Monday, July 25, 2011

"All Voices Must Be Heard": A Response to Archbishop Nienstedt

James Moudry responds to Archbishop John C. Nienstedt's July 18 letter in which he cautions the priests of the Archdiocese and the Catholic faithful against attending the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform's September 17 Synod of the Baptized.

As a member of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) I was pleased that the Archbishop recognizes that “some of the aspirations” held by CCCR and other groups are “valid.” It has always been our intention to be faithful Catholics and to be, in the Archbishop’s words “a prophetic sign in and for the world, to promote justice and reconciliation in the Church, and to facilitate courageous and honest dialogue.”

Furthermore, we agree with him when he says that “it is the bishops, in communion with the Roman Pontiff, that have the responsibility to respond to the issues raised by CCCR.” Our concern is with how to get these issues raised, heard and understood in all sectors of the church. Without in any way denigrating the proper role and authority of the bishops and the Pope, we wish to raise up the correlative roles of the baptized faithful and the theological community in discerning the authentic meaning of the Christian life. These latter two voices are part of the Catholic tradition. Church history shows the necessity of listening to this sense of the baptized faithful in matters of church doctrine and discipline because God’s Spirit is present and speaking in them, too. The same holds true for the Catholic theological community. All voices must be heard. It is not the Catholic tradition that the official magisterial voice alone exhausts the conversation.

Our experience as baptized Catholics is that our voice on many matters of church teaching and discipline has not truly been heard. Yet God’s Spirit is leading the Church through the voice and experience of the people, too. For that reason we continue to meet, pray, reflect, speak out and act. For that reason we have scheduled the “Synod of the Baptized” for September 17, 2011 to make our voices heard. We hope that our Church can honestly listen and honor our experience as part of how God is guiding the Church.

Click here to register for Synod 2011.

See also the previous PCV posts:
Archbishop Nienstedt's July 18 Letter
Talking About Disconnects: One Response to Archbishop Nienstedt
The Consensus of the Faithful as the Voice of the Infallible Church
Acclaimed Church Historian Marvin O'Connell to Discuss Cardinal Newman
The Call of the Baptized: Be the Church, Live the Mission
Richard Gaillardetz on the Need to "Wrestle with the Tradition"
Nicholas Lash on Dissent and Disagreement
Communicating With Leadership
It's Critical That Catholics Find Their Voice
Let Our Voices Be Heard!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks,Jim, for stating our case in such an elegant and reasonable way.