BY A STAFF REPORTER A NEW UMBRELLA group of liberal Catholic groups has been set up. The coalition, which comprises six different groups in the Church, is to be entitled the Jubilee People a UK coalition of Catholic groups for a liberating Church.
It has six founding members Catholics for a Changing Church, Catholic Women's Network, Catholic Women's Ordination, the Catholic caucus of the Lesbian and gay Christian movement, St Joan's International Alliance and SevenEleven.
The coalition sees itself as representing the voices of "people who feel hurt or angry or excluded" and which struggles to be heard in the Church at the moment.
The Jubilee People strongly support the Austrian Initiative of a Church referendum, which has since been taken up in other European countries and most recently by Catholic Organisations for Renewal in the USA.
The groups adhere to five fundamental tenets: collaborative ministry, full equality for women, optional clerical celibacy, a positive attitude to sex and a gospel of joy rather than threats. The Jubilee People see this programme as a helpful starting point for discussion for UK Catholics as they face up to the problems and responsibilities of the Church in the run-up to the Third Millennium. This December, a study day is planned for St Alban's Centre in Holborn entitled "We are the Church: aren't we?"
Meanwhile the Catholic Women's Ordination (CWO) group is to hold a series of vigils outside a number of cathedrals to call on the Church to repent about the exclusion of women from the priesthood.
In a joint venture with the Catholic Women's Network, there are plans to protest against the Archbishop of Cardiff, who will not allow the washing of women's feet during the Last Supper service.