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25 January 2017 Changing the Conversation (170509) Celebrating More Than 50 Years (170509) Conscience-Based Moral Judgments (170509) Dignitaries Humanae (170509) False Views on Jesus' Views on Divorce (170509) Mission and Human Rights (170509) Jesus and the Ordination of Women (170516) 29 May 2017 How much of Church Doctrine do we really believe? (170602) Trump Pulls Out of Paris Agreement (170602) 05 June 2017 Thoughts on Religious Vocations: An Open Letter to Pope Francis (170605) I can't get the institutional church out of my system (170618) 25 June 2017 Just War? Enough Already (170703) What would Teilhard say? Evolve or be annihilated (170710) Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (170719) Religion's Wax Nose (170726) American Civil Religion (170731) A Heresy of the Times (170807) Cardinal Calls for Global Church (170818) The Price of Being a Prophet (170821) The Implosion of the Roman Catholic Church (170902) Reflection on Racism in America (170913) Who am I? Where am I going? (170918) One Priest's Hopes for the Mass Translation (170925) The Edge of the Inside (171002) Selective Christianity (171016) Theology at the Cutting Edge: Healing the Political and Social Divide in America (171016) Resisting Islamophobia Is The Catholic Thing To Do. (171023) It Started With a Letter to the Archbishop (171030) Why Do We Still Tolerate Mass Stipends? (171106) Their Cross to Bear: Catholic Women Told to Forgive (171113) Papal loyalists become dissidents (171120) Echoes of Theocracy (171127) Will Pope Francis Remove the 'Warning'? (171204) Gumbleton on Nuclear Deterrence (171211) The Scandal of the 2011 Missal (171218)
ARCC News 2018
Prophets of a Future Not Our Own (20180101) 2018: Time to Become Ultra-Human? (20180118) Time for a Bonfire of Their Vanities? (20180122) Until All Are Welcome My House, My Rules: 3 Women "Rejected" (20180208) Policing the Communion Line (20180205) A Time to Judge (20180212) Mary McAleese Being Banned is Embarrassing (20180219) Correct, Don't Complicate Excommunication (20180226) Catholic Tradition, Labour, and Organizing Workers (20180305) Misogyny in the Vatican (20180312) The Unofficial Saint of the Internet (20180318) Francis Invites Change, But We Are the Change (20180325) Rediscovering the Role of Mary Magdalene as Apostle of the Apostles (20180401) Synodality and its Perils (20180409) Get rid of the clergy - But keep Holy Orders (20180415) Renewing the Program of Priestly Formation (20180429) Male and Female, in the image and likeness of God (20180506) Wedding Bans: Why Do Parishes Turn Young Couples Away? (20180513) Christian Humanism, the Path to the Divine (20180520) Mary - Prophet and Priest (20180527) A Wake-Up Call to Liberal Theologians (20160603) Canonization is right for Oscar Romero (20180610) Could the Church take a risk? (20180618) AJC expresses "Profound Concern" over beatification (20180624) The Bible's #MeToo Problem (20180701) 'Humanae Vitae' and the census fidelium (20180715) The Catholic Church wasn't always so against contraception (20180722) 50 years later, scientist's findings on birth control... (20180729) #MeToo, Your Excellency The Catholic Church needs a way to deal with bad bishops (20180812) The Catholic Church is tempted by power and obsessed with sex (20180819) Real change against abuse... (20180826) Pope Francis is facing a crisis of justice (20180829) Catholics Are Facing a Very Real Emergency (20180902) Truth and its violent consequences (20180909) The Third Millennial Catholic Reformation (20180917) Reality in an Historical-Critical Perspective (20180923) Both Prudential & Indisputable (20180930) Catholic Crossroads and Catholic Conflict (20181007) Schism or Evolution? (20181015) Theology: Stones or Bread? (20181028) White Christian America (20181102) Stone Throwing. Or Not. (20181104) Young People, Hope for the Church(es) (20181112) Who Represents the Laity? (20181118) Open Letter to the US Catholic Bishops: It's Over (20181125) From Collegiality to Synodality (20181203) The Birth of the Messiah (20181217) A Non-traditional Blessing for 2019 (20181231)
ARCC News 2019
Epiphany 2019 (20190107) Celibacy isn't the cause of the church sex-abuse crisis; the priesthood is (20190114) How to save Western civilization - again (20190121) Catholic curricula and the invisibility of Native Americans (20190128) Ministry and Power (20190204) A Document on Human Fraternity Our History The Reflection on the Wrath of God (20190224) Read Just One Speech (20190304) Why the Priesthood Needs Women (20190311) "Honest Rituals" argues for sacrament update (20190325) Stop Calling Me "Father" (20190401) The Sexual Abuse Crisis is not a Crisis (20190408) Palm Sunday 2019 (20190414) What Women Want (20190428) Targeting Pope Francis (20190513) Power Sharing Seen As Essential... (20190520) Pde Francis Dithering... (20190527) When the Sky Didn't Fall... (20190603) The Ancient Diaconate of Women (20190609) Bishop Bransfield and the Misuse of Funds (20190616) When it comes to Church reform... (20190624) We asked Catholic Church women if they... (20190630) Women in Christianity - Free to share their wounds (20190707) Can laypeople lead a parish? (20190714) Civility (2190721) Mary the Magdalen (20190729) Faithful America (20190804) Sacralizing Politics (20190811) Tackle Clericalism First (20190818) Failure Guaranteed (20190826) Divorce, Annulment & Communion (20190901) Human Nature & Human Sexuality (20190909) Climate Change Most Important Life Issue (20190915) Being An Open-Minded Believer (20190923) The Laity Hold the Key (20190929) Be Prophetic (20191013) Are You Satisfied With Priestly Ministry? (20191020) Racism - A Challenge to the Church (20191101) Irish Priests Call for... (20191104) McAleese Calls on Pope... (20191111) Top 5 Takeaways from the Amazon Synod (20191111) Thomas Doyle traces the disintegration... (20191202) We've been bishops in 3 Death Penalty states... (20191209) Spirituality (20191223)
Changing Power Relationships
ARCC Courses


