We Are Church – July 2013
Let’s renew our church …
… with Francis!
The Reform Movement “We Are Church (WAC)” welcomes and supports the pastoral and humane course of Pope Francis. But with his sensation causing style this church crisis is not yet overcome. Especially in the Vatican there are strong resistances when the Pope starts implementing reforms.
Francis practises a spiritual leader style. He shows an example of “the good shepherd”. But will he be able to push through a reform of the Roman Curia? How in the long run will he fill the positions in the office of the Secretary of State and the Congregation of the Faith? Which official decisions will he make for example with reference to women in the Church or the American nuns? What kind of emphasis will he bring out to overcome the crises in faith and in Christology?
For Francis and us there is still a long way to go to put the Catholic Church on the reform course again in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. Therefore: please support the renewing course of Pope Francis – and also support the reform movement We are Church. We Are Church has collected a sample of Francis’s central statements and some citations of other people about him. The new course of the church must be felt in the parishes and dioceses as soon as possible!
We are Church Germany
Jorge Mario Bergoglio: EVANGELIZING THE PERIPHERIES
“The Church is called to come out from itself and to go to the peripheries, not only geographical, but also existential: those of the mystery of sin, of suffering, of injustice, those of ignorance and of the absence of faith, those of thought, those of every form of misery. … The evils that, in the passing of time, afflict the ecclesiastical institutions have a root in self-referentiality, in a sort of theological narcissism.”
Rome, March 9, 2013 general consistory of cardinals- English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A. (taken from internet)
“Pastors with ‘smell of sheep’ within their herd”
“…Our people like to hear the Gospel preached with “unction”, they like it when the Gospel we preach touches their daily lives, when it runs down like the oil of Aaron to the edges of reality, when it brings light to moments of extreme darkness, to the “outskirts” where people of faith are most exposed to the onslaught of those who want to tear down their faith. People thank us because they feel that we have prayed over the realities of their everyday lives, their troubles, their joys, their burdens and their hopes….”
Francis March 28th 2013 chrisam mass with priests (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/homilies/ 2013/documents/papa-francesco_20130328_messa-crismale_en.html)
“The Holy spirit pushes the Church to go further”.
… “the Holy Spirit upsets us because it moves us, it makes us walk, it pushes the Church forward.” He said that we wish “to calm down the Holy Spirit, we want to tame it and this is wrong.” Pope Francis said “that’s because the Holy Spirit is the strength of God, it’s what gives us the strength to go forward” but many find this upsetting and prefer the comfort of the familiar.
Nowadays, he went on, “everybody seems happy about the presence of the Holy Spirit but it’s not really the case and there is still that temptation to resist it.” The Pope said one example of this resistance was the Second Vatican council which he called “a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit.” But 50 years later, “have we done everything the Holy Spirit was asking us to do during the Council,” he asked. The answer is “No,” said Pope Francis. “We celebrate this anniversary, we put up a monument but we don’t want it to upset us. We don’t want to change and what’s more there are those who wish to turn the clock back.” This, he went on, “is called stubbornness and wanting to tame the Holy Spirit.”
Francis April 16th 2013 (http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-2nd-vatican-council-work-of-holy-spirit-but-s)
“Explain what you have to explain, but keep going forward…”
“You’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to put your foot in it…This happens! Maybe you’ll even get a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith saying that you said such and such…But don’t worry. Explain what you have to explain, but keep going forward…Open doors, do something wherever life demands it. I prefer a Church that makes mistakes because it did something than one that sickens because it remains shut in…”
June 6th 2013„Reflexión y Liberación“
the whole text on the site: http://iglesiadescalza.blogspot.de/2013/06/pope-francis-and-clar.html
“Propose good pastors as bishops”
…“In the delicate task of carrying out the investigation required prior to making episcopal appointments, be careful that the candidates are pastors close to the people: this is the first criterion. Pastors close to the people. He is a great theologian, has a learned mind: Let him go to universitywhere he will do such great good! Pastors!We need them!May they be fathers and brothers, may they be gentle, patient and merciful; may they love poverty, interior poverty, as freedom for the Lord, and exterior poverty, as well as simplicity and a modest lifestyle; may they not have the mindset of “princes”. Be careful that they are not ambitious, that they are not in quest of the episcopate.”…
Address of Pope Francis tp participants in the papal representatives’ days, Clementine Hall
Friday, 21 June 2013 (source: Radio Vatican)
“Christians must be revolutionaries of grace”
“There have been so many revolutionaries in history, many indeed. Yet none of them have had the force of this revolution which brought Jesus to us: a revolution to transform history, a revolution that changes the human heart in depth. The revolutions of history have changed political and economic systems but none have really changed the human heart. True revolution, the revolution that radically transforms life was brought about by Jesus Christ through his Resurrection. Moreover Benedict XVI said of this revolution that “it is the greatest mutation in the history of humanity”. Let us think about this: it is the greatest mutation in humanity’s history, it is a true revolution, we are revolutionaries and what is more revolutionaries of this revolution. For we have taken this road of the greatest metamorphosis in humanity’s history. In this day and age unless Christians are revolutionaries they are not Christians. They must be revolutionaries through grace!”
