ACTA: ‘a dynamic voice for the laity, religious and clerical People of God’?


“Aspects of the agenda for ACTA’s ‘National Leadership Team’ meeting on 30 March give the clearest indication yet that the organisation seeks to break-up the Universal Church into autonomous national ‘churches’, establish an alternative ‘magisterium’ and usurp the authority of the successors to the Apostles.

The full text from the website – my comments in [bold]

‘Leadership Team meeting 30th March 2014

Members might be interested to know some agenda items –

How we can support other reform-minded groups who work for the fulfilment of the promise of the Second Vatican Council. To affiliate or not?  There are pros and cons: some aspects of ACTA are unique among reform groups – our diocesan-based structure, our determination to be democratic in our functioning……

· The translation of the Mass – this is not an issue that we will abandon. How to spread the Leeds ACTA document further and campaign effectively for the 1998 ICEL translation.

· Real dismay at our Bishops’ Conference keeping secret the analysis of our answers to the Synod Questionnaire on the Family. Sadness at the Westminster “reflection” on the answers. What advice can we offer members?

· A Synod of the Laity for England and Wales – how could we help promote and plan a bottom-up structure, democratically representative of local groups of the People of God, reflecting a true sensus fidelium? Our diocesan/geographically based groups would be an ideal starting point.

[This is an explicit call to usurp the authority of Diocesan Bishops and establish an alternative hierarchy. The reference to a 'true sensus fidelium' is an implicit demand for an alternative 'national magisterium' for England and Wales.]

· Theological developments in ACTA’s model for local groups, based on Karl Rahner “The Shape of the Church to Come”.

[Another aspect of developing a local 'magisterium'.]

· What contribution can ACTA make in the debate about admission to Communion of Catholics in “irregular” marriages?

The tip of the ice-berg! Membership!

In among an avalanche of ACTA e-mails, I found a message from a long-standing ACTA member which he was circulating in his ACTA Google Group. Out of the 21 people he was communicating with, only 2 are actually registered centrally as ACTA members. Those other 19 are all very interested people, already involved in ACTA dialogues- but not on our central lists at all.

If that number were scaled up around the country – if for every 2 registered members of ACTA, there are 19 other people who might be inclined to join us or maybe even feel they have already joined us – and if we all worked hard to get our membership numbers up and carefully recorded – we could have over 15,000 members. [*****] Then undoubtedly our Bishops’ Conference would be able – and willing – to put ACTA to the use for which it was founded, being a dynamic voice for the laity, religious and clerical People of God. [*****]

[An explicit call - and an assumption that the Bishops will acquiesce - for ACTA to become an alternative hierarchy in England and Wales.]

So let’s all get recruiting, sort out our contacts and tell our national Membership Secretary, Claire Ball at ….  about as many new supporters as possible. Please could all Coordinators check whether the Leadership Team is up-to-date with your local numbers?

Many thanks to everyone for all the hard work.

God bless and love from Jean [Riordan], Gerry [Hughes] and Kathy [Bamber], on behalf of all the Leadership Team of the NDC.’




ACTA is determined to present a ‘mainstream’ image: the latest example is a forthcoming ‘Study Day’ scheduled to take place at Manchester’s largest Catholic Church: The Holy Name, Oxford Road:

‘Salford ACTA Study Day

Saturday 24 May 2014, 11:00am – 05:00pm

Core event will be a talk given by Prof. John Sullivan of Liverpool Hope University, Christian Educator.

We will be hearing and discussing, “Speaking and Listening in the Church” and “Difficulties and Dialogue in the Church”.

An open forum will be included for questions and explanations.

Please use the main church entrance.

Fee charging car parks in immediate area.


Contact : John & Dorothy Ryan – Co-ordinators ACTA Salford’


ACTA is becoming increasingly emboldened in its efforts to appear mainstream, but its agenda remains self-serving and destructive. We must pray that the People of God and especially our Priests and Bishops recognise ACTA’s real agenda and ensure it is given no quarter.”


M Donnelly:  Thank you Bob

20 comments to ACTA: ‘a dynamic voice for the laity, religious and clerical People of God’?

  • Rifleman819

    Most interesting.Our bishops cannot be said to be lacking evidence of ACTA and its intentions because that is spread over cyberspace.

    We are now at that 1936 Rhineland moment…..when Hitler openly defied the Versailles treaty and marched.When the reaction was merely dismay and nothing more….and the countdown to WW2 began.
    We are at a similar juncture with this organisation.
    The reaction will be critical.

  • Joanne

    This is how revolutions get started. They want a coup d’état. It seems they are taking their cues from what the homosexual community accomplished in overthrowing traditional marriage. The bishops will easily cave to the pressure. The Catholic Church of England & Wales will look very different in 10 years.

  • Kinga Grzeczynska

    Does ACTA think that it’s movement will make the Catholic Church a ‘better Catholic Church’ by it’s efforts and demands of reform?
    In my opinion the leadership of ACTA are heading for a direct confrontational with the Bishops of England and perhaps Wales.
    Members of ACTA do please be aware for what you ask for – in the end you may not like the result.

    Baptised Christians (In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in those words only) are all people and children of God.
    Your intentions are difficult to understand and more so your demand to see results of the recent survey Synod Questionnaire on the Family (which I do wholeheartedly believe was meant for Bishops to investigate and not Adam and his children to comment on).

    By what rights do you think you can demand anything to our and your Bishops?

    You need to focus on clarity and also some transparency in your actions to make you understood by the rest of us Roman Catholics.

