The Progressive Catholic Voice is a founding member organization of CCCR, and so the PCV editorial team is happy to share the following message from CCCR. This message was originally published last month on the CCCR website.
Happy 2011, everyone!
What is the Action Plan for 2011?
First, just to remind ourselves of why we have a plan at all: Our experience of our oneness with God makes us rise up and go tell it on the mountain as Jesus did. We want to be part of a church institution that is singing the message loud and clear for this troubled world: God is love. Do not be afraid.
But just a minute. In our local church there seems to be a test for being 100% Catholic. We have no way to communicate with the appointed leaders. Gay people who have life partners are condemned as sinners. Divorced and remarried people are excluded from communion. All institutional decision-making is restricted to self-appointed men who are formed in a clerical culture. Women are not allowed into the holy of holies. Fear silences the non-conforming voice. And many people of conscience walk away. Does that sound like a church that is embodying the Gospel message?
Can we make some cultural and institutional adjustments here? We are hoping that with enough people working together we can make adjustments so the voice of the Spirit will sing through us a joyful song.
That’s where the plan comes in.
Number 1. We practice what we preach. The institution cannot prevent us from deepening our own spirituality or from forming our own supportive communities or from working our own programs of living the message of love.
Number 2. We gather people in small groups all over the Archdiocese in listening sessions. We envision the institution we need to support us in the Christian life we want to lead. We have formed some resource groups to bring information and ideas to parishes and inter-parish groups following the listening sessions.
Number 3. We establish a representative, deliberative Council to channel the energy created through the small groups into the work of producing and disseminating the policies we want to see implemented. For example, the Council’s first question could be something like this: As a matter of policy, within the diocesan organization, how should communication between the people and their bishop be facilitated?
That’s the plan for 2011. We will get together in the Synod of the Baptized in September to form our Council and get on with the work. Pray for us. Join our work by signing up on our website or calling (612) 379-1043. And save Saturday, September 17, 2011, to attend the Synod of the Baptized where it will all come together!