| 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!