“Where I’m terrified by what I am for you, I am given comfort by what I am with you.
For you I am a bishop, with you, after all, I am a Christian.
The first is the name of an office undertaken, the second a name of grace;
that one means danger, this one salvation.
Finally, as if in the open sea, I am being tossed about by the stormy activity involved in that one; but as I recall by whose blood I have been redeemed, I enter a safe harbor in the tranquil recollection of this one;
and thus while toiling away at my own proper office, I take my rest in the marvelous benefit conferred on all of us in common."

St Augustine, from "On the Anniversary of His Ordination”, Sermon 340


Suggested letter to your bishop

CCRI has been asked to design a template letter for individuals and groups to send to their bishop of national Bishops' Conference.   You will need to adapt it as appropriate to your particular concerns, issues and needs locally.

Dear Bishop [name]

For the first time in decades we have a Pope who encourages meaningful dialogue.  We are excited by this willingness to listen.  We see in this a new way of being church, a church willing to work compassionately with the experiences lived by the people at the grass roots.  The world is desperate for spiritual nourishment, for acceptance, for love and to be loved, to be at peace with oneself and with one another, and to make sense of this life in the context of our families, communities and with all creation.

We see in this diocese the following injustices: [list those that are of most concern locally].  With Francis urging us to speak out as full partners in a synodal church, we believe that dialogue within the diocese can pave the way for pastoral action that will relieve at least some of the suffering from these injustices.  We can begin with the easier challenges, to get our feet wet, and work forward from there.  In earlier times such action might have been discouraged because of possible conflicts with doctrinal priorities.  But, with this Pope, primary emphasis is upon healing wounds and root causes.  And if that healing better mediates God’s transforming love, then doctrine which fails to mediate that love will not stand in the way.

We do not know how these wounds and root causes can be healed.  That is what dialogue is for, a dialogue in which the people participate.  This diocese has not had the benefit of a synod for such dialogue since such synods were instituted by Vatican II [or indicate when the last synod in the diocese was].  Consequently, the Church has become increasingly dysfunctional in its governance and culture.

We strongly and respectfully urge you to support our call for a new synod of the people in our diocese.  We call for an opening up of the structures and processes that enable the Spirit to work through all, male and female, religious and lay. We need to rescue our beloved Church and welcome back those it has alienated, so that it may once more reach out to all with Amoris Laetitia (the Joy of Love).

In Christ’s peace

Join with us by sending out or emailing a message to your local pastors, bishops, and church leaders


Hope for some kind of reform in our Church has never been more plausible. Francis is not only pushing for it but insisting upon it. We were far from getting everything we wanted from the Synod but Francis did manage to get a 2/3 majority support on a few key issues.

The time is now for us in the reform movement to unite together and be proactive. We are not content to wait to be invited to a local gathering by our churh leaders. We are initiating these meeting and invited church leaders to join with us.

We appreciate your help in using this email as a model and getting this message spread to every part of the world. If you don't get a response the first time you send the email, send it again. Let's carry out Francis's call to "Make a mess, but then also help to tidy it up. A mess which gives us a free heart, a mess which gives us solidarity, a mess which gives us hope."