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Changing Power Relationships
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Changing Power Relationships

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SELECTED PRESENTATIONS AND READINGS FROM CHANGING POWER RELATIONSHIPS,  a pilot online course  sponsored by the American Catholic Council in the fall of 2012.

OVERVIEW

After its Pentecost 2011 celebration in Detroit, the American Catholic Council decided to establish a limited number of activities to follow up on the interests awakened during their two-year preparation.  One of the lines of interest was nonviolent action.  When the ACC Institute on Nonviolent Action for Church Reform was established,  its first activity was an online  pilot program entitled  Changing Power Relationships.  Dr. Caridad Inda was asked to structure and present the course. The participants were invited to engage in study and dialogue around nonviolent action as a tool of resistance against injustice as it exists in the governance of the Catholic Church. 

The works of Dr. Gene Sharp (Senior Scholar at The Albert Einstein Institution in Boston,MA) formed the basis  of the curriculum with additional resources as indicated by the course designer.  The students were warned that they would find the readings reiterative and incremental.  As they became better acquainted with the understanding and distribution of power and the gift of self-liberation, then the sources of power, the methods and dynamics of nonviolent action, the mechanisms of change, the levels of strategy and the models for action would become more focused and more exciting.

The course required commitment to intellectual rigor and the discipline of preparing  for each session, but it was not intended to be an academic exercise or a presentation of Gospel nonviolence.  The focus was not theological but rather political, practical and strategic.

Three primary steps were involved in the course:

                  1.  Assigned readings from Dr. Sharp´s writings were the bedrock of the course.   The material was available on line for downloading at The Albert Einstein Institution website.  As an approach to these readings, summaries of each reading were provided as well as lists of  keywords and ideas. 

                  2. Prompting questions and/or comments intended to help the reader reflect on the material and start applying it to real life situations were also provided.  The biweekly webinars offered the participants an opportunity to share ideas, ask questions, and comment on the activities in which they had become involved.

                  3.  The third step was to be the “products” expected from each participant.  For a variety of reasons, most of these products did not attain a concrete enough form for formal sharing but are hinted at in the answers to chat questions,  on the online discussion boards and the individual insights derived from the readings, the interaction with others and the personal reflection and insights gained by each participant.

Dr. Inda did  the initial reading of the 900 pages suggested by Dr. Sharp.  That led her to create the section on key words,  key ideas and questions to help participants wade through the content offered by the Sharp readings and the complementary materials that related the content to our chosen adversarial partner,  the management level of the Vatican.

What follows are selected presentations, readings and commentaries on the seven general topics derived from the selections assigned for each webinar.  This is not a how-to piece but a sample of the course content.

                                                                                            *+*+*

The first session was a summary presentation of the key ideas summarizing nonviolent action.  The three points to remember are that

                  1. Every hierarchical structure depends on the obedience of the governed.

                  2. Obedience is voluntary

                  3.  If enough of the oppressed resist for a long enough period of time the structure changes or collapses. 

                  This material is available on a power-point presentation.

The second session presented THE STRATEGIC ESTIMATE AND ITS ROLE IN NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE.

                  Strategic estimate is a term borrowed from the military, but it is also a common sense activity.  When we are getting ready to act, to defend, to respond to aggression, we need to know how strong we are, and how strong the other side is.  We need to understand what “dependency balance” is about: for what do we, the resisters,  depend on the adversary ´s strengths and tactics and for what the adversary depends on the nonviolent struggle group.  This is vital information since we are about countering and diminishing the power of our adversary.

                  The purpose of the strategic estimate, then, is to have an idea, a data base, the more detailed the better, of the strengths and weaknesses of both the nonviolent action group and its chosen adversary, in our case the Vatican at the level of management.

