Thank you all for a productive meeting today. Attendees included Francois Becker (France), Kirit Macwan (India currently in London), Christina Reymer (New Zealand) Janet Hauter, Barbara Dreyer, Clyde Christofferson, and Rene Reid (U.S.) Here is a brief summary of our call. If you see anything that has been omitted, please note this in your response:
It was agreed by all of the importance of collecting the data and demographics from various local gatherings, listening sessions, and Small Christian Communities worldwide in order to gain a true sensus fidelium. Valerie Stroud, who serves as the webmaster for several of our organizations, will be instrumental in setting up the www.ThePeopleSpeakOut.org shared website. Attached is this website currently under construction: http://www.tpso.catholicchurchreform.org/). And here is the current CCRI website for holding small faith gatherings that will be converted over to TPSO site deleting all references to CCRI: http://www.catholicchurchreform.org/216/index.php/get-involved/regional-gatherings. And here is the current version of the form for sharing what happened at various meetings: http://tpso.catholicchurchreform.org/local-gatherings/local-gathering-report. All suggestions are welcomed for making this form palatable to your organization for reporting the outcomes of these gatherings. This will ultimately serve to help set agendas for the various Synods based on the sensus fidelium.
It was agreed by all that these are to be primarily synods of the People of God. To model the Church we want the universal Church to become, all the baptized are welcomed to these synods, including bishops and clergy. As a united group of reform organizations, together we will send an invitation to Pope Francis.
It was further discussed that our focus, rather than on the hierarchy or dogma, is on the power of the grassroots to change.
It was concluded that the possible agenda topics for the various Synods be left open in order to accommodate the various regions of the world. For example, in India, a key reform issue is interfaith marriages. In South Africa, a key issue is the Eucharistic famine. The reform they would like is to have ordinary lay people being ordained as Eucharistic ministers to serve only their small community.
The role each organization is contributing to these synods:
a, Council 50 is organizing the People’s Synod in Brasilia; has written the declaration that will serve as a core platform for the conference, and is hosting the planning session in Rome in November 2018. All suggestions for the topics to be included in the Rome agenda can be sent directly to Francois: email@example.com.
b. The Small Christian Communities lay a strong foundation and base of our Catholic Church. In addition to sharing the Gospel, the SCCs can be used to conduct the research about the reforms that Christians need in our Church.
c. Catholic Church Reform Int’l can offer support by (1) encouraging local gatherings, (2) maintaining the shared website to collect the data and demographics; (3) assist in searching for grant funds to help pay for the series of Synods; and (4) promote the Council 50 declaration and help in the marketing of the Synods.
d. American Catholic Council has scheduled a People’s Synod for the U.S. the weekend of September 21-23, 2018 at the Renaissance Hotel here in the Chicago suburbs close to O’Hare airport.
e. Christina Reymer is beginning the process of seeing if a People’s Synod can be held in New Zealand in 2017.
f. It is suggested that, if leaders in Australia would like to host a People’s Synod there, that they let us know. Otherwise, Aussies are welcomed to join in the New Zealand Synod.
g. Virginia Saldanha will be invited to join our call in 3 weeks, October 19, so as to participate in this discussion. At that time, we can explore if a People’s Synod in India could be organized.
4.5 6. What each organization would like by way of support from the others:
a. Council 50 would like suggestions for agenda topics for the November 6-7, 2016 meeting in Rome.
b. Christina could use a template for how a Synod might be conducted. This would help all Synods to have a common format.
c. It was suggested that further discussion regarding the Council 50 declaration continue via email. The purpose is to bring all organizations on board with this document.
d. Those exploring funding opportunities could benefit from a detailed breakdown of the estimated cost for each Synod – both national and international.
e. Ideally, the International Basilia Synod will be scheduled after the U.S. Synod in Chicago, that is sometime in late 2018.
In consideration of the cost and in order to make room on special calls for Alloys Nyakukndi and Peter M. Methu (both residing in Nairobi), for Virginia Saldanha in Mumbai, and for Michael Redfearn in Toronto, we’d like to explore holding our meetings 2 hours earlier than today to accommodate the far-stretching regions of the world we’re now encompassing and to do so via Skype so as to make the call free for everyone. For this to happen, if I do not have your Skype information, send a contact request to me: Rene Reid, Reno, Nevada, U.S.A. or reply to my contact request sent out to you. My Skype ID is renereid. Once I’ve tested setting up group Skype calls, I will confirm the time and method for our special and more inclusive meeting now scheduled for October 12/13. Special meetings for the larger group will occur via Skype as often as the need arises or requests made.