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The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church
Terence Dosh, President 
Press Release on the Occasion of Pope John Paul II's
Visit to St. Louis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sunday, January 24, 1999 
Terence Dosh,  (612)827-1818              (612)827-1818      , doshx001@tc.umn.edu  
Robert Schutzius,  (314)837-0678              (314)837-0678      , rschutz@cwix.com 


January 24, 1999. We of the Catholic Community in St. Louis welcome our Holy Father Pope John Paul II, our spiritual leader, and defender of human rights.  We thank and commend him for his total approval of the United Nations Declaration of  Human Rights in his Peace Day Declaration of New Year's Day. 

As the bishops of Mexico asked him to address the problem of immigrants during his visit there, we in turn urge him to address the issue of human rights in our Church during his visit here. Failure to see our own problems while attempting to correct these same problems in others is a common human condition. We respectfully suggest and request him to address a number of Articles in  the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as they relate to our Church: 

  • Article 2 - Stands in clear accusation of our Church's policy of discrimination based on sex.
  • Article 10 - Points out the need for Due Process in our Church.  How can we insist on this minimum requirement of justice for others when it is not clearly provided for our own members?
  • Article 19 - Suppressing Freedom of Expression in our Church by  mental and spiritual persecution is the institution's way of dealing with the prophetic voice of dissent.   Silence is another.  Like the Vatican's silence that met the bishops of Oceania as they call for, even plead for, changes to be made especially regarding a married priesthood in our Church.
  • Article 21 - Protests the denial of the once-held right to chose our leaders in our Church.   Were this ancient tradition in place today, half of the world's parishes would not be without priests, thus depriving millions of the Eucharist,  a sinfully high tax to pay for the control provided by mandatory celibacy.  Subsidiarity would not be a hollow word in our Church and there would be far fewer acolyte-bishops.
  • Article 23 - Points out that our Church, right here in St. Louis, offends by denying  employees, like hospital workers and teachers, the right to collectively organize for their welfare and thus mock words to the contrary found in Papal documents and pronouncements.
To strengthen him in this task, and especially as he addresses women's equality in our Church, we recommend a prayer for Christmas Day by Janet Morley,  Episcopal priest. 

"God our beloved, born of a woman's body: you came that we might look upon you, and touch with our own hands.  May we so cherish one another in our bodies that we may also be touched by you through the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, Amen." 


ARCC was founded in 1980 by Leonard Swidler, Professor of Catholic Thought and Interreligious Dialogue at Temple University, and Fr. Gerard Sloyan, also then a professor at Temple University, and other theologians concerned about Church violations of the rights of individuals.  For information about ARCC, write or call  P.O. Box 912, Delran , NJ 08075,  (609)461-8960              (609)461-8960     , E-mail ccooperpt@aol.com

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Posted  24 January 1999
Last revised 25 January 1999
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