Need, Vision, and Goals

The Need: In keeping with Pope Francis’s emphasis on the role and importance of lay Catholics, we recognize the need for the People of God to claim their voices in shaping the Church.  As Canon Law and Vatican Council II teach, Catholics have not only the right but also the duty to make our concerns known to our bishops for building up our Church.  We are all called to be active, vocal members of Church – acting like St. Francis who was called by God “to rebuild my Church.”  For laity to help rebuild the Church, we must first create venues in which our voices are heard.

The Vision: By creating safe, inclusive gatherings for Catholics to speak out about their concerns, we begin to activate lay people, pulling together and creating a groundswell calling for needed changes.  This begins with you gathering together local Catholics, former Catholics, or those on the periphery of the Church to talk about their concerns and ideas. 

  • We offer a learning opportunity for your pastor, local clergy, and/or bishop to come and listen at these gatherings as people express their experiences and concerns.
  • We envision bishops around the world (1) listening to these concerns, gathering the sense of the faithful, and (2) with enough voices speaking out and sufficient pressure from lay Catholics, then calling upon Pope Francis to bring about needed changes.
  • Through this kind of groundswell, only then can we bring change and healing to our Church!

The Goal: As local gatherings occur around the world, we see several positive outcomes

  • Activate lay Catholics toward building a groundswell calling for change
  • Create an opportunity for lay Catholics to claim their voices and speak about their concerns and their lived experiences of faith
  • Provide bishops a learning opportunity to listen carefully to these concerns
  • Develop a process that can reveal a clearer Sense of the Faithful (Sensus Fidelium) which will be shared with the media, with the Vatican, and with Bishops, around the world

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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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