From the blog coordinator:
The International movement website has someone updating full time. Access to the new link:


Report from Germany

Brief report: October 2009 – October 2012
Click here


For the Oct 2012 Meeting in Portugal
WAC - Portugal has been working in the country since January 1997.

Maria João Sande Lemos and Ana Vicente took part in the founding meeting held in Rome in December 1995.

Our work for church reform, based on the Petition of the People of God, started in Austria in 1995, has developed over the years based on the following thrusts:

1. Organizing meetings, seminars, conferences, debates etc. with both Portuguese and foreign speakers; between 2010-2012 we have held 10 of these, on varied subjects such as The II Vatican Council; The church and women; married priests; official church attitude towards homosexuality; liberation theology; etc, etc. Speakers invited come from a wide field of knowledge and experience; among those invited from abroad in the last two years have been the Spanish theologians Juan José Tamayo, José Maria Castillo, Christina Moreira, Victorino Perez. These are usually held in a Dominican Monastery or in a lay Cultural Centre. The seminar organized on February 25, 2012, on the II Vatican Council, with various speakers, including two priests, was held at a men's Carmelite Centre; some traditionalist Catholics complained to the Nuncio and to the Cardinal and the Carmelites informed us that they would never again be able to lend us their hall. However, the Dominicans have always welcomed us.

The most recent open meeting, again at the Male Dominican Convent, was on October 20th when the leading Spanish theologian and writer José Maria Castillo gave an excellent talk on 'The II Vatican Council 50 years later'. His main idea is that the institutional church, such as it stands now, owes nothing to divine providence and that in spite of the great renewal of theology that was the cause and effect of the Council, since then there has been a reinforcement of absolute centralised authority on the part of the papacy and the curia. This pope alone has excluded 37 bishops from their dioceses. The talk was filmed and will soon be on our site. We were the first group to organise a meeting on the 50th Anniversary of the II Vatican Council and since then many other groups/institutions have followed.

2. The talks referred to above are placed on our site, so that they are permanently available to all. That is to say another of our thrusts is the use of internet - Facebook, running our own blog, and the distribution of national and international information on church events/life to over 600 e-mail contacts, both individuals and organizations. This heavy work is done on an almost daily basis by Mariana Mendes Pereira, and provokes a lot of satisfied feedback.

. Working with the mainstream media - this obviously multiplies our impact enormously; journalists know that members of WAC are always available for comment on national or international church news, and consider us the only 'independent' Catholic voice available in the country. An eloquent example: The Pope came to Portugal on an official visit on 11-14th May 2010, taking in a pilgrimage to Fátima, the Marian shrine. He drew the usual large crowds and enthusiastic support. Though there were no organised demonstrations against the visit, like in London, one group distributed thousands of condoms to people walking to one of the mass venues, with no hassle. Members of WAC-Portugal were present on TV, radio and press, debating reform themes, appearing to public opinion to be much stronger than we really are in numbers. Another example: one of the leading Portuguese theologians, the Dominican priest Bento Domingues, has a weekly column in one of the main quality dailies, which is very popular and widely read, and he quite often refers to We are Church in a very positive manner.

4. International work - Pedro Freitas was elected International Coordinator in 2010 and he and Maria João Sande Lemos have regularly attended the Church on the Move yearly meetings, IMWAC informal meetings and some other gatherings. We are in permanent contact with the international network and often translate into Portuguese press releases etc.

5. When justified the coordinating group issues a press release on national or international church themes.

6. Occasional contacts with the 'official church'. An example: On December 2, 2010, three members of the coordinating group were received by the Nuncio in Lisbon. He is Bishop Rino Passigato, an Italian, who is believed to belong to Opus Dei. We had asked for a meeting, with a view to having a general discussion on reform issues in general, but in particular we wanted to say what we expected of the future cardinal patriarch of Lisbon, as the present one is due to retire. We had prepared a letter in which we laid out what we thought should be the profile of such a person and that the People of God should participate in this choice. He and his secretary were very amiable, heard what we had to say, but obviously did not agree with our proposals. He did say that as individuals we could suggest names, which we are not going to do. We then distributed the news that we had had this meeting, through our regular network. That the meeting took place at all astonished some people.

