Click on the flag to choose the language.

To see articles and comments in other languages, click on the flag. You can comment in the language you want.


This month the world lost one of its greatest leaders – Nelson Mandela.  On Tuesday, hundreds of world leaders, including those from the most powerful countries, joined South Africans, and the world, in a memorial service for the anti-apartheid icon.

Eulogising Mandela, US President Barack Obama said his was “a life unlike any other” and compared him to freedom heroes Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Obama described him as “a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice and in the process moved billions around the world”.

 (Dr. Christine Haiden in "Oberösterreichische Nachrichten",, 12.12.2013) 

Sometimes you simply have to imagine a matter from the opposite point of view. What would happen if the Pope of the Church – a woman, who had reserved the central charges for women, declared, the "indispensable" contribution of men in the church would be appreciated, the female theologians would have to think however more intensively, where the specifically masculine charisma could develop the best way.

Such a speech would be unthinkable. Women who presume the authority to interpret nature and tasks of men, this does not work at all - and that's a good thing. But women should still lower their head patiently when the gentlemen of the Church assign them the place?

Do not let the dynamism of the pope cover our inertia, because the resistance today comes from those who want to preserve the pastoral routine. Christians are called to a new way to be present in the public space. Crisis is not an excuse to take refuge in the private life. The challenge is to articulate the community differences, not to degenerate into indifference or intolerance, and to overcome rampant populism.

1 . The Church should continue on the path set by the Second Vatican Council , and overcome the closed model of a church wanting to recreate a society, nostalgic of a christian ideal who hates the world.
2 To detach the Church from worldliness (speech of Benedict XVI Freiburg 9/2011) which will lead to greater credibility in its core mission, the proclamation of the Word and give up some forms that are now outdated .

This White Paper argues for increased attention to lay participation and co-responsibility throughout the life church. In hopes of adding some points of reflection to the important work of the Committee of Cardinals for Curial Reform, this paper humbly makes three proposals:

 1. The reinstitution of structures of lay participation at all levels in the church, including the organization of a Fourth World Congress of the Lay Apostolate at the international level.

“Hopes and Challenges for a Prophetic Church”[1]

In response to the prophetic call for renewal initiated by Pope Francis, the International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (ICMICA-Pax Romana) prepared a questionnaire: “Hopes and Challenges of the Church.” This questionnaire was distributed to our national member organizations in English, Spanish, German and French. Many of the replies that we received were the summary of consultations by our movements at the local and national level. The responses served as a basis for the discussions of the 2013 ICMICA International Council Meeting and Study Session in Boston on the theme of “Prophets on the Borders: The Challenge of Evangelization Today.”

     While the immediate roots of the crisis that is currently shaking the Catholic Church in the United States and elsewhere lie in clergy sexual abuse, its more fundamental dimension is ecclesial in nature. The issue at stake concerns the relationship between church leaders and the laity. Many lay people have expressed their deep anger at the way in which some bishops and cardinals, and even officials of the Roman Curia, have dealt with clerical pedophilia.

     In the face of the challenges today, the pastoral duty of the laity towards society has become a central responsibility of Christian faith. In the past, in understanding religion and faith, much importance was given to the explanation of doctrines, symbols and worship. Therefore, the clergy occupied a dominant place, as those concerned with the sacred.