Letter from Dr. John Wijngaards
We have all experienced how present-day abuse of church authority presents the greatest obstacle to reform. As theological adviser of the largest academic website on women’s ordination – www.womenpriests.org – this is my experience too. Two years ago, at an international meeting of reform movements in Utrecht in the Netherlands, it was decided that we should pay more attention to abuse of authority in the Catholic Church. Our womenpriests.org team took this seriously. We opened a special directory: http://www.womenpriests.org/authority/ index.asp to deal with this issue. However, we found that something more positive needed to be done.
In consultation with theologians world-wide, we decided to move the discussion forward by offering a blueprint for immediate action. We discerned seven areas in which change, called for by Vatican II, can and should happen. The blueprint is contained in a short statement which we call the ‘JUBILEE DECLARATION’ which is presented on a new website: www.churchauthority.org . The names of the original signatories, the ‘academic sponsors’, flank the Declaration. At present we have 38 prominent sponsors from 10 countries. Click-through links reveal the credentials of each ‘sponsor’.
For clarity’s sake we have kept the Jubilee Declaration short. However, additional pages will add reflections on each of the seven key areas and extensive further documentation will be added. See also our Christian Living diagram.
My requests to you:
(1) Would you, please, publicise this new development on your blog, newsletter and website?
(2) Could you invite people to sign the JUBILEE DECLARATION on the home page: http://www.churchauthority.org/index.asp ?
(3) Could you send us relevant texts, preferably in electronic format, that we could use as supporting documentation?
Any suggestions are very welcome.
With thanks, and hoping that the Holy Spirit will blow in our sails,