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Report of the National Convening on Lay Leadership for a Wounded Church and Divided Nation

Summary

The Initiative brought together over 50 mostly lay leaders for the “National Convening on Lay Leadership for a Wounded Church and Divided Nation” from June 14-15, 2019 at Georgetown University. The participants built relationships across institutional and ecclesial lines, strategized on common priorities and actions, and explored how to refocus and revitalize the Church in order to spread the joy of the Gospel, serve God and our neighbor, and promote the common good. This report summarizes lessons learned from the Convening, along with principles and directions for a path forward.

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November 4, 2019

Report of the National Convening on Lay Leadership for a Wounded Church and Divided Nation

Introduction

In his Letter to the U.S. Bishops, Pope Francis reminds us that “we are not solitary pilgrims, for ‘If one member suffers, all suffer together.’” The twin crises of clergy sexual abuse and leadership failure have led to horrific suffering for countless victim-survivors and for the entire people of God, and demand a faithful, urgent, and effective response. Lay women and men are called to turn our anger and anguish toward finding a path forward that ensures protection, accountability, reform, and renewal.

This report reflects one response to this call: the “National Convening on Lay Leadership for a Wounded Church and Divided Nation” organized by the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life and held June 14-15, 2019 at Georgetown University. [...]

This report leads off with an executive summary, which focuses on major strategic directions identified by Convening participants, initial outcomes of the Convening, and general summaries of each day’s discussions. More detailed sections summarizing our strategy sessions on “Lay Leadership in a Wounded Church and Lay Leadership in a Divided Nation” follow. These sections can be read together or standing alone. [...]

This report summarizes lessons learned, along with principles and directions for a path forward. We look forward to continuing to work together with our pastors and other leaders to help ensure protection and accountability, and to renew our Church through a return to mission for our wounded family of faith in our divided nation.

John Carr, Director 

Kim Daniels, Associate Director

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