7. WAC - Portugal is not a formal association. There is a coordinating team that is responsible for organising our activities, formed by all the people already mentioned, along with Alfreda Ferreira da Fonseca, Inês Versos, Leonor Xavier, Margarida Pereira Müller, Maria Julieta Mendes Dias and Piedade Pinto Correia.

Some background information

Survey on Religion in Portugal

The Portuguese Episcopal Conference commissioned a reputable centre of survey studies, part of the Catholic University of Lisbon, to produce a study on 'Religious Identities in Portugal - Representations, Values and Practices - 2011', coordinated by Alfredo Teixeira, with the idea of helping them over pastoral care and strategies in this country of about 10 million people. The results were presented at the end of the last meeting of the Conference on April 19, 2012 and, in some cases, are compared to a similar survey carried out in 1999. Here are the main conclusions of the survey based on a representative sample of the population, over the age of 15, carried out in November 2011: 4 in every 5 Portuguese people say they are Catholics (79,5% - 43,6% men and 56,4% women) and of these, nearly half of them go to mass, though not necessarily every Sunday. However, when compared to 1999, that number has dropped 7,4%, from 86,9% to 79,5%. The number of people who declare that they have no religion, has risen from 8,2% to 14,2% (60,2% men and 39,8% women) and Protestants have risen from 0,3% to 2,8%. The rise in non-Christian religions has been 0,6%. There is also a new classification: 'believers who do not adhere to a specific religion', making up 4,6% of the total. For those who declare that they have no religion, be they agnostics, atheists or indifferent, the majority alleged three reasons: personal conviction, disagreement with the doctrines and rules of churches and preference to remain autonomous in face of the norms and practices of religions. Of the non-believers, 71,1% are men and 28,9% are women. On the other hand, the Portuguese value the work carried out by the Catholic Church with the poor (50% of the total surveyed) and the aged (60%). 76% of the total (believers and non believers) declare that 'without the Catholic Church, in Portugal, many would not find a sense in life.' The survey also concludes that, apart from the majority of those saying they are Catholics, are women, they mostly live in rural areas in the north of the country and are aged 45 years of more. The first comment on the survey made by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, José Policarpo, who is also the chairman of the Episcopal Conference, was that the fall in the number of Catholics was an 'insignificant percentage'. He added, however, that the findings imply 'a very serious pastoral analysis', and that this analysis would be carried out together with 'others' without specifying who those others might be. He also declared that he was 'perplexed' by those claiming to be believers without belonging to any religion.

On the other hand, a recent public opinion survey showed that 67% of Portuguese Catholics agree that women should be priests. Only 17% believe that priests are totally well-principled and ethical, while 56% believe that only in part, and 22% don't believe in those priestly ethics at all. 64% of Portuguese Catholics consider that the Church has not adapted to modern times.

Guidelines in the case of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church

In response to the Vatican requirement that every Episcopal Conference in the world should draw up guide-lines in case of sexual abuse cases within the Church, by May 2012, the Portuguese Episcopal Conference has presented a nine-page guideline document where it is stated that victims of sexual abuse on the part of clergy should place a complaint to the 'competent civil authorities'. It adds that as soon as the case of an abuse is known 'the canonical procedure should also be initiated at once' and that 'cautionary measures to be adopted, in order to repair the damage and prevent new cases' should also be evaluated. The Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, and head of the Episcopal Conference, José Policarpo, at a press conference, stated that cases of abuse «are very sorrowful situations» for church authorities and that so far there have been no known cases in Portugal, on par with what has been happening in other European countries. The worst case to have occurred in Portugal has brought to justice various non-religious staff and inmates of a home for boys and young men, from dysfunctional families, in Oporto, in an institution (Oficinas de São José) that though technically belonging to the Church was in fact managed by the state social services. The case is still being tried in the civil courts. The home was closed last year. The guidelines approved admit that people in general expect exemplary behaviour on the part of Church members. They also lay down that the Church must be very careful when recruiting staff to work in Catholic institutions, as well as when admitting candidates for the priesthood. The aid of medical and psychological expertise is deemed indispensable. The bishops also stressed the importance of considering the dignity of each individual, including those accused, as well as «respecting their good name and the right to defense.»

