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Sad News

June 10, 2014      Nyhetsbrev      Torstein Seim      no responses

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A statement from the Scandinavian groups of the We Are Church movement concerning the excommunication of Martha Heizer.

The sad news of the excommunication of Martha Heizer and her husband Gert has deeply affected us all as members of the International Movement We Are Church (IMWAC). As our thoughts and prayers go out to Martha and Gert, we also want to state that their decision to celebrate the Eucharist in their private home in the absence of an ordained priest is a private, conscientious and personal decision and none of us can here act as judges. Yet we find it important to state that this option in no way reflects the thinking and far less the practice of the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish branch of the international movement. Martha has offered to step aside from her position as coordinator and spokeswoman for IMWAC for which we are grateful.

The great Christian tradition is clear. We do not as individuals possess any rights claims to the Eucharist. It is a gift offered to the Church in communion with the poor and with their pastors and our pastors.

As members of IMWAC we all see the need for urgent reforms in the theological thinking, in the pastoral practice and in Canon Law in order not to depart from our common Tradition but rather to be faithful to it. We also see the need for urgent reforms in communion and in solidarity with our pastors and in communion with the Bishop of Rome.

As believers we have seen our own children, friends and relatives leave the Catholic Church since they have been witness to attitudes and practices within the Church that clearly have contradicted the Gospel. The movement Wir Sind Kirche in Austria and in other countries has been inspiring and has helped us to keep a balance between our patience and our passion for change as believers. With the election of Francis as the Bishop of Rome we can clearly see that our patience opens up to a new horizon of hope.

May this sad news of Martha and her husband bring us all closer to The Holy Spirit of Pentecost. May it remind us all of the precious yet fragile gift of union in diversity and bind us together with the impatience and the passion of the Gospel together with the patience of ecclesial communion.

June 2014

Kaare Ruebner Joergensen – Denmark

Pal Kolsto – Norway

Hans Reiland – Sweden

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