Jean Riordan, the Chair of A Call to Action’s National Steering Group, has sent out an email its 1,200 registered members encouraging them to join or form a group in every diocese to spread its mission of dissent, or as they frame it, ‘dialogue and openness’. Jean Riordan also wants ACTA members to proselytize by telling other parishioners about ACTA and by inviting local priests and members of religious orders to join as well. The bishops of England and Wales are happy about a dissent group establishing diocesan groups with diocesan reps?
Jean Riordan wrote the following about ACTA’s diocesan plans:
‘We have co-ordinators in every diocese who are happy to welcome new members and put them in touch with other supporters, if that is their wish. ACTA is developing in different ways in all 22 dioceses. Some dioceses have a programme of talks, discussion and prayer. Members elsewhere are too scattered for that and make whatever arrangements suit their circumstances, meeting occasionally for prayer and discussion, or just keeping in touch by e-mail. There is no uniformity between different dioceses and no necessity for it. All that is needed is a commitment to the ACTA mission statement, which you see at the top of our web-site, acalltoaction.org.uk. Anyone can join as a supporter or member by registering their name and contact details, either on the site or by e-mail or phone or attendance at an ACTA event.
We know that many of our members are already very busy working doing God’s work in the world through Justice and Peace or Cafod or other excellent movements. We don’t want to overburden or deflect them – anyone can support ACTA just by taking time to register your support for the Mission Statement by sending us your details. Talking about ACTA to friends and family is an easy and very valuable help. Attached above is a list of diocesan co-ordinators.’
The email from Jean Riordan also gives details of their upcoming Day Conference at Newman University in Birmingham, at which they will be addressed by Jesuit Gerry Hughes of Heythrop College, among others:
‘Now you are warmly invited to attend the second annual ACTA DAY CONFERENCE, open to all supporters, which will be at Newman University in Birmingham on Saturday October 26th 2013, from 11am to 5pm, doors open at 10am to facilitate registration.
We are fortunate to have three distinguished speakers – Prof. John Sullivan from Hope University on “Ecclesial Citizens, not sheep”, Prof. Ursula King from Bristol University on “The Church in Dialogue with Women?” and Gerry J. Hughes S.J. on “Where do we go from here?” There will be questions, discussion and the establishment of the new governing body of ACTA – the elected National Delegate Council. As the venue fits 500 and we have over a thousand supporters, registration for the conference will be essential, on a first come, first served basis. The ACTA conference coordinator is Richard Brooke. Please see his attachment above for all registration details. Details about travelling, access, catering and schedule will be e-mailed to everyone in September.’
Protect the Pope comment: Here’s a reminder of A Call to Action’s true objectives set out in its founding document written and signed by 11 priests of England and Wales:
In the letter published in the 2nd June issue of The Tablet seven priests protested about the Church’s teaching on sexuality, and married priests, and express opposition to the new translation of the Mass and antagonism towards the Holy See. The seven priests were : Fr Ian Byrnes (Arundel and Brighton), Fr. John Lally (Nottingham), Fr Patrick McLaughlin (unknown), Fr Frank Nally SSC, Fr Derek Reeve (Portsmouth), Fr Joe Ryan (Westminster) Fr Paul Sanders (Southwark). (Based on priests named in Catholic Directory of England and Wales 2011).
Here are some extracts:
Dissent from the Church’s teaching on sexuality
‘The bishops speak of “fostering and encouraging a culture of dialogue and solidarity” but, in reality, there is little opportunity or forum for this and there seems a reluctance to listen to the people whose lived reality is so often at odds with the teaching of the institutional Church. This is especially true in reading the signs of the times; i.e. matters of developing a theology of sexuality rooted in the actual experiences of the faithful and developing an understanding of the relationships between evolution and religion. The sensus fidelium seems forgotten.’
‘“Creating a national vocations framework,offering discernment and opportunities for all” again seems to ignore the view of so many ofthe laity that it is time for us to have seriousdiscussion about married men and the institutional priesthood.’
Antagonism towards the Holy See
‘While we support our bishops in their desire for the renewal of our Church, we recognise that certain basic teachings of the SecondVatican Council seem to be bypassed by the Roman Curia so that real collegiality is not fully exercised and much of the responsibility of the local bishops has been abrogated bythe Curia.’
Opposition to the new Translation
The recent imposition of the new translation of the Mass texts is an obvious example of this. We feel that it is imperative that those of us in the ministerial priesthood who are concerned for these and many other matters should gather together so that we both support our bishops and be a voice to which they can listen.’