Newsletter, February 5, 2014

American Catholic Council
 Reclaiming the Promise of Vatican II  Shadow Dove


Acting to create CHANGE…  
NEWSLETTER                           February 5, 2014


Janet’s Column
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     The Family Synod Survey, developed by a coalition of COR members, which closely followed the questions posed by the Vatican, was completed by a little over 16,500 people by the December deadline.  A preliminary report, summarizing the easily tablulated results, was sent to Archbishop Kurtz, President of the USCCB.

      The full report, using professionally randomized samples and objectively validated summary techniques, is currently being prepared.  When completed, it will be sent to all coalition members as well as Vatican and USCCB officials.  We will keep you posted!

     Call To Action ( will be holding a webinar discussion of the results with Sr. Chris Schenk, former Executive Director of Future Church and Peter Fagan, the analyst at the end of the month.  See the CTA website for details.

 Do you live in the Albany Diocese?    Share your thoughts about the qualities needed in your new bishop here!
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 “The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized. Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged” (Pope Francis, EG, 120)
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Are You Leaving the Heavy Lifting to Pope Francis?


This Pope has been a refreshing change for our Church and the media is going crazy following him, capturing quotes and taking pictures wherever he goes. 


Our faith has always been a counter cultural faith and now we are graced with a counter cultural leader.   But what does this really mean for our Church?  Personally, I am excited and filled with hope on the one hand but my alter-ego is angry as all get out. My anger comes from the passivity of the Baptized. 


Many favor this Pope, his espoused and practiced theology, his current priorities to clean house by examining the Curia and making the needed changes by investigating the Vatican Bank improprieties.  BUT, most Catholics just watch and talk about their hopes and dreams for the Church under Francis and look to him to do the heavy lifting.  Is this fair?  Is this just?  Is it realistic to leave this big a job to one man?


It’s time to wake the sleeping giant of the laity to see themselves differently, to realize they need not be obedient to goofy pronouncements coming from Church leadership that sees them as servile.  We have real rights as a result of our Baptism, but we act like children either accepting old Vatican directions or running away.  We simply can’t give up at this time of opportunity!  We’re going to Rome to represent you!  Please review our collaboration with CCR below to view our plans during this Francis Revolution. These are indeed exciting times!   


Janet Hauter

With hope in YOU,

Janet Hauter, National Chair, ACC 


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Our Affiliation with 

Catholic Church Reform (CCR)

As many of you are aware, we have forged a collaborative relationship with this group that holds a similar vision of the future:  the governance of the Church needs to change.  This offers common ground for us to have robust conversations and targeted actions.  CCR has collaboration already with reform groups in England, Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Australia, South Africa, etc.  Relationships are slowly evolving in Japan.  Here’s what they have achieved so far:

  • Established a strong collaborative network of the global reform community that now meets monthly via teleconference 
  • CCR Mission:  To embrace our baptismal rights and responsibilities by speaking out with a united voice, thereby actualizing transformative change in the Catholic Church, returning to the values and spirit that Jesus modeled. 
  • Has send three letters to Pope Francis and his advisory group of cardinals to date:
    •   The first letter congratulated Francis on being collaborative and establishing a consultative body to discuss the institutional changes that took priority. 
    •   The second letter congratulated the Pope on choosing to develop a Synod that focused on the pastoral needs of the family.
    •   The third was strongly worded and questioned how a synod on the family could occur if no families were present to speak about their experiences.
  • What is being planned now is exciting:

  Committees have been formed to develop a parallel lay event at the same time as the October, 2014 synod in Rome (we have a site). The objectives of that event are:

  1. To give voice to the lived experience of the faithful in terms of “family life.”   Toward that end, a template for gatherings around the world is being developed which will include “expert” papers by respected theologians on the topics that the Vatican survey delineated, as well as a structure to hear about  life experience with that topic.  The objective is to meld a report on each of these issues that looks at theory vs. practice with recommendations for change that will be delivered to the Vatican prior to their meeting. 
  2. Be a presence in Rome, available to be part of the Extraordinary Synod if invited, and if not, giving witness to the testimony of the Faithful.  We are planning to inform all bishops of our plans, delivering the reports to them in plenty of time for them to digest our message. 


COR members plan Papal Anniversary Project

At our fall COR meeting, it was felt that the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis’ election (March 15, 2014) created a window of opportunity to get Catholics together for discussion and discernment.  “What do you think of how things are going under Francis?” is the basic question.  A coalition of COR organizations, including ACC,  are collaborating to create a template for a local gathering to do this.  Different organizations are contributing two page “resources” on varying topics, to make the discussions easily prompted.  The template will include a general introduction and a prayer service as well.  All this will be available on a separate website, which will be operational in mid-February. Save a date in March now, to engage with other reformers in your area evaluating the state of our Church and how we can be part of a growing movement of change.  Your meeting can be in a living room or a hall, but it is time to plan local change in support of Francis’ “revolution”.


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