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The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC) was founded in 1980 by lay and ordained Catholics in the wake of Vatican condemnation of such theologians as Edward Schillebeeckx and Hans Kung. From its birth, ARCC has affirmed there are fundamental rights and corresponding responsibilities which are basic to the humanity of all baptized Catholics.

On March 17-20, 1980, 22 women and 10 men met in Milwaukee and ARCC was born. The first board met in October, 1980. The foundation stones of ARCC's reform work began with ARCC/Light (1981), the Charter of Rights (1983-85, with 32 rights identified) and a series of pamphlets on topics like the "reception" of doctrines, divorce and remarriage, dissent. Some of the highlights over the last 33 years are listed below:

1984 Advocacy network for Catholics whose rights had been violated.
1987 Catholic Bill of Rights published with commentaries on the original 32 rights of the Charter.

CTA launched by laity (inspired by bishops' 1976 Call to Action). European Network of reform groups established.


ARCC's lst Forum on "Rights in the Church" held in Washington, D.C. (others held in Chicago in 1992 and New York, 1995).


ARCC network of canon lawyers established.  


COR (Catholic Organizations for Renewal) established by 25 reform groups.


ARCC, with other COR groups, commissions Gallup Poll on US Catholic reform attitudes; revealed overwhelming support for reform.


ARCC Vatican 2 e-mail forum created.


ARCC booklet "Human Rights of Catholics- the Dream and the Reality" published.


Constitution for the Church, developed by Len Swidler, published, inspired by Paul VI's 1965 call for a constitution.


ARCC web site created.

 1996  International Movement We Are Church established.

Tissa Balasuriya excommunicated. ARCC sponsors his lecture at CTA.


New York Forum to commemorate 50th anniversary of UN's Declaration of Human Rights.


Booklet "Remarriage in Church after Divorce" published, as well as booklet on "Canonical Doctrine of Reception."' 


ARCC internet domain established.

ARCC joins international protest over Vatican censure of Jeannine Gramick and Robert Nugent (both former ARCC board members) for their ministry to gays and lesbians.


ARCC sponsors "Present at the Start. 2nd Vatican Council in their Own Words"- a reunion of Council eyewitnesses, as pre-conference event at the CTA.


ARCC hires a National Coordinator.



ARCC calls for a papal commission to investigate widespread sex abuse of nuns by Catholic priests.


ARCC protests Vatican attempts to silence Sr. Joan Chittister.


ARCC speaks out about destructive secrecy surrounding pedophilia cases.



ARCC launches International Movement for a Catholic Constitution at VOTF meeting.


ARCC calls for transparency, lay involvement and professional financial audit of all US dioceses after US Bishops approve their Charter for Protection of Children and Youth.


ARCC launches "Contact your Bishops Campaign," calling for dialogue, accountability and representation.


ARCC honors Hans Kung at  Hans Kung Award Dinner at Temple University.



ARCC launches petition concerning broad participation in selection of bishops.


National office closed, functions divided among the elected officers.  

2006 Jean Jadot, Apostolic Delegate to US, 1973-80,  recipient of Kung Award
2007 Joan Chittister, OSB, recipient of Kung Award

Geoffrey Robinson, recipient of Kung Award.


ARCC Spots began publication.


 Sheila and Dan Daley, recipients of Kung Award.


Last issue of ARCC/Light and of ARCC Spots


Thomas Gumbleton, recipient of Kung Award. 


ARCC active in American Catholic Council (ACC).


ARCCNews began in Oct. with about 200 original recipients.


Grant from American Catholic Council (ACC) to fund preparation for workshops on non violence.


John Hushon and Janet Hauter, co-chairs of the ACC, recipients of the Kung Award.


ARCC board votes to reduce full board meetings to once a year.


ARCC News, published twice a month, passes the 700 mark in subscribers.


ARCC proposes 2 bishop projects- 1) the recall of designated bishops and 2) lay participation in the election of bishops