Let’s Get Together – There is Power in Numbers

| By Rosemary Hosie-Tackes | January 9, 2013 | CCMT |

Two years ago after attending the American Catholic Council, my husband Jim and I gathered friends at our house to view the videos of all of the speakers from ACC. Since that time a core group of us have formed our own small cluster we named “Concerned Catholics of Montana”.  As our numbers grew and we began to organize more formally, we specifically rejected the idea of joining forces with any other already existing groups because we felt that it will take unity among all organizations under a consolidated organization to truly make a difference. Our initial hope was that the American Catholic Council would be that consolidated effort. I’m thinking bigger now… what about an International Catholic Council?

The American Catholic Council held in Detroit in June of 2010 was an extraordinary event because it brought together many “reform organizations” (including European organizations) under one roof. There were 43 states and 13 countries represented at that gathering with approximately 2000 people in attendance. I’ve always beleived that “it takes a village” but that came to the forefront again recently, after reading that the Priests Associations from various countries in Europe are trying to merge into one larger entity.

Hans Kung said in a recent interview:  “… if one priest in a diocese is roused, that counts for nothing. Five will create a stir. Fifty are pretty much invincible.”  Think about the number of lay Catholics who are seeking reform in the church.  No doubt, we’re making a stir but if we united we might just be invincible!

There is power in numbers! What would happen if Call To Action, AARC, VOTF, Future Church, Corpus, WOC and the many other major organizations as well as the small groups like CCMT and the many other Concerned Catholic groups (just Google concerned catholics) pooled their resources, their talent and treasure? Many of these organizations are large! What if we all merged and became a mega national – OR PERHAPS – international organization?

It seems to me that each group currently has its own agenda but all of the agendas are similar. We recognize the need for renewal of faith and gospel values among all the baptized, lay and ordained.  The Second Vatican Council set a vision before the church supported by a significant majority of Bishops at that council.  We want that vision fully implemented. We want collegiality. We need lay involvement at the heart of our parishes and dioceses.   We recognize the need for involvement in the appointment of our pastors and bishops.  The Council made it clear that the authority for the revision of liturgy belonged to the National Conferences of Bishops.  We want that model reinstated.  We want equality for all the baptized regardless of their life circumstances.  And the list goes on.

I really believe that if we coalesced around our major goals and pooled our resources we could be unstoppable. We read more and more about the “implosion”.  A dedicated and united force could hurry that “implosion” along. We just finished reading “Flying in the Face of Tradition: Listening to the Lived Experience of the Faithful” by Louis DeThomasis, a wonderful and insightful book that speaks about the fact that every 500 years or so there is a major reformation and that time has come again.

Of course, the question is how do we make this unification of forces happen? I certainly don’t have that answer but I’m hoping some of you reading this will give it some thought and consideration. Again, there is power in numbers and if we really want to achieve our goal of a Vatican II church where all are welcome we must unite and be the change we want to see!

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36 Responses to Let’s Get Together – There is Power in Numbers

  1. Rosemary says:

    Just as I published this article today, we received our Corpus Magazine in the mail and there it was – A great article about “International Movement – We Are Church” (IMWAC) and the upcoming 2015 gathering in Rome, so some of what I speak to in this article is already beginning to take shape!

  2. Mike T says:

    Thirty different renewal organizations, including most if not all of the orgs you cite, are already represented in the coordinating organization, Catholic Organizations for Renewal (COR), which usually meets in conjunction with CTA’s annual conference.

    • Rosemary says:

      What I’m suggesting Mike is that these organizations really merge (under COR or IMWAC) perhaps into one mega organization. The time is “ripe” for this to happen with the anniversary of Vatican II. One large organization under one umbrella instead of so many small/medium organizations. We do have a common agenda I believe and united we could make a difference.

  3. I fully support this idea but my experience tells me it will be an uphill battle to get it done. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start doing it!
    Your group has credibility. I urge you to get other national/international organizations on board.

  4. Anthony Simhauser says:

    I think it is a great idea.

