on 10th and 11th October 2009, the 2nd General Meeting of Redes Cristianas (Christian Networks) took place in Bilbao, splendidly organized by the Basque groups and movements, members of Redes, under the heading of "Joint action alternatives in the crisis" and the presence of members from the majority of the 20 large groups and the 100 smaller ones which make up RR.CC.
The opening report presented by José María García Mauriño about the central topic of the Meeting was followed by 17 workshops about alternatives to the crisis in a whole range of different aspects with participation by those present and an analysis and interchange of ideas and experiences.
The RR.CC. Coordination Group informed the members about the activities which took place in 2008 and 2009, in which the following were highlighted:
- The Declaration in favour of Laicity, presented in the XXIXth annual Theology Congress in Madrid, distributed in a campaign to hundreds of groups and to public opinion, collecting thousands of signatures in support. At a meeting with the Director General of Religious Affairs, he was presented with a copy of the Declaration.
- 7 documents prepared by commisions about the crisis, poverty, laicism and politics.
- Contact and cooperation with Europa Laica
- Participation in forums, congresses and meetings of Christian and lay groups.
- Support for different iniciatives of member groups of Redes Cristianas and press communiqués about current affairs and in defence of plurality in the Church.
The Coordination Group also informed about the incorporation of several new member groups in RR.CC; specifically, the Madrid Priests Forum which belongs to Redes Cristianas and has been represented in the Representatives Committee by Iglesia de Base de Madrid
The Meeting approved proposals received over the last two years from the associations and member groups integrated in RR.CC. And which now become lines of action in 2010 and 2011:
- Continue working for plurality within the Church, potenciate interreligious dialogue and work out how we should express our ideas about the visit of the Pope to Spain in 2011.
- Support the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the 2nd Vatican Council.
- A critical study about the economic crisis and the problems of hunger, poverty and war, in cooperation with other movements and organizations similar to RR.CC.
- Continue to work for Laicity with other groups and influence public opinion.
- Reach public opinion with messages about alternatives to capitalist formulations through our website and other media systems with similar objectives or not to RR.CC.
- Contact with Christian, ecumenical and social networks, groups and organizations, and especially, join the Euronpean Network Church on the Move (EN) and other networks in Latin America.
RR.CC., will develope this programme by means of the Representatives Committee, whose decisions will be initialed by the Coordination Group.
The members at the Meeting participated together with other Basque Country convening groups and organizations in a demonstration on 11th October in the streets of Bilbao under the banner “Crisis? Funding for the banks....and social cuts for the rest”.
The Meeting closed in an emotive celebration, at the end of which, the Declaration “It is the right occasion”, see the RR.CC. website, was read.
The date and place for the 3rd General Meeting of RR.CC. In the year 2011 remains pending.
For more information (in Spanish), visit the website www.redescristianas.net