Global Council Network

Council 50

<> <> <> Towards a Church, Inspired by the Gospel, for the world <> <> <> Vers une Eglise, inspirée par l’Evangile, pour le monde <> <> <> Rumbo hacia una Iglesia para el mundo, inspirada en el Evangelio <> <> <> Auf dem Weg zu einer Kirche - inspiriert vom Evangelium - für die Welt <> <> <> Por uma Igreja inspirada no Evangelho - para o mundo <> <> <> Verso una Chiesa ispirata dal Vangelo per il mondo <> <> <>

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Dear All,

Our last letter of information (N° 3) was issued in March 2017,

Our first intent was to issue this letter after the meeting of the Brazilian preparation team originally scheduled in Aparecida on September 9th. Since that meeting has been postponed until September 30th, an additional letter will be set up taking into account the report of that meeting.

The main topics developed in this letter are the following:

  • Preparation of Aparecida Forum, meeting of June 25th, 2017
  • Other events (Year of Laity in Brazil, Synod of the Youth, …)
  • Contacts with other organizations
  • Proceedings of the 1st Forum of the People of God (Council 50)
  • Communication
  • Finances and Fund raising

 Aparecida 2018 (2nd Forum of the People of God)

 On June 25th, we held two meetings at the same time, one in Sao Paulo and one in Paris with liaison through teleconference. J.P. Schmitz attended the meeting in Sao Paulo organized by the GCN Brazilian team.

In Paris, François Becker led the meeting with participants from various European countries and one from Africa (Cameroun). 

Main topics discussed:

  • General theme and title of the 2nd Forum

Inspired by the Gospel, hailed the experiences and reflections of fathers and masters, inspired by the Vatican II Conference and Medellin, build with faith a Synodal and universal Church, open to diversity and culture to build a world of peace, solidarity, liberation, social and economic justice by giving hope to humanity.

Proposed titles:

“Gospel, social and economic justice, democracy and globalization,

The People of God challenged.”

"Sharing the decision-making in the Church which goes forth"

  • Participants

Taking into account the meeting venue and accommodation facilities, the participants would mostly be delegates from their organization. Anticipated numbers are:

100 from Brazil

50 from other Latin America countries

10 from North America

10 from Africa

10 from Asia

10 from Europe

10 from Oceania

  • Forum time table

The Forum will start on Thursday November 15, 2018 at 2PM  and close on Sunday Nov 18 after lunch.

Tentative time table has been established: plenary sessions, lectures, round tables, workshops, social events, prayers and celebrations, …

  • Aparecida facilities

On June 26, we went Aparecida (2 hours drive from Sao Paulo) to visit the meeting venue and accommodation facilities and review the logistics questions.

 

Meeting building comprises one auditorium for 200 maxi and 8 small conference rooms for workshops (20 to 40 persons each). On the same premises is the hotel with self restaurant and the chapel.

We are still expecting formal confirmation of the reservations.

  • Kind of document to end with

Still to be decided update of the Council 50 declaration, other document, letter to Pope Francis, ….

Other events

  • Year of Laity

The Brazilian bishops have announced a celebration of the Year of the Laity beginning on the feast of Christ the King, Nov. 26, 2017 and ending on the same feast in November, 2018. Its purpose is to increase awareness of the laity's mission and encourage involvement of lay people in the church and in society. The theme chosen for this Year of the Laity is “Christian Lay Men and Lay Women, Agents of the ‘Church Going Out to the Streets’ in Service of the Kingdom”. The bishops hope to encourage the presence and the action of Christians, 'true ecclesial agents, as ‘salt, light and leavening’ in the Church and in Society.

The interpretation of that event must be clarified since it appears that positions on the way to envisage the role of laity can be extremely diversified, even in opposition.  Even though there are limitations and reservations on the part of the ordained ministers, this should be an opportunity to move forward. GCN Brazil, who is in liaison with the preparation team of the Year of Laity, will issue a report on it. 

  • Youth Synod

The way GCN may participate to the preparation of the Youth Synod of 2018 is to be decided

  • Londrina conference

The Commission on the Laity to promote their conference initiated by the Base Christian Communities of Brazil (CEBs) to be held in Londrina in January 2018.

  • AYA/ATF (Asian Youth Academy/Asian Theology Forum) annual conference occurred in Indonesia last July under leadership from Paul Hwang (Korea). Martha Heizer, vice WAC Intl chair, was invited as delegate of that organization.

Contacts with other organizations

EN-RE (European Network Church on the move) gives full support to GCN. Detailed report on GCN activities was delivered at The EN-RE general meeting held end of last May in Strasbourg.

WAC Intl (We Are Church International) also supports GCN. The following organizations recently applied for membership to WAC Intl :

Nos Somos a Igreja - Sao Paolo

The Active Youth Group in Sahiwal, Pakistan.

