The council introduced major reforms into the life of the church.
“We want to take the inspiration of the Second Vatican Council on its 50th anniversary to show that we need new reforms to make the Catholic Church more inclusive, more democratic, more working for the poor, more ecumenical, more engaged in work for peace, for justice, for integrity of creation,” Mauro Castagnaro, international coordinator of the Italian We are Church movement, told Ecumenical News International.
Castagnaro made the proposal public on January 25 during the third World Forum on Theology and Liberation, which met in Belem, Brazil, before the World Social Forum, a global gathering directed at exploitative globalization. The date marked 50 years since Pope John XXIII gave notice of his intention to convene the Vatican council.
The proposal for a 50th anniversary event was drawn up by two umbrella groups seeking reforms in the Catholic Church, the International Movement We are Church, and the European network, Church on the Move. It calls for national councils to be held on October 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the council, to be followed by a series of national and regional events leading to a worldwide assembly in Rome in 2015.
The Second Vatican Council met in Rome between 1962 and 1965. Among other things, it enhanced the role of lay Catholics, introduced liturgical reforms, opened the way to official dialogue with other churches, and used the phrase “the people of God” to describe the church.
“The idea is to try to connect to the different movements that work for the reform of the Catholic Church because we feel that the inspiration of the Second Vatican Council is now facing deep difficulty,” Castagnaro said.
“The hierarchy and the authorities of the Catholic Church say that they are trying to assert) themselves in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council,” Castagnaro said. “But the spirit they communicate is not the spirit of an open vision of solidarity with the world, a solidarity with the difficulties of the life of the people, that is [consistent with] the Second Vatican Council.”