Catholics call for a Year of Dialogue in the Lead Up to the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family

Many Catholics followed the events of the October 2014 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family with a mixture of hope and disappointment. The mid-term report (Relatio post disceptiontatem) was an unexpected surprise for many Catholics because of its welcoming spirit. But the the final report (Relatio Synodi) caused deep disappointment because it stripped away much of the welcoming and accepting tone.

As we move toward the 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, we want to ensure Pope Francis model of open, frank and respectful dialogue is carried out in every diocese on the realities of family, marriage and human sexuality.

These sessions should be times for those who will attend the Synod to listen carefully to those whose lives are rooted in the experience of family. We believe it is vitally important for all members of our Church to enter into prayerful and respectful dialogue with one another, so that the Synod’s work is responsive to the needs of God’s people.

The Call for a Year of Dialogue

Nineteen Catholic reform organizations are calling on our bishops to initiate a Year of Dialogue in these months leading up to the Synod on the Family to be held October 2015.

We urge the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting for General Assembly in Baltimore, Maryland November 10-13, 2014 to establish processes through which Catholics in every diocese can bring forward their dreams, concerns, and key messages for the Synod.

These sessions should be times for those who will attend the Synod to listen carefully to those whose lives are rooted in the experience of family. We believe it is vitally important for all members of our Church to enter into prayerful and respectful dialogue with one another, so that the Synod’s work is responsive to the needs of God’s people.

Sponsoring Organizations

Holyart – Religious items

A Critical Mass

American Catholic Council

Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church

Call To Action

Catholics for Choice

Catholics Speak Out

Chicago Women-Church

CORPUS

DignityUSA

Ecumenical Catholic Communion

Federation of Christian Ministries/RCFCC

FutureChurch

Loretto Women’s Network

National Coalition of American Nuns

New Ways Ministry

RAPPORT

Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference

Voice of the Faithful

Women’s Ordination Conference

Papa Francesco

March 2014 marks the one year anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. It has been a year of remarkable activity, media attention and excitement. “Man of the Year” for Time Magazine, on the cover of Rolling Stone, quoted by people of all denominations, Francis has made a significant mark on the world community.

As Catholics interested in working for a Church that is just, inclusive and accountable, this provides a good time to assess Francis’ impact and promise.

“What has changed in the past year?” “What needs to be done?” “What seems to be neglected in the general upsurge of interest?”

A coalition of COR (Catholic Organizations for Renewal) members have put together this website to assist local groups in creating conversations about Francis, not just to assess but also to use the new directions of the papacy as a springboard for local planning and action. Where do we, as the baptized Faithful, fit into the picture of renewal of the Church? What can we do to become part of a new movement toward change?

On this website you will find:

  • A template for holding a gathering
  • A prayer service to use at the gathering, if you wish
  • Short, two-page downloadable “resources” on a variety of topics which will help you lead discussions. These topics are:
    • Rights and responsibilities of the Baptized
    • Church governance
    • LGBT issues
    • Inclusive Priesthood
    • Reproductive healthcare
    • Female deacons
    • Married clergy
    • Non-violence and justice
    • Poverty and economic justice
    • Worker Justice
    • Expanding the role of women
  • Links to the websites of participating organizations, where many more resources are available (i.e. https://www.holyart.com/special-occasions/pope-francis)

Whether you hold a gathering in your living room or a hall, with friends and neighbors, fellow parishioners, a book group or strangers, we hope that this website will provide a stimulus for good discussion, community bonding and the formation of local action plans that will support renewal and change in the Church.