Friday, June 17, 2011

Local Catholics Share Their Thoughts on the American Catholic Council

A number of Catholics from the local church of St. Paul-Minneapolis attended the American Catholic Council in Detroit on the weekend of June 10-12.

What did they think of this gathering of almost 2000 Catholics dedicated to church reform? Did they like what they saw and heard? Following are some of their thoughts on this landmark event.


I thoroughly enjoyed the conference this past weekend. I was excited by the energy for reform and saddened by brokenness reported. How is it possible that an institution as old as the Catholic Church got so broken? Why has it taken so long for us to stand up and demand that it be right and just. It cannot continue! We owe it to generations to come to stop the hurt and the pain that the current church structure is causing. Tell a friend, shout it from the roof tops. Many have questioned the wrongs but, few know there is a movement to address them. Thank you to all of the planners and organizers. Well done good and faithful servants! I wish we could say that to those in Rome!

– Nancy Ritt

So much energy for renewal and reform emanating from much encouragement to press forward. Joan Chittister was superb in her challenge to us to remember those who pressed on despite water cannons, police dogs (MLK), the suffragettes, all those who led the movements that resulted in reform, all those who speak truth to power! Special thanks to Father Wurm for his courage to celebrate Mass with us despite the AB's threats. It really is "time to LEAP".

– Colleen Wehling

For Jim and me it was a marvelous experience to be there to share the enthusiasm and commitment of so many. The main address presenters were spot on. What Anthony Padovano laid out, Jim Carroll placed in historical context with engaging personal touches and then Matt Fox came with blazing guns aimed at the Vatican. Matt does his homework, so he was not blowing smoke.

Having the Hans Küng interview up front set the proper tone for feeling that we were on the right track.

The only drawbacks for me were the limited time for exhibits and the lack of the perspective of an "insider Catholic" on the typed words. The mistakes were often humorous, but also distracting.

As an annual CTA participant, I am used to seeing a primarily older crowd, but at CTA there are some young families and a growing number of young adults because the leadership has spent some energy on "Next Generation" work. The participants at ACC were decidedly older. Are the people between 40-60 not as interested or unable to get away or what?

– Karen Fitzpatrick

I found the talks by the main presenters at the conference thoughtful, balanced, challenging, respectful and hopeful. While talk does not a reform make, these were inspiring and necessary. It is up to us now to keep moving forward locally in the same spirit--a major task, yes, not fast enough or radical enough for some, yes, but I believe it is the right way to move.

– Jim Moudry

The AAC was a real energizer. Speakers went over all our complaints but filled us with hope. The workshops focused on action. Action is where change will occur. As James Carroll said MOVE -- MOVE. Any small action in a parish will put a stick in the cogs of authority. Letters, refusal to "go along", respectful disagreement with homilies, all are movements in the right direction. The reformation stone is rolling down hill; it cannot be stopped if we continue to act.

– Judith Pryor

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