Newsletter: November, 2010

ACC LogoAmerican Catholic CouncilDetroit Skyline
On the way to Detroit

Reclaiming the Promise of Vatican II Newsletter – November 2010

Response to Archdiocese of Detroit
Spirituality of Nonviolence
New Video Resources
Exhibit Booth Rentals in Detroit
Visit our website
American Catholic Council
For a Downloadable Brochure of the Preliminary Program

(Large File, please be patient)


n Now Open
ACC National Council
in Detroit

June 10-12, 2011
Early Bird Worm
Register Before Dec. 31 for Early Bird Discount

Group Discounts
Also Available


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What’s the Spirit Whispering within you?
Listening Session

We want to HEAR the stirrings of the Spirit manifested in the “sense of the faithful” as we prepare the proceedings that will unfold in Detroit next Pentecost.

There’s still time to host an “Listening Session” in your Community; We will continue to process all data from Listening Sessions convened through MARCH 31.

TOOLKIT plus more on the
For more info, contact:
Peg Bisgrove
Sheila Peiffer

Take part in a facilitated 1-hour teleconference to get the “scoop.”
Next Local Leaders Teleconferences:
Mon Nov. 8 (7pm Eastern)
Thurs Nov. 11 (7pm Eastern)

To register for the call and get the call-in information, email:


If you’re on your way 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 ReformCatholic Bill of Rights
and Responsibilities

Other Documents

This Month’s  Featured
Partner Group

Intentional Eucharistic Communities (IECs) are
those small faith communities, rooted in the Catholic tradition, which gather to celebrate Eucharist on a regular basis. Born in the enthusiasm flowing from Vatican II for a church of the people, some IECs were instituted in parishes, some were created as alternatives to the parish, some retain close ties with the institutional church, and some function independently. All are characterized by shared responsibility for the governance and life of the community. Through sharing liturgical life and mutual support for one another, members are strengthened to live Gospel-centered lives dedicated to spiritual growth and social commitment.


We will soon be seeking many “worker bees” to assist with numerous logistical needs in Detroit. Watch for the official Call for Volunteers in the December Newsletter.
ACC Logo
Momentum Builds Toward First ACC in Detroit

MomentumWe look forward with great anticipation to the inaugural convening of the American Catholic Council in Detroit next June. Despite the “advisory” issued by the Archdiocese of Detroit (see more below), we continue to witness a growing groundswell of support from the grassroots as more and more Catholics learn about the ACC and participate in an ever growing number of local and regional listening sessions across the country.

We recently published the preliminary brochure on the Detroit program that can be downloaded: DETROIT PRELIMINARY PROGRAM. It’s a large pdf file, so it may take some time to download. We remind you of the opportunity to take advantage of “early bird” discount registration rates that apply through December 31st. To register, see the notice in the sidebar.

In this newsletter, we publish the official ACC response to the Detroit “advisory” and launch a discussion on the challenge to develop within the ACC a “spirituality of nonviolence” that can sustain us over the long haul.

We thank those in leadership at all levels of the movement’s infrastructure, most especially those in the grassroots who have taken up the mantle of leadership in convening local listening sessions. There’s been a flurry of them of late, over a dozen in the last 6 weeks alone, involving close to a 1000 folks.

We continue to intersect and collaborate with other reform groups. We were recently represented at the regional meeting of Voice of the Faithful in New York and will host an “ACC Caucus” in Milwaukee Nov. 5-7 at the Call to Action National Conference.
Our Planning Committee will meet in Washington, DC in several weeks, where our primary agenda will be to review the survey data that has come from the Listening Sessions thus far, and in that light, revisit the draft document Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.  We will also begin to craft the design and format of numerous “breakout” sessions that will be at the heart of the Detroit “process.” It is our hope that those breakouts, informed by our “listenings” from the grassroots, will yield concrete strategic “actionable” proposals to move forward beyond Detroit.


As we approach the season of “Thanksgiving” we are ever mindful of the time, talent and treasure shared by so many. In the Greek, the word “Thanksgiving” means Eucharist. May we be sustained as a growing and faithful Eucharistic Community, one in the Body of Christ.

Thanksgiving Eucharist

— National Planning Committee

American Catholic Council, Inc.

For a listing of members of the Committee, CLICK HERE.


ACC Response to the Archdiocese of Detroit

October 14, the Archdiocese of Detroit circulated an “advisory” discrediting the ACC. News of this action was published in the Detroit Free Press and circulated throughout the Archdiocese. Below is the response issued by the ACC National Planning Committee and sent to the paper as well as the Archdiocese:


For Immediate Release (10/24/2010)

ThePress Release Archdiocese of Detroit has issued an “advisory” that the American Catholic Council (ACC) movement and its planned national gathering in Detroit for the weekend of Pentecost 2011 (June 10-12) are “not being conducted under the auspices of the Detroit archdiocese.”

