Press release, Rome, December 7, 2015
Update in the spirit of the “Pact of the Catacombs” signed by 42 bishops at the end the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago
“We are ready to help Pope Francis to implement the Second Vatican Council now. Another Church for Another World is possible!”
A Declaration has been adopted by more than 100 delegates of catholic reform movements worldwide from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas who gathered at the Council 50 Conference in Rome, November 22-24, 2015. At this conference prior to the 50th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council (December 8, 2015), they assessed the current state of the Roman Catholic Church, future directions, and its engagement with contemporary global issues.
In this process the delegates associated themselves with the “Pact of the Catacombs” which was originally signed by 42 bishops just before the end of Vatican II, in which they made their personal commitments as bishops to the Council’s ideals. Although the “Pact of the Catacombs” was subsequently signed by some 500 bishops it was almost totally forgotten during the last two pontificates. Council 50 delegates affirmed the teachings and the spirit of the Second Vatican Council that defined a new position for the church engaged with today’s world, especially in the constitution “Gaudium et Spes” (Joy and Hope).
The ‘Council 50’ gathering in Rome from 20-22nd November, sought to shine new light on the seeds of the Second Vatican Council, marking 50 years since it closed.
“We are ready to help Pope Francis implement the Second Vatican Council now” declared the 100 delegates representing worldwide catholic reform movements.
Grass roots groups from every continent worked on a combined declaration and will continue networking in 2018 in Latin America and in 2021 in Africa.
Reform movements from across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas gathered last weekend in Rome for a lively and inspiring conference. The aim of ‘Council 50’ was to relight the flame of the Second Vatican Council and make visible the prophetic voice of the ‘people of God’ that has continued to thrive despite 35 years’ of suppression during the last two pontificates. The assembled group consisted of priests and lay people as well as men and women religious. Together, they demonstrated the great potential to revive the Church so that we can better contribute to healing many of the urgent problems in the world.
Base movements from all continents support Pope Francis’ call for substantial reforms in the Roman-Catholic Church and in Society.
Press release Rome, November 20, 2015
Convention ‘Council 50’: Towards a Church – Inspired by the Gospel – for the world’ with more than 100 delegates of worldwide catholic reform movements in Rome, November 20-22, 2015.
This Coming weekend reform movements from diverse continents, countries, cultures and theological tendencies are gathering in Rome and will present a variety of fruits and projects grown from the Second Vatican Council for an inclusive Church for the 21st century. They are bringing their practice, experience and reflexions to Rome and hope to show their potentialities for a revival of the Church, as St Francis of Assisi did in his time.
‘Council 50’ aims to reaffirm the values and the spirit of the Council and to give space and opportunity of networking between the different experiences that sprang from it. ‘Council 50’ intends to revivify the disappointed hopes, to relight the flame of the Council, and to renew the impetus towards the future. So it is making visible the prophetic part of the ‘people of God’ in the Church too often hidden and unknown.
‘Council 50’ strongly supports Pope Francis’ efforts against all resistance: for the renewal of the Roman-Catholic Church, for interreligious dialogue and for a more just and peaceful world. ‘Council 50’ wants to help change the dogmatic and legalistic attitude of the Church into a pastoral and evangelic attitude inspired by the Gospel and in line with the Second Vatican Council. Hence the leitmotiv ‘Council 50: towards a Church – inspired by the Gospel – for the world’.
‘Council 50’ is a networking process that contributes to strengthen the ‘sensum fidei fidelium’ that is one of the key theological teachings of the theological thoughts of the Second Vatican Council as expressed in the dogmatic constitution ‘Lumen Gentium’. This Council brought so much hope 50 years ago but because of unsatisfactory decrees and Pope Francis’ predecessors the prophetic part of the Church at the peripheries of the world were too often ignored, hidden, and even condemned. The teaching of this Council is still waiting to be implemented.