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International Movement for a Catholic Constitution

Elements of a Constitution are found in many of the Catholic  Church's documents. According to Dr. Leonard Swidler of Temple  University and founding member of ARCC, "for more than half its history, the Catholic Church has been a "constitutional  monarchy." A Catholic Constitution is in the spirit of Jesus'  gospel of liberation and love. It would adapt the most effective of the governance principles recognized as necessary for the human community at the beginning of the 21st century. In 1996, the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC), in consultation with Catholic organizations worldwide, developed a Proposed Catholic Constitution. Key governance principles on which that document are based on are:

1. A Written Constitution -Throughout the Church each community would form its own body of regulations to ensure continuity of just procedures.
2. Subsidiarity - All decision-making rights and responsibilities would remain in the domain of smaller community unless the good of the broader community specifically demands that it exercise those rights and responsibilities.
3. Election - their respective constituents would elect Church leaders to office.
4. Limited Term of Office - Leaders would hold office for a limited term.
5. Separation of Powers - would be observed through elected councils and leaders, as well as through established judicial systems at all level. All will branches share responsibility in ways appropriate to the spirit of the Gospel and this Constitution.
6. Accountability - All leaders and councils would regularly provide their constituents an account of their work.
7. Representation - All Catholics, including women and minorities, would be equitably represented in all positions of leadership and decision-making.
8. Dialogue - All decisions would be arrived at thorough a process of charitable and respectful dialogue.  

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

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

Locations of visitors to this page

Contact Information

, D.P.A., President
(406) 544-5527
Postal address
P.O. Box 6512
Helena, MT 59604-6512


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