I want to divide this conversation into three parts:
-In the first I want to present and comment on the current statistics of the communion.
-In the second I shall explain the steps and events that occurred in the run-up to the Roman Church hierarchy’s decision to declare the break of communion with us.
-Finally I want to talk with you about the options we have in confronting the future.

1. Current statistics

-I believe that last year, in spite of the difficulties and criticisms that we have suffered, has been extremely positive for our Communion.
-Currently we have seven priests. Four of us take part in the Nazareth Community and therefore serve the communities itinerantly. The other three, although part of the Communion, are dedicated to specific offices that they had before joining the Communion. We have a deacon and twenty-six seminarians preparing for the priesthood, as well as numerous candidates who have decided to join the educational program soon.
- The number of communities rose to about 400, and we estimate that the number of members is approximately 175,000. There are 25 regions (three more than last year).
-I believe that although we have not had such rapid growth in the number of regions, there has indeed been a sustained growth in the number of members of each community. In some cases, the number of members has even doubled.
-The recent events brought on by the decision of the Roman hierarchy to declare us outside communion with them and the consequent publicity that that entailed, far from creating dismay or crisis in the Communion, seems to be strengthening the Communities, which now feel more stable in face of the decision that we have made to continue with our ministry and have more freedom to follow the inspiration and lead of the Spirit at every moment.
-Moreover, in the short time since the declarations of the hierarchy, there are multiple communities that have made alliances in Quiché and Huehuetenango, and we are in the process of making another alliance in Alta Verapaz.

2.  Steps in the process that led up to the decision of the Roman hierarchy to declare the break in communion with us.

-It seems to me that in the Communiqué that was distributed on August 19 and of which we are giving you a copy now in its final and full version, summarizes the steps followed up to the date of the publication of said Communiqué, August 15.  Therefore I shall not repeat those facts and just ask you to read the communiqué.
-Cardinal Quezada Toruño called me to a meeting with the Nuncio for September 5 of this year. In it he communicated to me that the Vatican had given authorization to return to us all the privileges of priests that we used to have if we would abandon the Communities for which we are caring and that comprise the Communion. And, if we did not accept this offer, instructions were at hand to declare us outside the communion with the Roman hierarchy.
- Without hesitating and, as fruit of a discernment that we have reached over the course of many years, I indicated that although it was not our intention to break our communion with the See of Peter and in spite of the fact that we continue to feel in full communion with the Pope and with all the Church, we prefer to lose the privileges and that he declare us outside the communion with the Roman hierarchy before betraying the mission that the Lord has entrusted to us and the promise that, after a deep spiritual discernment, we made with each of the communities that comprise the Communion.
- As result, on October 2, Cardinal Quezada issued the decree declaring the excommunication.
-We believe that it was not necessary to give any notice or explanation to the communities, for already in the communiqué of August we had expressed our determination to continue with our ministry and had accepted without appeal the decision that we knew had already been made though we did not know the way it was to be formulated and made public.
-Only to recall what excommunication means and to reaffirm the sacramental validity of all the sacraments that we celebrate, I want to express to you some facts that are found in the Communiqué and that we dealt with in the 2005 Assembly:
-From the Communiqué of August 15 2006 (items 3b-5)
Excommunication means only that Roman hierarchy declares that we are not in communion with them, and that means that we are not under its jurisdiction nor their authority and that therefore when we celebrate the sacraments and exercise ministry we cannot do so in their name.
It is only a canonical or juridical measure. From the spiritual point of view, the excommunication does not change in any way either the relation we have with Jesus Christ and with his Holy Spirit nor our full membership in and complete communion with the One, Holy, Catholic Church as the mystical body of Christ.
From the sacramental point of view, it also has no effect. It does not affect either the validity of our ordination or the sacramental validity of the sacraments that we celebrate. That is, through the sacraments the efficacious grace and the effusion of the Holy Spirit continues to be conveyed, although the Roman hierarchy may not recognize its juridical validity.
At the same time, we continue to feel ourselves in full spiritual and existential communion with the whole Church—with the Pope, with the bishops, priests, pastors, ministers and servants, as well as with the whole People of God, gathered in the diversity of communities and denominations around the world. The fact that the Roman hierarchy declares that it has broken communion with us does not mean that we have broken communion with them. We continue loving them and praying for them that they may fulfill completely the will of god.
-I end this second part of the conversation by telling you that on October 15 I wrote a letter to Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of the Pope, which was sent on the 28th by a means that the Cardinal himself indicated so that it might come directly into his hands. I give you a copy of the letter so that you may be fully informed of each of the steps we took. In it we do not ask that they reconsider the declaration of October 2, but we express that while we are convinced that our ministry is guided by the Spirit, we are also at the same time convinced that we continue being in full communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and therefore we ask that spaces be opened to welcome many initiatives, such as ours.

