U.S. Catholic reform organizations have joined together in an unprecedented move to form the American Catholic Council (ACC), calling for a historic national assembly of the American Catholic Church—lay, religious, priestly, and episcopal.
The organizations involved include the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC), Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), Call to Action (CTA), Corpus, FutureChurch, among others.
ARCC president, Professor of Catholic Thought and Interreligious Dialogue Dr. Leonard Swidler, stated: “The Reform Movement of the Catholic Church in America—in the spirit of Vatican II—is on the cusp of a great leap forward.”
Swidler went on to say that “ARCC and other organizations have for several years been promoting the idea of all major Catholic Reform groups in the U.S. joining together in an American Catholic Council to move our common agenda forward. The great leap forward is now being launched!”
“The way the Church is now is not the way it was meant to be,” said John Hushon, a VOTF board member who serves as the ACC co-chair. He added that, “Vatican II attempted to recapture the universal call to ministry, but this promise has not been fulfilled.”
Many other reform organizations are in the process of formally endorsing the American Catholic Council “Declaration for Reform and Renewal,” which launched the call for a national council. The Declaration, found online at www.americancatholiccouncil.org states: “We seek reform of the governing structures in our Church so that they reflect the better aspects of the American experience: a democratic spirit, concern for human rights, freedom of speech and assembly, and a tradition of participation and representation.”
The American Catholic Council is scheduled to take place in Detroit in the fall of 2011—the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 35th Anniversary of Cardinal Deardon’s “Call to Action,” which was designed to actualize the reforms of Vatican II for the United States Church.
See www.americancatholiccouncil.org and www.arcc-catholic-rights.net for more information on the American Catholic Council and the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church.
This press release is endorsed by Spirited Lay Action Movement.