Letter of information n°1 12 September 2016
To all signatories of the Declaration and to the participants of the Council 50 Gathering of delegates on 20-22 November 2015 in Rome.
By your endorsing the “Council 50 declaration” you are part of the “Global Council Network”. It is a pleasure to write to you to think and work together on what should be this network. To recall the spirit of our endeavor, the first part of this letter is an update on the last gathering of delegates that took place last November in Rome. Then, a second part will describe the main activities for the forthcoming years planned during this gathering and finally the last part is an invitation for you to contribute to the preparation of the first synod of the people of God that will take place in 2018 in Brasilia. This synod will be a major activity of the forthcoming years.
by Dr. Paul Hwang
Director of the Center for Asia Peace and Solidarity under WTI
Chairperson of Theological Committee of Pax Romana- ICMICA
I would like to begin this essay with Pope Francis’ well known ideas of Church as “field hospital” and which “goes forth” to the marginalized. In the papal exaltation Evanglii Gaudium, he mentions Church to go forth many times by which he means as follows: “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the centre and which then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.” (no. 49) This ecclesiological view goes well with and is more strongly expressed in his view on church as “field hospital”. He said, “I see the church as a field hospital after a battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugar! You have to heal his wounds.”
However, realities of the churches in Asia and the world including Roman Curia hardly find a right subject or force to push through the job within the church communities. There has been an urgent need for their renewal about which Francis points out: there is “ecclesial structures which can hamper efforts at evangelization” (no.26). Yes, it is a problem of structure or “structural sin” seen in the current hierarchical structure of the church everywhere. He goes further that the renewal of structures demanded by “pastoral conversion” can only be understood in this light.
Catholic reform groups - Council 50 gathering in Rome
by Miriam Duignan for RENEW
The ‘Council 50’ meeting that took place in Rome from 20-22nd November 2015 aimed ‘to relight the flame of the Second Vatican Council’ and was timed to mark 50 years since it closed. After two years of planning, 100 delegates from Catholic reform movements around the world came together and worked on a combined declaration addressing key areas of focus for reform in the Church.