                  It is crucial to recognize the strategic estimate as a living, dynamic document that contains data that changes all the time and needs constant updating.  We will begin with the smallest cell, ourselves, but need to remember that the information base that needs to be covered is much larger.  The process is a reasonably simple one, requiring a clear idea that targets a definite outcome,  an understanding of the profile of the struggle group and of the adversary.  When we have this information we can develop a realistic plan.

                  So, as we look at our personal strengths and weaknesses, what kinds of social and psychological changes do we need to make?  What are our cultural skills, our level of self-confidence?  Do we need to shatter conformity, helplessness, inertia, impotence, passivity? Do we already possess essential qualities such as self-discipline, awareness of power, increased self-respect?  Gandhi said the goal of his Constructive Program was to “replace the personality of submission with individual and collective self-respect and find expression in the capacity and willingness of the people to demonstrate disobedience and noncooperation with their occupying rulers.”

                  The strategic estimate we are engaged in preparing, needs to be given a larger background.  We need to understand the conflict situation, the issue at stake and the objectives of both parties, the opponents´ group and the nonviolent struggle group as well as the third parties involved.  The dynamics of nonviolent action are complicated and always in flux.  Our struggle will be dealing with an intercultural dimension that could have serious consequences.  We need to understand the culture of the adversary, how it thinks, what it values, what it will defend, what it will accommodate.  …            One important corollary is that as a result of this exercise we will become aware of our areas of weakness and the need to develop the missing or weak attributes in ourselves.  Conversion is an ongoing process.

                  We will now examine the strategic estimate of the reform movement completed by a cross-section of respondents. Three of the strengths reported in the original document were

1) an emphasis on conscience over blind obedience to authority;

2) reconsidering leadership as a servant action, collegial and inclusive;

3) the leadership gives signs of looking for effective instrument of pressure and protest.   The dominant weakness, however, appears to be lack of a comprehensive strategy.  Also mentioned as a weakness is that the laity have too long been subservient to hierarchs and there is an unwillingness to confront entrenched power bases in the church.  There is also mention that the nonviolent action techniques chosen have been weak and short of dealing with power issues in the church.

                  We asked Thomas P. Doyle, JCD, C.A.D.C. who is a person knowledgeable of how the Vatican works,  for elements for an assessment of the Vatican.   Some of his comments fill in the blanks in the strategic estimate of our opponent. A selective summary of the document he shared with us follows.  It is important to remember this material was made available in November of 2012.

                  “The institutional Church and its governmental structure is identified with the clerical subculture.  All leadership positions are held by ordained, celibate males.  All real power is held by bishops and above.  No priest holds any position of power in the Vatican bureaucracy and no lay man or woman has any position of power anywhere in the entire church….

                  The return to the trappings of the monarchical church amounts to return to the glorification of the clerical culture… This culture shores up and guarantees the absolute power and influence of the hierarchy and depends on the complete docility, obedience and financial support of the laity….

                  The challenge posed by contemporary society and the inability of the clerical governing structure to respond to the series of increasingly serious scandals has spawned a fundamentalist movement in the church…and a pastoral theology dominated by control and fear rather than love and freedom….

                  Dialogue with the Vatican bureaucracy or with any of the sitting bishops in hopes of arriving at some degree of lay participation in the governance of the Church is simply not possible.  Bishops have been cognitively and emotionally conditioned to believe without question they  have been willed by God to be the interpreters of doctrine and scripture, the governing authority for the church, …

                  The structure depends on control and this control depends on fear and the fear depends on an unquestioning belief in the spiritual superiority of the clergy.  When adult Catholic lay men and women evolve to the point of believing intellectually that they are not subordinate to the clergy and when this intellectual belief is joined with an agreement of the emotions, then they are ready to meet the clergy, priests and bishops alike, on a level playing field.  They also become the most feared entity in the clerical world…truly adult Catholics.

                  It is absolutely essential that anyone working for any degree of reform on any level be liberated from the “self-guilting” process that has been instilled in us.