    Kinga Grzeczynska

  • BJC

    “ACTA: A dynamic voice for the laity, religious clerical People of God”

    What a joke. “ACTA a dynamic voice for heresy and neo-modernism” more like. Let the ACTA core membership team voluntarily take the Oath against Modernism and publish it on their website. Let them demonstrate they are people of good will, not a Trojan Horse come to wreck the Church from the inside. If they’ve got nothing to hide they’ll leap at the opportunity to bring peace to the Church and set everyone’s mind at ease.

  • Richard

    Having only just found this board, I don’t know what you know about “Common Purpose”.

    This appears to be the organisation behind much of the liberal take over of the state.

    I was immediately reminded of it when I saw the “Leadership Course” referenced above. This is how Common Purpose work.

    For a simple guide to the Real Common Purpose, see

    Of course they have their own website and from that you will see how the organisation is similar to ACTA

  • Chrysostom

    Has the Bishop of Salford given permission for this Study Day in a Church within his diocese? The Holy Name is now again in the hands of the Jesuits. Immediately the Jesuits took over this parish from the pious Oratory Fathers they stopped the daily Mass at 5.15 p.m. which was very well attended, especially by those not white, stopped the daily Confessions which preceded the Mass and stopped the weekly Latin Mass on Sunday afternoons.

    “By their fruits shall ye know them.”

    • Kieran

      Hi Chrysostom,
      Just to clarify. The Holy Name has always been a Jesuit Church, and the Diocese only ever had temporary pastoral oversight, which was entrusted to the Oratory Fathers. Therefore the church exists in the Diocese but is not a church of the Diocese, I would assume that limits the authority of the Bishop in this matter.
      I note that the Diocese has not advertised this event.

  • Paul Waddington

    According to my calculation, that means that ACTA have 1428 members.

    15,000/21 X 2 = 1428.5

    I doubt whether this is true. Does anyone have any reliable information?

  • J. Fitzpatrick

    Your fears about ACTA are groundless and, if I might say so, rather hysterical. ACTA has no wish to usurp the role and function of bishops but it does wish the bishops would take the voice of the laity into account. The Holy Spirit was not promised exclusively to bishops or priests but to the whole Church.

    • Bob Hayes

      Do you by any chance, J. Fitzpatrick, have a definition of the constituency that is – in your view – the ‘voice of the laity’? Your interpretation, whether theological or secular, would be most welcome.

    • JabbaPapa [Julian Lord]

      Your fears about ACTA are groundless and, if I might say so, rather hysterical

      Right, and let’s all pretend that nobody has noticed your active lobbying in favour of a “post-sacerdotal church” …

    • Hegesippus

      Peter and the soon-to-be-apostles received authority at the Primacy of Peter, Peter especially so. The everyday followers of Jesus, those he spoke to, healed and delivered, were not present.

    • Having had sight of many private emails from the ACTA groups I can assure everyone that ACTA’s aims are very much to overthrow the Church as we know it.

      The rejection of Church teaching is so deeply ingrained in the DNA of ACTA as to be inseparable.

  • Wake Up England

    Upon reading this article I find it increasingly astonishing that THIS blog has been attacked by the bishops for being divisive (or whatever the word was).

    My dear Bishops: if you do not condemn ACTA are we, the faithful, to infer that you support it?

  • JabbaPapa [Julian Lord]

    our determination to be democratic in our functioning……

    · The translation of the Mass – this is not an issue that we will abandon

    Laughable — they probably couldn’t even see if pointed out to them that the first thing that they state after their claim of “democracy” demonstrates it to be nothing more than a sham and a lie.

  • Nicolas Bellord

    This is an explicit call to usurp the authority of Diocesan Bishops

    I notice that there has been no comment about one particular aspect of my report of the Roffey meeting namely that Bishop Kieran Conry seems to be giving full support to A&B ACTA. If this is true then we have at least one Diocesan Bishop who is happy to have his authority usurped. I suppose it would save him a lot of bother not having to announce those tiresome teachings of the Church on abortion etc.

  • introibo

    Mr Fitzpatrick do you mean that you wish that the Bishops would take into account the views of a small vociferous group of laity who wish to foist their own agenda upon Holy Mother Church.

  • Richard

    The country has been taken over by a small band of liberals.
    The BBC has been taken over by liberals
    The Conservative Party has been taken over by a small band of liberals.
    The CofE is a small band of liberals.

    The Catholic Church is the next target.

    And these people have experience. And part of that experience is that few will try to fight them.

    Another plea for people to look at the website. Whilst ACTA is claiming to be in support of democracy, in fact it is the democracy of the “liberal elite” .

    Another link to an article referring to David Cameron’s failure to disclose his involvement with CP

  • John M

    ACTA will fail, it has to. ACTA may make short term gains, but ultimately the Church will prevail. We have a duty to protect our individual parishes from ACTA and draw attention to the heretical views fostered by ACTA.

    They may hide behind language that appeals to our secular society, “empowerment”, “moving forward”, “a 21st century Church”, “positive change”, “democracy”, etc. The reality is that they are trying to turn our Church upside down. Create a bottom up alternative hierarchy based on ‘democratic principles’, break away from the authority of Rome and create national churches, create a theology of sexuality not based on Church teaching but based on how people behave, ordain women ‘priests’, reject Humanae Vitae, accept gay marriage, accept divorce, that is where ACTA want our Church to go. This has got nothing to do with Vatican II (‘Spirit’ or otherwise) forget the fuzzy, folksy approach of these people, this group wants to turn our Church on her head.

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