The true nature of A Call to Action’s dissent exposed at 2012 Heythrop meeting, part 1

Heythrop CollegeThe true intentions of A Call to Action are not expressed in their new mission statement but in their founding letter published in The Tablet and in the documents that emerged following their Heythrop meeting in October 2012.  This meeting was booked to be held at Heythrop College, but was moved at the last minute to  St  Mary Abbots Church to better accommodate the 400 people who attended, from nearly every diocese of England and Wales. During December 2012 a member of ACTA issued a document summarising the issues raised at the Heythrop meeting.

Here is a selection from that document that reveals the true nature of A Call to Action’s dissent from the doctrines and discipline of the Church. It’s lengthy document so Protect the Pope will cover it in a number of posts:

12/10/12

‘To try to ease navigation, below an updated numbered list of contributions & concerns from the ‘A Call to Action’ (I’ve adopted ACTA) e-mails and the Heythrop meeting. Edited and paraphrased and where contributions are more than a couple of lines I’ve used italics to indicate from a single author.’ [...]

1) Fear;

2) Women priests;

3) Married priests;

4) Church’s laws on Contraception;

5) Lack of collegiality;

6) Lack of subsidiarity;

7) Failure to implement Vatican II.

8) Bishops to really engage with us, to really hear us;

9) Eucharistic famine – shortage of priests;

10) No shortage of priests if we are all a priestly people;

21) Gay marriage;

22) Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender/ Questioning concerns;

30) New Missal translation;

31) Over-riding of 1998 ICEL translation;

32) Treading too gently with the bishops;

33) Intimidation & autocratic power by bishops towards laity and particularly women associated with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP);

34) Primacy of conscience;

35) What to do if our bishops won’t engage with us;

36) An hierarchy who by saying nothing and not responding (to the questions many Catholics think important) appear to just be stalling until the clouds pass so life can go back to their ‘normal’;

38) Concerns raised in http://www.churchauthority.org/index.asp The Jubilee Declaration. Summary of  7 urgent reforms follows:

Clearly re-define the role of the papacy in line with Christ’s intentions.

Bishops are vicars of Christ, not vicars of the pope.

The central synod of bishops should assume a more decisive role in planning and guiding the maintenance and growth of faith within our complex world. To do so it needs appropriate structures.

Bring about Vatican II’s call for collegiality & co-responsibility on all levels, through e.g. priestly senates and pastoral councils, to involve the faithful more directly in decision making.

Stop and peel back the abuse of choosing for leadership offices in the church only candidates of a particular mindset.

Radically reform the Roman curia, in line with Vatican II, so that it can perform useful administrative and executive roles.

The congregation for the doctrine of the faith should be assisted by international commissions of experts, independently chosen for their professional competence.

Overall the exercise of authority in our church should emulate the standards of openness, accountability and democracy aspired to in modern society. Leadership should be seen to be honest and credible; inspired by humility and service; breathing concern for people rather than preoccupation with rules and discipline; radiating a Christ who makes us free; and listening to Christ’s Spirit who speaks and acts through each and every person; [Author's emphasis in bold]

39) Abbot of Einsiedeln’s suggestions:

 All baptised & confirmed in a diocese to have say in appointing their bishop.

Cardinals could be chosen from men or women, young or old and have term limits, say 5 years;

such appointees to meet with the Pope every 3 months.

The hierarchy to take people and realities seriously, otherwise it is an “act of disobedience” The word “obedience” has as its stem the Latin word for “listening”;

43) Man made laws of the Catholic church overshadowing what Christ taught;

44) Injustice in the Catholic church;

45) For all the baptised to have a voice that is listened to;

46) Changes to the new translation & Ordination of women would take too long to get accepted;

47) Need to set up space for dialogue first before broaching issues;

51) Withholding money our one real threat;

54) Not only withdrawal of financial support but also labour as church dependent on many volunteers;

55) Re women priests – learn from other faith’s experience;

62) Jesus came to announce the Good News of God’s Reign, not to found a church – we are called to be a church for the life of the world, not a church for the life of the church;

64) ‘No’ to Peter’s Pence campaign;

72) Rome the big issue, creating a climate of fear, which stifles reasoned argument & growth towards the Kingdom;

79) Given that the institutional church can:

