Pact of the Catacombs

A relatively less known episcopal commitment made by more than forty bishops, in the light of a growing concern that issues on real poverty were not being sufficiently addressed by the Church, was forged on the evening of November 16, 1965, in the hope that any social transformation by the ‘sheep’, must be first founded upon the transformation of their ‘shepherds.’

Known as the “Pact of the Catacombs”, it is a profound document testifying to a Church willing to acknowledge its inadequacies, and promising to become better, rather than a Church caught in the vortex of its own triumphalism. 

Signed in the Catacombs of Domitilla a few weeks before the end of the Second Vatican Council, it outlines at the advent of a new ecclesiastical age, pledges of true apostleship for all servants of the kingdom of justice and peace for all time.

We will try to live according to the ordinary manner of our people in all that concerns housing, food, means of transport, and related matters.

We renounce forever the appearance and the substance of wealth, especially in clothing and symbols made of precious metals.

We will not possess in our own names any properties or other goods, nor will we have bank accounts or the like. If it is necessary to possess something, we will place everything in the name of the diocese or of social or charitable works.

As far as possible we will entrust the financial and material running of our diocese to a commission of competent lay persons who are aware of their apostolic role, so that we can be less administrators and more pastors and apostles.

We do not want to be addressed verbally or in writing with names and titles that express prominence and power. We prefer to be called by the evangelical name of “Father.”

In our communications and social relations, we will avoid everything that may appear as a concession of privilege, prominence, or even preference to the wealthy and the powerful.

Source: Licas News

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