Newsletter: September, 2010

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On the way to Detroit

Reclaiming the Promise of Vatican II       Newsletter – September 2010

ACC Talking Points
ACC Meets with Hans Kung
New Online Forums
Airfare Discounts to Detroit

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Registration Now Open For the ACC National Council in Detroit
June 10-12 2011
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For the sake of our Kids and Grandkids,

What is the Spirit whispering in your heart?
We want to HEAR the stirrings of the Spirit manifested in the “sense of the faithful” as we prepare the proceedings that will be forthcoming in Detroit next Pentecost. The ACC invites you to convene a local Listening Session Assembly in your communty this Fall and through early Spring 2011.

TOOLKIT plus more on the

ACC Assemblies Community Network (ACN)

For more info, contact:
Peg Bisgrove
Sheila Peiffer

1 Corinthians 2:10-13

The Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows another’s thoughts except the spirit of the person which is in him or her? So also, no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom, but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.

Telecons for Planners of Local Listening Sessions

We cont
teleconinue our series of monthly teleconferences for local planners. This is a great way to learn more about how to convene a listening session in your community.
Telecon A: Nuts & Bolts of Planning an Assembly: Mon., Sept. 13, 7pm (EDT)

Telecon B: Tutorial on Using the ACN site and Survey Admistration:
Thurs. Sept. 16, 7pm EDT

Participants should RSVP by emailing: Linda Pinto
Call-in Number and Access Code will be sent to all registrants via email approximately 24 hours in advance. More Information available on Assemblies Community Network.

Canon Law on the role of laity in the Church:

“They have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.”      Can. 212.3

Recommended Easy Listening
Vatican II
Audio CDs
John O’Malley, S.J., Ph.D.
Vatican II OMalleyCD

Enhance your commuter drive with this “user-friendly” and stimulating series of audio lectures based on O’Malley’s book, What Happened at Vatican II (Harvard University Press, 2008); these 12 short lectures on 4 CDs tell the story of the Council from its convocation by John XXIII in 1959 to its closing in 1965. They reveal dramatic clash between a large majority (85% to 90%) and a small but determined minority. O’Malley is Professor of Church History at Georgetown University and Past President of the Catholic Historical Society.

Click Here For More Info

Detroit Exhibitors
Booth rentals include an 8′ table with furnishings plus TWO admissions to all Council Sessions:

Commercial Sales: $400
Non-Profits/No Sales:$250

For more information or to reserve your space, email: and put “ACC EXHIBITION BOOTH” in the subject heading.


If you’re going to Milwaukee for the CTA Conference, be sure to check out the ACC Listening Session and Caucus at 4 pm on Friday, Nov. 5, prior to the start of the CTA program.
For more information click here.

Our Foundational Documents

Declaration of Reform

Catholic Bill of Rights
and Responsibilities

Other Documents

Partner Hands
This Month’s  Featured
Partner Group

CORPUS is a faith community affirming an inclusive priesthood rooted in a reformed Church celebrating thirty-six years of service to the People of God. It is one of the oldest reform groups in the Catholic Church, and is active in the U.S. and abroad. It is committed to working for a renewed priesthood of married and single men and women dedicated to serving God through the Community of Believers.

Donations Piggy Bank


We welcome your Tax-deductible donations to support the ACC. American Catholic Council. For online CREDIT CARD donations,  go to Donations and then click the link to NETWORK FOR GOOD. Once there, follow these steps:

1. Under Charity, enter American Catholic Council;
2. Under State, enter Florida,
(where ACC is incorporated);
3. Choose the CREDIT CARD option; Do NOT use the Paypal option;
4. Follow the prompts to complete your transaction;

Alternately, you can write a check, payable to American Catholic Council, and mail to:

American Catholic Council
P.O. Box 3106
Barrington, IL 60016

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Early Registrations Surpass Expectations for Detroit

We are pleased to report that in the first round of registration through mid-August, nearly a year in advance of the Council, over 300 people have already committed to journey to Detroit next Pentecost Weekend (June 10-12, 2011). We have every hope that the Council will see several thousand participants representing the grassroots church from across the U.S. and elsewhere. There are still several tiers of “Early Bird” discounts available, so please register as soon as possible using the links on the left panel.

This month’s newsletter features  Talking Points that capture fundamental themes about who we are and our purpose. We are also pleased to share a report on our recent meeting with Hans Kung in Germany, in anticipation of his role in the Detroit Council. Please continue to hold up the ACC in your prayers and pass the word far and wide. Thank You!

Janet Hauter John Hushon
— Janet Hauter & John Hushon
American Catholic Council, Inc.

TALKING POINTS: Script for an ACC Elevatoelevator2r Speech

1. What is ACC? We are a movement and a coalition of Catholic reform groups and individuals  gathered together to celebrate the ideas of Vatican II, to educate those unfamiliar with the ideas of Vatican II, and to plan grass roots listening sessions-leading up to a great celebration at Pentecost 2011.

2. Why celebrate Vatican II?It was a renaissance movement in the history of the Roman Catholic Church that changed the course of the Church.