  5. Rosemary says:

    John Chuchman was kind enough to forward this article to his e-mail list and then he forwarded their replies to me. I’m posting a few of the replies here to share what others are saying:

    This is the way it’s going to happen, the only way it can happen.
    The faithful, united, can overcome the hierarchy.
    The question is how to get these groups together.
    Ruth

  6. Rosemary says:

    Another comment from a friend of John…

    My name is Nancy and my husband and I have coordinated a group of “rebel Catholics” for the last seven years. Catholics for Renewal of NE Kansas(CFR) meets monthly for a variety of programs, prayer and fellowship.Most recently we had an Emmaus Eucharist service and it was beautiful and meaningful. We have sponsored a Lay Synod and have tried to be very public with our small but very sincere efforts. Unfortunately we live in the diocese of Joe Naumann, one of the three most conservative Archbishop’s in the United States.So it goes without saying that all his priest’s are in lockstep with his agenda. If there are priests out there who have problems with the current administration, they are flying under the radar and trying to stay out of trouble. Our list serve has about 60 members and we have a core group of about 20 who regularly attend meetings.

    Ever since CFR started, I have thought there was a lack of vision in the various National organizations in not consolidating effort. We are many splinter groups, each with their own specific issues on which they focus.This is not smart organization for a grass-roots effort not to be unified under one umbrella. It is disheartening to me, that even in our concern for our Church we are splintered and not united. We have NO power under the current efforts.

    Like the writer, we too hoped that the American Catholic Council, which we attended, was the answer to our prayers. Alas, there has been no follow-up evidence of that happening.It is all about turf and truly defeats the effort of which we are all most interested and that is change in our church.

    A united group could organize events such as a “no pay” Sunday once a quarter which would encourage Catholics to close their pocketbooks until we see some results. There is a general consensus that money talks and withholding it is the only thing that will get the Bishop’s attention.

    Some courageous organization needs to bring everyone to the table and hammer this out, in the best interest, of all the protest groups and come to goal for the common good of the “reformers.” I would put my money on the nuns to be able to pull that off.

    If we don’t get our act together soon, all the VII Catholics will be dead and then the concern we all have for our church will die with them. The hierarchy will win.

    Grace,Peace and Love,
    Nancy

  7. Carol says:

    Are ther any such reform groups in North Georgia????

  8. Rosemary says:

    Another comment from a friend of John.

    I absolutely agree with Rosemary. I have believed that for years.
    When there are so many smaller groups, they are just like individual
    little ‘fruit flies’ as far as the hierarchial church is concerned. They need
    to unite and provide a ROAR that resounds in the Vatican and in all the
    Dioceses throughout the world. I believe that Teilhard de Chardin would,
    in his own way, be happy that these united groups are working toward
    coming to a united position (which he would call an ‘omega point’.

    I also believe that “We Are Church” is a powerful group that can rattle the
    Vatican cage better than any single American group (or any single national
    group). It originated in German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, and
    eastern Switzerland)—and would be a great vehicle for Americans and our
    friends in Australia as well. – Char

  9. Rosemary says:

    Another comment from a friend of John.

    Most of the priests are scared to death to oppose their bishops. And some of the bishops are scared of their archbishops or
    the Vatican, too. This situation is hardly what Christ came to bring us.

    I really believe that an e-mail blitz needs to take place. Get the American groups to unite—join up with “We Are Church”—
    and ROAR.

    One more thing—-this group (and the Sisters of the LCWR) need a group of young folks like “Anonymous” [you may have
    heard of them—they are currently receiving national attention for bringing a powerful focus to the case of a young teen girl raped by boys of the Steubenville High School Football team]. They got the twitter video posted of the actual rape and the boys laughing and making crude comments about it. They’ve hacked computer records and other things to get at the culprits. Now the Department of Justice is looking at what’s going on in Steubenville. They also had a large protest in Steubenville. The members wear masks and when they are interviewed—their voice is altered. But they are getting the job done, very well. We need a “Catholic Anonymous”.

    Do I sound radical? Well, I believe radical means need to be used. Catholics, especially in America, have been too nice, too polite,
    too gracious—-and have been knocked down by a hierarchy that presumes that American Catholics are ‘chumps’ that can be controlled easily by them.