address of Pope Francis to participants in the ecclesial convention of the diocese of Rome, Paul VI Audience Hall June17th 2013 (http://www.vatican.va)
All elements of the church have an equal worth
“In the delicate task of carrying out the investigation required prior to making episcopal appointments, be careful that the candidates are pastors close to the people: this is the first criterion. Pastors close to the people. He is a great theologian, has a learned mind: Let him go to university where he will do such great good! Pastors! We need them! May they be fathers and brothers, may they be gentle, patient and merciful; may they love poverty, interior poverty, as freedom for the Lord, and exterior poverty, as well as simplicity and a modest lifestyle; may they not have the mindset of “princes”. Be careful that they are not ambitious, that they are not in quest of the episcopate.”…
Address of Pope Francis to participants in the papal representatives’ days, Clementine Hall, June 21st 2013 (http://www.vatican.va)
“New wine in new wineskins”
“In the Christian life, even in the life of the Church, there are old structures, passing structures: it is necessary to renew them! And the Church has always been attentive to this, with dialogue with cultures . . . It always allows itself to be renewed according to places, times, and persons. The Church has always done this! From the very first moment, we remember the first theological battle: was it necessary to carry out all of the Jewish practices in order to be Christian? No! They said no! The gentiles could enter as they are: gentiles . . . Entering into the Church and receiving Baptism. A first renewal of the structures. . . . And so the Church always goes forward, giving space to the Holy Spirit that renews these structures, structures of the churches. Don’t be afraid of that! Don’t be afraid of the newness of the Gospel! Don’t be afraid of the newness that the Holy Spirit works in us! Don’t be afraid of the renewal of structures!”
Radio Vatican July 6th 2013 (mass Casa Sancta Martha)
Selected commenting voices about Francis
Bishop Erwin Kräutler: „The Pope speaks from my heart.“
„This is a great program for our church! I am utterly happy that the new Pope Francis took this line. With it he encourages us in our mission to announce and communicate the love of God to all mankind: Including all peoples marginalized during centuries who are also mentioned in the second Vatican Council.
I am thankful for this sermon held by the new Pope, I am on the same way and want to continue on this way, especially now with the clear support of the new Pope!”
Interview with Radio Vatican March 15th 2013
Sr. Lea Ackermann: „He must acknowledge the injustice towards women.“
„Who as a caridinal takes the tram and speaks with the people, knows where they stand. He turned towards all people without great gestures and pomp und spoke about a common path for the bishop and the people. This shows that in his office he does not want to rise above the people. If he as the Pope wants to go back to the roots of Jesus Chris, he takes a conservative line, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. I am glad that we now have a practicial personality. We have had enough theoratical teachings. Yet Francis must acknowledge the injustice when women are being marginalized in church. Our loving God eventually created men and women in His image. The women would like to participate, but they are not allowed.“
Interview in Rhein-Zeitung (Germany) on March 15th 2013
Prof. Hans Küng: „Francis is capable of further change.“
We can already observe a radical change after the first few days. There is hope that the new Pope is capable of futher change. …
If he contimues on this path which he has gone as the Pope in the first days, he will soon have to confront the difficult questions connected with the traditional moral theology…
I hope that he will avoide getting hooked on the traditional moral theology, as unfortunately did Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger as well.“
Interview in Publik-Forum (Germany) March 15th 2013
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel: „An Argentinean Pope is a big joy“.
„When we first met we expressed our joy that fort he first time the Pope is Latin-American and more over Argentinean!
This has a profound meaning for the Catholic Church, because with this decision the European focus is not dominant any more. We also talked about the human rights. He said clearly that we should stand for the truth, the justice and the reconciliation.
The human rights are always valid. They should not only be defended when in danger but also in peace“.
Nobel price winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel – Radio Vatican March 28th 2013
Nikolaus Schneider: „This Pope will understand the pastoral misery“
„I believe that this Pope has an emotional understanding fort he realities of life and the difficulties of families who are composted of a catholic and a protestant partner. I think that he understands why such families have the desire to celebrate the Holy Communion together. They live together intimately sharing table and bed, but are supposed to be separated at the Lord ’s Table This Pope will understand such misery. “
Nikolaus Schneider, Chairman of the Protestant Church Council in Germany (EKD)
Interview after an audience with Pope Francis April 8th 2013
Cardinal Karl Lehmann: „Let’s stand by him!“
„Pope Francis is a 100% pastor.. In his own life he knew many places in which his faith was tested. But this faith never left reality…
If he doesn’t represent the theology of liberation, he is deeply connected with the basic biblical and spiritual impulse of Latinamerican awakening after the second Vatikan Council which realy led to a new support of the poor in this continent and still is exemplary.
Let’s stand by him!
Taken from: Jürgen Erbacher: Papst Franziskus. Aufbruch und Neuanfang. Pattloch-Verlag Germany May 2013
Leonardo Boff: „I don’t think that Pope Francis is naive“.
„His name stands for a new church program. Francis has not yet started reforming the curie as many people have expected. He has started by reforming the pope Dom. He lives in a simply way because he wants an church of the poor and fort he poor. He hasn’t introduced himself as a Pope but as the Bishop of Rome. This attitude is revolutionary, …
I don’t think Pope Francis is naive. He consciously wants to implement something new. He talks from the heart, not with doctrinary causion. He doesn’t hide behind his office he shows himself as a person. Simply this attitude changes the office. It won’t be exercised as before, when Francis leaves.“
Interview in Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany) June 21st 2013
Sr. Paulin Link: „But we have to live this among the people“.
„I would not connect the awakening of the Catholic Church with the Pope. It is my great wish that people who say that they belong to church, that they are church, that everybody according to their possibilities dares to awaken. We cannot wait until someone awakens somehow. We should awaken together. Of course it’s a sign of hope when there is a new light, which tells us: eventually we are talking about the Kingdom of God among us. These are Awakenings. But we have to live this among the people. We cannot wait that the church somehow, the Pope, the bishops … than we can wait for ever.“
Radio Interview of the general leader of the Franciscans in Reute/Germany in „Kirche im Privatfunk“ June 30th 2013
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