Paul Hwang (as individual)

As GCN, we maintain contacts with other organizations in various countries (USA, India, New Zealand, Kenya) through participation to weekly teleconferences arranged by CCRI (Catholic Church Reform Intl)

Council 50 Proceedings

The Proceedings of the 1st Forum of the People of God (Council 50) have been finalized after a huge work under François Becker’s leadership to collect all documents. This includes the speeches and reports from workshops as well as the final declaration. Both English and French versions are available on the website :

https://www.globalcouncilnetwork.org/pdf/rome2015/c50livref_en.pdf

 A paper copy has been sent to Pope Francis with cover letter asking for a contact.

We strongly hope to be able to get Spanish and Portuguese versions. Any suggestions on the way to get translations at reasonable cost would be more than welcome.

Communication

The following communication means are implemented:

Information letters N° 1, 2, 3 already published and available on the website

The Council 50  Global Council Network: https://www.globalcouncilnetwork.org/145/

Webmaster: Valerie Stroud

Page facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GCN15/

The GCN Google  group

Dedicated website for Aparecida  http://www.globalforumaparecida.net/

Finances and fund raising

At present stage, we cannot give a precise cost estimate for the Aparecida forum, including the preparation activities. Together with the Brazilian team, we are working on that issue which will be critical for the success of the event.

The main expenses are the following:

  • Administrative and logistic costs
  • Costs related to invited speakers and others
  • Financial support to participants coming from remote places who could not afford travel and accommodation expenses

Fund raising actions have already been initiated, mainly in France. Up to now, the financial contributions represent only a small part of what will be needed.

We need to have more details on expected costs prior to restarting and broadening our fund-raising campaign. Everyone should be aware of that situation and try to help our fundraising efforts.

Bank transfers can be made to the GCN bank account (continuation of the Council 50 account):

Account’s Owner : Reseau Européen Eglise et Liberté (EN-RE) Concile 50

Bank : CCM Seine Ouest  (France)

IBAN : FR76 1027 8060 7500 0210 5210 423

BIC : CMCIFR2A

A GCN account will be created in Brazil for local activities

Best regards

Jean-Pierre Schmitz

GCN Coordinator

Dear All,

Our last letter of information (N° 2) was issued in November 2016, a few days after the meeting in Rome of our coordination team.

As agreed during that meeting, we intent to inform periodically on progress of actions being carried out in view of future gatherings designated as ‘Forum of the People of God”.

We remind that the first Forum occurred in Rome one year earlier (November 2015) under Council 50 designation.

The main topics developed in this letter are the following :

  • Setting up the GCN coordination team
  • Preparation of the 2nd Forum to be held in Aparecida (Brazil) in November 2018
  • Relations with Church hierarchy
  • Links with other gatherings already initiated in the same spirit
  • Communication
  • Budget and Fundraising
  • Book on Council 50 (1st Forum of the People of God, Rome November 2015)

The 3rd Forum is still planned for the Year 2021. Our African friends are already thinking over  it.

GCN Coordinating team

In our letter N° 2, we already informed that Jean-Pierre Schmitz has taken over the responsibility of leading coordination of action for GCN. A Google group “GCN Coordination Group” has been created to share information between members of the team.

That Google group comprises the participants to our meeting in Rome last November including the members of the Brazilian team in charge of the preparation of Aparecida Forum. That Brazilian team will hold leadership for organization of that 2nd Forum of the People of God. The GCN coordinating Group will provide full support and ensure contacts and as close as possible connections with other groups engaged in similar gatherings throughout the World.

Anyone interested  to be part of GCN or to contribute to our GCN actions would be welcome in our coordinating team. Please let me know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2nd Global Forum of the People of God Aparecida Brazil  November 2018

Our Brazilian GCN coordination team is working hard on the preparation activities. As decided in Rome last November. Next important step will be the joint meetings to be held in Brazil and in Paris on June 24th, 2017. In case it is too difficult to get all concerned people together in the same place, the Paris meeting will be held through a Skype conference. 

Joint meetings of preparation in Paris and in Brazil

Jean-Pierre Schmitz will travel to Sao Paulo to meet the Brazilian team. Due to time difference, a first part of the meeting will take place in Paris on the morning of the 24th, the joint part of the meetings will take place through Skype communication in the morning in Brazil and in the afternoon in Paris, and a third part of the meeting will take place in the afternoon of the 24th in Brazil.

Suggested agendas :

.   For the first part of the meeting in Paris (eventually with Skype connection)

  • Preparation of the joint meeting (in particular general theme)

.  For the joint part of the meeting (with Skype connection)

  • General theme of the Forum
  • Program and contents of the 2018 Forum, articulation with the Synod of the Youth, process to involve movements around the world, in particular in Latin America and get contributions from them: articulation with local or regional forums or synods
  • Speakers and other organizations and individuals to be invited
  • International contacts to be established
  • Support to the Brazilian team and contacts with local Church
  • Preliminary budget and Fund raising
  • Miscellaneous

 .  For the third part of the meeting in Brazil

discussions on general organization, logistics, contacts in Brazil and Latin America countries.

On the 25th visit to Aparecida to see the location of the meeting, look at accommodation and transport facilities, and visit the National Shrine.

