Kentucky, USA

 

"I know so many people who are ready to give up on the Catholic Church. It is about time we, from all walks of life, are heard. I also have concern that the church is trying to move us back to pre- Vatican II. Whatever happened to “Open the windows and let in the fresh air?” Evolution includes the church and we cannot remain stagnant, worse yet, go backwards." Barb, Seattle, Washington, USA

 

"The Catholic hierarchy and magisterium are rapidly losing their credibility and becoming irrelevant to masses of the laity worldwide, because they have lost touch with the laity's needs and the Consensus Fidelium itself. This Synod must be embraced by the bishops as their last chance to reconnect with many of their people." Daryl Silver Spring, MD, USA

 

"Ich unterschreibe, weil mir die Entwicklung unserer Kirche in Europa eine immer größere Last wird. Wenn wir uns nicht von Grund auf noch einmal fragen, was Jesus eigentlich wirklich gewollt hat, haben wir keine Kraft mehr, in Europa das kommende Jahrhundert zu überleben."

(I am signing because the development of our Church in Europe is becoming an ever greater burden for me. If we don't ask ourselves again from the bottom up what Jesus really wanted, we will no longer have the strength to survive the coming century in Europe.) Fred Göppingen, Germany

 

“We should all participate.” Joseph, Kenya, Africa

 

“I believe in the synodal process and the need for our Church to move forward on certain critical issues.”
Carol, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

 

Join with others and sign this petition.

 

"I'm signing because it's time our church became more welcoming and inclusive. We need to acknowledge our sin of racism and stop committing trauma on dark skinned people. We need to apologize for past wrongs and encourage all Catholics to live the Gospel of love and forgiveness." Susan, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

 

"Clericalism, special interest apostolates and lack of full inclusion of women to serve our Church is stifling the work of the Holy Spirit and muting the gifts the laity have been given by the Spirit." Barb, LA area, California, USA

 

"A truly communal, synodal structure appears to be the only way to adhere to the Gospel."

Stephen, Owen Sound, Canada

 

"We are the people of God and have a responsibility to pray, speak and be involved in equal representation for our church’s future." Maureen, Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA

 

"Synodality = Democracy." Colm, Blackrock, Ireland

 

"It may be the last best chance to regain some credibility by moving towards more democracy and accountability. In Canada public disdain for the Church mounts." Rosemary, Peterborough, Canada

 

"I long for a church who is lives the Word, the gospel instead of a church that conforms for power and money, Where is the love that Jesus taught us?" Therese, Dearborn, Michigan, USA

 

"The Church is the people and the bishops have done a terrible job. They guide absolutely and have no idea how the people live." Mary Ellen, Bloomfield hills Michigan, USA

 

"Have heard nothing from our Bishop. Have written him, but no response yet."

Diane, Fruitvale (near Oakland), California, USA

 

Join with others and sign this petition. To ensure that there will be a synod in your region of the world, send a letter to your bishop, pastor, or priest in your own language:

 

Below you will find a model letter in your own language that you are encouraged to use to help you formulate your own letter to your bishop, pastor, or priest. The purpose is to let the clergy know how important it is for the People of God to be included and listened to in these forthcoming diocesan synods.

 

model letter in English

 

model letter in Spanish

 

model letter in German

 

model letter in French

 

model letter in Portuguese

 

model letter in Korean

 

model letter in Japanese

 

model letter in Swahili / Kiswahili

 

"I’m signing because the institutional Catholic Church is in crises and in need of urgent reform. I’m signing to help bring about justice in our church especially for women and LGBTI people." Ursula, Dublin, Ireland

 

"The actual survival of the Catholic Church is at stake. Current policies are not working despite decades of prayers for priest vocations. God's voice in the people is not being heard. Jesus' teachings and modeling of "church" are not being followed." Patricia Dearborn, Michigan, USA

 

"I'm signing because I am very concerned about the structure of the church at the moment and want to see a more welcoming and compassionate approach to those who are currently excluded." Joan, Sydney, Australia

 

"The Catholic Church needs the involvement of lay people in its governance." Pedro, Lisbon, Portugal

 

"I believe that much change is needed, esp. in the area of Clericalism. Our Church can grow by leaps and bounds if the right perspective is internalized by the majority of the members of the Catholic Church."

