Seeking dialogue with the Pope and our Bishops


We sent this letter to Pope Francis in advance of his December 2013 meeting. Specifically, this letter asks for an opportunity to enter into dialogue with the pope and to have him pave the way for dialogue with our bishops by explicit directions to form diocesan synods and pastoral councils.


 letter in Spanish; letter in Hungarian;  letter in German; letter in French.


Dear Pope Francis:

We speak for many of the People of God.  You continue to inspire us with great hope and we especially welcome your commitment to “the wisdom of discernment” in addressing future directions for the Church.

Our earlier letter to you (20 September 2013, enclosed) brought together the grave concerns that emerged from our discernments as members of the universal People of God.  We think you will accept that these are the challenges facing the Church. We want to support you in developing and implementing a renewed model of Church, in line with early tradition and the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, a spirit of shared responsibility among all of the People of God.

We see within the Church strong movements among the baptized who strive to model themselves on the teachings and example of Jesus, cooperating with the Spirit to bring forth God’s reign of justice, love and peace. The Church, as living and authentic sign of this coming Reign, should herself embody accountability, transparency, co-responsibility, and inclusivity at every level of her life and mission – a paradigm for the world.

We agree with you that our Bishops “must be able to support the movements of God among their people.” However, many of us have had difficulty engaging with some of our bishops, seemingly due in part to clericalism and defensiveness about the Church’s shameful protection of criminal abusers of children. We would appreciate your assistance in paving the way for dialogue with our bishops, perhaps by explicit directions to form diocesan synods and pastoral councils as channels of honest engagement among laity, priests, and bishop, with representative members, open agendas, and open meetings.

We have only the good of our Church at heart as it fulfills Christ’s mission, and we act knowing that we, by virtue of our baptism, have a duty in conscience and canon law to express our concerns.  We believe that the People of God, Christ’s Church in dialogue with one another, will accomplish your wishes for the Church: spreading the good news of the kingdom, one of justice and love, and healing every kind of wound.

We assure you of our strong support as you discern the way ahead. We look forward to your response and trust that this correspondence is a step on a journey toward fruitfuldialogue.

Yours in Christ,

A worldwide coalition of Catholics,

[A list of individuals and organisations who signed the letter was attached]



CC: Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, President of the Vatican City state administration
       Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, Archbishop Emeritus of Santiago, Chile
       Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, India
       Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany
       Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, Congo
       Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, USA
       Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, Australia
       Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Share On:

Search Our Site

Explore Our Categories

Latest News

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.

Social Media

How to Contribute

© 2022 Catholic Church Reform Intl. All Rights Reserved Worldwide