The People Speak Out

Local voices connecting globally

This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.  (Pope Francis)

Canon Law 212 calls upon the laity to speak up:

2 - The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. - According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

There are several approaches that you can use. Find the model that works best in your circumstances. Of course, make any adaptations that suit you.

  • Option 1 - a series of gatherings. Begin with a gathering of lay people where concerns and ideas are freely shared. Get a sense of the main issues. Once participants have articulated and clarified concerns, another meeting and then another could be planned. Once the group is comfortable openly expressing their views, then a follow-up meeting could be planned where the Pastor, local clergy, and/or Bishop are all invited.

  • Option 2: You may wish to identify topics for discussion and offer several gatherings each one that focuses on different areas of concern. People can then choose to attend the topic(s) that most interest them.

  • Option 3 - a single gathering. If a series of gatherings wouldn’t work well, consider having one gathering with lay people. Invite your Pastor, local clergy, and/or Bishop for the purpose of listening. Even if the clerics do not attend, the main value is in claiming our voices and building a groundswell. Be sure to share the report your gathering with CCRI.

Whatever you do, create a model that best suits your local circumstances.