From the United States:

"Conscience " and "dignity", "dialogue" and "love", "freedom" and "mystery". Never before in Church history did an Ecumenical Council refer to these words so often or make them central to its teaching.

The People of God at large now see their calling as inseparable from conscience and dialogue. They understand that they have freedom to choose their path to God, with the Church as their companion, but not as their master. The Church of Christ was meant to be a community. It cannot be that if people feel servile and defined by others. Jesus Christ did not want that for us.

Theresa and Anthony Padovano

Activities Report from KerkHardop (Netherlands)2010-2012


Kerk Hardop (Church Aloud) was created as the participant of the Netherlands in We are Church in 1996 since at that time the two big national reform movements did not want to participate in the collection of votes on the five points of the KirchenVolksBegehren.

In 2000 the Eight of May Movement decided to participate in We are Church and Kerk Hardop stopped temporarily its activities. But in 2006 Kerk Hardop revived because the Eight of May Movement had stopped definitely and there did not seem to be any other organisation able to canalize the reform willingness of the Dutch Catholics. But the new formula was less a protest again church leaders as well as a platform for critical opinion leaders to participate in the public debate on shaping society, especially in areas where humanity is in discussion.
About 650 articles have been published since, mainly from Dutch authors although, thanks to our international contacts, a number of articles of authors from other countries could be obtained. More or less a third refer to the section Being Church. The website can be characterized as an digital magazine specialized in developing Catholic thinking after Vatican II. The development in the last two years has shown a special emphasis on three themes: euthanasia, Church and State relationship and the grassroots Christian communities.


The Netherlands have accepted euthanasia as a legal way of ending human life, under precise special conditions. The law was very carefully developed in spite of the furious reactions of some Vatican prelates who compared it with the Nazi system. Our country has a high developed standard of social life and medical care. This contributed to a longer life but also to a higher proportion of expenditures for health care. Now we are spending 20% of our income in health care and in 2040 it may be 50%. That is impossible. A serious protestant physician and moral theologian wrote recently the book The death is coming later and later with the consequences of keeping people alive with less human quality and greater costs.

Our website will publish articles which discuss the dilemma between medical interventions and the quality of life.

Church and State relationship

There is an increasing anti religious hostility among the so called secular political parties. The Party for the Animals are proposing laws against the ritual slaughtering of animals ´because´ of the suffering of the animals. In fact animals are suffering more in the many slaughterhouses. But the real reason is that they cannot understand the importance of some traditions for religious people and try to establish reasonable laws for everybody. Similar discussions are on the use of a headscarf by women in public; the response of many Muslim female youngsters is to wear more their (very nice coloured) headscarf as expression of their rescued liberty to define their own dress. A third example is the action against state functionaries who refuse to accomplish civil marriages of homosexuals because of their religious attitudes. In many municipalities there are enough functionaries for this to replace the refusers but recalcitrant politicians prefer to fire the refuser because they want a complete secular society without ‘problematic’ religious people.
The Netherlands always had a tradition of tolerance of religious people who had to refuge from their home country and were welcomed here in our country: the Huguenots from France, the Jews from Germany. Internationalism was a high topic after the second world war. With Belgium and Luxemburg our country started the Benelux and in 1951 it was member of the European Community of Carbon and Steel, extended in 1958 to the European Economic Communities which became the European Union in 2009 (Lisboa!). But then already populist and nationalist parties won many adepts and created an anti-Europe and anti-Islam mentality.