3.  Decisions that we confront for the future.

-Being totally convinced that we continue being in full communion with and belonging integrally to the ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC Church as Christ founded it, it is necessary that we make certain decisions, especially with respect to two issues:
-Above all, in the concrete form in which we are catholics. Often it is said that we are no longer catholics and that we are a sect. We have to know how to respond.
-Moreover we have an urgent necessity to ensure the apostolic succession within the Communion.
-In order to face these two questions correctly, I want to clarify some theological points:
-First, what it means to be a sect and how we are completely the opposite of a sect:
A sect is a religious group whose members lack freedom. They follow a leader who controls them through threats, and they believe that whoever does not do exactly what they do and submits to what they demand does not have salvation.
Therefore we can affirm that our communion is completely the opposite of a sect:
-In our communion each person and every community is free.
-We have a wide diversity of communities; charismatics and many other kinds of groups, communities and modes of spirituality.
-None of the communities of the communion follow a leader other than Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When communities decide to become part of the Communion they do so because they have discovered in our service the way of ensuring that they are indeed catholics and that they are responding to the call of Jesus by means of his Spirit.
-We are open to receive persons and communities as they are, and our mission is to support them through our service and ministry so that, guided by the Spirit, they may continue to grow in their faith and sharpen their identity. But we always respect them and never threaten them or try to make them uniform.
A person who says that we are a sect is either a person who does not know us or who does not know what “sect” means sociologically and religiously or a person who maliciously wants to intimidate and frighten people because he is afraid these people might be lost to his community if they discover truth and authentic freedom.

Rather, those who exclude communities that currently are part of the Communion, denying them the sacraments and wanting to force them to depart from their distinctive spirituality and renounce their liberty are the ones who act like a sect. Although they bear the name of Church, their conduct is that of a sect when they resort to threats, intimidation and lies in their effort to hold on to the faithful.
-On the relation between the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and the Roman Catholic church:
-The first thing we have to say is that the name, Roman Catholic Church, is used in most countries for what we here call simply, the Catholic Church. Elsewhere the word “Roman” is included because many other churches are catholic that are not subject to the Pope.
-The Second Vatican Council in its Constitution on the Church teaches that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church “subsists” in the Roman Catholic church, as a visible institution.
-Subsist means that the Roman Catholic Church is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church, but it does not embrace all the church, though it may have a special place.
-Besides the Roman Catholic Church they is also another series of Catholic churches. All the Orthodox Churches call themselves Catholic Orthodox churches and use the name “orthodox” not because they are not catholics but to distinguish themselves from the Roman Catholic Church which they believe departed from right doctrine (“Orthodoxy”), as the apostles and the fathers of the church taught it. Also, all the Protestant and Reformed churches are part of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to the extent to which they are inspired by the Holy Spirit and are open to live through the love and communion with other faithful Christians.
-Thinking that the catholic church is identified with and limited to the Roman Catholic Church as we know it here is like the thinking of someone who lives in a village and has never left it and therefore believes that the whole world is contained within his village and is limited to the values and customs that it has and knows. It is an act of ignorance for one who does not know and a deed of malice for one who knowingly does not spell things out correctly.
-On apostolic succession:
-The necessity of apostolic succession comes from the belief that the validity of priestly ordination requires that it be conferred by a bishop who, in turn, has been validly ordained by another bishop, reaching back to the apostles themselves.
-Therefore it is important that:
-we find a way by which our catholic name can reflect the fact that, in spite of the fact that the Roman hierarchy has declared us out of communion with them, not only do we continue feeling in full communion with all and are part of the ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC Church, as Jesus founded it, but also we really are completely catholic.
-Moreover we have to find a way to pass on the apostolic succession within the Communion so that the ordinations of priests can be carried out when necessary and, in accord with needs, we can organize ourselves into bishoprics and mission zones so that appropriate and continuous care can be given to all the communities and the work of evangelism and mission can continue to be carried out with intensity.