General theme:

The following general theme was proposed by the GCN coordination group : “sharing the decision-making on the Church”. In view of better understanding of the Portuguese translation, the Brazilians suggest something like “democratization of decision-making in the Church”. Reference could be made to the “inverted pyramid”.

In October 2015, Pope Francis made known his intent to radically changed Catholicism itself when he called for a "revolution" in the concept of the Catholic Church. He said the Holy See should not be a top-down organisation with the pope in charge but rather an inverted pyramid where the summit — the pope — is below and in service to the "holy faithful people of God" at the top, according to an Associated Press report.

This should be discussed at the June 24th meeting.

It is important, even more in the Year of Laity, to make sure that the general theme involves the the people, the world and the Church.

You are kindly invited to send me comments and suggestions regarding the issues that will be addressed, or have to be addressed during those meetings, especially on the general theme

Contacts:

From Sao Paulo, contacts have already been made in Brazil and other Latin America countries : Argentine, Uruguay, Nicaragua. In Brazil, the group Kairos We are also the Church is also aware of the proposal and will accompany the preparation. Other local and national representation groups are being contacted for a meeting in Sao Paulo.

Within the framework of the National Council of the Laity of Brazil-CNLB (Conselho Nacional do Laicato do Brasil), a meeting of the Southern Cone of the CELAM ( Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano), whose theme will be "lay in public life" (22 to 26 May, in Buenos Aires). GCN will send a letter, to be read at the event, calling on participants to engage in the construction of the Forum of Aparecida. Also remember that November 2017 November 2018 in Brazil will be declared the year of the laity by CNBB (Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil)

CELAMare programming a Latin American meeting that will be held in Belo Horizonte between 2018 and 2019.

Regarding other continents (Europe, North America, Africa, Asia), the GCN coordinating team will establish contacts with potentially interested organizations and individuals, starting with the participants to the 1st Global Council Forum (Council 50) in Rome in 2015. We also will make contacts with other forums in a similar spirit which may occur throughout the world.

Relations with the Church hierarchy

GCN actions are initiated mostly from grassroots by lay people and movements in various countries and continents. However Bishops and other Church authorities are welcome if they are in agreement with our main objectives and want to support us.

In this regard, we already sent letters to some of them to make them aware of what we are trying to do and ask for support.

Let’s give two examples:

Cardinal Kevin Farrell,    Prefect of the Dicastery for lay people, family and life  (Vatican)
Cardinal John Njue,  Archbishop of Nairobi   Kenya

Other letters may be sent and new contacts arranged. Here again suggestions would be welcome.

Third Global Forum of the People of God

After Aparecida in 2018, the 3rd Forum should occur in Africa (precise location not decided yet)

in 2021. Already, several African friends Kenyan already declared their high interest.

Links with other gatherings

The following gatherings are scheduled :

  • Medan Indonesia (April 1-6th 2017)

Main themes on the Forum: Youth Working for Ecological Sustainability, Genuine Human Development, and Peace

  • AYA/ATF (Asian Youth Academy/Asian Theology Forum) to be held in Indonesia in July 2017
  • Synod prepared by the American Catholic Council in 2018 end of October in USA

                 Contact : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • New Zealand Forum in 2017

Information on other events would be welcome

Communication

The following communication means are implemented :

Information letters N° 1,2 and 3 allready published and available on the website

The Council 50  Global Council Network Website http://www.council50.org
Page facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GCN15/
The GCN Google  group : see above
Dedicated website for Aparecida  under construction in Brazil - http://globalforumaparecida.blogspot.fr/

Budget and Fundraising

At present stage, we cannot give a precise cost estimate for the Aparecida forum, including the preparation activities. Together with the Brazilian team, we are working on that issue which will be critical for the success of the event.

The main expenses are the following:

  • Administrative and logistic costs
  • Costs related to invited speakers and others
  • Financial support to participants coming from remote places who could not afford travel and accommodation expenses

We should know more on this in June.

Fund raising actions have already been initiated, mainly in France. Up to now, the financial contributions represent only a small part of what will be needed.

Everyone should be aware of that situation and try to help our fundraising efforts.

bank transfers can be made to the GCN bank account (continuation of the Council 50 account):

Account’s Owner : Reseau Européen Eglise et Liberté (EN-RE) Concile 50
Bank : CCM Seine Ouest  (France)
IBAN : FR76 1027 8060 7500 0210 5210 423
BIC : CMCIFR2A
A GCN account will be created in Brazil for local activities

Book Council 50

Edited by François Becker in two languages (French and English), a book entitled “1st Global Forum of the People of God, Rome 2015 Council 50” is under revision.  It should be available in a few months via internet. This book contains all the presentations and documents elaborated during the Council 50 gathering that took place in Rome on November 20 to 22, 2015, particularly the Council 50 Declaration which is still to be endorsed on the Council 50 website. You will be informed when it is available.

Best regards

Jean-Pierre Schmitz
GCN Coordinator