David, Bangalore, India

 

Join with others and sign this petition.

 

"I’m signing this because I believe that the laity should be more involved in decision-making in the Church. Please, please, please, include us." Patricia Byrne London, England

 

"The Church must listen to the Laity, especially women, and not take them for granted, or give lip service to their concerns. The Laity Must be strongly represented in Synods, and not there as a token. There should be equal representation of the Laity and Bishops!!! The Church's attitude to LGTBQ people must change!!I Their treatment is disgraceful and lacking in charity!! God does not make rubbish!!!!!" Phillip, Sydney, Australia

 

"I'm signing because I am frustrated to see what has become of the American Catholic Church. Clericalism has been the undoing of the Church, yet it continues to be embraced by those with the power to make change. It's past due time to refocus on issues other than abortion and to relinquish the centuries old effort to limit the role of women." Marie, Peekskill, New York, USA

 

"Engaging the whole people of the Church in a process of synodality is the only and possibly the last chance of saving the Roman Church from disappearing in western Europe in to a rump and insignificant entity."

Terence, Maine, USA

 

"I feel my spiritual home has let me down by clericalism, misogyny, and a minimalization of its own teaching on social justice." Margaret, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA

 

"Je signe parce que je crois que notre communauté catholique a quelque chose à dire pour sauver notre planète. Sa contribution au bien commun se révèle à la base."

("I am signing because I believe that our Catholic community has something to say to save our planet. Its contribution to the common good is revealed at the grassroots.") Serge, Granville, France

 

Join with others and sign this petition.

 

"I believe that it is time for the Church to recapture the spirit and practices of its earliest times rather than continue the imposition of later practices based on monarchical rule." Peter, Toowoomba, Australia

 

"Too much testosterone in the Catholic Church. They need to hear from the other half of humanity. I love Pope Frank." Colleen, Big Bear Lake California

 

"...damit die Katholische Kirche im 21. Jahrhundert eine Chance hat."

(... so that the Catholic Church has a chance in the 21st century.") Ulrich, Paderborn, Germany

 

The Catholic Church is still not catholic. Excluding women from the clerical states is a violation of all that Jesus taught. Bob, Bright, Australia

 

"I have felt alienated for decades from the male patriarchy we call church. In truth I hold little hope that Pope Francis’s call to hear the voices of women, the poor and the marginalized will lead to a more inclusive church, for it seems to me that only a miracle or the equivalent of a volcanic eruption in the Church would actually shake the grip of the wealthy, racist, misogynist patriarchy and its addiction to power. But I sign this, hoping for such a miracle." Catherine, Spokane, Washington, USA

 

"Je signe parce qu’il est important que l’Eglise s’ouvre à tous, que les laïcs soient plus impliqués afin d’être crédible au monde d’aujourd’hui." ("I am signing because it is important for the Church to be open to everyone, for the laity to be more involved in order to be credible in the world today.") Régine, Paris, France

 

Join with others and sign this petition.

 

"I'm signing because WE are the church and the Holy Spirit speaks to ALL of us, though some of us choose not to hear (the Word falls on deaf ears.) All of those who have ears need to be represented in our church."

Barbara, Reno, Nevada, USA

 

"The laity need to be heard. The first thing I have to say is FIRE BISHOP GOMEZ and the rest of the arch-conservative, anti-Francis power brokers who have shown themselves to be the authentic Pharisees of the 21st century." Michael, Ojai, California, USA

 

"Je crains que les évêques de France ne confisquent la voix des baptises: or nous avons des choses à dire." (I am afraid that the bishops of France will override the voice of the Baptized: yet we have things to say.")

Christine, L'Haÿ-les-Roses, France

 

"I would like reform in all of the areas mentioned in the list, especially I look for optional celibacy, return to ministry priests who are married, woman priests and acceptance of remarried divorced to Eucharist."