    The misdeeds of some of these head honchos among the American hierarchy (especially in regards to sexual abuse) should be posted on twitter and spread around. The bishops’ use of funds to lobby against gay/lesbian right to marry. And we have enough lay Catholics duped by their political posturing at the pulpit to continue to spread this non-Christian attitude.

    Love,
    Roaring Little Bear

  10. Rosemary says:

    Another comment from a friend of John:

    Ask all Reform groups what are the top 10 ranked pressing items that all
    should focus on. Take the one two or three items that all agree on and run with that,
    expanding to others as success comes. – Rob

    • John Chuchman sent me the link as well. Personally, I welcome and support what you are suggesting.

      I have forwarded the link onto another website with a massive readership – and am waiting an answer to see what can be done here in Australia.

      Congratulations for thinking out side the square (St Peter’s Square!).

      Helen

  11. Rosemary says:

    From another friend of John:

    Not sure any such thing is possible or would really make any difference to the institution – perhaps it would be encouraging and grounding for the individual participants? – Patrick

  12. Rosemary says:

    From another friend of John:

    Thanks for asking, John. The question is that there has always existed in many, maybe most, humans a need to be governed
    strictly by someone. And authority goes with tradition, the stronger the authority, the less flexible or adaptable the tradition .I read Christ’s gospel as a liberating one, saying “look in you heart to follow me.” And his law is “love God, love your neighbor.” The RC church has all the details to make it plain how humans are to go about its laws. It’s not limited to you R.Cs. Once I told a fellow Anglo-Catholic that I found the literal interpretation of the virgin birth wrong. since it makes our Lord half man genetically, and only God knows where the rest comes from, whereas the mystery we partake in the Eucharist tells us he’s all God, all man. My fellow parishioner replied “well,if it’s what my church says, that’s what I believe.” Who will win out? In the present era of secularism, and thank God of separation of church and state, it’s up for grabs. I do admire your maybe growing groups of questioning Catholic, with only one proviso: that your questioning doesn’t so preoccupy or enrage you that you have no time to know God’s love and behold his creation. Stan

  13. Rosemary says:

    From another friend of John:

    Seeing as I do not live in Montana I am reluctant to comment. I can tell you of our experience here in Colordo. Our Colorado Call to Action regional group meets once a month at a church (not Catholic) in Denver. Meanwhile several small faith communities are thriving in the area, three of them led by women priests (Ecumenical Catholic Communion). The trend we are seeing is Catholics leaving the Catholic parishes and joining these small faith communities. People just want to worship together in an inclusive community fo equals. The organizing part and the activism has been made irrelevant by the avialability of these faith communities.

    The times they are a changin’. Lots of reasons for this as I see it and I do not think there is any turning back to the traditional Roman Catholic parish system as it once was. Big problem, not reading the needs of the flock.
    Peace,
    Gretchen

  14. Rosemary says:

    From another friend of John:

    If it was the “American Catholic Church” this would be a good idea.
    If “Roman Catholic” world-wide church history teaches anything, it is that
    change does occur, but very slowly. And rarely by pressure from the bottom.
    Bill

  15. Mary Ann Hain says:

    I have been suggesting this as the way to go for years already. And I think that
    Call to Action is the way to go. It has been around since the 70’s. It has prepared and encouraged leaders for just about every other organization and supported them in their efforts. They already have the COR group leaders for starters.
    I understand how each issue generates its own organization and feels that they need to do it. However, if each of these organizations united around a giant organization, with a giant annual Conference. and brought everyone together in one place, it would show that it is indeed representative of the vast numbers of Catholics focused on Renewal and it will have a voice far beyond its individual groups. The Hierarchy would have to sit up and listen.