With our website we give the floor to people who discuss the dilemma between animal welfare and religious freedom and who defend international cooperation and multicultural society as a value for peace and welfare in the world in the discussion

Small faith communities

As Charles Dickens already said, we have Hard Times. All bishops in the Netherlands show a lack of personality and are basically local managers of the Roman Rules Empire. Publicly they are unimportant persons and within there dioceses they are hardliners. The archbishop is the archhardliner. Parish responsibles are treated as children who only have to obey. Dialogue has become impossible. A parish in Bois le Duc that was without a priest for twenty years and had developed a progressive style of celebrations, was rebuked last year by the new auxiliary bishop who appointed himself as provisional parish priest, what was not been accepted by the parish board. The bishop deposed the board and the Sunday after he took charge: only 20 of the 350 people showed up. The rest went to a place for handicapped people where they were allowed to continue their Eucharistic celebrations. A new faith community was born. They and others are joining the number of grassroots communities which started in the seventies of the last century. But much more people have simply left the church and their faith practices because of lack of opportunities to live their faith according to Vatican II.

A new foundation is born to support these faith communities professionally and in cooperation with some other movements there will be created networks of communities in order to overcome the feeling of living on an island. A map of the Netherlands is in preparation which will show the places where these small faith communities are located in the country (and in Flanders, the north part of Belgium where Flemish/‘Neerlandish’ is spoken) in order to facilitate people to look for an alternative for living their faith.
Our website is supporting these communities with articles which show the world wide dissatisfaction of Catholics with the actual Church leaders and the new initiatives that are born to survive as followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Rather show the positive things that are starting and continuing than the protest again Church leaders who are reluctant to accept Vatican II.

The future of the website

The board of Kerk Hardop started a evaluation of the website and is considering to stop the publication if there will not be found a new Editor in chief. The work is now done by a few pensioned volunteers and the people who is served by the website is mainly above 55 years old, the generation that experienced the revolution of Vatican II. Both the old and the new faith communities are loosing people and becoming extinct. What the future of church life will be in the country is highly uncertain. And so is the future of our website.
Isaac Wüst
19 October 2012

We introduce: We are Church Austria

Our form of organisation

We have a board of management (speakers of the dioceses and their deputies, 15 people) and an executive board (leader, vice, secretary and treasurer).

We meet four times a year and communicate via email very often (about ten times a week). In summer we meet for some days just for holiday.

About 1500 members pay 25 Euro a year.

We publish a newspaper four times a year with about 30 to 40 pages.

We organize an event for members and interested people about once a year.

We publish press releases quite often and organize press conferences.

See details:

Our work: 2012

concerning various national and international issues  (e. g. 15 years IMWAC, 50 years Vatican II, canonical right and human rights, homosexuality, society of St. Pius X, death of Cardinal Carlo Martini, solidarity with bishop Robert Bezak - Slovakia,  Gerhard Ludwig Müller new president of the Congregation for the Faith, dialogue as the only chance of church reform, the new “Pfarrei-Initiative” in Switzerland, resignation of parish-priests because of burn-out or marriage, criticism of the last pastoral letter of the Bishops’ Conference with regard to the “Year of Faith” rejecting all reform efforts .....)

 II.             1 PRESS CONFERENCE

„First-Aid-Kit for Parish-Councils in Need“

In connection with the elections to the parish councils in March 2012 WaC Austria held a press conference, commented on the elections, underlined the need for reforms and presented a „First-Aid-Kit“ for parish councils with information on how to run a parish and implement reforms. It contained also - a small bottle of good Austrian wine for moments of stress and helplessness.

The kit could be ordered through Hans Peter Hurka and was actually ordered several times.


Wer zahlt, muss mitbestimmen können (who has to pay, must be able to co-decide)

Kirchliche Finanzhoheit im Rechtsstaat (financial independence of the church in the constitutional state)

Study-day, 17th November 2012, with lectures of professors of economics, law, church law and theology and the former politician Herbert Kohlmeier, founder of the “Initiative of Lay-People”. A resolution is planned.


