By Ed Schreurs
In the Netherlands we have 50 Small Catholic Communities (SCCs). The small community in my village Best is called Antonius in Beweging. You can have a look under the link Anthony: http://www.antoniusinbeweging-best.nl/
Rather common features of SCCs in the Netherlands are:
They want to revive the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.
Application of the Gospel in modern life.
Abandon all discrimination of women and other groups.
Horizontal communication instead of vertical.
Recognition of the independent authority of each person’s conscience.
Most Small Faithful Communities have been created either after the promulgation of the encyclical Humanae Vitae, after the hierarchy reinforced rules from 1950 with Liturgicum Vademecum, after the fusion of parishes and after the forbidding of local liturgy.
Local communities are mostly struggling to define their own identity and have not joined a national or international organization. You can find a list of 45 such communities under the link Dutch Communities.
Since my pension in 1999 I have studied church history. The paper "Promoting Small
Christian Communities in Eastern Africa in the Light of the Joy of the Gospel" on the SCCs Website covers a part that I did not meet elsewhere. Personally I organize dialogues as you can read on my website: www.jhn-23.info
I myself attended the Council 50 Conference on "Towards a Church – Inspired by the Gospel – for the World" in Rome in November, 2015. With 100 participants we committed ourselves to revive the ideas of Vatican II by signing a pact. I attach the relevant links.
The Pact 6 pages
Summery for the press 3 pages
The final document — “Towards a Church Inspired by the Gospel for a World of Peace, Justice and Solidarity: A Pact of Disciples of Jesus” — includes this section on BECS/SCCs:
2.2 BASE ECCLESIAL COMMUNITIES
• of secularization processes in the modern world
• of Pope Francis’s call for all the faithful to be involved in the church’s evangelical mission, and
• of the need to replace the model of the church presently organized as a hierarchical pyramid;
• by the growing numbers of lay people all over the world who are engaged in building a more horizontal and inclusive church, and
• by the growing relationships of dialogue and friendship among Christians ecumenically and with other religions,
We commit ourselves
• to build a church that embraces Base Ecclesial Communities as its fundamental model for being church
• to focus our communities on action for justice, peace and the integrity of creation
• as church to ask publicly for forgiveness from all who seek to be recognized as members of the people of God but who have been marginalized or rejected and hurt by our doctrines or practices, and
• to work actively for ecumenical and inter‐faith dialogue, collaboration and friendship.
I accepted the job of collecting as many addresses as possible of likeminded associations. I wonder what we could do together through the SCCs Website.
Our latest news in the Netherlands is that a small community in Brummen lost its appeal against closing their church and the decree that it can no longer to have liturgy locally. The author of the decree, Cardinal W. Eijk, has himself a seat in the commission for appeal in Rome. He is unable to use the techniques of appreciative inquiry and dialogue. The group Vision of Faithful People (www.jhn-23.info) is planning a series of multiple dialogues on Laudate Si in March, 2016.
Former Migrants Pastor
5685 AG Best