Our Lay-led Synodal Assembly
8 – 14 October 2023 – online
13-14 October – In-person, Rome, Italy and Bristol, UK
Spirit Unbounded is a global network of Catholic and other Christian reform groups. We are the emerging church. Networked! We collaborate across all boundaries for transformational change, firm in the belief of the equal worth and value of all people.
Human Rights in the Emerging Catholic Church
In Spirit Unbounded we nurture the emerging church. One that works to be safe, inclusive and just. One that strives to live by the teachings of Jesus. One that prays. And one that challenges the church’s continuing disregard of our simple human rights. We embrace diversity and work to include groups currently marginalised by the institutional church.
Catholics from over 40 reform groups worldwide will reflect on their experiences, telling it like it is, sharing their hopes and dreams for better lives in a better world
Pink Shoes will arrive at the Vatican in October.
From the far reaches of New Zealand to the very heart of Catholicism in Rome, the Pink Shoes Into The Vatican Campaign is making a bold statement on gender inequality within the Church.
Led by Be the Change Aotearoa New Zealand, this grassroots initiative will take the form of an eye-catching art installation in October, featuring worn-out women’s shoes adorned with pink ribbons.
However, these aren’t just shoes; each pair tells a tale of women’s hardships within the Church.
Christina Reymer, an active member of Be the Change, is personally taking the shoes to Rome.
The Pink Shoes Into The Vatican campaign, launched in Auckland and Wellington last year, is set to be a vivid reminder of one of the Church’s largest overlooked constituencies — its women.
It has already sparked international interest and seems certain to ignite conversation — and possibly even controversy.
“While the official synod will for the first time include lay people, including women, the concern is that this will still be a highly orchestrated event with vain hope for real change” says Reymer.
“We want to cast the net wider, to hear from the ‘majority’, most of whom have already left, having felt marginalised by the church’s abuses of gender discrimination, clericalism, patriarchy, sexual and emotional abuse, colonialism and other injustices, including the environment.”
The Pink Shoes art installation will stand as a graphic illustration of one of the largest marginalised voices in the Church, the voice of women.
While in Rome, Reymer will also attend the Spirit Unbounded lay-led synodal assembly from October 8-14.
Spirit Unbounded is an independent gathering that will run parallel to Pope Francis’s Synod on Synodality.
“While the Pope’s initiative is a step in the right direction, many worry it’s too controlled, too orchestrated,” Reymer told CathNews.
“We aim to hear from those who’ve already left the Church, disheartened by its failure to fully address gender discrimination, abuse and other social and environmental issues.”
Spirit Unbounded seeks to create a global network of Catholic reform and other Christian groups that actively embrace diversity and work to include groups marginalised by the hierarchical Church.
Spirit Unbounded currently enjoys 43 companions.
The Spirit Unbounded event, which is both an in-person and online event, will feature more than 100 global speakers including notable figures such as Benedictine Sr Joan Chittister and Dr Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland.
Other Spirit Unbounded voices include Pa Ropata, Professor Thomas O’Loughlin, Dr James Alison, Professor Leonardo Boff, Cherie Blair, Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan, Dr Tom Doyle and Fr Diarmuid O’Murchu.
The ‘Human Rights in the Emerging Catholic Church’ event aims to push the envelope even further, insisting that the Church must evolve to address contemporary global challenges from social injustice to environmental degradation
CathNews New Zealand 14 September 2023
For a video interview with Christina Reymer on Be The Change Aotearoa, click on this button.