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ARCC Origins

The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC) was founded in 1980 by lay and clerical Catholics in the wake of Vatican condemnations of such theologians as Edward Schillebeeckx, Jacques Pohier, and Hans Küng. The Association seeks to put into practice the statement of the 1971 Synod of Bishops:

While the Church is bound to give witness to justice, she recognizes that anyone who ventures to speak to people about justice must first be just in their eyes. Hence we must undertake an examination of the modes of acting and of the possessions and life-style found within the Church itself. Within the Church, rights must be preserved.

The Church has always affirmed and protected the rights of the faithful. In the new code, indeed, she has promulgated them as a "Carta Fondamentale" (confer canons 208-223). She thus offers opportune judicial guarantees for protecting and safe-guarding adequately the desired reciprocity between the rights and duties inscribed in the dignity of the person of the "faithful Christian."

Such a "bill of rights" is part of the bedrock upon which is based the rest of our canonical system. The principal and essential object of canon law is to define and safeguard the rights and obligations of each person toward others and toward society. The use of power in the Church, then, must not be arbitrary, because that is prohibited by the natural law, by divine positive law, and by ecclesiastical law. The rights of each one of Christ's faithful must be acknowledged and protected.

Pope John Paul II was the strongest proponent of fundamental and inalienable Human Rights, working as he did to introduce and strengthen them in the civil sphere and especially in international politics. It is now time to turn that same attention and effort toward bringing Human Rights and Responsibilities to fruition within the Catholic Church.

We trust that, as you search through the works of ARCC, you will find yourself becoming aware of your rights and responsibilities as a Catholic, not just in the world, but within the Catholic Church. We trust, too, that you will find yourself empowered, provided the tools needed to lift all Catholics out of childish servitude to full adult participation, before God, in the life of the Church.

 

Contact Information

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Telephone
(406) 544-5527 or
(314) 837-0678
 
Postal address

ARCC
P.O. Box 6512
Helena, MT  59604

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Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church
   
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