Joseph, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

 

"Je signe parce que ce peut être un début pour avancer vers des communautés où l'Evangile, c'est à dire la Bonne Nouvelle libératrice, pourra commencer de nouveau à être entendue. Ce qui compte ce n'est pas le culte, mais c'est le Royaume, et donc c'est changer le monde, en faire une fraternité universelle. Il y a du boulot !!!"

("I am signing because it can be a beginning to move forward towards communities where the Gospel, that is to say the liberating Good News, can begin to be heard again. What matters is not worship, but it is the Kingdom, and therefore it is to change the world, to make it a universal brotherhood. There is work to do!!!) Michel, Caen, France

 

“My kids - though brought up in a Catholic environment, Catholic schools, Mass, etc. with some even married in the Church - are not involved anymore nor are THEIR children! That’s the end of the line, isn’t it? So in twenty years time or so there will be no more members in the church!!! So something has to change! Won’t worry me; Ill be dead!" James, Bairnsdale, Australia

 

Parce que je trouve que l'Eglise, à l'image de ce qu'elle prêche en permanence, face preuve de DISCERNEMENT dans l'application des dogmes (notamment les divorcés-remariés)." (Because I find that the Church, like what she preaches constantly, is proof of DISCERNMENT in the application of dogmas (especially the divorced-remarried)." Olivier, Paris, France

 

"I agree wholeheartedly, Vatican II was the start not the finish of our Australian Church, unless this is the start of revitalising the church it will be the demise of our Australian Church." Gerard, Bendigo, Australia

 

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[I am signing because of] "Patriarchal practices and attitudes, abusive priests only tried in Church courts, women viewed as complementary and inferior to men and not considered eligible for ordination, not even to the diaconate, women not allowed to preach at Mass. outdated hierarchical structure, abortion seen by too many as the only important issue, bishops who presume to judge certain legislators as unworthy of communion rather than seeing communion as bread for the journey." Kate, Middlebury, Vermont, USA

 

"I believe this is what Jesus would want us to do." Frances, Cape Town, South Africa

 

"I was a cradle Catholic deeply committed. I have left the Catholic church and now worship at the local Anglican Church which has been of great comfort. Reform of the structure of the Roman church is so long over due and may be impossible. It does not respond to the Gospel in its form. Mercifully many faithful give shining witness to the Gospel message but have no voice in the church proper." Margaret, Melbourne, Australia

 

"Since too many of our bishops have gone over to the dark side in a mistaken belief that their authority must be defended above all costs, they definitely need to listen carefully to what the People of God have to say." Kenneth, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

 

"The Catholic Church should change its ways, from celibate men to women priests and most of all condemn and punish sexual abuse by Catholic priests and bishops. This is an utter disgrace to our Church and our beliefs." Bernhard, Sandton, South Africa

 

"All this movement towards a People Church is imperative 50+ years after Vatican II."

Ellen, Mingo Junction, Ohio, USA

 

"I’d like to remain Catholic, but it’s not welcoming. It excludes too many people. Martha, Camden, Maine,

 

"With the present structure of my church I feel the church is losing its moral compass. The Eucharist has become a political issue. Bishops have become too powerful. Women are not represented nor valued for their talents. It is time for our church to change!" Frank, Rochester, New York, USA

 

"The Church has made much progress during the last 30 years but the shortage of priests, absence of young people and a general decline point to the fact that it is no longer perceived as relevant to our time. I have long felt that the state and the law are the pro-active leaders regarding modern values about fairness and equality. There are areas where the Church needs to catch up but I don't expect to see this in my lifetime." john, Weston-super-Mare, England

 

Join with others and sign this petition. To ensure that there will be a synod in your region of the world, send a letter to your bishop, pastor, or priest in your own language:

 

Below you will find a model letter in your own language that you are encouraged to use to help you formulate your own letter to your bishop, pastor, or priest. The purpose is to let the clergy know how important it is for the People of God to be included and listened to in these forthcoming diocesan synods.