  16. Do you really want to BE who you are … or do you want to convince others that you are legitimate? (Suggestion: the Holy Spirit calls YOU; let the others do as they may.) Once free (i.e., LIVING the Good News instead of just trying to get it enacted by one’s own church), everything falls into place, and joy replaces anger and frustration. One place, among others, where this is being done is the Catholic Dioceses of One Spirit (www.OneSpiritCatholic.org). Here the essential is honored (that Divinity lives WITHIN everything and everyone) and the non-essentials aren’t sweated. We are in communion with Rome, with Protestants, with Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and atheists (because lives in each of us, loving us equally and unequivocally … so how could we not also). How they feel about us is their problem. We ordain community-chosen priests for small communities of faith. Our priests and deacons are men and women, married and single, straight and gay, old and young. Several of our priests are also minister/priests in the Episcopal, Methodist and other Protestant denominations (because the little things don’t matter). We try to live the Christ-Message, and not just dissect it. Think about that. Why waste time trying to get others to validate you when the Holy Spirit is saying she has things for you to do right now? This is the ONLY way the Church will reform: from bottom up. If you need proof, look at the last 50 years. Good spirituality is filled with joy!

    • Rosemary says:

      Jim,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Anything is possible if the Holy Spirit leads the way. You’ve obviously created a church and within your church there is a heierchy (you call yourself Bishop) and you have ordained priests.
      Perhaps someday we too will “move on” but in the meantime we feel the need to call people to action to bring about that change within the institutional church and we still firmly believe that is a viable goal!
      This is what the Holy Spirit is calling us to do right now!

      • I invite you to read http://www.OneSpiritCatholic.org. We have not created a church. That was done a long time ago. We are dioceses within the one, holy, catholic (“universal”) Church. An “independent” Catholic Church is a misnomer. We use as few terms with hierarchical baggage as possible (“bishop” is one of them), but enough to maintain a modest, viable structure. When one of our priests who was then (and still is now) an ordained United Methodist minister told me he wanted to be ordained a Catholic priest in our diocese, and his only problem was to tell his (Methodist) bishop that he was now going to be under two bishops, I answered that that was easy because nobody is “under” anybody here. The new dawn of Christianity will not be institutional, will not be hierarchical, will not be patriarchial, will not be authoritarian … and is coming down the tracks right now at breakneck speed! I suggest that the whole reform movement has mistakenly accepted the ground rules of Rome: that this is all about the institution of church. It’s not. It’s about LIVING the message, BEING Jesus to ourselves and others. Too many of us reformers drank the grape juice, slinging ribbons of advice and supplication at the Vatican ramparts while the beauty and the challenges of the world are behind our backs, crying out for our attention to what really matters. That’s also how you really and ultimately reform the church. You don’t need validation. I admire all your persistence and love of the church, but those who let go of trying to change the not-so-elastic minds of the Vatican Big Boys always find a freedom, a joy, a sense of accomplishment, and the wind of the Holy Spirit on their backs.

  17. Susan Masiak says:

    I also thank John Chuchman for forwarding this to me. My views will be biased as I belong to CTA, and a small progressive Catholic parish in SE Michigan, along with a small IEC (I hold workshops to help other IECs in the area get started). ‘My’ IEC meets monthly for a meal, fellowship and discussion, and Eucharist (conducted by one of our members, none of which are ordained or have any special qualifications other than following Jesus’ instructions for sharing Eucharist when we gather and growing their discipleship). I often wonder whether Gretchen in Colorado (above) is correct — that we’re heading towards large numbers of various-sized IECs, perhaps united in a federation so they can act together when helpful/needed.

    I do value my larger parish/university community — a larger organization can provide greater opportunities for justice, peace & charity work; greater diversity in membership; etc. A world-wide church led by a hierarchy that acted remotely like those of the early Christian “Way” — focused on service to church members and calling them to highest values rather than ruling/dictating to them — would be very valuable. Obviously, that ain’t what we got right now!

    I’d love to see one organization strong enough to effect hierarchical change while some of us Vat II folk are still breathing yet I wonder whether the various ‘reform’ groups will ever be willing to set aside turf and merge. With a great deal of cross-membership between individual reform groups, perhaps requests (I hesitate to say ‘demands’) from the members to those organizations might be helpful? If the will was there, I can’t imagine it would take forever to call a convention of the leadership as well as interested membership of all these groups to draft a new organization; ACC already has the basic process in place. IMWAC would be a strong model, with the advantage of already being international. If thirteen states managed to unify a few hundred years ago without the benefit of email or cellphones, it ought to be possible here and now. 🙂

    In event, we should be prepared for the immediate total membership to drop after such a convention (due to current cross-membership) but that could be temporary as we reach out with a unified focus to increase membership and the numbers would be more meaningful.

