Campaign for a voice in the selection of new leadership:
Here it is the first week of August and CCCR has not had a response from Archbishop Hebda to letters of June 21 and July 14. Archbishop Hebda is the temporary man in charge of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. We called Deb Thielen, his executive assistant, on Monday, August 3, to see if she can set up the meeting for us. We will let you know the outcome.
Why do we need to connect with Archbishop Hebda?
CCCR has asked for an open and broad consultation process before the appointment of a new permanent archbishop. For the people to get behind the new leadership, they have to be recognized as full stake-holders in the life of the Church. If we the people are consumers of hierarchical services, all we need is a good administrator, but if we are people with a Christian vision and mission, we need leadership and a voice in church policy and practice.
We have offered to design and implement the consultation process, but our channels of communication are limited. We need the cooperation of Archbishops Hebda and Viganò, the papal delegate to the U.S., to show a united front and to reach all the diverse groups of Catholics in the archdiocese with their email lists.
You can help with the communication:
Speak out privately. We have been talking with our priest friends and pastors to promote giving a broad representation of lay people a role in choosing our next leader. Priests can talk with the deans of their deaneries so that when and if Archbishop Hebda meets with them, they can speak for us. Email us after you have talked with your pastor. We will report the lay of the land as you give it to us, with or without your name or the pastor's name. firstname.lastname@example.org
Speak out publicly. Go to www.theprogressivecatholicvoice.blogspot.com where people are telling Archbishops Hebda and Viganò what they should look for in the next Archbishop for St. Paul and Minneapolis. Email email@example.com with your own hopes. Michael will post them with your name.
Keep those notes and emails flying to D.C. You can still write to the Papal Nuncio asking for a broad consultation process before he submits recommendations for our new leadership to Rome. His address:
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20008 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
August meeting of the Council of the Baptized:
Our "think tank", the Council of the Baptized, is digging into our cultural subsoil to find the roots of the disconnects we are experiencing in Catholic policies and practices. We are testing the thesis that we are conflicted between two mainstreams in the U.S. Catholic culture. On the one hand we are formed in the 2000 year old Roman Catholic tradition. On the other hand, we are formed in the Western liberal democratic tradition that dates from the Reformation and Enlightenment. The Roman Catholic tradition values community most highly. The U.S. democratic tradition values individual liberty and equality most highly. Both are important. Do we have to choose? Can we integrate them in U.S. Catholic life?
Our first conversation on this topic will be at the Council meeting, Tuesday, August 11, 7:00 p.m. at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 S. Snelling in St. Paul. Marilyn Wegscheider is first up with her research finding some evidence of integration in the early history of the U.S. Catholic Church. Join us if you can.
Catholic Church Reform International (CCRI) has published its findings on the views of Catholics with regard to the teachings of the Church on sexuality. The report will be sent to bishops meeting at the Synod on the Family in Rome in October. Read the report here: http://catholicchurchreformintl.org/documents/Jubileepapersurveydatafinal.pdf
In joyful hope,
CCCR and Council of the Baptized Lay Network Organizing Team