Council of the Baptized logo
in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
July, 2017


In the June Update we asked if you had heard about the U.S. bishops' convocation in Orlando, July 1-4, to revitalize the U.S. Church.  Thanks to those of you who emailed Archbishop Hedba with your hopes for the Convocation and thanks for copying us.  

The Convocation was live-streamed on EWTN, as Tom Halden, Archdiocesan Office of Communication, notified us when we asked.   Did you happen to watch any of it?

In case this is news, the US Catholic Bishops organized a convocation of about 3500 diocesan leaders to talk about the future of the Church in the U.S.  Dr. Hosffman Ospino, Boston College, gave the statistic that 50 % of Catholics are ethnic minorities, primarily Hispanic, African-American, African and Asian.  The growth in Catholic parishes is occurring in the South and West. The question the bishops posed is how this might change the American church.  

Archbishop Hebda and Bishop Cozzens led a delegation of 30 local leaders. The goal was to make it a diverse group in age, gender, and ethnicity.  
The Catholic Spirit had a couple of follow-up reports:

About EWTN: Do you watch or listen to EWTN?  Do you know of any statistics about the number of Catholics who watch or listen to EWTN and what the demographics are?  We wonder how the U.S. Catholic bishops intended to communicate with all the Catholics who do not tune in to EWTN.

EWTN comes in for some harsh criticism from Michael Sean Winters of NCR.  He is applauding an article published July 13 in the Vatican reviewed blog La Civilta Cattolica describing the connection between conservative Catholicism and Evangelical Christianity in the U.S.  

The original article in the English edition, linked in Winters' column, was available for a short time, but seems available now only with subscription.  

The big question raised by the Convocation for us is what kind of an Archdiocesan Synod is in the works.  We are hoping that local American Catholics--Hispanic, Asian, African-American, African, as well as all nationalities of European American--can unite under the teaching of Vatican II to solve our institutional problems. One of the problems is that we have no structures for communication among us or with our clerical decision-makers.  From our perspective, Vatican II opened the Church to lay perspectives, including many cultures in a big tent Catholicism.  No one gets bypassed, sidelined, left out. The Holy Spirit speaks through all of us in communion with our clergy and our bishop.  We hope the upcoming Synod will be a place for everyone to get heard.

We have invited two of the Convocation delegates, with more invitations pending, to speak with us about the Convocation at the Council of the Baptized Open Forum on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 .  The two invited so far are Carolyn Puccio, CSJ, and Peter DeMarais of St. Paul's Outreach, a Catholic program for college students.  The Forum is held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 S. Snelling, 7:00 p.m.  Please join us there.        

At the August Open Forum, Tuesday, August 8 , we will discuss questions about expanding women's roles in the Church and what stands in the way of ordaining Catholic women.  Sr. Sandra Schneiders spoke at St. Frances Cabrini recently, and her talk generated a spirited response from her audience.  We will continue processing the ideas she left us with and what action can be taken.

(One pertinent idea from the U.S. bishops' Convocation: Dr. Helen Alvaré mentioned that since complementarity is so important in Catholic marriage doctrine, it may also have an application in Church governance.)   

Come to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church at 700 S. Snelling in St. Paul at 7:00 p.m. to join the discussion.  

Still in joyful hope,
CCCR Board and Council of the Baptized