    Many thanks to Rosemary for initiating this discussion!

    Peace, Susan

    • Rosemary says:

      Thank you, Susan for weighing in on the discussion! I like what you’ve said here and I agree that the greatest obstacle is the willingness to set aside turf and merge even with like-minded organizations. But it would be so powerful if we did. I find it difficult to understand why the ultimate goal of creating something that would succeed because of its strength in numbers wouldn’t be the impetus for such a merger. And, in this day and age with communication and technology it is so doable!

  18. Harold Mounttan says:

    Father Andrew Greely said years ago that the only way to get the attention of the higher ups in the Church is to stop funding them. That gets their attention faster than anything else. Organizing together is great, and should be done, but cut off their income gets their attention even faster.

    • Deacon Bill says:

      I participated at the ACC in Detroit. I observed a dicotomy. It seemed most were still wanting to work within the RCC as much as possible, whereas some were already concerned with developing an alternative structure because they wanted to maintain a “certain” catholicism outside of a hierarchy (eg. informal Lay led IEC’s and “independent” Catholic churches with priestly hierarchy).

      IMO both are needed. Jim Burch’s comments are useful as well as the effort to consolidate all the reform groups into one. “Revolutionary Movements” often have an amalgamation of concerns. What is necessary first for all the various reform groups is for them to recognize that all their concerns are unified around only one issue that of governance.
      That is to say the abuse of power by an absolutist, authoritarian, medieval system of power that has its roots in the Church of Constantine. The politics of the RCC’s system of ordained hierarchy allows the “governed” to be manipulated, divided, and ignored even with the most well meaning priests, who as pastors have all the power and are medievally subject to absolute obedience to the bishop, who is subject to absolute obedience to Roman edict.

      Secondly, all reformers need to discuss what an alternate form of governance would look like, and then strategize on the best overt and covert means of achieving reform of the governance. I say overt and covert because some want to work within their RCC parish and some cannot, but reform pressure can be done a variety of ways. Harold’s observation about “money” is one important facet of influencing reform. Reform strategies among parishes and dioceses should vary, but always with the view of changing the politics and governance of the church.

      IMHO the merger of the reform groups is an essential first step in setting up a “church within a church” which must become a parish within a parish and then a diocese within a diocese. Success in doing so will be spotty.
      In the end everyone might find themselves more aligned with where Jim Burch is already, but the merged mega reform group will provide a place for people to find some hope and a place for them to go if they encounter resistance, if their pastor banishes members from the parish as occurred in Boston a few years ago.

      The power in the church is with the people, but only if they are organized to stand up for change. If in 2002 all the laity stopped giving money until their lay elected representatives were given contr0l of it, our bishops would not have been able to ignore reform. The laity were not organized to stop the bishops at the time.
      Perhaps reform will not work even with united effort. Perhaps we will end up with a separate American Catholic Church anyway, but at least we as a reformed church would be more united, better organized, and have a governing structure that would not be allowed to be abusive of its powers because its leadership will have been selected by the “reform community.”
      By all means unite!

  19. Tom Lupia says:

    A friend of John.

    The lack of unity among Catholic reform groups appears to be the problem, but it’s not. The problem is that no national group has made the commitment that its members would make church reform happen. When a successful organization makes a major commitment, it creates a plan to implement its commitment. Not national organization has raised the level of its commitment to the level that it has a plan to accomplish church reform.

    I’m with CTA Columbus. We believe the time has come for nonviolent church renewal. We believe the objectives should be Inclusive Priesthood (because Jesus taught inclusion, not exclusion) and Servant Leadership (because Jesus taught servant leadership, not Roman Hierarchy). The reason the Church needs to be reformed is because the Roman Hierarchy of ordained/ordered men is an ancient pagan Roman domination structure which has been exchanging exclusion (injustice) for power continuously in Rome for 28 centuries. We’ve been asking Call To Action to upgrade its commitment to church reform. Specifically we’ve been asking that CTA create a nonviolent church renewal committee (similar to the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee of the 1960’s civil rights movement) dedicated to accomplishing church renewal. The plan should be to ignore the Pope’s Men (that’s what the Bishops call themselves), to ignore the Priests (scared into utter submission), and focus on convincing the church-going Catholics who comprise the Church, of the need for church reform.

