Newsletter, July 15, 2014

      American Catholic Council

         Reclaiming the Promise of Vatican II
     Dare we, too, be
    apostle to the apostles?
NEWSLETTER                          July 15, 2014
Eye on Francis
 Nun Justice Project
stands with LCWR!
    NunJustice Project, a coalition of Catholic reform organizations, has been supporting the  Leadership Conference of Women Religious since the ordeal of their censuring has begun.
     LCWR will be holding their annual Assembly from August 12-16th and we invite all of you to join in prayer for them as they meet.  Please visit the Nun Justice website for a communal prayer service as well as a special prayer for these courageous women.

May they see prophetically and hear without

distortion, speak truthfully and with respect, touch tenderly and stand tall in witnessing God’s amazing all-inclusive love.  (excerpt from prayer)
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 Would you like to join in a “book club” discussion of Megan McKenna’s We Live Inside A Story?  On August 14th, IECs around the country will call in to talk about this engaging work.  Find out more here.
Forum on Family Registration Now Open!
Catholic Church Reform International will host a “Forum on Family: Listening to the Faithful” in the Caravita Center in central Rome on Thursday and Friday, October 2nd and 3rd.   You are welcome to join this group of reformers from around the world to deliberate and take action to ensure that the lived experience of faithful Catholics is incorporated into the considerations of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family (convening just after this forum.)  Be a part of history!  Come to Rome and put your faith into action!  Register and learn more here.


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For me, this year has been a personal epiphany.  I’m hard pressed to say why but it continues to be a “marker year” for me.  My Mother gave me a legacy to uphold: to value relationships by truly encountering others.  Funny…valuing relationships, engaging in dialogue and learning to understand “the other” through a true encounter parallels the mantra of Pope Francis.


One example after another, Pope Francis models the kind of respect that Jesus had for all creation.  Sadly, we are neither respected nor valued by the hierarchy in general.  Because non-reciprocal relationships cannot have “encounter” moments of respect, we turn to you, the faithful, to join our efforts to create a real, contemporary picture of what families are challenged with today.


We are actively promoting several meaningful actions where all Catholics could engage.

1.      Lead or become engaged in a Regional Gathering:  it’s a time to speak with other Catholics about life issues that must be considered in the Synod on the Family.  Help the bishops have deliberations and make decisions on contemporary issues challenging all families.  (Click here)  Besides that benefit, the aggregate research will have potential years of impact and you could be a part of it.

2.       Two more opportunities to engage:  signing an open letter to Pope Francis and signing a petition to have the entire synod broadcast on television and radio for complete and open transparency.  (Click here.)


The disconnect between Church teaching and hierarchical behavior is apparent.  While Francis is modeling mercy and compassion, there is evidence he is experiencing conflicts with the Curia who fear the culture change he is modeling.  Let me be bold and say that the hierarchy is an abusive force to the faithful:  the sexual abuse scandal, the monetary improprieties, the exercises of irrational controls like banning yoga for Catholics as it might jeopardize their faith, withholding sacraments from couples in second marriages, disallowing communion to gay people and most recently priests being unable to baptize children of same-sex couples without a bishop’s permission (Madison, Wisconsin).


Enough is enough.  We are called to speak out.  Perhaps this is the time for Catholics to exchange respectful views on what appears to be a chaotic Church in suspended animation– no longer is it the Church we’ve known yet the future is unclear.  This is a new space for us all and Francis repeatedly calls out to us to speak, to act.


Sometimes we have to chisel away the past from the present. Being Catholic is a loaded term and should define our own holy living.  Being Catholic is removing the excuses that we have created for ourselves, some real and some perceived, to remain in the bondage of rules!

Janet Hauter

With faith in our common mission,

Janet Hauter, National Chair, ACC


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Catholic Church Reform International 
Wants your Voice!
     Share your views and life experiences regarding the challenges of family life in the context of church teachings!
     Your input will be summarized and carried to Rome to be given to the Synod of Bishops for discussion at their Extraordinary Synod. Pope Francis has asked for this and it is not only our right but our duty to speak up!  Our collected stories and viewpoints will provide:
  • insight into the challenges facing contemporary families
  • documentation of these concerns for future research and current deliberations
  • concrete numbers about shared concerns around the world
     If you do not have the opportunity to attend a Regional Gathering in person, then dial into a free teleconference Regional Gathering on each of the four topics.  Details of times and access instructions are here.

Pope Francis

An      on 

We continue with our new feature from
Reyanna Rice, Board member of Concerned Catholics of Montana and ACC supporter.  She is actively following and analyzing Pope Francis’ statements and actions and will offer a reflection each month to inspire us to integrate reform into our own lives and our communities.
“To be in the Church is to be at home, with mama; at mama’s house”….(Pope Francis during his address to the participants of Rome’s Diocesan Conference, June 17, 2014)

This statement came at the end of a series of comments where Pope Francis was emphasizing the need for the church to be tender, welcoming and compassionate, never closing its doors to anyone, having the compassionate eyes of Jesus that every good mother has.  I suspect it is an image that comes from his own childhood

Do I go to church on Sunday with the expectation of being in “Mama’s house”?  Do I treat everyone there as “family”?  Do I challenge a pastor who shows by his actions and words that he would rather “his” church were for the few “true Catholics” who fit his checklist of what that means?  I think these are the kinds of things Francis is urging, nudging, PUSHING us to do.  They are not hard things to do but they sure will go a long way to making our parishes “Mama’s House.”

 IEC logo
IEC 2015 Gathering  June 26-28   St. Paul, MN
The keynote speakers for this exciting 4th Gathering of Intentional Eucharistic Communities from around the country are confirmed! Mark your calendars now to hear Jamie Manson, Robert McClory, and Miriam Therese Winter as well as a wide assortment of dynamic breakout sessions. Visit the IEC  website for more details.
 “In his mission of fostering a dynamic, open and missionary communion, he[the bishop] will have to encourage and develop the means of participation proposed in the Code of Canon Law,[34] and other forms of pastoral dialogue, out of a desire to listen to everyone and not simply to those who would tell him what he would like to hear. Yet the principal aim of these participatory processes should not be ecclesiastical organization but rather the missionary aspiration of reaching everyone.” (Pope Francis, EG, 31)
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