                  It is futile to expect only to be listened to, because the present and future will be a repetition of the past:  polite listening and no more.  The listening is useless unless it is followed by action and there will be no action on the part of the hierarchy unless they want it to happen. The bishops will not sit down for meaningful dialogue leading to a change in policies or procedures because they cannot sit down and cede any degree of authority to anyone else especially if the “anyone” is a lay person or a group of lay persons.

                  The Vatican bureaucracy is influenced primarily by three things: power, money and image.”

                                                             *+*+*+*+*+

The third session discussed obedience and the creation of an alternative structure based on the principles of nonviolent action.  The creation of alternative structures comes late in the process but it will not be possible for us to detail all the steps in this presentation.

                  In his chapter on Obedience, Robert Helvey reminds us that Obedience is at the heart of political power.  As Gandhi said, “A ruler cannot rule if the people do not obey.”  And the readings or today emphasize that “it is this insight upon which strategies for nonviolent struggle are based.”

                  In dealing with obedience to issues of administrative actions of the Vatican, it is important to understand there are multiple points of view and courses of action at play.  First, the Vatican´s: “Of course they´ll obey, we are in charge here.”  Then there are those for whom the answer is simple enough:  The Pope is God´s representative on earth, God is speaking to us, whatever the Vatican says we obey at all times.  This is the general response throughout the Church institution.  It is assumed that these directives have a legitimate purpose, whether it is the new translation of the English version of the Mass text, or the oath required to become catechists in some dioceses.

                  However, what might be the perspective of those who have experienced what they perceived as injustice or perhaps actual abuse  from the hierarchy or Rome—experiences such as those referred to by S. Sandra Schneiders in Chapter 4 of her book PROPHETS IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY, published by Orbis Books in 2011?  Would blind obedience to hierarchical authority be the knee-jerk response?  How should one respond to directives that are suspiciously like legitimation of clerical control and even abuse, as S. Schneiders documents?

                  There have been instances in which the Vatican has framed acts of power as legitimate requests for change.  Within my experience is the attempt by Vatican officials to violate the consciences of 24 women religious who in 1984 signed the NEW YORK TIMES ad asking for an honest discussion of the issue of abortion.  I was one of the 24.  There are instances where no person or organization is humbled by the directive but the impact is nonetheless intended to be and , in fact, actually functions as a lesson in docility and knee-jerk obedience.  Closer to our day we have the translation of the Mass which has been imposed by the Vatican on all English-speaking peoples.  What is this but another example of an act of power framed as a liturgical change designed to force people to recognize the power of Rome?  Did you feel a great need for revision of the English liturgical text before Rome sprang it on us?  Now that it has been established, do you feel your act of worship is much better?  More soul satisfying? …

                  Dr. Kathy Galleher, a licensed clinical psychologist, thinks “the church hierarchy seems to be stuck and they are blaming and lashing out.  In the doctrinal assessment {of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, LCWR}  they have accused the women of the church of betraying the core values of the church, of causing scandal and leading the faithful astray, and of not being sufficiently trustworthy of reform themselves.  They have ordered the women to be closely supervised.  These accusations seem more rightly to belong to the sex abuse scandal rather than to the actions of LCWR”  (NCR 28/07/12)  If the doctrinal assessment is judged to be an act of power, does it call for submission or for resistance?

                  In the paper by Mary Gail Frawley O´Dea, PERVERSION OF POWER WHEN MOURNING NEVER COMES,  she points out that ”the crisis of Catholicism began on the shores of Galilee shortly after Jesus´death and has always been about power.  Who wields it? Over whom? How do they keep it for themselves?  What do they do when someone tries to get some power of their own?”  She points out “that the sexual abuse crisis made public the extent of longstanding perverted power  plays imposed by a monarchy on its people who took it because the lords handed out bread—literally and symbolically—when the serfs were hungry and administered punishment when they were bad,  threatening eternal damnation if cooperation waned.  The monarchy, of course, was the sole source of defining badness and lack of cooperation, which in secular history usually meant when the serfs struggled to assert some legitimate power of their own.”     Sharp suggests three kinds of “arms” to carry on the struggle: 1) protest and persuasion, 2) social, economic and political noncooperation and 3) intervention. He also points out that the substance of nonviolence is unbelievably simple: to do things or acts we generally don´t do; to refuse to do things we generally do, and/or a combination of both.

