On 16 November 1965, about 50 Council Bishops, committed to the ideals of a "Poor Church of the poor"..
50 years later, we want to renew the Pact of the Catacombs.
On 16 November 1965, a few days before the Second Vatican Council was closed, about fifty Council Fathers celebrated Mass in the Domitilla Catacombs.
It was a group of bishops of the "Church of the poor" which at the end of the Council decided to go down in the Catacombs, symbolically "on the margin", to sign the "Pact of the Catacombs.”
The signatories committed themselves personally to live following the ideals of a "Servant and poor Church", and they then fulfilled this commitment with concrete choices.
“Ah! How I would like a poor church for the poor”
Today 16 November 2015 on the 50th Anniversary of the Pact of the Catacombs? We shall enter the Catacombs of St. Gennaro of the Poor, in the Rione Sanità (Health district) in Naples, on the margins, , to create a renewed "Pact" and commit ourselves to give centrality to a "Servant and poor Church“.
Today, just like those Council Fathers, with "humility and awareness of our weakness, but also with all the determination and the strength that God wants to grace us with", we also want to commit ourselves.
Participate in the renewal of the commitment to the ideals of a poor Church for the poor.
Complete the form with all the required data, you can join the Pact of the Catacombs of 16 November 2015 and receive updates.
These are our prayers, attitudes, habits and ways of thinking that we want to change or renew, to respect the will of the Fathers of the Church of the Poor and also the desire of Pope Francis.
First of all, Lord, we want to ask forgiveness. We are aware that, through our lifestyle, we are the cause of so much suffering for our brothers and sisters, as well as for the “oppressed and devastated Earth”.
We promise to be the option for the poor, the excluded, the "outcast" of society, to recognise in them the "flesh of Jesus, live Sacrament of His Presence”, to lend our voice to them for their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen, to understand and to accept the hidden wisdom which God wants to communicate through them”.
We commit ourselves, so that our pastoral action leads the poor to feel "at home" in our community, as well as to be the focus of our attention.
We commit ourselves before You, Lord, in this society that worships the money idol, not to pursue richness and share what we have.
In this historic moment, we commit ourselves to welcoming our brothers and sisters, who are fleeing situations of injustice and death, because making room for them is also making room for Christ by providing our homes, churches and convents.
We commit ourselves therefore, to pursue a moderate lifestyle in all spheres of our life, in our home, food, clothing, means of transport and in our churches: avoiding the use of disposable items, and preferring the short, natural supply chain, consuming things free from residues and recycling and recovering waste.
We commit ourselves, in solidarity with the poor, to question our economic-financial system, "the new and ruthless version of money fetishism”, whose devastating effects we are experiencing in this South so battered and devastated, by supporting non-violently, in our pastoral action, popular movements that are committed in favour of basic human rights, "work, home, land”, but also against the enormous military expenses that increasingly produce war.
We are committed to use for our everyday banking services, providers who choose ethical and alternative finance systems and fight speculation, which do not promote money laundering in tax havens, the result of crime or evasion and that do not invest in activities such as the arms industry, which cause suffering and death.
We commit ourselves to "take care of our common house" accepting Pope Francis’ challenge who, in the face of the "serious ecological crisis" caused by man and that will be paid for by the poor, calls upon us for an ecological conversion based on a healthy relationship "with the world that surrounds us”.
We are committed to create “outward” Christian communities, open to the global community, to inclusion, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, deeply missionary and prophetical.
We are committed to fight against any form of violence, oppression and mafia culture that generates organised crime, corruption, environmental pollution and death
Dear Lord, we entrust this pact unto your hands, sure that you will help us to live up to these choices and aware that, together, we can move mountains.
“Please help us Lord, our Father, to be faithful”
We are committed, going back in our local communities, to raise awareness of this Pact asking our brothers and sisters to assist us in our choice with their prayers and understanding