Press Release, Monday, 15th February 2010
“We are Church” Demands Radical Church Reform
As the Irish Bishops assemble in Rome to meet Pope Benedict “We are Church Ireland” at their well-attended meeting in Dublin on 14th February, called for the following:
1. The creation of a Church of brothers and sisters
2. Full participation of women in all aspects of Church life
3. Removal of the obligation of clerical celibacy
4. A positive attitude towards sexuality and recognition of the primacy of an informed moral conscience
5. A message of joy and not threat or discrimination
Roots of the Crisis
We believe that major reform of hierarchical power structures and of the priesthood is required as part of the solution to the worldwide Church crisis caused by clerical child-abuse and the systematic cover-up by the institutional Church as controlled by the Vatican.
The present crisis in the Irish Catholic Church is being keenly followed in other countries. Concerned Catholics believe that their involvement is needed as a matter of urgency.
New Role for Lay People
We cannot continue in the Irish Catholic Church as if nothing has changed. "To be faithful now is to be radical." Lay people are no longer powerless or lacking in knowledge about matters pertaining to religion. Many have followed courses in Theology, Scripture and Pastoral Ministry. We wish to put our experience and expertise to use in building up our church, which is now seen as increasingly irrelevant.
“We are Church” is calling for nothing less than complete renewal ("re-Aggiornamento"). Let us return to the warmth, light and hope that came into the church with Pope John XXII and the Second Vatican Council. It is now deep winter and the fires are going out! People feel let down and hopeless. We need to bring the Church back to its roots in the Gospel. We cannot stand idly by in its hour of need.
The International Movement “We are Church” (www.we-are-church.org), founded in Rome in 1996, is represented in more than twenty countries on all continents and is networking worldwide with like-minded reform groups. ”We are Church” represents the voice of the committed Catholic people.