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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 Changing Power Relationships


President's Message - July 2015

JULY, 2015ARCC banner 2

Patrick B. Edgar, DPA

It has been an exciting year so far.  Not only have we witnessed some incredible rulings from the Supreme Court and a strong admonition from Pope Francis about global warming and extreme capitalism, we have also had some interesting experiences at ARCC.  I realize that there are times people may wonder what we have been doing.  Much of our work takes place behind the scenes.  It is important to know that some issues related to rights of Catholics in the Church require confidentiality and delicate negotiations.  There are some things we can talk about though.



I have recently been working with a group of people from a parish in Louisiana who have faced horrific challenges.  The conversation began with their concerns that the pastor was allowing a clique to run the parish to the exclusion of others.  He was also treating the other members of the parish very unfairly to the point of excluding them from ministries and undermining their efforts to run their own cemetery.  This involved taking away money and slanderous statements.  I found the complaints to be quite credible and just another example of clericalist misbehavior.  The priest was involved in spreading slanderous rumors about one of the members of the parish because he wouldn't go along with the shenanigans of the clique.
I advised the folks being mistreated to contact their bishop and copy to the nuncio and metropolitan.  They did as I suggested and set up a meeting with the vicar general of the diocese.  At first, the vicar general and others were sympathetic to the complaints and attempted to reconcile the differences between them and the priest.  Unfortunately, this was followed by several incidents of retaliation.
Ultimately, the retaliation reached the point of criminal behavior by members of the clique directed at the concerned parishioners.  Law enforcement is involved and a lawsuit against the diocese is in progress.  While I cannot go into details regarding the lawsuit or the criminal behavior because of the sensitivity of an ongoing case, I can say this is a classic example of bullying in a parish.
Bullying is not just something that takes place in school.  It is a common behavior among adults in organizations.  This certainly includes the church.  Many times, the bully is the priest.  At other times, it can be a small group in the parish.  It involves various forms of intimidation and abuse.  The victims are isolated and are in no position to defend themselves.  The other members of the parish will not do anything because they are afraid that they will be next.
The only solution to bullying is for the entire group (office, parish, club, etc.) to take a stand and refuse to accept bullying in their midst.  This requires the group to convene and identify behaviors that are not acceptable.  Whenever the sanctioned behaviors are observed, the people point out that they have all determined that this behavior is not acceptable. 
Bullies cannot stand to be challenged by the group. They rely on the bystanders to either allow the bullying to go on or even become willing participants.  Once they are challenged and reprimanded by the group, they will usually stop.  They may go elsewhere to find victims.  In cases of bullying there is no such thing as an innocent bystander.  Each of us should be willing to declare bullying as unacceptable.  

Selection of Bishops

As you have seen in our newsletter, Archbishop John Neinstedt has resigned in Minneapolis - St. Paul,  .  This is good news as he was clearly one of the prelates that protected pedophile priests.

Of particular interest to us is that the people of the Archdiocese had actually taken our advice and conducted their own election of a replacement bishop.  They then submitted the names of the top vote-getters to the papal nuncio in Washington, D. C. for consideration as their next archbishop.  


We have endorsed this request and strongly urged the nuncio in a letter to accept their recommendation.  It is a great opportunity to finally have a voice in our leadership.  As we have published in this newsletter, there is a long-standing tradition from the earliest days of the church for the election of bishops.  We hope that more dioceses will follow the example of the Minneapolis archdiocese and conduct their own elections.  If this gathers momentum, it will be extremely difficult for the hierarchy to ignore it.  We, the People of God, have a right to a voice in the selection of our leadership.  We need not ask for it but should claim it instead.


ARCC workshop on clericalism at CTA
Fr. Tom Doyle to be presenter

Thomas P. Doyle
Finally, one of our board members, Bill Slavick, has arranged to have a pre-conference workshop at the next Call to Action conference in Milwaukee.  The topic of the workshop is about clericalism, and Fr. Tom Doyle will be the main presenter.  

This is a critical topic that must be addressed and challenged in the most forceful way possible.  It seems that many of the newly ordained priests desire to push us back into a past of total control by the priests.  We reject that concept utterly and urge all of you to do the same.


Clericalism is heretical and dangerous.  Pope Francis has stated clearly that it should not exist in our church.  More importantly, though, we the People of God must reject it and do everything in our power to stop it.  I hope that as many of you as are able will attend this workshop and show that we do have a voice and we intend to use it.


Thank you, Bill for arranging this workshop.

Patrick B. Edgar, DPA

President, ARCC