    If neither CTA nor any other national organization is interested in forming a nonviolent church renewal committee, then perhaps Catholics who are interested in dedicating themselves to renewing the Church should do it.

    PS: In the 1960s collegiality was a major improvement, compared to the Holy Roman Empire’s imperial rule from Rome. But collegiality isn’t a Christian tradition. It’s an ancient pagan Roman tradition dating back to the 8th century BC when the Roman Hierarchy’s College of Pontiffs (pagan bishops), headed by the Pontifex Maximus/Supreme Pontiff, held all power in Rome.

  20. Magy Stelling says:

    Rosemary, what an excellent article. I concur. This needs to be an international gathering, a united effort. The civil governments of Australia and Canada are both having a federal investigation concerning the cover up by the RCC in the sexual abuse scandal. In Los Angeles a judge has ruled that the diocese must release the names of the predators AND the names of the Dean of Clergy, bishops, arch bishops and Cardinals who handled these cases. It seem the tide is turning where as our legal system is no longer holding the RCC hierarchy in high esteem.
    The webinar-seminar I participated in August thru November had members from Europe, Canada, Mexico and the US. It is my opinion that any action we take should be coordinated with all Catholic countries world wide. I am also happy you made it plain we to not want to join in an alternative Catholic Church. Our resolve is to have our Church live up to the vision and promises of Vatican II.

    peace,
    Magy Stelling

  21. Melissa Kilpatrick says:

    I have to agree with Harold – withhold funds – not just for a Sunday. Most large organizations are wrapped up with money and power. For those in the pews their voice and their power in this case is tied with the money. It in many ways is a sad fact, but the organization has become worldly and this is the way of the world.

    Their is a really radical way – focused, specific, continous prayer. Expectant prayer. Believers prayer. Now that would be something for everyone to come together around and that would be powerful.

  22. Joseeph V. Melton says:

    Thank you John and Rosemary for the dialogue. As we “Speak the truth to one another in love, we build up the Body of Christ.” – Ephesians
    We are experiencing what we are talking about. Yes, our church administrators often seem to miss what Jesus came to teach us…”Love one another as I have loved you.” However, they only have the power to control that we give them.
    I will continue to pray that each one who writes about what is needed will respond to the Spirit’s call to bring new life to our Church, that we, all of us, might be fully “the light of the world”. I find it astoundingly wonderful that Jesus identified Himself as the “Light of the world” and then some verses later in Matthew’s Gospel, He says to us, “you are the light of the world.” I need to shine my light where I am and join with everyone else who is light to bring light to our Church and to our world.
    Just let me know where and how we will meet and I’ll be there.
    Joe Melton

  23. Tom Lupia says:

    Sorry folks, I’m not buying the:
    • if only the Catholic reform organizations were united argument
    • if Catholics withheld their money the Roman Hierarchy would collapse
    • the governance issue

    Why are folks spending time talking to each other? If any national Catholic reform group had a program for accomplishing church reform, you’d each be working that reform group’s program right now, communicating with Catholics who don’t feel a need to reform the Church, persuading them that they need to get actively involved. Instead, you’re communicating with folks who feel just like yourself. Someone else in this discussion already pointed out that most major US Catholic reform groups are already united through COR, and the biggest groups like CTA are already united with We Are Church. Being united hasn’t accomplished anything. Unless some reform group upgrades its commitment to church reform, to actually creating a program that will accomplish church reform, church reform will never happen.

    Has anyone in this discussion ever tried getting Catholics to withhold money? Catholics are not interested in withholding money. They’ve been taught and trained all their lives to donate to the Church; it used to be a “sin against the Church” to withhold donations. Withholding money will never collapse the Hierarchy. It’s more important to divert the money. But first you have to convince Catholics that they need to be actively participating in reforming the Church before any portion of the contributions can be diverted into a church reform program.

