Newsletter: August 5, 2011

ACC LogoAmerican Catholic Council  Detroit Skyline
Reclaiming the Promise of Vatican II
Newsletter: AUGUST, 2011                                                 Moving Beyond Detroit 

In This Issue
Governance is Issue #1
Revenues & Expenses
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t Your Event to the ACC Calendar

We wecome your local, regional or national event that furthers the reform agenda of the American Catholic Council.

Events may take a variety of forms, i.e. Listening Sessions, followups to Detroit, local/regional Assemblies, or events sponsored by reform organizations/local chapters. Whether its a thousand or a handful of folks in your living room, SUBMIT YOUR EVENT HERE. At a minimum, you will need a NAME for the event, a starting and ending date/time, and Location. Once approved, the event will appear on the ACC EVENT CALENDAR.

Cardinal Dearden Legacy

Dearden  August 1st was
the 23rd anniver-
sary of death of
John Dearden of
Detroit. Please
CLICK HERE to read a marvelous testimony to the vision of Vatican II and this courageous American Cardinal who so embraced it.  We are grateful to Judy Holmes of the John Cardinal Dearden Legacy Project for making this available. This same document was distributed at the recent American Catholic Council in Detroit on June 10-12, 2011.
stoleStoles worn by nearly 2000 at the closing Eucharist of the ACC on Pentecost Sunday in Detroit, reminding us of our common baptism and sharing in the priestly ministry of Christ.Closing Eucharist

Mark your Calendar for the

annual CTA conference in Milwaukee, Nov. 4-6. ACC will be participating and convening a corollary event.

For more info, click here

New Forums on the ACNJoin the ConversationStrategies for Implementing the Catholic Bill of Rights and ResponsibilitiesContemplative Prayer and the Church Reform Movement


Nonviolence and the Church Reform Movement

ACC Continues To Promote Local Listening Sessions


The Listening Sessions leading up to Detroit often  gave impetus to local organizing as they tapped into the sensus fidelium and empowered Catholics in the grassroots to rise-up and reclaim the promise of Vatican II. For a toolkit of resources to help you plan a session in your community, please join the ACC Assemblies Community Network and click the Listening Sessions Tab.


American Catholic Council
Listening Sessions Video  

Listening Sessions Report: 

Soundings of the Faithful  

Priests in 3 Countries Call for Ordination of Women & Married Men 

 New York Times, July 22, 2010



Taking Responsibility to Act

The data and recommendations from Detroit continue to be analyzed over these summer months. We are in a short holding pattern as ACC leadership develops a comprehensive strategic plan to move forward. We anticipate having that plan in place when ACC leadership meets in tandem with the Call to Action conference in Milwaukee in early November. Though we are in the midst of the “dog days” of August, this is not vacation time!  Each of us must take responsibility to act. Too often we make excuses for our inaction, i.e., …


Excuse #1: I can’t change the Church; I am only one person!No excuses

But so was Jesus Christ, Catherine of Siena, John XXIII, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Margaret Mead, Mother Teresa! They heard the Spirit’s call to act in the face of injustice …

Excuse #2: There aren’t enough of us to effect change!

But Jesus started with only the twelve disciples; stonesMother Teresa had 4,000; Gandhi had 60,000 on the banks of the river because word spread and people followed; and Martin Luther King had 250,000! 


Excuse #3: I don’t know WHAT to do!take responsibility

Each of us must take individual responsibilty to act in ways that we can. ACC and the larger Church Reform Movement must be grounded in local actions.
We must begin locally, in our parishes, communities and diocese. We must ground our action in prayer. We must reach out to Catholics “in the pew” and engage them in dialogue. We must pass on the inspiration and movement of the Holy Spirit that was so evident in Detroit. We must share and discuss the Detroit DVDs with friends and family. This is how large scale change happens, until one day we reach the “tipping point” and the momentum for change cannot be stopped. As more and more of us do this, change emerges out of the synergy among us.The change is incremental and its fulness will not likely occur in our lifetime! But it will come!


As Joan Chittister reminds us, “…the seed never sees the flower!” Our children and grandchildren will reap these benefits and our lives have cumulatively had a meaning far greater than our individual achievements. The challenge is clear. The time to pray, talk and act is NOW.  Thanks for being part of the Solution!


Janet Hauter and John Hushon, Co-Chairs 

Planning Committee, American Catholic Council, INC.