Solidarity with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the USA 

Dialogue-Initiative 2012 -- 15th March 


Report from “Noi Siamo Chiesa” [ITALY] for the International Council of We Are Church in Lisbona, 26-28 october 2012

Noi Siamo Chiesa” has now about 200 registered members, but there are another 300 persons close to our opinions that regularly participate in our meetings and share our ideas and messages.

“Noi Siamo Chiesa” is organised as a legally recognized association, with its own statute and its own bylaws.

“Noi Siamo Chiesa” members are mainly from the North of Italy. The main chapter is in Milan, where we organise our national assembly every year in June. Since March 1999 we have an Internet site, with 80 to 150 visitors per day on average.

We have a strong link with ADISTA, the main weekly news agency about the Church, that shares our points of view .


Everybody in IMWAC knows that the situation in Italy is very difficult for us, for what concerns the media, the contacts with the bishops and so on. But we have more and more an area of opinion in the Church favourable or interested, but contacts need often to be kept underground, online etc.

Also Card. Martini never accepted contacts with us in Italy and did not reply to a message from International IMWAC Council (around 1999), after in the Synod he had called for a general discussion in the universal Church about great open questions. Elfriede surely remembers the question. He was afraid to be judged by the Vatican as the Cardinal of every dissenting opinion in the Church. In fact in his last interview on the 8th of August, that can be considered his final will, in which he expressed critical views on the church situation, was completely ignored from the catholic press.

Moreover, the relationship between State and Church continues to be strong. The Italian Episcopal Conference for a long time has lined with the right wing government of Berlusconi, and it is now supporting Monti government, but does not have a clear strategy in this difficult moment of political change in Italy.

Noi Siamo Chiesa activities

In the last years, Noi Siamo Chiesa has spoken and written about many questions, such as the appointment of bishops, the participation to sacraments of divorced remarried people, the situation of homosexual people in the Church, the oral confession, the poverty of the Church and in the Church, the conditions of women in the Church and so on. Also the question of the relationship between State and Church has been discussed in many occasions.

In May 2012 we have taken a strong position against the bishops statement about pedophilia of priests (very different from the statements of the Conferences of bishops of Northern Europe): we have proposed a different approach to the question based on true relationships and not only based on canon law.

We have organised a public discussion about the family in the occasion of the World Family Day in Milan last May.

In September “Noi Siamo Chiesa” has promoted, with a great number of other associations, a national meeting on “Chiesa di tutti, Chiesa dei poveri” in Rome, with more than 700 participants, to discuss about Vatican II. The meeting has established a network of organisations engaged in keeping alive and developing the Council acquisitions and positions. This network has decided to participate in meeting of december 2015 in Rome after 50 years of the end of the Council.

Milan, 22 october 2012

This is what God asks of us: 'to act justly, to love tenderly, and walk humbly with our God.'(Micah 6:8)

Launch of We are Church Ireland

From Brendan Butler We are Church Ireland

WE are Church Ireland was founded in Ireland in 1997 and was relaunched in November 2011 by a group of committed Catholics who had met and reflected on the future of our church.

A gender balanced core-group was formed at this time which has kept in contact with other reforming groups in Ireland, who share our concern in working for change and renewal in the church.

We have an active Email circle with approx 250 members and a Facebook page(!/WeAreChurchIreland) which we use to share news, articles, information, and current material in matters affecting the people of God from all over the world. We have a Dublin group which meets monthly and are working towards having local groups across the country.

While planning for the development of We are Church Ireland is an important feature of our meetings prayer is an integral part of our deliberations.

Representatives from Ireland have attended the international meetings since 2004.In this way we feel part of a global movement.

Our Aims :

We seek to bring about informed dialogue among the people of God on the five objectives common to every group in the International Movement We Are Church. 

1. Equality of all the baptised where decision making is actively shared by all, with appropriate structures for this.

2. Full participation of women in all aspects of church life, including priesthood.

3. Recognition of the primacy of an informed conscience.

4. Removal of the obligation of clerical celibacy and a positive attitude toward sexuality.

5. An inclusive church, open and welcoming to all, which does not marginalise its own people, e.g. divorced, in second relationships, those who are gay or lesbian.

