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Contact your bishops – get democracy on the agenda!




As painful as the current crisis in the Catholic Church has become, we Catholics in the Vatican II Church must take note that this regrettable “sign of the times” is an opportunity.    It is an opportunity to have our voices heard by the bishops of the world.  This crisis has been on the front page of major newspapers and featured in broadcast media in the United States and around the world. Stories of similar scandals are emerging from other nations, like Ireland, Canada, England and Poland. 

It is time for the laity to step forward and give the leaders of the church guidance on how to proceed from this point forward for the good of the church.  For twentytwo years ARCC has been calling for structural change in the church– first through the adoption of a Charter of the Rights of Catholics in the Church and then through the drafting of a Constitution for the Catholic Church.   These are very large steps, which can only be achieved by taking smaller steps. We propose to the bishops a few initial changes, which are immediately possible and which will have a snowball effect toward the realization of a truly representative church where all members can exercise their baptismal rights. 

ARCC proposes that Catholics around the world immediately write to their local bishops and to selected members of the Curia advocating that the following three points be incorporated into the agenda of the next bishops conference meeting.   

  1. 1.                  DialogueIn order to insure the institutionalization of dialogue, we call on bishops to establish the practice of regular town meetings for their dioceses and parishes.   
  1. 2.                  Accountability  - In order to begin a process of the institutionalization of accountability we call on bishops to appoint qualified members of the laity to the admissions and governing boards of all seminaries 
  1. 3.                  Representation - In order to begin a process of institutionalization of representation we call for immediate discussion to implement a plan that would guarantee that local communities are consulted in the selection of their bishops and pastors and that no bishop or pastor be appointed over the opposition of a local community.  

We believe that these three points are exercises in subsidiarity, (nothing should be done by a higher social unit that can be done by a lower social unit), a principle called for by Quadragesimo Anno and the participants of the Second Vatican Council but never fully implemented in the church.   A groundswell of communication to the bishops will help them to see that we as mature Catholics have the right to participate in the governance of the church.  We are acting in accordance with Canon 212.2 which assures Catholics that they have the right to make their needs known to their bishops.  


In the United States a list of bishops can be found at:



In addition we suggest that you contact the president of the local bishops conference.  In the United States it is:  

Most Rev. Bishop Wilton Gregory,

President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

3211 4th Street, N.E.,

Washington, DC  20017-1194


Diocese of Belleville
222 South Third Street
Belleville, IL 62220


Send a copy to The Apostolic Nuncio. In the United States it is:


Most Rev. Gabriel Montalvo
3339 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC  20008-3687




“Now is the acceptable time…” 2Corinthians 6:2

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

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

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