<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> ARCC Board Minutes - April 2010 ARCC
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Board Meeting April 2010: Pictures

Present:  Leonard Swidler, Ingrid Shafer, Caridad Inda, Charles McMahon, Ray Temmerman, Patrick Edgar, Richard Lebrun, Sonya Quitslund, Jack Dick, Joseph Boyle.

Guests: Dan & Sheila Daley

The meeting began at 9 a.m., Charles McMahon leading us in prayer.

The Minutes of the November teleconference meeting were discussed.  Ingrid pointed out that Jack had not been present, and had submitted his suggestion by email, not in person.  That amendment was made.

M/S Patrick, Caridad: That the Minutes be approved as amended.

Given that Caridad could not be present for the continuation of the meeting on Sunday, Sonya proposed several modifications to the agenda.  Following discussion, the agenda was amended and approved by consensus.

American Catholic Council (ACC) Report and Discussion:
Richard reported that the April ACC newsletter contains the most current information.

  • John Hushon and Janet Hauter are extremely competent and experienced.  There is considerable support from the ‘Elephant in the Living Room’ group in Detroit.  Dozens of ‘Listening Sessions’ are being conducted or planned, ranging from the very small to the very large.
  • Caridad indicated that the Listening Session toolkit is highly structured and purposeful, and if followed should produce very good results.  Caridad has translated the toolkit into Spanish.
  • Len pointed out that the process is exactly like that of the first Call To Action in Detroit, 1976.
  • There was discussion on the session which took place in Philadelphia, indicating successes and lessons learned.  There is much work to be done to be ready for the fall Listening Sessions. 
  • Len encouraged all moderators to let people know ahead of time what was expected of them through these sessions.  ARCC needs to ensure that its concerns are expressed through these sessions, along with the concerns of other reform organizations.
  • Richard pointed out that individuals can now respond to the Listening Session questionnaire online.

Charles proposed a Resolution concerning alternative structures to be put to the ARCC membership for a vote.  After some discussion, it was decided to table this to later in the day.

Jack recommended ARCC take a position of support for the ACC and its process, and help organize the Listening Sessions.

M/S Jack, Richard: That ARCC support the ACC by encouraging area members to be actively involved in the Listening process, and by providing resource materials to ARCC members.

Action 2010042401 – Richard, Caridad, Jack & Ingrid to encourage members re listening sessions, provide resource materials.  A communique expressing this support will be forwarded to the ACC by the President.

Clarification was requested on the role of ARCC board members on the ACC.  It was agreed that Board members serve as individuals, not on behalf of ARCC.  If a request was made as to ARCC’s position on a specific subject, the ARCC members would caucus to see if a position could be taken.

Hans Kung letter (Leonard Swidler):
Leonard lead a discussion on Hans Kung’s letter to the world’s bishops, suggesting ARCC echo the call for a Council, but with clergy and laity included in a voting capacity.  Jack proposed that representatives of reform organizations also be included.

M/S Leonard, Richard:  That ARCC enthusiastically welcomes and supports the open letter of Dr Hans  Kung to the Catholic bishops of the world, and understands the recommendations therein to be implicitly addressed to all Catholics: priests, religious and laity.

Concerning his 6th recommendation, calling for a worldwide council to address the structural problems facing the Catholic Church in the modern world, it is imperative that such a Council be expanded to include priests, religious, and laity, especially Catholic organizations committed to the reform of the Catholic Church in the spirit of Vatican II.
            Action 2010042402 – Pat to draft Press Release on Hans Kung award

Membership Recruitment (Jack Dick):
Jack proposed an agressive membership recruitment drive, to encourage and enhance ARCC membership and develop leadership at the diocesan and state levels.
Caridad asked what we would be offering potential members which would cause them to sign up.  Responses included the ARCC agenda, spelling out rights and responsibilities in concrete terms, promoting structural change as a positive issue, helping people realize when their rights were being violated and being there to help them in such situations.  Sonya suggested we may be able to promote this through an article in the National Catholic Reporter, while Len suggested we run an ARCC Spot on each of the rights, perhaps publishing a series of these in a book.

Dan Daley suggested reform groups need to collaborate, cede turf to each other according to gifts.  The question needs to be asked: which group should do what?  ARCC brings expertise in various academic fields, including fostering adult participation in universities.

Len asked whether there might be a connection with European groups, since it appears time to renew and re-energize not just in America.

It was determined that while it was possible to go much wider, the initial thrust would focus on the USA

M/S, Jack, Patrick:    That ARCC launch an aggressive drive geared toward attracting members and empowering leaders at local, diocesan and regional levels.
Action 2010042403 – Jack, Ray to develop membership drive

Target Audience (Joe Boyle):
Joe emphasized the need to target our audience.  We are strong on content, but not on marketing or finance.  These need equal time.
What are we saying?  Who are we dealing with? How do we appeal to multiple groups?
Other questions came forward, e.g. how do we get priests involved?  Or people in communications?

No conclusions were drawn, the matter being left as an ongoing reminder of the need to determine and focus on our audience.

            See Sunday morning discussions.

