19Jun Pope Francis: 100 Days in Office: Statement by the Austrian Priests’ Initiative on 19 June 2013

Vienna, 19 June 2013
Pope Francis: 100 Days in Office
Statement by the Austrian Priests’ Initiative on 19 June 2013

We state…
…that in his first three months of office, Pope Francis has taken a number of clear stances that instil hope and that have been long awaited by a large majority of the people of the Church. Pope Francis has restituted simplicity, modesty and approachability to the office bestowed upon him, thereby signalling that it is his will to lead the Church in a new fashion. Expectations are high that he will set a personal example and lead the Vatican in serving the Church in new ways.

We gain hope…
…from Pope Francis’ distinct and cooperative manner with his fellow bishops, and we expect him to soon take steps towards a new companionship with them in leading the Church throughout the world: through a revaluation of the Synod of Bishops as an institution of true co-determination and leadership participation, a revaluation of the different worldwide regions of the Church and a reassessment of the Conferences of Bishops, based on subsidiarity as a fundamental principle of Christian social teaching.

… from his seeking the blessing of the people, and we expect him to soon take steps towards including the people, with their own experiences of faith and of life and with their own personal gifts and talents, in taking fundamental decisions in relation to the Church:
through the recognition of pertinent fundamental rights for all the baptised and through synodal structures for the baptised to partake in Church-related decision-making.

…from his efforts in seeking closeness to the people, and we expect that he will soon take clear steps to support the congregations as the pillars of the Church, sharing the day to day lives of its people, celebrating their faith with them and showing solidarity in situations of hardship: through granting access to the office of congregational leadership for all the baptised who display the necessary aptitude – whether they be unmarried or
married, whether women or men; through the abolition of the practice of excluding people from the sacraments of the Church when they have failed in a marriage and seek a new beginning in a new relationship.

…from his endeavour to speak about faith from a new angle, and we expect clear steps towards the development of a modern-day language for prayer and for the ideas and concepts that form part of our faith.

…from his vision of a Church of the poor and for the poor, and we expect this Church to rid itself of unnecessary possessions and to support congregations and priests in their commitment to promoting humane and just global structures.

…from the appointment of a group of cardinals to reform the Vatican as the central element of the Church as a worldwide institution, and we expect further steps towards a culture of transparency and accountability as well as a new form of dialogue and conflict resolution within the Church.

We appeal to the bishops…
…not to wait for the decisions and actions of the Pope, but to push forward the reforms in our Church and to actively implement steps in this endeavour.

…to stop the merging of parishes and to seek new forms of parish leadership together with the Pope.

…to insist on their right to partake in the decision-making processes in the appointment of bishops and to advocate new forms of participation of the baptised in the appointment of bishops.

We continue to join our forces…
…to support the parishes in maintaining their independence and to accompany them in word and deed on their journey towards a lively future.

We have created a worldwide network……with like-minded groups of priests in Australia, Germany, England, France, Ireland, Switzerland and the USA. Together we will strive for a Church that is credible, modern, and oriented towards the well-being of the people.

 

6 Responses

  1. Darlene Starrs

    It sounds very promising, however, as Father Brendan Butler said on another thread, and I’m paraphrasing….we need to see the silence lifted for Father Flannery…or at the very least, we need to know that a new outreach has come from Pope Francis to him and others, or I’m afraid that we have to assume…that there is no new way of communicating with the Vatican…Tis a pity and a heartache, because there might well be other ‘improvements’ in the Church with Pope Francis…but, the real exciting and crucial change would come with the Pope Francis reviewing the CDF’s decisions and track record and correcting wrongs….Then we would know we have a changed church….if there was an atmosphere where debate and discussion was open and not under constant threat..I like the optimism of the Preacher’s Initiative, but, is the Pope even aware that there are injustices that were meted out by the CDF? and if he is, can we expect a reconciliation with ‘brotherly love’ here?

  2. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    … from his seeking the blessing of the people, and we expect him to soon take steps towards including the people, with their own experiences of faith and of life and with their own personal gifts and talents, in taking fundamental decisions in relation to the Church:
    through the recognition of pertinent fundamental rights for all the baptised and through synodal structures for the baptised to partake in Church-related decision-making.
    …………..
    This is quite the statement. I’m not even sure that this is accepted by the ACP/PI/AUSCP. ACP polls 1000 people and think their work is done. This is the communication that could continue to this day. This is what is probably the most frustrating thing being on the outside looking into this “world”. There are times I believe that this is nothing more than membership association for marketing purposes. If the goal is to communicate with the Vatican, then there should be a constant statement being made. Those priests who support the ACP should be constantly trying to garner feedback from their parishoners. Would it be a crime to tell your parishioners that you want a worldwide vote? If you support the PI statement, is this not saying that you would support a world wide feedback collection. This is something that the Vatican could address themselves.

  3. Wendy

    Cardinal George Pell from Australia is one of those chosen by Francis to reform the Vatican. He is not at all liked in Australia, treating victims of sex abuse with contempt and arrogance. His presence on the committee will not lead to reforms such as greater openness and accountability. He is part of the problem, not the solution.

  4. Stephen Edward

    And what happens to those millions of Catholics who do not want these ‘reforms’?

  5. Kevin

    ”…from his vision of a Church of the poor and for the poor, and we expect this Church to rid itself of unnecessary possessions and to support congregations and priests in their commitment to promoting humane and just global structures.”
    This is not primarily the role of priests but the laity. It’s clericalist thinking to assume that this work is the specialism of priests when it should be done by people actively living and engaging in the world whilst the priest give them the sacramental, spiritual support and teaching to do it.

  6. Joe O'Leary

    Kevin, they said “congregations and priests” — putting the laity (the congregation) first (in German it would be Gemeinde probably) — you seem to have misread “congregations” as meaning “religious orders”.