Racism - A Challenge to the Church (20191101)

Racism - A Challenge to the Church



Contemporary Catholic Belief and Action


The mission of ARCC is to bring about substantive structural change within the Catholic Church by seeking to institutionalize a collegial understanding of church where decision making is shared and accountability is realized among Catholics of every kind and conditio n.
Once people start to believe change is possible, 
the drive to achieve it accelerates. 
                                          -   Patrick Sullivan, ARCC President
Racism - A Challenge to the Church
Dr. Anneliese Sinnott, O.P.

The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church was founded a number of years ago to address "problems" in the Church stemming from violations of Canon 208:

There exists among all the Christian faithful, in virtue of their rebirth in Christ, a true equality with regard to dignity and activity; all cooperate in the building up of the body of Christ in accord with each one's own condition and function.

ARCC states its mission as:

The mission of ARCC is to bring about substantive structural change within the Catholic Church by seeking to institutionalize a collegial understanding of church where decision making is shared and accountability is realized among Catholics of every kind and condition.

In all instances these rights and responsibilities apply to all Catholics, regardless of race, age, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, state-of-life, social or economic position.

ARCC has worked very hard over the years to address issues of "age, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, state-of-life, social or economic position."  It is time, now, to spend some energy on addressing the issue of race!

Almost forty years ago in 1979, some of the US Bishops issued a statement entitled, Brothers and Sisters to Us. In that document we find these words: 

Racism is an evil which endures in our society and in our Church. Despite apparent advances and even significant changes in the last two decades, the reality of racism remains. In large part it is only external appearances which have changed.....(W)e wish to call attention to the persistent presence of racism and in particular to the relationship between racial and economic justice. Racism and economic oppression are distinct but interrelated forces which dehumanize our society.

The impact of this letter on most U.S. Catholics was minimal. And so, seventeen years ago, Chicago's Cardinal George raised the issues again, focusing on "spatial racism." His letter, entitled, "Dwell In My Love," referenced Jn. 15:7 and intentionally drew a line between how we "dwell" in God's love and the location of our dwellings here on earth.  In this pastoral he made an important clarification: 

"Spatial racism refers to patterns of metropolitan development in which some affluent whites create racially and economically segregated suburbs or gentrified areas of cities, leaving the poor - mainly African Americans, Hispanics and some newly arrived immigrants - isolated in deteriorating areas of the cities and older suburbs."

Cardinal George went on to say,

 "These disparities undermine the regional economy and the moral basis of the metropolitan area. Spatial racism creates a visible chasm between the rich and the poor, and between white people and people of color. It marks a society that contradicts both the teachings of the Church and our declared national value of equality of opportunity."

It seemed obvious to Cardinal George that the spatial racism of our society is creating a similar pattern in the Church. Geographically based parishes reflect the racial and cultural segregation patterns of neighborhoods and towns.

In 2015, one of our few African American bishops, Bishop Edward Braxton, initiated a process in his diocese of Belleville, Illinois, for all parishes to spend time on this important issue. He said, 

All are redeemed sinners transformed by Christ as members of His "mystical Body" with equal dignity before God. Is it asking too much for a nation that proclaims itself to be "one from many" to affirm that, in truth, there are no majority/minority groups in this country because we really are one? We are simply Americans, proud of our amazingly diverse backgrounds, with every right to expect, even demand, to be treated with equal dignity by law enforcement, by the courts, in the public square and in our churches.

(Bishop Edward Braxton, The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace, #77, 2015)

The challenge to do something about racism in the Catholic Church  was continued in January, 2016 by the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development of the US Catholic Bishops, which issued its own statement entitled "Racism: Confronting the Poison in Our Common Home." This document states:

Recent events in communities across the country, academic research and reports, and the caustic rhetoric that marks conversations about refugees and migrants, all provide ample evidence that there is still much work to do. As Christians, we are called to constantly examine our own hearts and consciences for how we might contribute to or break down racial divisions, intolerance, and discrimination. The increasing need for healing, that comes from an fuller understanding and acknowledgement of the lived reality of people and communities of color, cannot be understated. Lost lives need to be mourned; traumatized

Is it not time for all Catholics, but especially those of us who champion the "rights of Catholics in the Church" to call attention to this "violation of rights?" What if each of us raised our voices to demand changes in our diocesan structures, our parish locations and boundaries,  our seminary requirements? What if each parish took on the task of "dismantling racism" in its members and its neighborhoods? There is much work to be done to raise the "rights" of all Catholics to both "belong" and to "include!" Some of our Bishops are leading the way. Perhaps it is time for us to join them! This, I believe, is a new challenge for ARCC!

Dr. Anneliese Sinnott, O.P. Retired Professor of Systematic Theology at Ecumenical Theological Seminary; member of the Adrian Dominican Sisters; Chair of Board of Dominican Center: Spirituality for Mission. She is a member of the ARCC Board of Directors.

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