Activities of We are Church Ireland, 2011/2012

On Sunday November 27th 2011 We are Church Ireland organised a well-attended Advent Assembly in Dublin which was all-inclusive and open to all.

On Sunday April 29 th 2012 WACI organised a very successful peaceful vigil outside the Papal Nunciature in Dublin where over 250 Catholics ,both lay and clerical , protested at the silencing of Five priests by the Vatican.

There was an extensive media coverage of the event.

On Monday 7th May 2012 the Association of Catholic priests organised ‘Towards an Assembly ‘ event in Dublin where over 1000 people attended. Our members had a significant input both into the organising and on the day itself where Phil Dunne called for the equality of all the baptised to be recognised and especially the opening up of all ministries to women.

Again there was a strong media coverage of the event.

On May 27th 2012 WACI organised an inclusive Pentecost Assembly in Dublin which was well attended .

On May 29th 2012 a national planning day was organised in Dublin to plan for the future of WE Are Church Ireland at which members from all over Ireland attended and a strategy for our future was drawn together .

At present there is an organising committee formed in which WACI is represented which is progressing towards the formation of an Association of Irish Catholics.

One of our objectives is to make WACI a nation- wide organisation and on September 8th 2012 a regional meeting was held in Limerick ( mid south West Ireland ) to achieve this objective. A good attendance arranged to meet together again to form a regional group.

WACI is also concluding discussions with ‘ BASIC ‘ ( Brothers and Sisters in Christ - a successful organisation for the promotion of all Church Ministries to be open to women ) as they wish now to amalgamate with We are Church Ireland.


We have issued numerous press releases and letters to the Editors with many radio and National T.V appearances which have been well received.





Kairós-Nós Também Somos Igreja, the Brazilian chapter of IMWAC, is a very diversified group of Christians, mainly in the Northeast of Brazil, which intends to have an educational, informative, celebrative, and active character. In an ecumenical perspective there are weekly meetings and regular activities developed by its members together with different movements and social pastorals, church grass roots groups and other people’s movements in our society.

The group began in 1998 with monthly meetings at the home of theologian Father José Comblin whom the group considers its main reference in its social church educational process. Due to the interest thus aroused, and bearing in mind increasing challenges nowadays, the group decided a few years ago to meet weekly with the following ends:
  • discern, debate and help themselves face both old and new challenges, whether in the macro-social field or in the right and wrong doings of the Catholic church and other Christian churches;
  • make our organizational ties more affective and effective in a community dimension;
  • study and make reflections on books by the theologian José Comblin, especially those dedicated to his understanding of the mission of the Holy Spirit in the world in the perspective of liberation theology which he is one of the first references to;
  • discuss texts by other theologians such as Hans Küng, Carlos Mesters, Ivone Gebara, Jon Sobrino, Leonardo Boff, Eduardo Hoornaert, Jean-Yves Leloup, Hugo Echegaray, etc.;
  • exchange and ponder on accounts of our experiences as citizens and Christians together with people and communities from the different areas we take part in;
  • remember events with a mutual aid perspective;
  • do exchange experiences with people and groups from other places, regions, and countries, notoriously with Christians engaged in the struggle for changes for emancipation in society and the churches;
  • periodically organize seminars, colloquia, forums with dialogues with other historical personages....


I – What do we mean by a changing Church?

As sons and daughters of Abraham, and especially as disciples of Jesus, we have learned that the People of God has always been and is a people of walkers, of migrants, of people who are always on their way, pilgrims in search of a continuous process of conversion: the conversion from death to life, from the dark into the light, from slavery to freedom. Hence what we have learned from tradition - “Ecclesia semper reformanda” – sounds familiar to us. Not only the church community but each and every one of us is called to a continuous and profound renovation, not just a superficial reform.