    Catholics aren’t interested in “governance”. It doesn’t excite them and never will. The use of the word “governance” indicates a lack of understanding. Governance means governing, which is what governments do. Churches are supposed be administered, not governed. Quakers and Methodists are not governed by governments. But the United States government and a whole bunch of foreign governments formally recognize the Holy See as being the government of the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics shouldn’t have a government running our Church. Governance is not the cause of the injustice in the Church. The injustice, specifically exclusion, is the cause of not only the bad governance, but of the fact that there is governance in the first place. Catholics can get excited about exclusion, but not about governance.

    Catholic priesthood is a priesthood of exclusion, where women, married and openly homosexual Catholics are excluded. Exclusion is always immoral. Plenty of Catholics can be convinced to do something about exclusion against women Catholics or married Catholics or openly homosexual Catholics. The Roman Hierarchy’s exclusion has worked well for the Roman Hierarchy for 28 centuries. If you don’t confront exclusion directly as being immoral and totally contrary to the teachings and life of Jesus, then the Roman Hierarchy will withstand unity, withholding donations and governance for another 28 centuries.

    But first focus on getting some reform group to upgrade its commitment to church reform, to put a program into place that will accomplish church reform.

  24. Greg Seguin says:

    I must have missed the issues that all of you are putting forth. Is there a document that sets out the issues of the group?

    • Rosemary says:

      Greg, There is no document that sets out the issues of the group. We are a loosly organized group who come together once a month to share community with each other. There are no dues or subscriptions. Many of us may belong to larger groups individually. As this article states we have not affiliated with any existing national group because we hope that at some point all of the major groups for reform will come together as a united organization under some united banner. As our mission statement says “We promote change through prayer, participation, dialogue and action so that we may model inclusive Church that radiates Christ’s core teaching of compassion in the world.”.

      We created this website to share with each other and with others who are interested current issues, interests, ideas and thoughts.

      The only action item we currently have is our petition for “reasonable gun control” laws in America. Here is the link if you would want to sign it.

      http://www.change.org/petitions/congress-senate-enact-reasonable-and-sound-gun-control-laws-that-protect-and-save-lives

      Thanks for your inquiry! Hope you will keep reading and commenting on our site! – Rosemary

  25. William T. Keane says:

    I am still a member of a Catholic parish and attend mass regularly but my wife is a member of an Anglican church and active there. I attend church with her and participate in her church actuvities. Her Church is conservative but ecumenical in its outlook (it prayed for the election of a pope to renew the Catholic Church on Sunday). I do not want to abandon the Catholic Church: we have a good bishop who is open to dialogue (he responded to my criticism of politics from the pulpit last November).
    I do not want to replace the Society of St. Pius X with the Society of John XXIII. I do not want to repeat the exodus of 600 years ago. I want to complete what Vatican II started and do it within the Church. There are many good bishops in the Church, here in America, in Ireland, in Germany and Australia and around the world but few of them are prepared to break ranks like Diarmuid Martin in Ireland and Kevin Dowling in South Africa. We need to identify them and link them together. They can be agents for change within the hierarchy while we push from below.

  26. larry mulligan says:

    Has this conversation ended?

    • Rosemary says:

      Larry, no one has commented on this post in quite some time. For my part, the conversation is far from over. I still firmly believe that a larger committed group would have significant impact on moving the church in a more Vatican II direction. I welcome continued dialogue on the subject!

  27. William T. Keane says:

    I’ve just reread the whole post and comments. I still feel as I did last month: we need to work within the established structures for the full implementation of Vatican II. As I say this I realize that that is what the Apostles did, they worked within the existing Jewish communities in the various cities where they preached; they found a people who were familiar with their history and awaiting the Messiah and so open to understanding their message.
    I don’t know how or if the election of a new Pope has effected any change in the situation but a combined approach to him might be better than a variety of splinter groups going off in all directions. I has thought of the LCWR as one group which seems to have competent leadership but it would be unfair to burden them with our other issues.
    Incidentally in reading the comments I do not recall much about the preferential option for the poor which was a priority of Vatican II and seems to still be emphasized by Francis I. Maybe I missed it. The emphasis seemed to be more on the power structure of the Church which Christ did not seem particularly concerned about.

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