3. What kind of ideas did Vatican II proclaim? The Holy Spirit was present at Vatican II in a special way We call the ideas of Vatican II Motifs of the Spirit:

  • The importance of Baptism: through baptism, all are called to conversion and to ministry;
  • The primacy of conscience: it’s the key element in decision making, particularly moral decision making;
  • The Church is in the world: it’s not above it;
  • Ecumenism: sincere and open-minded respect for theological diversity;
  • Enculturation: adaptation of liturgy, prayer and spirituality to local custom (use of vernacular), and respect for cultural diversity in education, governing style, worship, and praxis;
  • Openness to all peoples: saints, sinners, women and men and a view which sees sacraments as food for life’s journey;
  • Collegial and responsible decision making: respect for all individuals and their Spirit-filled gifts;
4.  So why ACC? Isn’t all of this happening? Unfortunately no.  Many entrenched hierarchical interests were frightened by the changes promised by Vatican II, some believing them misguided, others fearing loss of privilege, and others nostalgic for traditional “certainty” and social status. There has been very little change in the hierarchical and institutional structure of the Church:

  • Conscience is often denied;
  • Input of all the baptized in decision making is often lacking;
  • More than half of the baptized (women) suffer a terrible
    injustice as they are denied ministry and roles in governance and are effectively disenfranchised;
  • The LGBT community has been effectively excluded;
  • Collegiality is not the norm;
  • Secrecy and loyalty to Rome are at historic highs;
  • Serious sexual and financial abuses have resulted, both associated with secret exercise of power which is the anti-thesis of the Gospel; thousands of lives have been shattered and millions of dollars in scarce charity have been misappropriated;
But, there is no question that Vatican II took.  We remember and the dream has never died–so we are optimistic!
5.  What are our goals? Our goals are tentative at this time, subject to grassroots input through our listening sessions.  Generally, they are to:

  • Keep alive and celebrate the Motifs of the Spirit of Vatican
    II through education, discussion and practice;
  • Expose Catholics to and legitimize different individual liturgical, prayer and lifestyle choices which are consistent with these Motifs and that are spiritually meaningful;
  • Strengthen the organizations that make up the reform movement; and
  • Provide some tangible “outcomes,” i.e. proclamation of a Catholic Rights and Responsibilities, a discussion of their practical consequences, and education on “techniques of passive resistance” to practices inconsistent with Vatican II — all to help in bringing about the structural change in our Church which was intended by Vatican II and which the Holy Spirit now calls us to do;
6.  So if we accept these principles, what could change?

  • Active and meaningful parish and diocesan councils would be created;
  • Many more Catholics (women and men) would be involved in ministry;
  • The sexual abuse crisis would be acknowledged forthrightly with moral integrity; individuals responsible would be removed from ministry and punished; survivors would be given every opportunity to restore their lives;
  • Temporal governance would become transparent and would be de-clericalized;
  • All baptized would be involved in the selection of parish priests and bishops;
  • The unique bond between bishop and diocese would be renewed, with a reduction in curial loyalty and an increase in episcopal collegiality;
  • Opportunities for ordained ministry would be expanded (female, male and married clergy)  to permit response to the call to ministry among all the baptized and to accommodate the needs of the baptized to counter the shortage of priests, to keep parishes open, and to minister to the needs of those in different personal lifestyles;
  • Alternative liturgical communities would be encouraged, i.e. small faith communities, intentional eucharistic communities
  • The Church’s role in proclaiming the Gospel to today’s world would be revitalized;
We believe we can do this;
We believe this is possible within the Church that Jesus founded;
We are not so naïve as to believe that long entrenched power and privilege will permit this to happen easily;
But, we know that as baptized Catholics we owe this effort to our Church, ourselves, and our children.

(Adopted by the ACC National Planning Committee, August 2010)

ACC Leaders Meet with HANS KUNG in Germany
John Hushon and Anthony Padovano, members of the National ACC Planning Committee, recently traveled to Germany to conduct a video interview with HANS KUNG. Swiss priest, theologian, educator, author, global ethicist and ecumenist, Kung was an expert advisor at Vatican II and has been a sustained outspoken champion of the reforms instituted by that Council. Kung is Professor Emeritus at the University of Tubingen and President of the Global Ethic Foundation.  He is scheduled to address the ACC in Detroit.  Below is an account of their memorable meeting, written by John Hushon.

Kung, Hushon and Padovano (July 2010)

After a long taxi ride, we arrived at the home office of Hans Kung, in Tubingen, Germany, late on the morning of July 16. It was clear from the beginning that Dr. Kung was “protected” by a number of individuals who respected him as an individual and who understood his importance in the development of global religion and ethics.

The house was “Southern German,”that is to say, Swiss, with a compactness, a sense of style, and a grace which only the Swiss can do.  It was a modern chalet of three white-stuTuebingenccoed, tiled roofed stories climbing up a mountainside, set above an empty garage.  A secluded garden, dotted with modern sculpture (mostly tributes to Dr. Kung) surrounded planters brimming with summer color.  The air was hot, but dry following several days of “global warming” high temperatures in most of Europe.  The entire household was getting ready for an Alpine summer holiday. The office of his Foundation is located on the first floor of the chalet.  His personal office and living quarters are on the second floor.  The third is reserved for another resident and his housekeeper/cook.

