Global Council Network

Supporting reforms in the Church and Society

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.

The convention will start Friday, November 20th 2015 at 6 pm in Casa La Salle in Rome. On Saturday morning Dr Nontando Hadebe, woman theologian from Zimbabwe and South Africa, will present the keynote speech: ‘Perspectives opened by Pope Francis for the evolution of the Catholic Church and reforms to meet the challenges of our evolving 21st century world’. Following her speakers from different continents will present their experiences, expectations and proposals for the renewal of our Church and it’s implication in the world.

8 workshops will focus on the challenges facing the world as War and Peace, Social and economic justice, Environment (Encyclical Laudato Si’) and Social issues. Following from that and inspired by the Gospel concrete means will be developed for different models of Church Organization which can foster inter and intra religious dialogues as well as inter convictional dialogues.

This convention follows up the international conference that commemorated and renewed the ‘Pact of the Catacombs’ for a poor church signed by 42 bishops shortly before the end of the Council in the Domitilla-Catacombs on November 16th, 1965.

The Council 50-Charter built from the discussions of the workshops during the event in Rome will be drafted and will be given to Pope Francis during the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the close of the Council (December 8th, 2015). Updating the ‘Pact of the Catacombs’ that was signed by the bishops 50 years ago, the Council 50-Charter will be a ‘Pact of the People of God’, hopefully followed up by the bishops of our Church.

‘Council 50’ was initiated by the European Network Church on the Move and the International Movement We Are Church and benefits from the contributions, participation and support of members of the following networks and associations:

American Catholic Council, Amerindia, Articulacion Continental de Comunidades eclesiales de base, Asociación de Teólogos Juan XXIII, Australian Coalition for Church Renewal, Center for Asia Peace and Solidarity (CAPS), Coordination of European Base Communities, Corpus, European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups, International federation for a renewed Catholic Ministry, Institute for Theology and Politics, Kairós/Nós Também Somos Igreja – Brasil, Pax Romana, Réseau des Anciens Jecistes d’Afrique, Redes Cristianas, We Are Also Church South Africa, Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research, World Forum Theology and Liberation

Committee of Recommendation / Messages of Solidarity:

Leonardo Boff (Brazil), Card. Pedro Casaldaliga (Bishop em of São Félix, Brazil), J.M. Castillo, Giovanni Cereti (theologian), Paul Collins (Australian Coalition for Church Renewal), Duarte da Cunha (Secretary of the conference of Bishop Conferences of the European Union), Giovanni Franzoni (former Abbot St Paul, Rome), Bishop Jacques Gaillot (Bishop em, Paris), Nontando Hadebe (woman theologian from South Africa and Zimbabwe), Hermann Haering (Prof of Theology, The Netherlands/Germany), Paul Hwang (Center for Asia Peace and Solidarity, present in Rome), Douglas Irvine (WAACSA present in Rome), Marco Cassuto Morselli (Presidente dell’Amicizia Ebraico-Cristiana di Roma), Jon Sobrino (Jesuit theologian), Hans Kueng (Stiftung Weltethos, Germany). Raniero La Valle (journalist), Germaine Lipeb (Réseau des Anciens Jecistes d’Afrique), Anthony Padovano (CORPUS, USA), Luiz Carlos Susin (World Forum Theology and Liberation), Juan José Tamayo (Asociación de Teólogos Juan XXIII, present in Rome), José María Vigil (theologian, Panama), Alex Zanotelli (missionary)

100 Participants coming from:

Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, Equator, France, Gabon, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Senegal, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, USA, Zimbabwe