Discussion and vote concerning the decisions that we have to make. How we identify ourselves as Catholics:
-It is important to stress that for us we simply continue being catholics.
-The need to find a name that distinguishes us is only to explain ourselves to outside persons, when they ask us what we are, given the affirmation of the Roman hierarchy and many of its faithful that we are a sect and that we are no longer catholics.
-We must be aware that not only are we not a sect but, as explained in the foregoing conversation, those who have excluded us are the ones who have in fact adopted the sectarian attitude.

With respect to our denominational identification:
-We must maintain clearly that the specific name for traditional catholics is not simply catholic, but Roman Catholic.
 -Over against the traditional Roman Catholics, I propose that we identify ourselves as:
-We are catholics because:
-We maintain the catholic faith wholly.                    
-We maintain the sacramental life in its integrity.
-We see ourselves in constant and full communion with the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.
-We love and venerate Mary as Mother and Model of the Christian life.
-We are Renewed because:
-We commit ourselves to total faithfulness to the Word of God
-We are committed to live the life of the Spirit and let it manifest itself.
-We are committed to live through the Church as Jesus wanted and founded it to be.
-We are Ecumenical because:
-We keep the promise to fulfill the command of Jesus to go to all the world to preach the Gospel and the coming of the Kingdom.
-We feel ourselves in communion with Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Evangelicals and all human beings, for they have been redeemed by Christ and know in some form the presence of the Spirit.
-We maintain openness, pluralism and freedom in all that is not indispensable.

With respect to the need to find a means of attaining the transmission of apostolic succession within the Community, it is important to say:
-It is out of the question for us to negotiate a compromise concerning our identity or our characteristics or our freedom or our form of living and celebrating the faith. It is simply a matter of opening ourselves to communion with some other catholic church or churches that are autonomous of Rome, that have an apostolic succession that is recognized by most of the apostolic sees and that are disposed to share it with us.
-In this respect I believe it would be necessary to approve:
-the authorization to begin dialogue with other catholic churches that are disposed to share with us the apostolic succession that they have, while keeping our autonomy, so that we may establish full communion with them.
-the authorization to begin to study the possibility that the Communion be organized in such a way that it can respond to the needs of the communities. Among the possibilities that can be explored are: (1) establishing certain stable ministries, such as the Permanent Deaconate to support the servants that the communities elect and who complete the requisite course of theological education; (2) continuing to create Mission Zones in each of which there would be a Mission House where priests of the Communion would reside and would give ongoing pastoral attention to communities and members of the regions that belong to each missionary zone; and (3) developing bishoprics, each comprising a group of such zones, in which the activities of the bishopric’s regions and mission zones may be encouraged and coordinated.
-the authorization to establish contacts with and then to take part in various international ecumenical organizations, such as the World Council of Churches and others.                                                   ......................................................... -the authorization to stay, if at all possible, in dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, in which dialogue the possibility would be studied of our being in full canonical communion with the See of St. Peter, without losing or compromising our distinctive identity, spirituality, organization and ministry, even though at the moment and in the present circumstances such dialogue does not seem to be humanly possible.
-These themes being clear, we can now spend some time on questions and explications, and then proceed to voting.