 

model letter in English

 

model letter in Spanish

 

model letter in German

 

model letter in French

 

model letter in Portuguese

 

model letter in Korean

 

model letter in Japanese

 

model letter in Swahili / Kiswahili

 

"Je signe car il est essentiel que les disciples de Jésus soient consultés sur les réformes à entreprendre pour leur Eglise de façon à expliciter le "sensus fidelium" comme le recommande le concile Vatican II (Lumen Gentium IV,37): "Dans la mesure de leurs connaissances, de leurs compétences et de leur situation, ils [les laïcs ] ont la faculté et même parfois le devoir de manifester leur sentiment en ce qui concerne le bien de l’Église."

 

(I am signing because it is essential that the disciples of Jesus be consulted on the reforms to be undertaken for their Church so as to make explicit the "sensus fidelium" as recommended by the Vatican Council II (Lumen Gentium IV, 37): 'To the extent of their knowledge, their skills and their situation, they [lay people] have the faculty and sometimes even the duty to express their feeling for the good of the Church.'" François, Saint Jean de Luz, France

 

"Le temps est venu de refonder l'Eglise." (The time has come to rebuild the Church.)

Marie-Anne, Strasbourg, France

 

"Je signe parce que ce point :" Présence de laïcs formés pour administrer dans les paroisses et les petites communautés chrétiennes où il est prévu qu'aucun prêtre ne sera disponible" me semble essentiel pour le rural."

("I am signing to support this point: 'Presence of lay people trained to administer in parishes and small Christian communities where it is expected that no priest will be available' seems to me essential for rural people.")

Alphonse, Allonne, France

 

"For years I’ve wanted to feel more included and represented in my Catholic community. I do not belong to a parish anymore. Yet, I am part of a Catholic community where we practice our faith through weekly zoom Masses with an ordained priest who is retired and 89. At the moment we have found no viable replacement for him. We do social justice work such as sponsoring two Syrian families in 2015 and 2019, providing water stations for the homeless, contribute to Kawartha Food Bank, march in solidarity for Poverty, LGBQ and Climate Change in Peterborough and recently met at St. Peter’s Cathedral to walk in solidarity with our brothers and sisters from Curve Lake and Hiawatha reserves on World Indigenous Day in June.... We believe Small Christian Communities have to be acknowledged and nurtured. Let’s bring our Catholic Church into the 21st century. The hierarchical model is archaic and needs to evolve. Voices from the Catholic grassroots communities can and should be listened to through this synod. Thank you Pope Francis." Ann, Selwyn, Ontario, Canada

 

"Unless the hierarchy listens AND ATTENDS TO the larger Church, that is the laity, both men and women, the Catholic Church will not be relevant enough for the remaining faithful. It will be left behind as we leave and continue to do Christ's work on earth without it." Lyn, Bloomington, California, USA

 

"I believe the Catholic Church is losing relevancy and efficacy as it continues to maintain beliefs and practices that originated centuries ago in Europe. Jesus got into a lot of trouble because he called the rule-bound hierarchy of his time and place into account. I don't think the Church as a body is carrying on the ministry of love that Jesus came to institute." Marynance, Duarte, California, USA

 

"Pq quero uma Igreja libertadora e em saída e não esta que suprimiu as comunidades eclesiais de base a teologia da libertação e consequentemente a saída....vamos resgatar e melhorar ok! "

(I want a liberating Church on the way out and not this one that suppressed the base ecclesial communities the theology of liberation and consequently the way out... let's rescue and improve, ok!} Maria Isabel, Osasco, Brazil

 

"I have been waiting for most of my adult life for this church to care what the laity would like to happen. I was a Vatican II Catholic graduating college in 1969. I was very active in my parish in the 1970's to 1980's. Now I live in N.C. in a Diocese that reminds me of the church of 1950! I am holding on to my affiliation with the church by my fingernails. If we don't get some change, my husband and I will be lost. Aleta, Waxhaw, North Carolina, USA

 

"Acredito que a igreja precisa de uma reforma produzida por todos nós e inclusiva a todos nós."