  An application of these ideas has yielded options suitable to our times, models for responding to imperial power in our day.  Current attacks on religious life as we have known it have led to the creation of alterative structures. S. Sandra Schneiders tell us her research and experience show that religious Sisters have given birth to a new form of religious life.  The former “serfs,  religious personnel who worked for a pittance in the bishops´ schools and hospitals, are discerning what ministerial religious life today means, what is apostolic religious life and how they can live it.  “From ecclesiastically delegated and controlled apostolates of caring for Catholics in large Catholic institutions attached to monastic-style convents {they have moved} to more individualized ministries in situations of need regardless of the denominational affiliation or lack thereof, ability to pay, or respectability of the recipients…  (p. 60)  New ways of being and living community have had to be developed in place of “living in” community geographically or physically which anyone who has lived this way knows is no guarantee of genuine affective and effective sharing of life. (p. 61) … Ministry has moved from its peripheral position as a “secondary end” of religious life… to the very center of self-understanding and commitment of religious women.”  (Sandra M. Schnediers, IHM, PROPHETS IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY, Orbis Books,, Maryknoll, NY, 2011.

                  These changes have happened more or less nonviolently.  And the subjects of change have been religious obedient to the Gospel and to the reforms contained in Vatican II.  I am suggesting that these changes have had and will have structural implications regarding the management of the universal Church and have in some sense already re-formed it.  What can we learn from this example?

                  In her analysis of the senior management of the Church, Dr. Paula Welldone summarizes what she calls the impracticality of obedience and of change from within.  “In my view, the Church (read the hierarchy) has for centuries manipulated Catholic thought to such a degree that many, if not most, Catholics equate obedience to Church (Vatican) with obedience to God… In sum, loyalty, obedience, communication and relationship with God have been profoundly supplanted by loyalty, obedience and relationship with the Church, and by extension its priests, bishops and popes…  It is not surprising, therefore, that in meetings of groups like VOTF or Call to Action, someone will invariably mention that we must tread carefully so that we do not offend or frighten any bishop lest they refuse to dialogue with us.  Consistent with this posture is the felt need to explore the rights that are permitted under Canon Law.  This caution by the laity and concerned clergy is a most potent tool for Vatican strategists.  Many Catholics—ordained and lay—have a deeply instilled desire to be good Catholics as defined by the management.”

 “I posit that many American Catholics are seriously deluded about the nature of the resistance to change in the Church.  We act as if polite, legally-crafted petitions (signatures/postcards) or laws themselves will produce changed hearts and minds… To believe that sooner or later right-minded Vatican leaders will agree to make needed changes is folly.  But it is also understandable.”

    Dr. Sharp´s readings offer another viewpoint.  He reminds us of Gandhi´s insight: The ruler cannot govern if the subjects do not obey.  The subjects need to learn how to reduce the ruler´s power, not how to keep on his good side.

                                                     +*+*+*

Session Four presented  Dr. Sharp´s - SOURCES OF POLITICAL POWER AND STRATEGIC THINKING

It is very important for the adversarial groups to control their own sources of political power.

Dr. Sharp posits six sources of political power:

                  1. Authority – the belief among the people that the regime is legitimate, and they have a moral duty to obey it

                  2. Human resources – the number and importance of the persons and groups which are obeying, cooperating, or providing assistance to the rulers

                  3. Skills and knowledge --  needed by the regime to perform specific actions and supplied by the cooperating persons and groups

                  4. Intangible factors – psychological, cultural and ideological factors that may induce people to obey and assist the rulers

                  5. Material resources – the degree to which the rulers control or have access to property, natural resources, financial resources, the economic system, and means of communication and transportation

                  6. Sanctions – punishments, threatened or applied, against the disobedient and noncooperative to ensure the submission and cooperation that are needed for the regime to exist and carry out its policies

                  Dr. Sharp reminds us that all of these sources depend on acceptance of the regime, on the submission and obedience of the population and on the cooperation of innumerable people and the many institutions of the society.  We can hear echoes of Gandhi´s insight that a ruler cannot rule if the people do not obey.  The various structures that permit and sustain the day to day operations of government are referred to as “pillars of support”  The sources of power find expression in organizations and institutions within or outside government,as Helvey explains.

(George Helvey,OSNVC pp 87- 99.  Reading 4C

                  Strategic thinking is one of the skills that will greatly contribute to make this technique more effective in the future.  Deliberate efforts are required to develop strength, skill and capacity to act wisely.  Gandhi offers many examples of strategic thinking.  When he decided to start a campaign to make Indians independent of Manchester cloth by making their own home spun, kadi, he accomplished a number of things.  England was deprived of a pillar of support by the loss of an important buyer.  At the same time, he created a change in the mentality of the Indians. He showed them that they did not have to depend on foreign trade for their dress; they were to that extent independent.  By asking all Indians to work a certain number of hours spinning, he gave everyone an opportunity to share in the struggle for eventual liberation and by himself wearing only kadi he became the living symbol of local self sufficiency.   He was thinking strategically.

                  The readings for today point out that there are many details to consider as we start thinking of strategic planning.  One category would be factors that determine the outcome. Among them we find the following:

                  --The degree of conflict of interest between the two contending groups: maintaining the superiority of the clerical culture vs equality of all members of the Church.  The Spirit speaks to all members of the one body.

                  -- Social distance: some members of the hierarchy regard themselves as princes and the rest as inferiors who should just pray, pay and obey

                  --The degree to which the resisting population includes significant groups and institutions – an all to nothing ratio

                  --The degree to which opponents are dependent for their sources of power on those who are not cooperating

                  --The degree of noncompliance that the opponents can tolerate.

                  --The degree to which the opponents and their supporters are convinced of their views and policies and of the rightness and justification of repression or other sanctions against the nonviolent resisters.

                  --The means of control and repression that the opponents might use.

                  --The degree to which the agents of repression obey the leadership of the opponent group…

                                                         *+*+*+*

Session five readings reiterate the theme of  STRATEGY from a slightly different perspective.                       There are four terms related to this area of action: the grand strategy which is the broadest conception which serves to coordinate and direct all the resources of the struggle group towards the attainment of the objectives of the conflict. Then strategy with a small  S, which is the broad plan of action for the overall struggle  including the development of an advantageous situation, the decision of when to fight and the broad plan for utilizing various specific actions in the general conflict.   The tactics refer to plans for more limited conflicts within the selected strategic plan.   Tactics are the actionable steps in a strategy. They  are not always used as independent actions in Sharp´s process, but are often used sequentially to produce results.  Finally, there are the innumerable methods  one could choose or invent, 198 of which Dr. Sharp has catalogued and described in Part Two, THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT ACTION.

                  To plan a strategy means to calculate a course of action that is intended to make it more likely to get from the present to a desired future situation.  A plan to achieve that objective will usually consist of a phased series of campaign and other organized activities designed to strengthen the aggrieved population and society and to weaken the opponent. We are now dealing with using the process, the tool according to our culture and values.  Because we are Catholic we have a particular interest in the hierarchical structure of the church and the way the institution is managed.  We are offended by the conduct of some of the individuals involved and want to change the internal system of the church as a political organization and we are contemplating using the technique of nonviolent action to do so.  We  want to come up with strategies and tactics that are appropriate and viable in our cultural setting.  We are asking whether we see the need for training/formation, a US approach leading to overcoming the corruptive consequences of submission to Vatican rule.

                  Robert Helvey succinctly reminds us that “To overcome the corruptive consequences of submission to British rule, Gandhi developed a constructive program that if successfully pursued would replace the personality of submission with individual and collective self-respect and find expression in the capacity and willingness of the Indian people to demonstrate disobedience and noncooperation with their occupying rulers.”  I have paraphrase the paragraph to say, To overcome the corruptive consequences of submission to Vatican rule, ACC has developed a program that if successfully pursued would replace the personality of submission with individual and collective self-respect and find expression in the capacity and willingness of the lay people to demonstrate disobedience and noncooperation with their occupying rulers.

                  The concept of Nonviolent Action is culturally neutral.  It outlines the process and is an effective tool for solving problems in almost any culture or even a combination of cultures.  We note that Gandhi used it to organize Muslims, Bhuddists, Siiks, Christians, and perhaps others to work together towards one goal.  Martin Luther King Jr. recruited Protestants from many denominations, Black Muslims, Catholics and Jews in his crusades.

                  The system is culturally neutral.  However, those who effect the action—the actors—are culturally bound, and of course, act within the constraints of their culture.  This is when cultures, religion, personalities, character, behavior patterns, come in.  Taken together they determine which goals will be sought and which actions/behaviors will be employed to effect their ends.  Virtue and righteous goals are not the preserve of any religion.

                  When we have studied the system of nonviolent action and become convinced that we can use the methods to effect specific goals, we must move from the abstract discussion of theory to the particulars of reality.  Exactly, what is the goal?  Can it be measured?  How will we know if we have succeeded or failed? 

                  Given a concrete, specific goal, we can now begin to recruit and train the actors.  We must carefully examine the tactics that will be used.  What capabilities, skills, personality traits, will the successful actor exhibit?  Must these be inbred or can they be taught?  How will these skills and behaviors contribute to realizing our goal?  What skills, attitudes, behaviors must be avoided?  Why?  Do all the actors understand what is needed and why?  What must be eschewed and why? This is the nexus of culture, religion and nonviolent action. But we must understand that cultural uniformity in these areas is not essential.  Because of the commonality of human aspirations, almost anyone can exhibit or be trained to exhibit the skills and behaviors necessary for success.

                  If we, ACC,  had not determined at the beginning of this effort that our protests would be limited to managerial and administrative issues and would forego protests of doctrinal issues, we would be more constrained by the religion of the activists.  It is true that we will probably find more like-minded people on specific issues within the same culture/religious groups, but not always.  When the goal is a generic human goal—peace, justice, equality, cultural conformity will be less and less essential to a successful team of activists.

                                                                          *+*+*+*

The readings for the Sixth Session reiterate the understanding and use of power  reminding the reader that  POLITICAL POWER IS ALWAYS POTENTIALLY FRAGILE

                  There are two main views of political power.  The monolithic view assumes that the “power” of a ruler is like a granite mountain, solid, of one piece, long-lasting, virtually permanent.  The alternative view is almost the opposite: the ruler or ruling group has no more power than any other human being.  That power must therefore have sources in the society and these can be located.  These sources include the acceptance of the ruler´s right to rule, economic resources, manpower, military capacity, knowledge skills, administration, police, prisons, courts, etc.  Each of these sources is in turn closely related to and directly dependent upon the degree of cooperation, submission, obedience and assistance that the ruler is able to obtain from his subjects. If the acceptance, submission and assistance are withdrawn partially or completely, the sources of power are consequently restricted, and therefore the ruler´s effective power is weakened.  That is why we are interested in underlining the importance of the sources of power becoming pillars of support.  One extreme condition exists when every institution is either a part of the centralized State or, in our case, the hierarchical church structure, or is effectively subordinated to it and controlled by it.  Nonviolent action is a technique of struggle which is based on the above view of the nature of power. When the governed understand that they can restrict or withdraw their cooperation and obedience and effectively lessen the ruler´s power, it is clear to them that if enough of them resist for a long enough period of time the hierarchical structure will change or collapse. 

                  There are a variety of places where power is located, converges or is expressed like families, social classes, religious groups, cultural and nationality groupings, economic groups, voluntary organizations, political parties…When power is effectively diffused throughout the society  (the parish, the diocese, the universal church), the ruler´s power is most likely to be subjected to controls and limits.  In the church institution this has not been the case… Atomized individuals, unable to act together, cannot unite to make significant protest, to restrict by their noncooperation the ruler´s needed sources of power, and, in some cases, to intervene to disrupt the status quo.  The atomization of society…results from measures of the ruler to weaken or destroy the significant loci of power which are structurally situated between the individual and the ruler.  In the church structure we have witnessed the disappearance of regional conferences of bishops and the subordination of the national conferences of bishops to a “party line.”

                                           +*+*+*+*

Session Seven is the last of the webinars.  The readings are understandably reiterative   - SHARPENING THE FOCUS

                                    The plan for a nonviolent protest usually encompasses efforts to effect a significant goal.  Let us assume that we want to organize and demand the incorporation of married Catholic priests (since we already have married Anglican priests,) rather than closing parishes and forgoing the sacraments.

                  This would probably be achieved through a series of steps.  The successful completion of each would provide the base for proceeding further.  To do this, one would devise a strategy by organizing a series of tactics designed to achieve each sub-goal and such that all the tactics work togther to reinforce each other and move the effort to a successful completion of the strategy.

                  It needs to be a cohesive whole.  One must be able to articulate exactly

  1. ois to be achieved, what is the goal of the action
  2. o                  Is it attainable, specific, trackable, measurable

What would be necessary to achieve the goal in terms of

  1. o                  Actions
  2. o                  Actors
  3. o                  Attitudes
  4. o                  Behaviors…

To do this, one must understand what ELEMENTS OF THE CULTURE AND CONFORMITY PROPENSITY STRENGTHEN THE RESOLVE OF THOSE WHO OPPOSE CHANGE.

One must give special attention to the creation of a body of actors

  1. oTheir characteristics
  2. oThe courage, the resolve they bring
  3. oTheir willingness to persevere
  4. oTheir willingness to accept abuse
  5. oTo deal with countermeasures
  6. oThe ability to focus
  7. oTo work as a team
  8. oTo control their temper, not to react violently
  9. oTo subject themselves to the needs of the group
  10. oTo measure their reaction

The nonviolent struggle group

  1. oNeeds to identify and focus on the elements of the status quo that strengthen the resolve of the opposition
  2. oNeeds to focus on those changes that would change their adversaries´ assessment of reality to a more accurate appreciation of needs and possibilities
  3. oChoose tactics that focus on the goal, not just on their value to harass the opposition but explain
  4. o                   Why that particular goal is sought

                  The needs of the opposition

                  Its appropriateness

                  The healthy effect it will have on the community

  1. oNeeds to consider how strongly the concept is opposed
  2. oWhat are the legal restraints
  3. oWhat are the canonical restraints
  4. oWhat are the social, cultural and economic impediments
  5. oWhat are the reasons why this should be changed
  6. oWho would be disadvantaged and to what extent
  7. oHow would one weight the advantages of succeeding vs the disadvantages…

                                                                                          *+*+*+*+*

   The culminating activity of the course was a face-to-face conference which all participants were urged to attend in November in Chicago.  The goal was to arrive at a grand strategy but it was not totally met.  The ACC Newsletter of February 23, 2013 announced that  “since January 2013 a subgroup of Institute participants have volunteered to be on the “education outreach” team to bring the work of the Institute to a larger audience.”

       

 

   
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