Explaining their motivation, organizers quote Cdl. Joseph Ratzinger's Good Friday 2005 lament: "How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him!"
The campaign announcement lists 10 "graces" participants are asking of God:
that the sexual and financial scandals that disfigure the face of the Church stop, and that the clergy who are involved in these scandals not be promoted to leadership positions but, on the contrary, be removed and invited to repentance;
that the depositum fidei [deposit of faith] — of which no one in Christ's Church, not even the Pope, is master —not be adulterated;
that religious families, bishops, priests, and professors who are faithful to Christ and the Church no longer be taken over [commissariati], persecuted, or dismissed without concrete and verified accusations, for the sole reason of their attachment to the "faith of all time";
that the Church's hierarchy be courageous in preaching the Gospel and hold up her saints as an example to the faithful — not those who have divided and lacerated the Church (like the monk Martin Luther, in times past), or those who fight against life on a daily basis by supporting abortion, free drugs, and euthanasia … (like Emma Bonino, in times present);
that the priority of those who lead the Church be to proclaim the faith in Jesus Christ the Savior, leaving to "Caesar what is Caesar's," and that they avoid acting like sociologists, political scientists, climatologists... and "logists" of every kind;
that the men of the Church cease not to proclaim the "non-negotiable principles," in particular the defense of life and the family, and that they come to terms with the culture of death and gender ideology;
that love for Creation no longer be confused with pagan and pantheistic ecology, nor the "mercy" of God with moral relativism and religious indifferentism;
that we listen to the cry coming from the African church ("May the West not deceive our young people with false myths and false promises!") and the churches of Eastern Europe which repeat, with John Paul II, that "one's country is also a mother for each person, in a very true way" and that the "defense of one's own identity" has nothing to do with nationalism or other aberrations;
that Chinese Catholics not be sacrificed to the Communist dictatorial regime in the name of impossible and unjust agreements, as Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun has repeatedly denounced;
that persecuted Christians throughout the world, who face torture and death for the sake of Christ, no longer hear from Rome that Allah and Jesus Christ are the "same God."
The sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin that exists in the Church.
Church-watchers will recognize the petitions — directly or indirectly condemning various initiatives of Pope Francis — as an indictment of the current pontificate.
Reiterating their call for a divine cleansing of the Church, organizers point to another warning given by Pope Benedict XVI.
"The sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin that exists in the Church," the pontiff warned during his May 2010 trip to Fatima.
"Today we are seeing it in a truly terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies outside, but arises from sin within the Church," he added.
In their announcement, organizers recall, "As cardinal and as pope, Benedict wanted to remind us that there are men in the Church who are not 'of the Church,' who do not really belong to her, and who indeed work more than anyone else for her destruction."
They add: "'The villains and hypocrites who are in the Church,' St. Augustine said in De Civitate Dei [The City of God], will one day become the majority, according to the prophecy of St. Paul in the Second Letter to the Thessalonians."
Let's Pray for the Church! will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 2:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. ET). Participants will gather just east of the Vatican at Largo Giovanni XXIII, a square outside Castel Sant'Angelo. Those unable to attend in person are asked to join in prayer from afar.