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Governance is the Issue Issue #1 …The American Catholic Council event in Detroit on Pentecost weekend was a marker moment in the history of our Church because it demonstrated without question that governance is the root cause of the crises we have had to endure for far longer than we care to admit. A small minority criticized that we didn’t give sufficient highlight to the tragedy of clerical sexual abuse, and for that matter, numerous other “single issues.” All those issues surely warrant our close attention, yet they are but “symptoms” of a far more complex and over-arching theme that was center-stage in Detroit. Our goal in Detroit was to ask the tougher questions: How did the clerical sexual abuse nightmare, the fiscal malfeasance and the continued power abuses happen?Without question, a monarchical, autocratic and overly centralized governance system creates a dysfunctional pattern of behaviors that drives all manners of institutional abuse. Lay involvement in problem solving and decision making is key to stemming the tide of erosion and relevancy of our Church. That is the reason we developed the Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, grounded in the  Soundings of the Faithful which reflects the feedback from nearly 100 Listening Sessions leading up to Detroit.

RevMagnifying Glassenue & Expenses in DetroitAn unexpected and unavoidable problem in the family of our registrar delayed the final accounting, cancellation refunds, and final invoice payments until just a few days ago.  There were also a few errors in Marriott’s accounting. We believe we have solved those issues.  We apologize to those who were impacted by this delay.  We should have a final accounting in about 30 days when final payments processed through credit cards are made available to us. We are projecting that registration revenues and gifts exceeded expenses by approximately $15,000. Those funds will support the continued work of ACC. We also have a reserve to contribute to one or more social justice projects in the Archdiocese of Detroit, as we had committed to. Major expenses included over $65,000 paid to the Convention Center contractors for set-up, electrical contracting, and audio-visual services; $40,000 paid to the registrar, the exhibition hall contractor, and the conference consultant; and $35,000 for printing and mailing.  Almost 200 people received some form of financial assistance to attend, including volunteer discounts and complimentary admission for a number of presenters. We will post a detailed financial report on the website as soon as it becomes available.

ACN Revamped, Action Reports & New Forums
In our post-Detroit transition, ACC will continue to sponsor the Assemblies Community Network(ACN) as a sub-site within main website. The network facilitates communication and organizing in the grassroots across the US and Canada. It is a “nerve center” for many who are invested in the issues that were pivotal in Detroit. Originally set up to support planning for the Listening Sessions prior to Detroit, the ACN will continue to serve as a helpful resource across the church reform movement and help frame ACC’s emerging role and strategic action plan.Discussion ForumOne of the most dynamic features of the revamped ACN will be the NEW Discussion Forums designed around action initiatives that came out of the Detroit BREAKOUT SESSION REPORTS and REFORM IN ACTION REPORTS

The aim is to have these new forums provide a means for continued input from the grassroots as we frame a developing strategic mission and action plan to advance church reform and guide the work of American Catholic Council. The new forums are being organized in multiple categories across three primary domains: (a) principles that ground our actions; (b) topical action proposals; and (c) ACC mission & structure. With this newsletter, we announce the opening of the first three

new discussion categories. Left Arrow Please help jump start the
conversation in the new forums on the left column.


Other features of the ACN include a private messaging system and search engine to find others in one’s local area that are committed to the goals of the American Catholic Council. Members of the network can post their local and regional events to the ACC Calendar as well as form private Planning Groups designed to promote secure and confidential collaboration within geographical communities such as a state, metropolitan area, region or diocese. These “Groups” bring local leaders together as they collaborate in planning events and programs to further church reform in their area.


Though the  home page of the ACN is public, access to the interactive communications on internal pages does require member sign-up. The ACN provides a reasonable balance of protecting members’ privacy while at the same time promoting transparent communication among fellow Catholics committed to the vision of Vatican II. Members’ personal contact information is never appears online and is not disclosed to third parties.


There are now close to 1000 members on the network, with representation across most of the US and Canada, and with particular concentration in the Northeast, the Midwest, Florida, and the West Coast. To learn more, please explore the Assemblies Community Network and consider signing up. If you have difficulty, please contact Technical Support.

Transcripts and DVDs from Detroit Since our last newsletter, we’ve added several more transcripts from Detroit. You can access them at DETROIT-Looking Back. On that same page you can also access several dozen media accounts of Detroit as well as download the Program, the Soundings of the Faithul Report on Listening Sessions, and the final version of the Catholic Bill of Rights and DVDsResponsibilities that was acclaimed in Detroit. Most all elements of the program are also available on DVDs and CDs and can be ordered through Resurrection Communications.
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