(I believe the church needs a reform produced by all of us and inclusive to all of us.)

Maria Thereza, São Paulo, Brazil

 

"Je suis en accord avec les propositions depuix plus de quarante ans ,ayant fait partie des groupes pour la place de la femme dans les églises." (I agree with the proposals for more than forty years, having been part of the groups supporting the role of women in churches.") Henri-Jacques, Thomery, France

 

Join with others and sign this petition.

 

"Sou LGBTQIA+ e gostaria de viver minha fé Católica sem perseguições e preconceitos."

(I am LGBTQIA+ and would like to live my Catholic faith without persecution and prejudice.)

Mateus, Teresina, Piauí, Brazil

 

"Change has to happen - the voice of women must be heard, or the church has no future."

Christina, Hamilton, New Zealand

 

"For a synodal church which listens and learns. Where everybody can feel and be at home."

Rhiannon, Chichester, England

 

"Signing because I know too many people too saddened and too fearful to speak truth to each other in our Church. We desperately need uninhibited, truthful, loving dialogue. Will Bishops, an exclusively male group - signed up to accepting and promoting the exclusion of women, take forward the cries for an end to that exclusive male supremacy? Will our priests? Are they alive to the excruciating damage to women and men that is wreaked by the exercise of that supremacy? Could someone bring those asleep out from under the anaesthetic? Holy Spirit breathe us awake." Maggie, Bristol, England

 

"Je signe parce qu'il est plus que temps que l'Eglise Catholique vienne à être une Église que Jésus lui-même accepterait!"

(I am signing because it is high time for the Catholic Church to come to be a Church that Jesus himself would accept!) Madelaine, Deep River, Connecticut, USA

 

"Obwohl ich von den Bischöfen nicht viel Mut erwarte und meine, dass wir die Kirche deshalb von unten erneuern müssen. Wie meinte schon Teresa v. Ávila: "Nichts wächst von oben nach unten, alles von unten nach oben." (Although I do not expect much courage from the bishops and I believe that this is why we have to renew the Church from below. As already said Teresa v. Ávila: "Nothing grows from top to bottom, everything from bottom to top." Harald, Enns, Austria

 

"The Church is ALL of us together. The Second Vatican Council envisioned a renewed church, not based primarily on hierarchy. NY State bishops were rather shocked when (then) Bishop Matthew Clark promised to abide by the results of our diocesan synod to the extent allowed under canon law. And abide he did!" Deirdre, Fairport, New York

"Ich unterschreibe, weil es für die Menschheit wichtig ist, damit Frieden, Gerechtigkeit etc. auf unserer Erde wächst." (I am signing because it is important for humanity that peace, justice etc. grow on our earth.")

Rupert, Graz, Austria

 

Join with others and sign this petition.

 

"Ich unterschreibe, weil es höchst an der Zeit ist, einiges in der Kirche zu reformieren. Sie möge evangeliumsgemäßer werden und ihre klerikale, hierarchische, frauenfeindliche und zentralistische Struktur ablegen." (I am signing because it is high time we reformed some things in the church. May it become more in keeping with the gospel and shed its clerical, hierarchical, misogynist and centralistic structure.)

Robert, Brixen, Austria

 

"I have been a Catholic all my life, literally since I was baptized when I was 8 hours old. I have been disappointed by the Church but realized it wasn’t my faith but the men running the Church. The Baptimal vows taken for me and renewed by me every year do not include so many rules, regulations and arbitrary customs instituted by bureaucrats in the Church to enrich themselves and the organization. It is time the Church re-examined itself and cleansed itself. Why is a married clergy allowed in the Byzantine Rite? Why were married clergy allowed to convert to Roman Catholicism and become Catholic priests but Catholic priests cannot marry? Why is a celibate heterosexual priest acceptable but a celibate homosexual priest is not? Why do we, as Catholics, demand that others accept our view of life? Jesus accepted that Samaritans were different from Jews. It wasn’t until the second century that the Church didn’t require conversion to Judaism before acceptance into Christianity. It is time for Catholics to “render unto Caesar,” and stick to faith and faith only." Beatrix (Bea), Fairfax, Virginia, USA

 

"The church is dying choked by excessive clericalism and irrelevant attitudes to the grassroot people - who are the body of Christ!" Pat, Charlestown, Boston, USA

 

"I'm signing because I am the church and its leaders have lost their way ... the way of Jesus."