The question remains: change, in what sense, in what direction? It is not a question of a mere adaptation to the hegemonic values of our era so as to make ourselves agreeable to the times of our day. Wouldn’t that certainly means being men and women of our time? Indeed it is a question of an incessant effort to change in the perspective of the Gospel, in the spirit of the following of Jesus whose appeal effectively implies solidarity and the engagement with the cause of the liberation of the poor, the marginalized and the forgotten, of a clear option for a sober style of life beyond the high standards of consumption, and in such a way as to give testimony to love regarding nature, our fellow humans and the whole community of living creatures, especially the most rejected ones: children, women, youths, indigenous peoples, peoples of African descent, peasants…

The Church undergoing change which we are engaged in is the Church which is at the service of the liberation cause of the poor and of the dignity of Mother Nature. That requires profound changes in the present ecclesiological paradigm whether regarding its structures, whether in the view of its organization and management, whether with regard to the life style of its members.

It makes no sense, for instance, from the evangelical point of view, for us to keep the present pyramidal Church model which looks more like an imperial structure condemned by Jesus in Mark 10, 42-45: “Among you, let it not be so.” We must get inspired by the organizational form of the first Christian communities, of horizontal, fraternal, solidarian traces protagonized by poor people acting in the liberty and the autonomy of small communities, organically and fraternally linked, by means of periodic assemblies with a perspective for service and not for the power of some over the rest.

In the evangelical tradition in which we try to be inspired it likewise does not make any sense to have a Church organized like an authoritarian state with its efficient apparatuses of control and repression, hostile to the spirit of collegiality. We want a Church in the style of the People of God in accord with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, a Church made of brothers and sisters who are bearers of the freedom of the Spirit and endowed with the same condition of equality for all given by baptism and by the following of Jesus, who, having come “to serve, not to be served” also proposes to us members of His Church to do the same.

II - What we have been doing

We have developed a quite diversified agenda in accord with the not less diversified traces of our group which is composed of men and women, mostly Catholics but also by people of other Christian churches.

Our group is ecumenical and eclectic. It is made of people born in Brazil and outside Brazil, of people of different ethnicities and age groups, of different educational levels, and members of different movements and social pastorals and other organizations of our society.

Starting from these traces we can distribute the activities we have developed among three items: (1) routine and intra-group activities; (2) initiatives to dialogue with other church groups and groups from other churches; (3) activities together with social movements, social pastorals and other grass roots organizations in our society.

1) Internal activities of our group – Here we shall mention the main activities we have been doing in our weekly meetings over the years:

Information shared with interventions of the group members in different activities together with social movements and grass roots groups;

Systematic and shared reflections on the works of liberation theologians;

The sharing of situations of the lives of the group members;

Frequent debates on elements of the socio-ecclesial ensemble (international, national, and local);

Special celebrations on certain emblematic dates.

2) Initiatives for dialogues with other groups – Besides our routine activities we also promote occasions for debate and dialogue with other socio-ecclesial groups such as:

Seminars on theology;

Sessions in memory of emblematic personages (such as Oscar Romero, Helder Câmara, José Comblin);

Meetings for making exchanges with other church groups (Catholic Action groups, the Pastoral of the Youth from the People’s Movement, Christian Workers Movement, among others).

3) Activities in different social movements, social pastorals and grass roots organizations – An expressive number of the group is involved in regular activities together with different social subjects such as

Social Movements (the People’s Community Movement – MCP, which includes the participation with its Jornal das Comunidades Populares (the People’s Communities Newspaper); the People’s Assembly, the Union of Rural Extension Workers, the Christian Workers Movement – MTC);

Social Pastorals and church movements (the Pastoral Land Commission, the Pastoral of the Youth from the People’s Milieu, the Workers Pastoral, among others)

Grass roots organizations (the Brazilian Association of Community Therapy – ABRATECOM, Group for Attending Families and Friends of Alcoholics – ALANON, cooperative movement inspired by solidarian economics, the Studies and Research Group on Contemporary Latin America – GEPALC, people’s education.

