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PRESIDENT'S REPORT
ear Friends in ARCC:
Jim Copleston died on May 25 at the age of 88.  Courtly, gracious, spiritual, witty, holder of the Bronze Star for WWII action, he was a New York attorney living in a small New Jersey town in a small rural parish.  Jim was Fordham-educated and Vatican II-inspired.  In the wake of the Council, he jumped in head first to help bring his parish up to speed with Council's teachings.  With the enlightened pastor, he conducted workshops on the documents, led discussion groups and offered to speak anywhere on the great potential for reform in the Church.
He was named a delegate to the first diocesan pastoral council in the early '70's and took great pains to work for its democratic organization.  He worked hard to get a parish council going in his own community.  The backlash quickly followed as new pastors appeared in the parish and the diocesan council became a puppet.  Jim withdrew but then discovered ARCC.  His enthusiasm was transferred to the work that we do.  Working with the Charter Committee, he produced Appendix Four of the "Charter of the Rights of Catholics" connecting the documents of Vatican II to the rights in the Charter.  This was no small task.  I don't think we thanked him properly. 
As he aged he kept his interest in ARCC.  Last month I paid him a visit in the continuing care retirement community where he and his wife, Catherine, were now living.  (She is the first Roman Catholic who was ever permitted to be hired in our school district.)  He couldn't wait to tell me of the place on the grounds that he had found for his "meditation spot."  I gave him a copy of our program from the Vatican II reunion day last November.  I hoped that it would help to dispel the disappointment he felt over the dissipation of his great dream. 
Jim didn't see the May 28 issue of America in which Russell Shaw called for a "Time to Dust off the National Pastoral Council."  He would have supported this call.  While Shaw's focus was on giving the bishops a structure "through which Catholics who are not bishops can participate in formulating and representing the church's views on public policy," ARCC and Jim too, would see it as the first step in the formation of a body which might become a national constitutional convention.  At least it would be a national body of lay persons working together to craft church policy.  A baby step.  Such a convention is called for in ARCC's draft of a Constitution for the Roman Catholic Church. 
While we mourn his loss, it is good to think that another worker has joined the crew in heaven that keeps ARCC going--a great cloud of witnesses before God.q
--Mary Louise Hartman
WANTED:
THE NAMES OF PRIESTS IN THE U.S. WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN HELPING OUT PEOPLE WHO CONTACT ARCC WITH 
PASTORAL PROBLEMS AND WHO NEED TO BE REFERRED TO A PRIEST IN THEIR VICINITY.
Please contact the ARCC office at the 
address on page 4.
2 (go to page 3)

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Questions From a Ewe

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(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

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