Dr Peter, Mulgrave, Australia

 

"Ich unterschreibe, weil ich für eine geschwisterliche Kirche eintrete." ("I am signing because I stand up for a fraternal church." Barbara, Graz, Austria

 

"I’m signing because synodality, beginning with individuals talking to one another is the process most likely to yield positive and lasting results." Kevin, Adelaide, Australia

 

"I do agree with Pope Francis that it's all connected. We are put here to do the job for which we were sent - to use our Creator-given talents to bring about, on THIS EARTH, a KINDOM of God! LETS DO IT!"

Lorie, Hales Corners, Wisconsin, USA

 

"I am female, I am a member of the Laity and we are the Church. The leadership of the Catholic Church needs to be reformed. The why for me is the coverup of the abuse of children, adults, and finances especially here in the USA. I believe the USCCB should include equal representation from each diocese to include female and male. Selection of the people should only be determined by the Laity. Maybe then we can have some transparency for our Church." Peggy, Nokesville, Virginia, USA

 

Let's take advantage of the narrow window of opportunity Pope Francis has given us

For years, many of us have been working and praying for the reform of our Church. For the first time, there appears to be a real opportunity to bring about needed changes. Pope Francis has opened the door as wide as he possibly can inviting the people to speak out while all but forcing the bishops to listen to their people. Let us do all that we can to ensure that the people will be given this chance to voice their concerns, wants, and needs regarding our Church. With all of us working together, we have genuine hope to bring about needed changes within us and with the Church.

 

Join with people from around the world by signing this petition in your own language to ensure that we, the people, will be included in this all important synodal process. For the Spirit to be heard at these diocesan synods, the voices of the people must be well represented. Once you have signed it, please post it on your social media accounts and pass it on to all your circle of contacts. Ask your contacts to do the same.

 

One additional step you are encouraged to take: Use the model letter (shown below in your own language) to write to your own bishops and pastors letting them know how important it will be for them to include a good cross section of the lay people of God in your diocesan synod. Sign the petition now and pass it on to everyone you know, even those who've left the Church out of disappointment or frustration.

 

Sign the petition to Bishops in your own language

Sign this petition in your own language

 

Firme esta petición en su propio idioma

 

Unterschreibe diese Petition in deiner eigenen Sprache

 

Signez cette pétition dans votre langue

 

Assine esta petição em seu próprio idioma

 

귀하의 언어로 이 청원서에 서명하십시오

 

あなたの母国語でこの請願書に署名してください

 

Saini ombi hili kwa lugha yako mwenyewe

 

Send a letter to your own bishop, pastor, or priest in your own language

Pope Francis has called for a diocesan synod to be held in every diocese throughout the world beginning this coming October. This first step is scheduled to conclude by April 2022. Without encouragement from the People, some bishops will choose not to hold this synod in their diocese.

 

Below you will find a model letter in your own language that you are encouraged to use to help you formulate your own letter to your bishop, pastor, or priest. The purpose is to let the clergy know how important it is for the People of God to be included and listened to in these forthcoming diocesan synods.

 

model letter in English

 

model letter in Spanish

 

model letter in German

 

model letter in French

 

model letter in Portuguese

 

model letter in Korean

 

model letter in Japanese

 

model letter in Swahili / Kiswahili

 

Thank you for your support. Pass this onto to your circle of contacts and ask them to do the same. Our voices must be heard and recorded for the synodal process to be effective. Let us each do our part to support Pope Francis in his effort to make the Church like a "field hospital" genuinely serving the hurts and needs of the People.

 

Rene Reid

CCRI director