At this special time of our liturgical year we are urging you to take these action steps to help move our church forward
If moving our church forward is left up to bishops, it would have happened by now. It is time for us as the People of God to stop waiting for this and assume responsibility ourselves. Specifically, what is within our power to do?
Take the survey to give your input into the 2022 Peoples Synod
First, and foremost, Pope Francis has called for another synod in October 2022. The theme is to be a synod on creating synodality in our church. We share Pope Francis’s understanding that the term is generally understood to represent a process of discernment, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, involving bishops, priests, religious, and lay Catholics, each according to the gifts and charisms of their vocation. If we don't make our voices heard, our concern is the bishops will go on doing things as they've always done them - on their own with little or no involvement of they laity. We encourage you to take the survey put out by a group of Austrians getting more voices of the people included in the Lineamenta, which is the preparatory document to determine the topics to be discussed at this gathering and how it will be structure. We want to see lay people, especially woman and young adults to be included as participants and voting members. The survey is in both German and English. Here is the link in English: https://survey.zulehner.org/index.php/514332?lang=en. To take the survey in another language, go there and use www.translate.google to convert the survey to your language. if you would, please help spread the word and pass this onto to your list of contacts.
The 2022 Synod must be expanded to include lay people, especially women and young people
Pope Francis has repeatedly said he wants us to be a "synodal" church. Understanding synod to mean “walking together,” it is our expectation that any coming synod will mean that lay people and especially women and young people are going to be walking together/side by side with the bishops and priests in this assembly.. But our fear is that they will be walking behind (two tiers, two rows, front and back) as has always been done in the past. In the Synodal Path assembly held in Germany this year, the bishops and lay people walked in side by side in a genuine synodal style. Pope Francis has called for a Synod in 2022. Our concern in advance is that this Synod will not be “the whole Church walking in a synodal way.”
At this moment, the Lineamenta (the preparatory document for the Synod) is already being drafted. Our concerns: Are lay people/women involved? Or is the document from the top down? Who is being consulted? Where is the distribution of the Lineamenta taking place? Is it going directly to a wider, inclusive group? In the old model, it went to the Conferences of Bishops, to the Pontifical University, and to the Union Superior Generals of men. But is it going to the Union Superior Generals of women or to International lay groups? Let us do all in our power to ensure that, finally, voting participants in this Synod will be more inclusive!
When the Lineamenta came out in Vatican documents on young people, there was no reference to the term “LGBT+” (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered, etc.). Young people requested that it be included in the document. It is a reality in our world and in humanity. On the synod floor, there were many disputes over this issue. African bishops declared they had no gay people in their country. When young people were asked what is missing from our Vatican documents, they said reference to sexuality. Rome is frightened of addressing this issue. When Francis came out with his Apostolic exhortation, these topics were left out. It was felt they were too controversial.
We are delighted by the many people who take time to send short reponses, generally of appreciation, for our newsletters. The Directors and Strategy Team take note of all they say.
From time to time there is a longer response which the CCRI leadership would like to share more widely..