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October 16, 2003
For Immediate Release:
Contact: John Sheehan  413-527-9929

Pope John Paul II's 25 Years -- A Mixed Legacy

The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church joins in congratulating

Pope John Paul II on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his pontificate. We acknowledge 

the Pope's achievements, some of which are:

his example as a person of prayer; his part in the collapse of the Soviet empire; 

his public forgiving of his would-be assassin; his championing of human rights in 

the secular arena; his reaching out to youth; his apologizing in the name of the 

Church for the wrongs inflicted by the Church in the past; his work for ecumenism, 

and especially his sincere and lifelong friendship for the Jewish people.

However, ARCC regrets some aspects of this papacy, which have caused grave 

harm to the Church. The most serious of these is the "Eucharistic famine," brought 

about by John Paul II's refusal to consider optional celibacy for priests or to 

discuss further the ordination of women. Catholics are being hurt by the Pope's 

insistence on upholding the Church's ban on artificial birth control,  his persecution 

of homosexuals among priests and laity, his refusal to reconsider the admission to 

the sacraments of the divorced and remarried, his resistance to increased involvement 

of lay men and women in Church governance, and his pattern of protecting prelates 

who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse or of shielding abusers among their 

clergy. ARCC regrets his continuous appointment of bishops who do not embrace the 

vision of collegiality of the Second Vatican Council. Finally, it is regrettable 

that he has chosen to pursue a witch-hunt against dissenting theologians.

ARCC hopes that these latter parts of John Paul II's legacy will not survive.

Mary Louise Hartman                 			John Sheehan

President                                      			National Coordinator

609-921-9134                                               		413-527-9929

Revised Oct 19, 2003

03/01/2005 09:32 ARCC is a 501-c3 non-profit international organization dedicated to achieving substantive structural change in the Roman Catholic Church. It works to implement an identified body of rights that every Catholic has from Baptism and membership in the human community. ARCC works for a more collegial church structure which affirms these rights through accountability and shared decision making.

For More Information Contact:

Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church
3150 Newgate Drive Florissant, MO 63033
Tel: 413.527.9929
FAX: 413.527.5877
E-mail: arcc@arcc-catholic-rights.net


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