ARCC Banner
Home Join ARCC Donate Facebook Table of Contents
DHTML JavaScript Menu By Milonic.com

Who we are

What we do

Contact us



4 March 2005

The following news story comes from the Vatican Information Service, which we want to share with you, along with our application of the same principles inside the Catholic Church.

MAR 1, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was the address given by Archbishop Juliusz Janusz, head of the Holy See delegation to the 14th Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Regional and Local Government. The meeting was held in Budapest, Hungary, on February 24 and 25.

In his talk given in English, Archbishop Janusz, who is also the apostolic nuncio to Hungary, affirmed that the “reason that public administration exists ... is to serve the human being at every level of a State in order to build a more free and responsible society.” Clearly, then the purpose of the Church administration is to serve “the human being,” the person, to be “more free and responsible.” Responsibility cannot exist unless there is the corresponding freedom; we must have a choice in the decisions of the community of the Church, if we are to be held responsible for following the decisions.

“Good local and regional governance,” said the archbishop, “is indeed the ‘conditio sine qua non’ for local and regional authorities to faithfully keep to their mission of serving the common good of the communities. This local and regional governance, in order to be good, requires a democratic form of government,” This statement bears frequent repetition: In order for governance (of the Church) to be good, the governance (of the Church) must be “a democratic form of government”! which should promote “the participation in public life of all people living within the community, Again, apply this principle to the Church: Participation in the public life (read: decision-making part of community life) of “all people” living within the Church, not just the clergy without neglecting the stranger among them. ... Adequate information is, in fact, among the principal [sic] instruments of democratic participation.”

Archbishop Janusz highlighted the fact that “good governance at a local and regional level implies respect for the principle of subsidiarity,” for example, the bishop should not be able to close my parish if we are not an untoward burden on the other parishes which “does not exclude the necessity of solidarity;” in other words, “without overlooking the broader interests and the possible needs of less influential sectors of society.” “A good government,” he concluded, “is that government in which political authorities do not forget or underestimate the moral dimension of political representation. That means: All elements of the Church should be represented in important decisions, starting with the choice of leaders, length and conditions of service, and then all other decisions affecting the community.

Indeed, political corruption causes a growing distrust with respect to public institutions, bringing about a progressive disaffection in the citizens with regard to politics and its representatives, with a resulting weakening of institutions. The massive disaffection of the Catholic people in America from its leaders, the bishops, in the wake of the ongoing clergy sex scandal is tragically a contemporary example of this perceptive insight. At any level - national, regional, local - political power shall be put into practice as a service to the dignity and rights of the human person.” The dignity and rights necessary to protect that human dignity can today be briefly summarized thus: Transparency, Accountability, Representativeness, and Due Process of Law.

Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC) 
Leonard Swidler, President

Department of Religion Tel: 215-204-7251              215-204-7251 (office)
Temple University (022-38) 215-477-1080 (home)
1114 West Berks Street Fax: 215-204-4569 (office)
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090 215-477-5928 (home)
E-mail: dialogue@temple.edu Web: http://arcc-catholic-rights.org/

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

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

Ingrid H. Shafer, Ph.D.
e-mail address: ihs@ionet.net
Posted 27 February 2005
Last updated 4 March2005
Electronic version copyright © 2005 Ingrid H. Shafer

Locations of visitors to this page

Contact Information

, D.P.A., President
(406) 544-5527
Postal address
P.O. Box 6512
Helena, MT 59604-6512


Website design and maintenance:
Ingrid Shafer &
Copyright © 2003-2010,
Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church
DHTML JavaScript Menu By Milonic.com