Workshop Proposal (Patrick Edgar):
Given that many people are completely unaware they have rights, Patrick proposed ARCC seek grant funding for a series of educational workshops to create an awareness in people of their rights and responsibilities as Catholics.  Ingrid questioned who could be approached for grant funds.  Len indicated it was a large task which was worth doing but would require a detailed plan.  Caridad wondered whether it might be done in parallel with the Listening Sessions of the ACC.

Patrick indicated he believed there were funding bodies who could be interested, and was willing to put in the time and effort needed to research and develop such a plan, calling on others for assistance as needed.

ARCC is willing to help fund the project.

M/S Richard, Caridad:         That Patrick Edgar be authorized to research and develop a full grant proposal for conducting workshops on rights and responsibilities of Catholics in the church, to be brought back to the board for final approval.
            Action 2010042404 – Patrick to develop workshop grant proposal

Proposal for a Vote of Non-Confidence (Charles McMahon):
Charles stated that a new structure needed to be established to enable people to elect their own bishops, as well as to enable a vote of non-confidence in the bishop.  He proposed putting the matter to a vote of the ARCC membership as a means of raising awareness of the idea.

While there was general agreement that such a change is needed, there was no agreement on the means to achieve this end.  There was general agreement that developing a positive approach would be more fruitful than a negative one.  To this end, it was suggested and agreed that examples of practices that assisted reform be written up and shared.

Action 2010042405 – Patrick & Richard to write up examples of practices assisting reform.

Charles spoke of Joseph O’Callaghan’s book “Electing Our Bishops: How the Catholic Church Should Choose Its Leaders”, suggesting sections of this book would make very valuable support material, and offering to summarize these sections.  There was consensus that Charles be encouraged in this task.

            Action 2010042406 – Charles to summarize sections of J O’Callaghans’ book, and publish a supporting set of videos on the internet.

Synod of the Baptized (Richard Lebrun):
A ‘synod of the baptized’ is being held in Minneapolis September 18th, sponsored by the Coalition of Catholics for Church Reform.  Richard is attending.   Paul Lakeland is a keynote speaker.  It was agreed that Richard be named as the representative to attend on ARCC’s behalf.  It was further agreed that Richard get in touch with the organizers and offer any help we can give, bringing brochures and other materials.

The Synod is drawing on materials from an Asian context.  Len indicated he had a contact (Philo) in Asia.  He suggested Richard cc Len on any correspondence re the Synod, which Len would then forward to his Asian contact.

            Action 2010042407 – That Richard contact Synod organizers to offer our support.

Good bishops (Richard Lebrun):
Richard pointed to some of the work being done by Archbishop James Weisgerber in Winnipeg, establishing guidelines for openness and transparency by clergy and parishioners alike.  The work was seen as being valuable and forward-thinking, an example of work needing to be done in all dioceses, and to be supported and encouraged.

It was proposed and agreed that Richard would write a brief piece on the work being done in Winnipeg, then work with Ingrid to post it, with links, on the ARCC site.

Action 2010042408 – Richard, Ingrid to write / post article, on Winnipeg diocesan guidelines, on ARCC site.

Old documentation:
Caridad asked about the old documents we still have.  Ingrid agreed to look at these, and see what is required to put them in pdf format.  She will ask for help if needed.

It was further agreed to have old printed documents brought to our next Board meeting for distribution.

            Action 2010042409 – Ingrid to review old documents for posting.
            Action 2010042410 - Len to bring documents to next Board meeting.

Treasurer’s Report (Sonya Quitslund):
Sonya gave a report on the status of funds and expenses to date, as well as requests for funds from various organizations.

M/S Patrick, Charles:           That we contribute $50 to the Quioxte Center

Charles asked if we have a project which could attract people to contribute.  It was suggested that the Workshop education project for which Patrick is developing a grant proposal could be such a project.  Jack volunteered to write a fundraising letter based on the workshop funding proposal.  A copy of the ARCC brochure would be sent with each letter.  This was agreed by consensus.

            Action 2010042411 – Jack to write fundraising letter based on grant funding proposal, and send to Bob Schutzius for distribution to ARCC members.

Hans Kung award (Sonya Quitslund):
There was discussion on the Hans Kung award given to Dan and Sheila Daley the previous evening.  It was seen as having gone well, though unfortunate that not more people were present for the event, perhaps due to limited publicity.

It was moved by Leonard, and carried by acclamation, that Ingrid be given a vote of thanks for her work on the Hans Kung award.

Sonya gave the list of nominees for the 2011 Hans Kung award.  Additional names were submitted by Len Swidler, Caridad Inda, and Joe Boyle.  After discussion, a vote was taken to narrow the field.  A second and final vote produced Bishop Tom Gumbleton to be the recipient of the 2011 Hans Kung award.

It was further agreed that Patrick Edgar would contact Bishop Tom Gumbleton to notify him of his being awarded the Hans Kung award, and to determine whether the spring or fall 2011 meeting would be most suitable for him.

            Action 2010042412 – Patrick to contact Tom Gumbleton re Hans Kung award.

