We Are Church

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We Are Church is a movement that advocates changing the teachings and the structures of responsibility and authority of the Catholic Church. It originated in German-speaking Austria, Germany and South Tyrol in 1995 under the title Wir sind Kirche and was organized as an international association in 1996.[1]

It has described Hans Küng as the spiritual father of initiatives that led to the founding of We Are Church.[2]


The association is composed of groups in various countries and does not accept individual members. A list of its national Media Contacts, with e-mail addresses and in some cases telephone numbers, is given on its website.[3]


The movement adopted in 1997 a manifesto that made five demands:

  1. The building of a Church of brothers and sisters that recognizes the equality of all the baptized, including the inclusion of the People of God in the election of bishops in their local churches.
  2. Equal rights for men and women, including the admission of women to all Church ministries.
  3. Free choice of either a celibate or married life for all those who dedicate themselves to the service of the church.
  4. A positive attitude toward sexuality, and a recognition of personal conscience in decision -making.
  5. A message of joy and not condemnation, including dialogue, freedom of speech and thought. No anathemas and no exclusion as a means of solving problems, especially as this applies to theologians.[4][5]


In 2006, the German association published 79 theses of different authors, which included "God is not almighty", "Jesus Christ should not be seen as 'Lord'", "Mary was not a virgin at the birth of Jesus", and "The 'holy catholic church' is neither holy not catholic".[6]

On 4 June 2008, in response to a decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that declared subject to an excommunication whose lifting was reserved to the Holy See anyone who attempted to confer holy orders on a woman,[7] the international movement issued a statement under the heading, "Jesus Christ did not ordain men or women to the ministerial priesthood but to care for and nurture each other as brothers and sisters".[8] In July of the same year, it congratulated the "Anglican Church" for its intention to consecrate women as bishops and declared its regret at "the unchristian attitude of the Vatican establishment which, once again, usurping its mission, has come out in criticism of our Anglican brothers and sisters over the decision".[9]

In 2017 the association supported blessing of same-sex marriages.[10]

Excommunication of a foundress[edit]

On 22 March 2014, the Tiroler Tageszeitung published an interview with Martha Heizer, chairperson and co-founder of the international movement, and her husband, in which they stated that they had been informed that, in line with canon 1378 §2,[11] they were excommunicated on account of their priestless "private Eucharistic celebrations".[12][13]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]