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Contemporary Catholic Belief and Action


The mission of ARCC is to bring about substantive structural change within the Catholic Church by seeking to institutionalize a collegial understanding of church where decision making is shared and accountability is realized among Catholics of every kind and conditio n.
Once people start to believe change is possible, 
the drive to achieve it accelerates. 
                                          -   Patrick Sullivan, ARCC President
Where are Catholics on the Disease of Racism?

Anneliese Sinnott
Dr. Anneliese Sinnott, O.P. is a member of the Adrian Dominican Congregation. 
She served as Professor of Systematic Theology, and as Vice President and Dean at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. She is an active member of the ARCC Board of Directors.
The United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has continued to raise Catholic consciousness of the evil of racism amid a proliferation of news stories identifying this evil. 
In 2018, before the Covid 19 epidemic, the document, Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, was published. In 2020 the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center (Seattle, Washington), with the support of a number of women and men’s religious congregations, released a discussion guide for parishes and communities of Catholic to use to address the reality of racism within the US Catholic Church. This discussion guide offers a variety of helpful insights, questions, prayers. timelines and short biographies of some of the “better known” people of color from the Americas. This discussion guide is well worth its use by Catholics across the expanse of the United States and beyond.
The document defines racism as “sinful” and identifies its many forms, including, quite importantly, its presence “…in the form of the sin of omission, when individuals, communities and even churches remain silent and fail to act against racial injustice..(#4). 
Perhaps this paragraph could become an “examination of conscience” of Catholic parishes across our nation. Some of the questions pastors might pose to their congregations are:
  • How diverse is our parish? 
  • Does a lack of diversity owe its reality to “white flight”?
  • Does our parish purposefully invite diversity and celebrate it?
  • Does this document address the ways in which individual diocese were somewhat responsible for maintaining racial separation by the way it established parishes?
  • Where in our American experience has the Church led the way in opposing racism?
  • How many parishes have taken seriously the challenge to preach the “…incompatibility between racist exclusivism and the universal call of all to the same salivation in Jesus Christ?” (#51)
  • How many of our seminaries require a course on racism?
In paragraph 54 we find this statement: “We (the bishops) ask them (all Catholics – including priests, deacons religious, parish staffs etc. ) to …fight the evil of racism by educating themselves, reflecting on their personal thoughts and actions, listening to the experience of those who have been affected by racism, and by developing and supporting programs that help repair the damages caused by racial discrimination.” Can we do this? Will we do this? Or is this document (and its challenges) like Catholic Social Teaching a “well-kept secret?”
Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church


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