We are Catholics who try to base our lives on Gospel values and care about the Church's continuity and for its influence in the world.
We are concerned that the hierarchical institution of our Church often fails to promote justice and resists positive change.
As disciples of Jesus, we claim our right and responsibility to work for justice in our Church, in our world, and on behalf of God's creation.
We are exploring a way of life and community where people can reflect on and value their own experience in their search for wholeness, as they accept Jesus' call to new life in the power of the Holy Spirit.
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Catholics for a Changing Church, earlier known as the Catholic Renewal Movement, began as a protest movement against Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical in 1968, in which artificial means of contraception were banned (1). Within months it became a pressure-group with the positive aim of furthering the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) (2). Marginalised after the 1980 National Pastoral Congress in Liverpool, it became (3) a think-tank or study-group.
All along it has been (4) a refuge and help-line for the oppressed, and a network for the like-minded. It has been (5) a new way of being church - the People of God actively participating in the Church. It has been (6) ‘the friends of Vatican 2’. Latterly through its periodical, Renew, it has looked at the future form of the Christian faith. We feel that if we don’t like what is on offer, it is incumbent on us to advance our own ideas for wider discussion. CCC is polymorphic.
While in broad agreement, members of CCC espouse a variety of views. In some areas - Humanae Vitae and the implementation of Collegiality in the Church - we, with many others, have won the arguments, but without making any impact on the actual running of the Church by Rome. Experience has convinced us that the Curia is bent on aborting change. See below Michael Winter’s The Roman Curia: Contemporary Role of a Medieval Court. We have no power to prevent the outrageous behaviour of the Curia. We can but be a “voice crying in the wilderness” - a valid prophetic stand.
We point towards the vision of Vatican 2 and to the example of John XXIII, who by being a Conciliar Pope offered reconciliation in place of the tug-of-war between Conciliarists and Papalists, which has distracted the Church since at least as far back as the Council of Constance in the fifteenth century. See below articles on Conciliarism and Vatican II.