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ARCC Light
Jesuit Journal Calls for 
Vatican Reform
In a hard-hitting lead editorial, the Jesuit journal America (April 9, 2001) described the current procedures of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and concluded that its "inquisitorial methods" were in violation of human rights and should be dismantled without delay.  Citing the track record of the CDF which harassed such theologians as Leonardo Boff, Yves Congar, Bernard Häring, Henri de Lubac, Richard McCormick, John Courtney Murray, Karl Rahner, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Edward Schillebeeckx the editorial says that confession of past wrongs is not enough.  "Along with confession should come a firm purpose of amendment.q
Paul was an ARCC board member for several years in the 1980s when he lived and taught in Michigan.  More recently he has been an international liaison.  In 1996 and 1997 he led highly successful international panels at Call to Action in Detroit.  As you might guess, the Internet helps us experience the Australian Church as our immediate neighbors.  Their joy is our joy; their pain is our pain.
During the past three years Paul has been the object of a papal investigation because of his book Papal Power:  A Proposal for Change in Catholicism's Third Millennium. [still available from ARCC for $20].  Since the beginning of the investigation Paul has insisted to the CDF that he will only play above board.  There will be no secret communications with him.  All will be put on the Internet for the world to observe and judge.  The Vatican has rejected this method of operating.
Recently the CDF has begun to pressure Paul's religious superiors to act as a go-between and used them to get Paul to change his mind.  He knows the MSC will be caught in the cross-fire and the scenario that Jeannine Gramick's religious order endured will be repeated.  Paul does not want such scandalous behavior to occur.  [His forthcoming book From Inquisition to Freedom relates the stories of the four well-known persons mentioned above in addition to those of Tissa Balasuriya, Lavinia Byrne and himself.]
Paul states the main reason for his resignation:  "I can no longer conscientiously subscribe to the policies and theological emphases coming from the Vatican and other official church sources."  How Paul arrived at this decision, he states in a lengthy document entitled "Reasons for Resignation," which can be found on the ARCC website at: http://arcc-catholic-rights.org/collins2001.htm  I hope you can take the time to read this document and and also Paul's latest response to the Vatican judgment, and thus better understand Paul's position. 
Recently, the Jesuit Jacques Dupuis, 77, who also endured a Vatican investigation for 2 1/2 years, only to be ambiguously exonerated, remarked:  "When Leonardo Boff, [the Brazilian Franciscan liberation theologian and the object of a papal investigation], resigned in 1992 because of Vatican pressures, I did not understand why.  Now after my own experience with the Vatican, I do understand Boff's decision."
Our sympathy and support reach out to our brother Paul as he moves into a new phase of his Christian life.  And he is always welcome in our ARCC circle of friends.  Remember Paul in your prayers--for courage, consolation and joy.
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