We were greeted at the office on the lowest level, although it was clear that the extensive library of religion and theology works ran through the entire residence in corridors, stairwells, and rooms.  Wearing a casual Polynesian shirt, Hans Kung was small in stature, summer-complected, and relaxed. He had been working on yet another translation of one of his dozens of theological works. His twinkling eyes betrayed both intellect and challenge.

The film crew, which had arrived with us, quickly setup in an al fresco “studio” which Dr. Kung had designed to showcase an impressive collection of South Pacific artifacts presented to him upon the occasion of a series of lectures in Tonga. He set us at ease, confident that his message was global and that his views transcend the temporary actions of the Roman Church. We settled in for the interview. Dr. Kung insisted upon our calling him “Hans” and disdains the title “Father” as a 19th century “Irishish-ism.”

Kung3Anthony Padovano proceeded with the interview.  Questions followed a “script” prepared initially by Anthony with comments by various ACC planners. After about an hour of questioning, we agreed to adjourn for lunch in a dining room adjoining the interview space.  In a relaxed atmosphere, Dr. Kung expressed his views about the future of the Church. As he sees it, the institution we know will die soon, to be replaced by communities following the gospel of Jesus, with informal liturgies and a sacramentality related to life in community.  He is very devoted to developing relationships between Christianity and non-Christian religions, the attempt to discover a global ethical commonality, and ultimately, a global understanding of God.  What he sees emerging is a spirituality related to the human condition and stages of life, to replace institutionalized rigidity.

Kung at PodiumAt times, he seemed wistful that the Roman Church had not seized the light of Vatican II. He was remorseful that the Church had “once again” failed to recognize that the Incarnation of Jesus required both a recognition of the world and a reasonable accommodation with that world, and an awareness of the various paths of humanity to understanding life and ultimately, the understanding of the eternal ineffable God that is common to all religions. He believes that the Church has strayed far from the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and that its struggle with modernity (as its struggle with the Age of Enlightenment in the 17th Century) has endangered its relevance. He is not fearful of criticizing the Church and particularly his old friend and colleague, Benedict XVI, whom he hired at the the University of Tubingen many years ago.  It was apparent that he is saddened by the personal treatment he has received from the Church.

After a long and delicious lunch, we realized that we needed to part, if only to provide his staff with a timely departure for the summer holidays. We recessed to the library under the stairs where there are dozens of his books in dozens of languages.  He asked, “What can I give you?” and proceeded to autograph several for us, and agreeing to do many more for the ACC conference in Detroit.  He confided to us that the Kung SignatureEnglish version of his latest thinking on spirituality, related to the stages of human life, would be available early in 2011.

We asked several times if he would deliver his filmed remarks in person and each time he evaded commitment, citing issues of health and the pressure of his work. But he kept open that he would ultimately consider ACC to be the kind of world event that his presence might enhance, while modestly remarking that his edited film comments would “do so much more.”

Thank you, Dr. Kung, for your time, your insights, your hope for the future, and the symbol you are to those of us seeking to reform the institutions of our Church to make it closer to the Gospel ideal and relevant to the human experience of God.

Kung’s presentation at the ACC in Detroit in June of 2011 will be in the form of this interview, live or filmed, depending on his health. In either event, DVDs of the film will be available at the Council.

ACC On-Line Forums Stirring the PotDiscussion Forum 2
Besides the Local Listening Sessions, another means for grassroots input shaping the program and processes that will unfold in Detroit are the new discussion “Categories” in the FORUM that has been relocated to the ACC Assemblies Community Network. You’ll find a range of stimulating creative ideas, feedback, and lively, thoughtful and respectful discourse among Catholics who have high hopes for ACC and the reform of our church in the vein of Vatican II. To participate, you will be prompted to sign-up to join as the Assemblies Community Network. Check it and consider staring a new discussion thread or replying to one already created. There are now 9 Topical Categories, each with multiple discussion threads. Among the most active categories are the following:
The Process in Detroit: Hopes, Expectations and Anxieties;
Framing Alternative Models of Church Governance;
Moving Beyond Fear Toward a Spirituality of Faithful Resistance;

If you need assistance, please contact Technical Support. We look forward to the continued conversation!

Airfare Discounts:Delta Airlines Delta Airlines is offering rate reductions to the ACC in Detroit. The discount applies to all US/Canada originating passengers who travel between June 7 and June 15, 2011. Full Airfare (Non-Restricted) will be discounted 5% from Hub cities and 7% from Non-Hub markets. Discounted Airfare (Restricted) is eligible for a 2% reduction from Hub markets and 5% from Non-Hub cities. Delta’s Hub cities are Cincinnati, Memphis and Salt Lake City. To take advantage of this program, call 800-328-1111 and mention discount code NM67F. Delta will waive telephone ticketing fee.
The American Catholic Council, Inc.
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