Council of the Baptized logo
in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
November 15, 2019
CCCR-COB Newsletter
November 2019

Decision to End the Council of the Baptized - Open Forum 


Lay Network Update -

Decision to End the Council of the Baptized

With the early snowfall, we are reminded of another change of seasons. We have wanted to experience the Fall just a little bit longer but the signs are here. We are in transition.
Many of you have been aware of the signs of transition within our organization, particularly the Council of the Baptized (CoB). Significant resignations as well as poor attendance at our Open Forums have led us to evaluate the signs. After much discernment during a retreat with Chris Schenk and a consultation with Megan McKenna, The Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) has voted to end the Council of the Baptized.

There are three good reasons:

1) Originally CoB was formed because there was no place for people to go to with concerns of conscience and to address the state of our beleaguered archdiocese. We provided a 21-member panel and space to voice those concerns. Proposals were brought forward and when deemed appropriate, the CoB would deliberate, form committees for research and development. Then position papers were written and published. After much success with several position papers as well as the 58 -page Pastoral Recommendation Project, we started Open Forums to address current events and important topics. In 2018, we focused on Vatican II documents and educated attendees as well as ourselves. However, no more position papers have been written since CATHOLIC WOMEN AND HOLY ORDERS: THE TIME IS NOW.

2) We had good attendance with Open Forums until this last year. With the bankruptcy settlement and mechanisms in place to provide a safe environment, the archdiocese finally formed the Lay Advisory Board. In addition, they are now offering archdiocesan listening sessions that we fully support and promote. These sessions offer a larger venue for a wider audience than our Open Forums.

3) The Council of the Baptized has had several resignations and there are not enough warm bodies left to do the work without the risk of burn out. The remaining members of CoB are welcome to join the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform Board meetings. As usual, these Board meetings are open to the public and all are welcome at any time. (Contact Nancy Gotto to find out more about meeting dates and times).

Future of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR):
As CCCR regroups and discerns what is needed from the many voices at the listening sessions, we ask for your prayers. After the Synod, if there is little change and lack of collaboration within the archdiocese, we will again provide a place to address the needs of the People of God and support the effort to claim our right and responsibility to be church. We will also continue to communicate through the publication of the Lay Network Update. We are not going away!

Don't forget to attend the Archdiocesan Listening Sessions.

Dec. 10 Open Forum: "A Fresh Look at What is Possible" - Tom Klein's Proposal for Women Priests.

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
700 Snelling Ave. S. St Paul, MN. 55116     7-9:30PM

We invite all to come to this last Open Forum to help us celebrate the accomplishments of the Council of the Baptized. There will be cake!
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened (Dr. Seuss).
Nancy Gotto
CCCR Chair

Still living in joyful hope,
CCCR Board  and CoB