Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

To Call for a New Council Just Click

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

To Call for a New Council Just Click

Article excerpt

A new council," writes a cardinal and 30 bishops in an open letter asking Pope John Paul II to convene a new ecumenical council, "would help the Catholic church to respond evangelically, in a spirit of dialogue, in close collaboration with the other Christian churches and religions, to the great challenges facing humanity, especially persons in situations of extreme poverty."

That the people of God share the belief of these bishops that the church urgently needs an opportunity to pause and reflect on the problems and challenges of the 21st century is clear from the response of our readers to our recent request to them (NCR, May 3) to propose an agenda for Vatican III. The three key issues that emerged were: democratization of the network of Catholic churches; a radical option to live with and be in solidarity with the poor and oppressed as the United States lurches into a new phase of its imperium; and interfaith encounter.

The petitioning bishops, along with our readers, give a high priority to making the church less hierarchical and more democratic in keeping with the spirit of the times. They call for a participative and conciliatory council process, beginning at local and regional levels. This would enable all of us to offer our reflections on issues that are important to us so that our contribution will be the material for the debates and decisions of the council.

What is needed now is a worldwide collection of signatures that will demonstrate the depth and breadth of the grass-roots support for the initiative of these bishops. …

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