Core Values of the American Catholic Council

Our Values Actualized in Our Strategies 

Above all, we value the following:

  • Work toward Transformation of the Individual from a passive, obedient and mute believer to one that is aware, informed and active in living the Gospel message.  We believe in intentional living practices where faith is the core of our being and is reflected in who we are and what we do.

Toward that end, we will practice:

o   Full Transparency of all we plan, all we communicate and all we are and hope to become utilizing an Open System* model.  We believe the Closed Organizational System practiced by the clerical culture is dysfunctional, secret, narcissistically rigid and destructive to all.

o   Vatican II Principles and Spirit, which called for a New Pentecost, a new people of God alive in Gospel values in the worldOur initiatives will always be based and enacted by the principle of collegiality, a principle advocated in V-II but never realized until Francis’ Synods.  There, dialogue and encounter were reintroduced to the chagrin of the naysayer bishops recognizing that Francis is calling for a new order, a more horizontal governance structure in the Church.

o   Respect for the faith and the faithful, in that order, while recognizing that the governance (the structural issues, systemic processes, shared values, staff choices and the skills and style they manifest) must be re-imagined to reflect a field hospital model.  The processes Francis introduced within the two Synods in 2014/2015 demonstrated that there is value in hearing all sides of all issues in understanding the breadth and depth of the solution/s entertained.

o   Flexibility and Adaptability emphasized in all our planning allows us to be sensitive and responsive to external variables.  Because we live in a dynamic, chaotic time where everything around us is changing, we must be mindful of how a position we take today may change because the world is more inter-dependent causing an external issue to moderate a position we may have taken. We focus our initiatives on adaptability to the current state.  We must be flexible. We will develop highly specific strategies, goals and objectives that are easy to understand and execute to facilitate success.

o   Best Practices are not alien to change and are rarely used in change in the Church; we strongly believe that we can expand solution-based strategies using these practices.  Our movement model and practice is holistically broad.  We attempt to review all related variables in developing our plans of action.

o  Collaboration is a priority and, where appropriate, we will extend invitations to other reform organizations to collaborate with us in meeting a well-defined objective.  We believe collaboration is less about a “y’all come” invitation than it is to define the skill sets and support possible from potential collaborators who must share the same value system we do or the collaborative effort will fail.  Collaboration is an empowerment tool for all who join in the effort.

 

Open Systems are systems that continually exchange feedback with their external environment.   Healthy systems regularly exchange feedback with its external environment, analyze that feedback, adjust as needed to achieve the system’s goals and then transmit necessary information back out to the environment.

 

Janet W. Hauter

Changing ourselves to change the Church

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