The recent interview of WAACSA’s founder published in the Southern Cross has raised questions among readers about WAACSA’s relationship with the International Movement We Are Church.

WAACSA was founded in South Africa in November 2010 as an affiliate of the International Movement. One of the conditions of affiliation was acceptance of the International Movement’s founding principles. During its first year of operation the members of WAACSA debated at length how to pursue its mission of reform in the Church in South Africa and concluded that the founding principles of the International Movement were not appropriate for our mission in the context of the local Church. We replaced the founding principles with our own mission statement in November 2011 and changed our name to “We Are ALL Church” instead of “We Are Church”. These changes were accepted by the International Movement, albeit with some reluctance

Over the next few years WAACSA experienced the activities of the International Movement as very eurocentric, and their press statements as being too confrontational and demanding. Several discussions were held with their leaders about the very different Church context in countries like South Africa where Catholics are in the minority, and we also indicated that WAACSA favoured dialogue, not confrontation, as the most effective path to reform. Although supportive, the leaders of the International Movement did not seem willing to accept the diversity of cultural approaches to be expected in a truly international organisation

Over the last few years WAACSA gradually reduced their active involvement with the International Movement. By 2018 we had come to realise that being affiliated to the International Movement was hindering our mission in the local South African Church. After discussions among the members in our branches, agreement was reached that we should disaffiliate from the International Movement. I wrote to the Chairperson, Colm Holmes, and received his acceptance of our disaffiliation on 5th April 2019

Brian Robertson

National Coordinator, WAACSA