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Catholic Reform Group Urges New Department for the Laity, Family, and Life to Actively Collaborate with Lay-led Initiatives


1 September 2016

Contact: Rene Reid
Work phone: 775-825-9196; Cell phone: 775-772-1210
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Catholic Reform Group Urges New Department for the Laity, Family, and Life to Actively Collaborate with Lay-led Initiatives

By Cynthiab8s (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsCatholic Church Reform Int'l urges newly appointed Bishop Kevin Farrell to welcome and support lay-led initiatives as he launches the Dicastery for the Laity today.

While acknowledging disappointment that a lay person, a family man or woman, was not assigned to head the department for the laity, family and life, through an Open Letter, Catholic Church Reform Int'l congratulates the recently appointed head, Bishop Kevin Farrell, for having long pushed for a greater involvement of the laity in the life of the church. The Reform Group asks specifically for these actions to be part of the new department:

  1.  In filling your 35-member staff, set as a goal that the majority of staff members will be made up of qualified `lay Catholics from various parts of the world who share Pope Francis's vision for the pastoral care of the Church.
  2.  Staff members will have - not only an advisory role but - an influential and deliberative voice in the proceedings of this department.
  3. When the vision of your department aligns with lay-led initiatives, that you offer your full support and willingness to collaborate with such movements.

"Pope Francis continues to call for the laity to 'play a major role in the life and mission of the church,'" says CCRI director, Rene Reid. "He seems to recognize that the reform needed will not come without the people speaking up and assuming some leadership. With this new department being launched today, we fully expect lay-led initiatives to be welcomed and supported." A case in point: In 1968 South American bishops held a conference in Meddellin Columbia where the principles of the Second Vatican Council were emphasized. Now 50 years later in 2018, a group of lay-led Catholics calling themselves Council 50 are calling for a People's Synod to be held in Brazil to carry on the work still left undone by the Vatican Council. "We've had two recent synods attended primarily by bishops. The time is right to call a People's Synod and we hope to see this new dicastery support us in our efforts," says Ed Schreurs, a member of both CCRI and Council 50. The group is currently in process of collecting an opinion poll and calling local dialogue meetings for the purpose of producing statements that will be placed on the agenda of the 2018 Synod. Agreeing with the critical importance of calling local gatherings where the people can share their opinions with one another, Catholic Church Reform Int'l is currently encouraging these small local gatherings in communities in various cities around the world. All are welcomed to participate and let their voice be heard.


Amoris Laetitia gives hope at the grass roots for a more responsive Church

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Rene Reid
775-825-9196 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Catholic Church Reform International (CCRI) is both hopeful and disappointed in what Pope Francis has said in his Apostolic Exhortation, but in the end finds encouragement for current efforts to promote more participation by the grass roots in the governance of the Church.

There are many signs of hope in the document, which (1) urges church leaders to move away from being rigid enforcers of doctrine to become nurturing pastors (##305-312); elevates transformative love and tenderness over “dry and lifeless doctrine” (#59) and recognizes that “a general law or rule … is not enough to discern and ensure full fidelity to God … as to matters of detail” (#304) (2) reaffirms that “every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration” (#250); (3) recognizes that “a negative judgment about an objective situation does not imply a judgment about … the culpability of the person involved (#302) and that “individual conscience needs to be better incorporated into the Church’s praxis in certain situations which do not objectively embody our understanding of marriage” (#303); exhorts the clergy to accompany people and dialogue with them, most especially with those who do not live the reality of an ideal marriage (#293); (4) acknowledges that we could draw from the experience of the broad oriental tradition of a married clergy (#202); and (5) reinforces the sanctity of personal conscience (#222) and the obligation of pastors “to encourage an ever greater trust in God’s grace” (#303) and “to form consciences, not to replace them” (#37).