Solidarity with Francis

The Network: Contemporary Believing (Netzwerk: zeitgemäß glauben) and all signatories below support Francis on his path to transform the church into a compassionate church that serves life.

As with his predecessors, the bishop of Rome’s decisions and the way he conducts his office can be criticised. However, as such criticism is intended to serve the community, it needs to be constructive, open, direct and respectful of everyone’s dignity. Its aim must be to find the best possible solution and personal self-interest is to be put aside. The way forward lies in fair dialogue that measures all differences of opinion against the message of Jesus.

Solidarity with Francis

We thank the bishop of Rome for resolutely standing up for the dignity of all human beings.
We support his publicly effective advocacy on the questions of our time:

  • For justice and piece and a healthy living environment,
  • For everybody to lead a life of dignity and justice,
  • For a fair economy, that can and should be the foundation of everyone’s life,
  • For equal respect for all women and men,
  • For the weak, for all human beings who live in poverty or who are fleeing from violence and suffering,
  • For a just, participatory, forgiving and merciful church.
  • We are happy to be involved in his initiatives for a synodal church, a fertile ecumenical world and interreligious dialogue that emphasises what we have in common, but does not dismiss difference.

A Plea to our Bishops

We ask our bishops to support him on his path, and to support him even more boldly, not only with words, but with actions. We ask them to recognise the “signs of our time”, to come up with “courageous suggestions”, and to joyously put them into action in our dioceses, in coordination with the Bishop of Rome.

Encourage your communities to be independent and autonomous. Make it possible for them to be lead by suitable women and men and allow alternatives for celebrating the Eucharist that do not require celibacy. Foster subsidiarity and contemporary theological research, especially where questions of gender are concerned, and lend your support to courageous dialogue with the sciences. Commit yourselves to genuine joint decision-making together with all people of faith and go about your duties as a service to humanity.

Our Commitment

To the best of our ability we, the signatories below commit ourselves to all of humanity to advocate for contemporary believing, to face up to the questions of our time and to keep abreast with theological developments. We commit to stand up for justice and peace and for the dignified treatment of all human beings, to assist refugees, job seekers, single parents and all people at risk of discrimination or other social hardship.

We are happy to be involved in making the proclamation of faith accessible. We create religious celebrations that are contemporary and theologically responsible, and we support all those who are bereaved, sick or limited in their possibilities and people who live on their own.

On behalf of the Network: Contemporary Believing:

Dr. Heinrich Bica, Hans Peter Hurka, Renate Müller, Dr. Ignaz Reisenbichler, Dr. Hans Stetter

Vienna, 29 March 2017

All individuals, groups, networks, platforms etc. are invited to support this call for solidarity.

The early supporters of this call are:

Univ. Prof. em. Dr. Hermann Häring (Tübingen), Dr. Peter Pawlowsky (Vienna), Dkfm. Herbert Hofstätter (Initiator, vienna), Basisgemeinden (BEC) Vienna Endresstraße and Regenbogengemeinde Schwechat, Helmut Schriffl (deacon, Münchendorf), Veronika Pernsteiner, M.A. (Chairperson of the Catholic Women’s Movement Austria) Margit Hauft (former Chairperson of the Catholic Women’s Movement Austria), Dr. Franz Josef Weißenböck (Kirchberg am Wechsel), „Priestern ohne Amt“ (priests without appointment), Herbert Bartl (Vienna), Hans Riedler (Linz), Elisabeth Mayer (KA-president in the diocese of Salzburg), Abtpräses Mag. Christian Haidinger OSB (chairperson of the conference of superiors of male religious orders in Austria), P. Dr. Franz Helm SVD, (vice provincial of the Styler Missionaries), Norbert Arntz (priest, Munich), Freckenhorster Kreis (Duisburg), Univ. Prof. Dr. Roman Siebenrock (Innsbruck), Univ. Prof. Dr. Anton A. Bucher (Salzburg), Univ. Prof. Dr. Rudolf Höfer (Graz), Univ. Prof. em. Peter Trummer (Graz), Univ. Prof. Dr. Hans Schelkshorn (Vienna), Gabriella Loser-Friedli (Founder and president of the society for women affected by celibacy (ZöFra) in Switzerland), Brigitte Durrer (Laax, Switzerland), Univ. Prof. em. Walter Kirchschläger (Lucerne, Switzerland), Univ. Prof. em. Dr. Richard Friedli (Fribourg, Switzerland), Dr. Alois Odermatt (Zug, Switzerland), Mag. Josef Dirnbeck (Nuremberg) and dem „Theoforum“ in Slovakia.

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Signatures (1244)

Fullname Postcode City Country
lic.theol. OStR. Prof. Ernst Güntschl
Dr. Christian Schenner
Jacqueline Keune
Hans Peter Hurka