Monday, December 17, 2012

Solidarity with D Pedro Casaldáliga

PDF versions: [French] [German] [Italian] [Portuguese] 

The International Movement We are Church (IMWAC) expresses its deep concern over the death threats against Dom Pedro Casaldáliga, bishop emeritus of the Prelature of Sao Felix Araguaia, Brazil and his pastoral staff. Dom Pedro and the Prelacy have always supported the struggle of the Xavante people of the state of Mato Grosso for the restitution of their land. At the moment when they receive back from the government their land where many small squatters have moved in, sectors with obvious interests created an atmosphere of violence in which the squatters remain small pawns in the hands of large farmers and politicians. In this environment the right of the Indigenous people has to be asserted, even with the help of the police and the army. This environment of violence is directed against the Xavante people, but also against Dom Pedro and the Pastoral Team. Although Don Pedro and the Prelacy have always affirmed that all, including the squatters, have the right to agrarian reform and the land, we would like to express our solidarity with Dom Pedro and denounce this lie, coming from those who are trying to evade their responsibility in this situation of suffering, tension and violent threats that they themselves have created, shifting this responsibility onto the shoulders of Pedro Casaldáliga, this great bishop, poet and upholder of Human Rights.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Women's ordination ban stains the face of God in this world

Press Release
Dec 7, 2012

PDF versions: [English] [French] [German] [Italian]

The International Movement We are Church (IMWAC) fully endorses the courageous ‘National Catholic Reporter' editorial staff’s statement on Dec 3rd 2012 that ‘Barring women from ordination to the Priesthood is an injustice that cannot be allowed to stand’ and joins its voice with the NCR and with Roy Bourgeois in their call for ‘the Catholic Church to correct this unjust teaching.’

The right of women to exercise every ministry including priesthood in the Catholic Church is a fundamental aim of ‘We are Church’ and very many of its members are to the forefront in the Catholic Church in demanding that this ban be rescinded as there is no basis either biblical or theological for its existence.

Throughout the Catholic world the ‘Sensus fidelium’ believes that this continuing ban on Catholic women who are called by God to priesthood is not only an injustice but stains the face of God in this world.

In spite of a critical lack of priests in the Catholic church which is leading to a Eucharistic famine for the Christian faithful the Pope not only refuses the possibility of open conversation about this vital issue but uses the most extreme form of sanctions against good Catholics who love their Church but only wish for a change of heart, metanoia, by the Pope on this issue even at this late stage of his life.

IMWAC believes that this demand for the lifting of this unjust ban on women is led by the Spirit of God and is a true sign of our times to be heeded as a matter of urgency by our Pope.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Statement on the Catholic Church and the Dictatorship in Argentina

The memory of the Latin American peoples – especially of those of the Southern Cone (Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay) - is still severely dealt a blow more than thirty years after the “rumble of boots” which was extended over the region, an expression of the institutional violence and state terrorism to torment thousands of citizens for decades.

The breakaway from the constitutional order, which is characteristic of the rule of law, established in those countries terror, torturing, persecutions, imprisonments, the exile of thousands of citizens with very grievous consequences. As an accomplice of this civilian-military power the hierarchy of the Argentine Catholic Church was also associated.

The overcoming of the hard hit memory of the Argentine people demands the punishment of the actors (both individual and collective) who were involved in these crimes as has been demanded by a recent document signed by the Group of Priests in Option for the Poor (Grupo de Curas en la Opción por los Pobres) which we manifest our solidarity for by demanding from the competent authorities that justice also be done to the members of the Catholic hierarchy which was responsible for part of such atrocities.

It is not a question of only acknowledging a mere ethical reprimand for simple omissive behavior but rather a question of punishing for their crimes of complicity all groups and persons that have effectively collaborated with that state of barbarity and with the inclusion of the ecclesiastic groups involved.

For that reason we manifest our solidarity with the recent initiative of the Group of Priests in Option for the Poor, demanding that justice be done (see in Spanish). Commentary by the Group of Priests in Option for the Poor on the “Message to the People of Our Country” published by the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina.