ARCC Banner
Home Join ARCC Donate Facebook Table of Contents
DHTML JavaScript Menu By Milonic.com

Who we are

What we do

Contact us



7 November 2011

Some things we have been reading     

Retired bishop asked to leave Detroit parish for testimony
Zoe Ryan  Nov. 04, 2011

Because he violated "communio episcoporum" (the communion of bishops) and other canons by speaking in support of a statute of limitations for a sexual abuse bill, retired Detroit auxiliary bishop Thomas Gumbleton said he was forced to discontinue his role as pastor at a Detroit parish.

Besides receiving the official notification that he had to resign as pastor, Gumbleton said none of his fellow bishops contacted him personally when he spoke in support of the bill and revealed at the bill's hearing that he was a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest.

Gumbleton spoke Nov. 5 at a conference session given by the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests at the Call to Action national conference in Milwaukee.
Read more  (contains video of Bishop Gumbleton's talk at Call to Action)

More of the background that led up to Gumbleton's dismissal.

Bishops Reaffirm Their Critique Of Book
"Quest For The Living God" By Sister Elizabeth Johnson

USCCB  October 28, 2011

WASHINGTON-The Committee on Doctrine of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has released a statement reaffirming its critique of Quest for the Living God, a book by Fordham University Professor Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, CSJ.
The Doctrine Committee first criticized the book in a 21-page statement published on March 24. Sister Johnson responded June 1 with a 38-page defense titled "To Speak Rightly of the Living God: Observations by Dr. Elizabeth A. Johnson, CSJ, on the Statement of the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops about Her Book Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God."
In these "Observations," Sister Johnson asserted that the Committee on Doctrine had "thoroughly misunderstood and consistently misrepresented" the book.
Read more

Donald Wuerl and Elizabeth Johnson In Public Dispute Over Johnson's Book
"Quest for the Living God"

David Gibson   11/01/11 

(RNS) An unusual public dispute is brewing between Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl and a feminist theologian who essentially accused Wuerl of lying about the hierarchy's review of her work.

The feud between Sister Elizabeth Johnson and the doctrine committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops -- which Wuerl heads -- escalated over the weekend following the committee's renewed criticism of Johnson's landmark book,"Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God."

Wuerl on Saturday charged that Johnson failed to respond to three offers to meet with him to discuss the dispute. Johnson responded by saying she was "aghast" at how Wuerl depicted the deteriorating relationship, and said Wuerl should retract the statement "for the sake of your own reputation for truth-telling, and for the good of the church."
Read more

Failings of the Church 
Bishop Howard J. Hubbard     10/6/2011

These insights point out the diversity of people's needs and expectations related to Church membership. Some people find the Church too traditional; others too progressive. Some want strong leadership; others feel they are being overly controlled and denied a voice.

Our Church is indeed a jumble of inconsistencies, shortcomings, flaws and complexities. Yet we share a commitment as followers of the Gospel and disciples of Jesus, and that is our strength. 
Read more 

The Martyrdom of a Lovely Language
Gabe Huck   Nov.3, 2011

This whole project went off the track and everyone is pretending the train is still moving. We're asked to be Alice in Wonderland, and many go along.

We are being told something by this new missal and we had better understand: "Your language doesn't matter. Nobody's living language matters. Latin matters. The words you English speakers will speak and hear in your English language do not matter." This is not just a view of language though, it is a misunderstanding of ritual. And what matters, according to those who have given us this book, is not our being at home in doing the rituals that should be sustaining our lives. We cannot have those rituals without the basic tools of a language that will be both beautiful and filled with meaning. The only task of the English language in this ill-conceived adventure could be called suicidal: to betray its very own genius in slavish service to the master language, Latin. Another way of making the metaphor for what is happening here would use gender images all too familiar to those in charge of this work. The "male" language must be in charge and the receiver ("female") language just does the grateful reception and let's keep it that way.
Read more  


Bill Morris and the 'haemorrhaging' Church 
Bishop Pat Power  October 27, 2011

This letter was written in August as a response to the pain of the Toowoomba Catholics, a group of whom had written to the Australian Bishops in the aftermath of Bishop Bill Morris' sacking. Many of the questions that letter raised are on the hearts of lots of faithful and loyal Catholics across Australia in these days.
I was not at the recent Ad Limina visit in Rome, but I feel for many of the Australian Bishops who must have found themselves in an extremely difficult position following the meetings at the Vatican. I know that many of them have similar deep concerns as I do over the treatment of one our best brother bishops. 
Read more

Professor calls for change in Catholicism 
 David Yonke   Nov. 2, 2011 

In his first public lecture in Toledo, Peter Feldmeier, the new professor of Catholic studies at the University of Toledo, said the Catholic Church has lost much of its moral authority -- largely because of the clerical sexual-abuse scandal -- and won't get it back unless significant changes are made.

The opportunity "may be now or never," he said in an hour-long talk at Corpus Christi University Parish on Tuesday evening.

Mr. Feldmeier said some of the loss of authority is warranted and some is without foundation, but the challenges the Catholic Church is facing and the damage done to its reputation are real and substantial.
Read more 


Poll: Irish Catholics have unfavorable view of church
Michael Kelly  November 1, 2011

DUBLIN, IRELAND -- In yet another sign that the beleaguered Catholic Church in Ireland has a long and arduous road to a brighter future, almost half of Irish people polled say they now have an unfavorable view of the church.

Once famously described by Pope Paul VI as the "most Catholic country in the world," Ireland's church has taken a battering over the past two decades and lost credibility because of the cover-up of clerical sexual abuse.
Read more

Ireland Closes its Embassy to the Holy See: Details and Analysis
Dr. Robert Moynihan    Nov 04, 2011

Yesterday evening came a surprise announcement: Ireland will  close its Embassy to the Holy See in a move the Irish government says is needed to cut government costs.
This may not be a unique case. No one knows for sure, but there are already persistent whispers in diplomatic circles here that as many as 40 countries are considering closing their embassies to the Holy See.
Read more

The Tablet Blog: Is the SSPX the tail wagging the dog?
Robert Mickens 

More and more it appears that the Vatican - or at least Pope Benedict XVI - has been bending over backwards in order to not offend the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) or "Lefebvrists". That certainly seemed to be the case during the papal visit to Germany. And it appears also to be true regarding the programme for next Thursday's interfaith gathering for peace in Assisi. In a marked difference from the other three papal-led Assisi events, the upcoming one explicitly excludes public prayers and praying in groups.
Read more 

Lefebvrians: Internal dissent against agreement with Rome 
Andrea Tornielli    November 2, 2011 

Still no news from the Society of Saint Pius X, which was called to give a response to and sign the "doctrinal preamble" sent by the Ecclesia Dei commission last 14 September, asking the Lefebvrians to profess the faith, as is required by anyone who assumes an ecclesiastical role.
But something is beginning to trickle through in relation to the meeting of the Society's Superiors, which was held on 7 and 8 October in Albano Laziale. The Superior of the Lefebvrians in the United Kingdom, Father Paul Morgan, discussed this in a letter published in November's bulletin, sent out to the faithful yesterday.
Read more 


Accountability, transparency and the bishops
Maureen Paul Turlish   Oct. 31, 2011

It has been almost 10 years since the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States mandated accountability and transparency in regard to the sexual abuse of children, but how that accountability and transparency was defined was ultimately left up to individual bishops, as was their application.

Truly independent oversight by a group of bishops who did not think it necessary to hold themselves to the same sanctions they placed on priests continues to be essentially nonexistent. Diocesan review boards set up to investigate those accused of inappropriate or questionable behavior serve at a bishop's pleasure, and he alone decides whether or not to follow their recommendations.
 Read more

Saints That Weren't
James Martin, SJ  Nov.1 2006

This Op-Ed still applies.

The church's long history of "faithful dissent" offers both hope and perspective to Catholics in our time. It echoes the call of the Second Vatican Council, which, in 1964, declared that expressing opinions "on matters concerning the good of the church" is sometimes an obligation for the faithful.

But, as some saints knew firsthand, a sincere intention is no guarantee that everybody in the church will listen - even today. Members of Voice of the Faithful, the lay organization founded in response to the sexual abuse scandals, are sometimes barred from meeting in Catholic parishes. Local chapters often gather in nearby Protestant church halls. Who knows which future saints are lurking there?

All Saints' Day is a good time to remember that while most saints led lives of quiet service, some led the life of the noisy prophet, speaking the truth to power - even when that power was within the church.
Read more

Ordain women as deacons now! Why not?
Bryan Cones    October 28, 2011

U.S. Catholic spent the last two days interviewing three scholars on the topic of women deacons at the book launch of Women Deacons: Past, Present, and Future (Paulist, 2011) at Loyola University's Gannon Center for Women in Leadership. The interviews with Gary Macy (on the history of women office holders in the medieval church), William Ditewig (on the restoration of the permanent diaconate at Vatican II), and Phyllis Zagano ("the" expert on the topic of restoring women to the diaconate) will appear in later issues of U.S. Catholic (Zagano in our Jan 2012 Women's Issue). But our mini-seminar leaves me convinced that there is not a single good reason for not ordaining women as deacons--and a lot of reasons to do it.
Read more


Celebrate Reformation Sunday?
 Robert Schutzius, Ph.D.  

What do Good Friday, Reformation Sunday, and Vatican II have in common?

These three significant events all reflect the culmination of Divine frustration with the way we humans have failed to live up to the original plan to grow into that image an likeness of God that is our destiny.  They are the evidence of Divine intervention to set us off into in a new and different direction, different from the current disastrous path of our own making.  Something had to be done to bring about change in the way we live, think and judge.  How many times must God lovingly intervene to remind us that our humanity is to evolve and change towards that image and likeness that is the very reason why we are here to begin with? 

We search the heavens for others like us without much success.  It is here on this earth where the action is.  It is here where God planted us.  Searching for the "other" pie in the sky can be a distraction from recognizing that our righteous design to create heaven on earth is but the a product of our own flawed humanity that should be growing, and changing rather than fixed in our own crumbling version of Nirvana.   

These are three events of mourning, reminders that we humans are to constantly assume that what we propose as progress, God's will, rightful wrath, loyalty, and patriotism, are suspect of being but a prideful diversion from what reality is and but a false god that we have set up for ourselves thinking that we have grasped the truth in the flash of our life-time.   Mourn these three events as a reminder that we have a long way to go, and maybe, just maybe, we are not headed in the right direction.  


Upcoming Event
New Ways Ministry's Seventh National Symposium  
to be held March 15-17, 2012

From Water to Wine: Lesbian/Gay Catholics and Relationships,
New Ways Ministry's Seventh National Symposium, will be held March 15-17, 2012, in Baltimore, Maryland, Major speakers: Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Luke Timothy Johnson, Patricia Beattie Jung, Richard Rodriguez, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Bishop Geoffrey Robinson will facilitate a pre-symposium retreat day.  Workshop topics: marriage equality, transgender issues, youth and young adults, lesbian nuns and gay priests/religious, Latino/a issues, African-American issues, and coalition building. For more information: info@NewWaysMinistry.org, (301) 277-5674 or www. NewWaysMinistries.org.

Association for the Rights of Catholics in the  Church 
(870) 235-5200 

 Contact ARCC  


Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

Locations of visitors to this page

Contact Information

, D.P.A., President
(406) 544-5527
Postal address
P.O. Box 6512
Helena, MT 59604-6512


Website design and maintenance:
Ingrid Shafer &
Copyright © 2003-2010,
Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church
DHTML JavaScript Menu By Milonic.com