Friday, November 6, 2009

Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Task Force Responds to CCCR

The Progressive Catholic Voice is a founding member organization of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR), which recently received the following response to its co-chairs’ open letter to James Lundholm-Eades of the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Task Force.

As Lundholm-Eades notes, many members of CCCR also sent him copies of this open letter. His letter to the co-chairs of CCCR therefore serves as his reply to these people as well.

One final note: The CCCR Board is prayerfully reflecting on how to respond (if at all) to Lundholm-Eades’s letter, and would appreciate your thoughts on this matter. You can comment here, or e-mail CCCR at


October 29, 2009

Catholic Coalition for Church Reform
2080 Edgcumbe Road
St. Paul, MN 55116

Dear Paula, Michael, and Bernie;

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated October 19th, 2009. Thank you for your input to the planning process.

As you know we have been gathering the voices of the Archdiocese now for many months. During that time I have clearly heard a number of coalition members speaking your message and asking questions at those meetings. I am glad you and your coalition membership have taken advantage of the opportunity to be heard. I have personally had the pleasure of one on one conversation with some coalition members after some of the consultative meetings and have taken note of the concerns expressed in those conversations. Your letter and those concerns expressed during and after consultative meetings have become part of the record to be passed to the Task Force in summative form. Since receiving your letter, I have received photocopies of it from several of the members of your coalition. Please take this response as my response to them all.

I read with particular interest your list of questions. Some of them are clearly outside the scope of this planning process. Some others call into question the framework of the Catholic faith that are simply part of our Catholic belief and tradition as delineated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You and your membership will know from your attendance at the meetings where you added your voice to the consultative process that the outcomes of the planning process will be consistent with the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church.

Finally, if your questions are a reflection of ongoing and serious concerns you have about the beliefs and traditions of our Catholic Church to the degree I sense they are, then it may be that your journey to God may well be served by exploring protestant denominations where your views will find broader acceptance. I prayerfully wish you well in your journey wherever it leads you.

Thanks again for your input to the planning process.

Yours in Christ,

Jim Lundholm-Eades
Director of Parish Services and Planning


  1. The Progressive Catholic Voice has received the following e-mail from Tom via CCCR.


    I read the response and was slightly taken aback when the message was to try a protestant church for a broader interpretation of Church teaching and the faith. This seems to be the tack that the hierarchy is taking, 'the Catholic Church, love it or leave it'. Not exactly the way I believe Jesus acted in his ministry. The new bishop of NYC has informed the National Association of Catholic Chaplains that he will continue the policy of his predecessor and not endorse lay chaplains. I've been unemployed since March and was let go by two Catholic organizations and left a hospital in another part of town where the bishop said he didn't care if it closed. So, it looks like it's time to go into the catacombs and keep the faith as best we can.

  2. This is very sadly a typical response from Archdiocesan types who quite frankly must insult the intelligence of progressive minded people in order to (and I regret that I cannot more politely say this) kiss the ass of the conservative establishment.

    I have often been grieved by having received responses similar to these myself when wanting to engage in questions related to Archdiocesan every day business questions.

    Sadly, such experiences have resulted in me and my partner seeking worship and acceptance in the Episcopal Church where we are welcomed, affirmed and our thoughts are received with a certain level of respect, not found in the Archdiocesan establishment.

    My prayers are with those who continue to participate in the struggle to help make the Catholic Church a place where inclusiveness place. I am so sorry that disappointments such as these continue to be part of the experiences of many.

  3. The following e-mail was received from Jim Leith. It's reprinted here with his permission.

    An arrogant response from a closed-minded individual unwilling and/or unable to enter into healthy dialogue with those who differ under the guise of "the Catholic Faith."


  4. For more responses to James Lundholm-Eades's letter, click here.

  5. James Lundholm-Eades is correct. Honestly, what did you expect him to say?

    The personal may be political, but there comes a point when an organization no longer responds to political pressure tactics. The Roman Catholic Church, like all human communities, has a political dimension to it. But if the Body of Christ were only a polity it wouldn't have survived to this day.

    Progressives like to claim they have the Holy Spirit on their side, as if a progressive definition of the Holy, the Inclusive, and the Transformative could be made and asserted within the narrow confines of some people's dogma. To be fair you must at least consider the possibility that the Holy Spirit is working in James Lundholm-Eades, in his Faith, and the way he's trying to live that Faith into being, as much as the Holy Spirit is working in you or in me. To say otherwise is to say the Spirit can't "blow where It wills."