Secret ‘Catacombs Pact’ emerges after 50 years, and Pope Francis gives it new life / Religion News Service

Sounding like a document from a Dan Brown novel, the secret Pact of the Catacombs has re-emerged after 50 years, echoing the “poor Church for the poor” of Pope Francis.

The signatories (of what was to become known as the Pact of the Catacombs) vowed (shortly before the end of Vatican II) to renounce personal possessions, fancy vestments and ‘names and titles that express prominence and power,’ and they said they would make advocating for the poor and powerless the focus of their ministry.

“In all this, they said, ‘we will seek collaborators in ministry so that we can be animators according to the Spirit rather than dominators according to the world; we will try to make ourselves as humanly present and welcoming as possible; and we will show ourselves to be open to all, no matter what their beliefs.’

The document would become known as the Pact of the Catacombs, and the signers hoped it would mark a turning point in church history.”

By David Gibson, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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