III – What we propose to the other participants of this Meeting

Among the main concerns and proposals to the other members of IMWAC we enumerate:
  • articulating more expressly and regularly our critical analyses concerning the Church in historical context so as to portray even the historical and macro-social impositions;
  • exercising with incessant self-examination the spirit of collegiality, amplifying the participation of more people from IMWAC in decision processes;
  • giving priority to our critical look (whether with regard to the Church or to society) beginning with the excluded ones of our societies (women, the poor, blacks, migrants, peasants and urban laborers, etc.);
  • amplifying more effectively our action, investing more and better in the interchange with our brothers and sisters on other continents;
  • giving priority to concrete and horizontal relations far beyond virtual contacts;
  • bringing up to date the contributions of Liberation Theology and its applications for the empowerment of people and communities, ecofeminism, ecology, inter-ethnic relations, etc.;
  • preventing all forms of public or private violence in various ways, among them the creation of community ties and the strengthening of self-esteem;
  • defending without restrictions Human Rights;
  • giving due value to inter-religious dialogues and the practice of an integrative and inclusive spirituality, with no ideological, institutional or doctrinaire frontiers;
  • considering the worth of affectivity and sexuality as gifts from God and as forms of happiness and communion;
  • turning more effective the use of languages (Spanish and French) at IMWAC, including Portuguese;
  • increasing the right to vote beyond the official representatives, that is, to all IMWAC members who participate in decision-making assemblies.

October 2012
Kairós - Nós Também Somos Igreja (KNTSI)
João Pessoa, Brazil

The following is not edited by this blog co-ordinator except for an English spelling error. It is the result of a Council50 movement's recent meeting. The members of this Group are mainly from Europe and affiliated to IMWAC.

Hope and Resist!

Message of the Conciliar Assembly, 18-21 October 2012 in Frankfurt

The Second Vatican Council was the beginning of a beginning: the Catholic Church set out to enter into the modern and plural world - a world in which the gap between rich and poor continues to grow. It rediscovers Jesus’ face - in the people’ fears and hopes, especially of the poor and harassed. The Council was also a time of dawn in a church that wanted to overcome clericalism. But obsolete church structures still hamper a credible proclamation of the Gospel.

50 years later Christian women and men in parishes and federations, church agencies, grassroots groups and reform organizations move forward on the same path: uncovering and re-igniting the glowing of the Council’s set off. As God's people migrating through the troubles and conflicts of our time we are united by the will of living today the legacy of the Council and of the conciliar process for justice, peace and the preservation of creation, by recognizing the “signs of the times” and practicing alternatives to the neoliberal domination of capital greed and profit.

The Counciliar Assembly showed that there are many Christian groups and initiatives, which have taken concrete steps to create the conditions in our world for a decent and nature friendly life for all people. They refuse a political and economic thinking and acting that would have us believe that there is no alternative to the capitalist global order. The certainty that another world is possible is in our opinion intimately linked to the message announced by Jesus of the Kingdom of God and which the Council made us newly aware of. This other world of God appears as a sign when people share what is necessary for a decent life.

We are grounded on Jesus' promise of a “Life in fullness” (John 10:10) for everyone. Another church, a prophetic and diaconal Church is necessary and possible, another church that will have come true the equality of all genders and of all forms of life, participation and dialogue, radical democracy and a deep connection with nature!

- We are the People of God in the spirit of the Council, when we fight for a decent life for everyone and proclaim the oneness of life through acting in justice and prayer.

- We are the People of God when we stand united with many people in the world who are searching, with feminist social and political Human Rights and Democracy movements. Herein are included movements for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersexual Rights.

- We are the People of God when we respect the sacredness of the Earth as God's creation that we cultivate and preserve.

- We are the People of God when we respect confessional, religious and cultural pluralism.

The biblical message of a God of Life is for us a message of encouragement and demand: Being a person otherwise in another church for another world.

These reflections are the foundation for our future action, particularly during the years of commemoration of the Council 2012-2015 and of commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

Translated in English from the German original by Elfriede Harth

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