This is true: ACC was founded more than two years ago by a large group of Catholics who wanted to celebrate the important upcoming anniversaries of the Second Vatican Council and the historic Call to Action held in Detroit in 1976 and convened by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and hosted by Detroit’s Cardinal Dearden.

The advisory cautions all against cooperating with ACC, attending its listening sessions, or attending the Council in 2011. Prior to issuing the advisory, there  was no attempt to talk or meet with ACC planners, despite our repeated invitations.

Perhaps most disconcerting are the charges that the gathering “distorts the true Spirit of Vatican II” and that “the goals proposed are largely in opposition to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and the Holy Spirit, which (sic) inspired the Council.”

We believe the Archdiocese has seriously misjudged ACC.  We ask which of these themes (we identify them as the Motifs of the Spirit) are “misguided”:Holy Spirit 2

  • The importance of Baptism as the key sacrament calling all to conversion and all forms of ministry.
  • The primacy of a well-developed conscience in moral decision making.
  • Collegial and responsible decision making that respects the Holy Spirit in all of us.
  • The Church in the world, not above it.
  • Sincere and open-minded ecumenism and theological inquiry.
  • Enculturation of liturgy and prayer (e.g., vernacular language).
  • Openness to all peoples: saints, sinners, women and men.
  • Refocus on Sacred Scripture and the early Church   history as models for individual and community life.

Our Church is suffering one of the largest crises in its 2000 year history.  The Church is losing its moral authority in the wake of sexual, financial, and political crimes.  Millions are leaving the Church around the world (more than 30 million in the US alone).

The Council planners believe that the Motifs of the Spirit offer significant guidance about ways to resolve this crisis. We are exercising our right and duty under Church Law to assemble, discuss, and offer recommendations “on matters which pertain to the good of the Church.”  (Canon 212.3) We are educating Catholics about the Second Vatican Council (the highest form of teaching authority in the Roman Church).

Through our national program of listening sessions, we are inviting Catholics to talk about the practical implications of these Motifs for their lives in the Church. And, we will celebrate Vatican II on June 10-12, 2011, at our Council.

We invite everyone to participate with us, including the Archbishop and the staff of the Archdiocese of Detroit.  We also publicly request Archbishop Vigneron to meet with us to correct this grave misrepresentation (Canon 220) of the thousands of faithful Catholics who have participated in listening sessions all over the US.

Visit our website at

participate in a listening session, do an online survey, read and learn what the practical implications of these Motifs are for our Church.  Thank you.

Janet Hauter and John Hushon

Co-Chairs, American Catholic Council


Meditation DropThe Spirituality of Nonviolence and the Struggle to Reform the Church

We have heard from many who look forward with expectation for “tangible results” from the Detroit, i.e. an “action plan” for implementation that can motivate those who attend as well as inform the ongoing work of  various reform groups in the US and abroad. We recognize that this is critically important if we are to achieve the structural reform of our Church and in a way that reflects  what we have come to call the Motifs of the Spirit of Vatican II.


This has generated an increasing call that we begin to explore a Spirituality of Nonviolence to inform and sustain us for the long haul as we seek change in the Church. We invite our readers to begin by reflecting on a short reading  by Caridad Inda, a member of our National Planning Committee. Caridad challenges us to think through how we might demonstrate “love in action that does justice.”  In addition, one of our keynoters in Detroit, Jeanette Rodriquez, plans to speak to some of these concerns during her address on Friday evening of the Council. To facilitate the developing discussion on this theme, we have setup a related online Discussion Forum. After reading Caridad’s reflection below, we invite your participation in that forum.

Nonviolence, Public Witness & the Gospel (Caridad Inda)

Discussion Forum 2




Note: Participation in Forums will require sign-up to the ACC Assemblies Community Network;


Video Resources:
We’ve recently added to our website a number of informative short video tutorials by several distinguished Catholic scholars  addressing a variety of themes impacting structural reform of the institutional Catholic Church:

  • Local Election of Bishops
  • The ACC proposed Bill of Rights & Responsibilities
  • Constitutions for the Catholic ChurchVideo
  • Democracy and the Catholic Church
  • Historical Overview of Church Councils
  • Intentional Eucharistic Communities
  • The Concept of an Autochthonous Church



Booth Rentals Available for Exhibitors:

Organizations are welcomed to exhibit in Detroit for the National Council June 10-12. Exhibitors will be in close proximity to the Food Court and heavy traffic areas. Booth rentals include an 8′ table with furnishings plus admission to all Council Sessions for one person:
Commercial Sales: $400
For more information or to reserve your space, email: and put “ACC EXHIBITION BOOTH” in the subject heading.
Non-Profits/No Sales:$250


The American Catholic Council, Inc.
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