Global Council Network

Hope and Resist

Message of the Conciliar Assembly,  Frankfurt, Germany 

18-21 October 2012,  

In pdf format: [English] [German] [Spanish] 

The Second Vatican Council was the beginning of a beginning: the Catholic Church set out to enter into the modern and plural world, a world in which the gap between rich and poor continues to grow. It rediscovers Jesus’ face in the people’ fears and hopes, especially of the poor and harassed. The Council was also a time of dawn in a church that wanted to overcome clericalism. But obsolete church structures still hamper a credible proclamation of the Gospel.

50 years later Christian women and men in parishes and federations, church agencies, grassroots groups and reform organizations move forward on the same path: uncovering and reigniting the glowing of the Council’s set off. As God's people migrating through the troubles and conflicts of our time we are united by the will of living today the legacy of the Council and of the conciliar process for justice, peace and the preservation of creation, by recognizing the “signs of the times” and practicing alternatives to the neo-liberal domination of capital greed and profit. 

The Conciliar Assembly showed that there are many Christian groups and initiatives, which have taken concrete steps to create the conditions in our world for a decent and nature friendly life for all people. They refuse a political and economic thinking and acting that would have us believe that there is no alternative to the capitalist global order. The certainty that another world is possible is in our opinion intimately linked to the message announced by Jesus of the Kingdom of God and which the Council made us newly aware of. This other world of God appears as a sign when people share what is necessary for a decent life.

We are grounded on Jesus' promise of a “Life in fullness” (John 10:10) for everyone. Another church, a prophetic and diaconal Church is necessary and possible, another church that will have come true the equality of all genders and of all forms of life, participation and dialogue, radical democracy and a deep connection with nature!

  • We are the People of God in the spirit of the Council, when we fight for a decent life for everyone and proclaim the oneness of life through acting in justice and prayer.
  • We are the People of God when we stand united with many people in the world who are searching, with feminist social and political Human Rights and Democracy movements. Herein are included movements for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Bisexual Rights.
  • We are the People of God when we respect the sacredness of the Earth as God's creation that we cultivate and preserve.
  • We are one People of God when we respect confessional, religious and cultural pluralism.

The biblical message of a God of Life is for us a message of encouragement and demand: Being a renewed person in a renewed church for a transformed world. 

These reflections are the foundation for our future action, particularly during the years of commemoration of the Council 2012?2015 and of commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

Translated in English from the German original by Elfriede Harth