Dear Friends,

The Redes Cristianas Coordination Group calls for a Universal Congress of Christian Peoples based on the following questions:

1. The 50th anniversary of the closure of Vatican II has awakened in many Christian communties 2 basic questions:

  • What can the Church offer the World?

  • What does the World demand of the Church?

2. Today, 50 years later, we have the same questions but both the World and the Church have changed dramatically. Redes Cristianas, whose aim is adapt our faith to each historical circumstance, considers that this anniversary is the right moment to update the spirit of the First Meeting of Jerusalem, described in Chapter 15 of the Acts of the Apostles. On this basis, we propose to dedicate our efforts to achieve the establishment of a sufficiently wide basis to develope a new format for a Christian presence in the world of today and, at the same time, achieve a profound reform in the Church. Redes Cristianas joins together, in this common project, with other Catholic groups across the World, especially in Latin America and in Europe, with the European Network Church on the Move, of which we are a member.

2. Our proposal is directed to the whole Christian world and to all persons committed to human dignity, whose sense of values rejects injustice as a whole and especially the discriminatory injustices of gender and poverty and who campaign to change the unjust structures of our world; to those hurt by the silence of the hierarchy in the face of the economic crisis and growing worldwide unemployment whilst they demonstrate their incapacity to renounce their privileges; to so many people worried by the lack of an ecological conscience at the deterioration of the planet; to those who wish to live their faith in a context of liberty and respect and cannot find it in religious institutions; to all those who have abandoned the churches but still consider valid in today's world the message of the gospels.

3. In this spirit, we propose a major Congress of Christian Peoples, not as an event with a limited timespan and a specific date but rather a horizontal participative process subject to modification in the three years leading up to the 50th anniversary. It must be horizontal so all voices can be heard placing the emphasis more on each opinion rather than on its spokesperson; and participative assuming each person's responsibility to others. On this basis, we believe, the phases leading up to the Congress could be:

1st Phase 2012-2013: Constituent phase: The objective is to bring together all interested individuals and groups and constitute a wide social front, unrestricted by any limitation of country, continent or religion, on which to base our proposals.

2nd Phase 2013-2014: Identification and priority of the challenges. In this second phase we must establish the major problems of today and fix priorities for our Christian action.

3rd Phase 2014-2015: Posible answers. Coinciding with the anniversary of the closure of Vatican II, we must find answers which honestly define our presence in an impoverished world and articulate a coherent alternative which implies refomring both the institutions and the churches.

The organizations which make up Redes Cristianas appeal to all who support this urgent task we are proposing. We offer our website and e-mail address to collect the contributions of those individuals and groups inspired to work together in this task so that the Universal Congress of Christian Peoples can be a reality in 2015.

For the full text in Spanish, see “Llamamiento: Asamblea Universal del Pueblo Cristiano