COR Report (Richard Lebrun & Ray Temmerman):
Richard provided the bulk of the report, referring to his earlier written report on the meeting.  Our presence there was worthwhile, both in learning what other groups were doing and in presenting ARCC’s work and perspective.  There was discussion as to the relationship between the various COR groups and the ACC, and ways we might be of help to those organizations.

Ray will represent ARCC at the next COR meeting, being held in Washington May 14-15th.

            Action 2010042413 – Ray to represent ARCC at May COR meeting, report back.

It was moved by Leonard, and carried by acclamation, that Richard and Ray be given a vote of thanks for their participation in and reporting on the COR meetings.

ARCC-Light and Websites (Ingrid Shafer):
We are trying to move to more of a Journal format for the ARCC-Light, and less of a newsletter format.  The ARCC Spots address current issues, freeing ARCC-Light to be a more substantive publication.

While there is no problem in sending links, associated with ‘teaser’ paragraphs to entice the reader to the linked site, the question of mailservers not accepting pdf and Word documents is becoming a concern.  We need to research and discuss directions on this.

There was discussion on publishing a series of ARCC-Lights as a book.  Richard indicated one publisher is beginning a new practice of publishing academic books, in both paper and electronic format simultaneously.  Len asked for more information on this.

            Action 2010042414 – Richard to send Len information on paper/electronic publication

Len also asked if we should do a scholarly book on the Charter of Rights, perhaps by an international group.
            See Sunday morning discussion

Nominations to the Board:
There are two new people on the Board.  Two other people were put forward for consideration and discussed, without decision.  Patrick pointed out that according to the By-Laws, there could be 24 people on the Board.

The feasibility of teleconferences and videoconferences was discussed.  Teleconferences are already possible, while multiple videoconferencing is still being tested.  In-person meetings are clearly preferable, especially for meetings of longer duration, but far more expensive.  It was agreed, for the moment, to continue with two in-person meetings per year, with Board members connecting by phone or video if they were unable to attend in person.

The slate of candidates for Executive office was put forward.  There being the same number of nominees as there were positions vacant, the candidates were elected by acclamation.  The new Executive members are as follows:
            President:                  Patrick Edgar
            Vice-President:         Jack Dick
            Secretary:                  Ray Temmerman
            Treasurer:                  Sonya Quitslund

Action 2010042415 - Pat to scan and share signature with Ray and Bob, for incorporation into official communications.

Next Meetings:
It was agreed the next Board meeting would be held Friday-Sunday November 5-7.  This would enable a representative to attend the COR meeting in Milwaukee November 4th, then fly to Washington for the ARCC meeting.

It was further agreed that Washington Theological Union, though more expensive, offered facilities more amenable to our needs than other possibilities.  It was decided to meet at WTU if the facilities are available.

It was agreed that our first 2011 meeting would take place in Detroit on June 9th and 10th, immediately prior to the ACC.  It was proposed, though not finalized, that we could begin with lunch on the 9th and continue through to the late afternoon of June 10th, as the ACC begins the evening of the 10th.

There was discussion as to protocol for meetings.  Patrick committed to getting an agenda out two weeks in advance of each Board meeting.  In addition, each committee will be asked to give a written report to the Board prior to the meeting.

Sunday morning discussion, 25 April:
There was discussion on the work of the Religious women present at the mass the previous evening.  Charles suggested they could be a good starting point for the workshops.  Ingrid suggested our focus for connecting with others could be the women religious, who already have different governance structures and a certain autonomy from Rome, and in many cases are closely linked to and respected by the laity they work with.

Various ideas were put forward. 

  • The religious, and particularly religious women, would be invited to take up membership in ARCC.  (Jack, Ray to include in their Action).
  • The letter written on the Health Care issue will be re-written, in direct support of women religious, and expressing outrage at the outrageous attacks of the bishops.  A Press Release will be written announcing ARCC's support for women religious and their courageous stand on the healthcare issue, and encouraging ARCC members to write letters to their local bishops in support of the religious women.

            Action 2010042416 – Ray to rewrite letter in support of women religious
Action 2010042417 - Ingrid to write Press Release in support of women religious in the healthcare issue.

Len encouraged the broader development of contacts and connections, encouraging Jack to take up development of connections with European groups.  Jack agreed to take this on.
            Action 2010042418 – Len to send Jack any European emails, materials.
            Action 2010042419 – Len to send link to Irish site to ARCC board.
            Action 2010042420 – Richard to send Jack Sean O'Connail's email address.

Len took up the discussion of a possible book on the Charter of Rights.  Instead of a series of selected experts being invited to write articles, Richard proposed an international conference on the subject, from which papers could be selected for inclusion in a book.  This could be sponsored by the Dialogue Institute.  It was agreed to explore the possibility and develop a proposal.

M/S Richard, Ingrid: That ARCC sponsor an international academic conference with a focus on the Charter of Rights of Catholics and the Proposed Constitution of the Catholic Church.

            Action 2010042421 - Richard, Jack, Len, and Ingrid to develop an international conference proposal.

M/S Sonya, Ingrid: That the meeting be adjourned.                              10:15 a.m.


Updated 25 May, 2010

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

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