  • · Laicise, dismiss or censure those who ‘DO’ call for dialogue e.g. Fr Roy Bourgeois, Fr Bill Rowe, Frs Gerry Maloney & Tony Flannery, Bishop William Morris, Fr Brian D’Arcy C.P. Fr Owen Sullivan OFM Cap, Fr Peter Kennedy (St Mary’s in Exile) and all those listed in Matthew Fox’s book ‘The Pope’s War.’ http://contemplativecatholicuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/courage-under-silence.html
  • · Impose a translation of the missal without any consultation after appointing a secretive commission ‘Vox Clara’ to finish off the job.
  • · Put all religious sisters in the U.S. under Papal scrutiny without consultation
  • · Equate discussion with dissent. Looking at the past, take for example the doctrine of ‘reception’ of church teaching e.g. humane Vitae, or the principle of Vox Populi vox Dei – so important in the Arian controversy – this would now be seen as dissent ! ! !
  • · Replace the authority of, implementation of and interpretation of an Ecumenical Council (Vatican II) with that of the opinion of the Bishop of Rome !
  • · Cover up and delay dealing with child abuse crises and even a senior Cardinal (Sodano) referring to the crisis as ‘idle chatter’ 

Is it realistic to think the Bishops will dialogue with us when the institutional track record is anything but one of dialogue? And is Saying No to Peters Pence really so out of proportion?

88) We need meaningful dialogue with the bishops on church governance, e.g. what should the role of bishop be in today’s church and how should they be chosen? How can the views of the laity be heard and acknowledged when they are in direct contradiction to papal teachings? How can the Church reach out to those who feel marginalised and alienated because of her teaching? How can the curial system, basically ambitious men doing things as they want to, be reformed;

90) We have to rattle the chairs they (bishops) are sat on! One way is stopping their cash!

104) I think the issue of the ordination of women is central to any effort we make to renew the institutional church and to enhance the christian life of the People of God….If one religion can free itself of misogynistic attitudes and behaviours, then it should be possible for others to follow the example.

But,… not to ignore….examples of priestly dedication, do we want to ordain women into a corrupt and corrupting clerical caste?

Protect the Pope comment: Since Mgr Marcus Stock attended ACTA’s first  national meeting at Hinsley Hall and the National Steering Group of A Call to Action issuing its mission statement there has been a determined effort to hide the true dissenting nature of this group through the smoke and mirrors of ‘dialogue’ and ‘openness’. However, ACTA was not so discreet in 2012. It should be noted that the ordination of women was mentioned four times in the summary of the Heythrop meeting, and that withholding money and saying No to Peter’s Pence was also mentioned a number of times. This is the true face of ACTA.

 

16 comments to The true nature of A Call to Action’s dissent exposed at 2012 Heythrop meeting, part 1

  • Joseph Matthew

    Deacon Nick, We need a list of clergy members of ACTA so that those of us who would wish to avoid them may do so. That is my “primacy of conscience”.

  • Michael Petek

    “4) Church’s laws on Contraception.”

    Since an act of contraception is per se an act of idolatry, could we examine this one first so that we can give C2A out first ball?

    Anything else wouldn’t be cricket.

  • Bob Hayes

    If people do chose to change parishes so as to get away from an ACTA-supporting priest, i think it essential that they write to their bishop explaining why they have done so. If a newsletter or website shows evidence of ACTA sympathies this should also be copied to the bishop.

  • Mersey Mercy

    I regulalry read the minutes of my local ACTA group, because they make them freely available online. I have noted several priests of the Liverpool and Lancaster Dioceses known to me and none of them came as a shock. There was also an ex-organist from one of the Cathedrals listed (now acting in an official capacity I believe). I also have it on good authority that there are laicised priests listed (some of whom may have had the odd run-in with an earthly Judge or two!). There is an irony – seeing that ACTA seems so critical of the Church’s reactions to the Child Abuse scandal!

    What I find incredibly disconcerting though is that the majority of those priests listed are rank and file clergy, preaching their seditious messages week in, week out, to a laity all too ready and eager to hear them. With that in mind and the recent case of Fr Ray Blake: Bishop Conry spoke out against him initially without having appeared to have read the blog post properly (I know he’s since defended Fr Blake in the Herald – which is sort of good). However, what has Bishop Conry said about Fr John Oliver and ACTA in A&B? Nothing, because it would appear he approves. This should come as no surprise due to the good Bishop’s mangling of some of the key documents from Vatican II.

    http://ccfather.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/sacrosanctum-concilium-as-seen-through.html

    I think it would be interesting to know all those priests who support ACTA, because as Joseph says we could then try and avoid them.

  • Paul Smyth

    And this is Bishop Conry’s agenda!

  • This group appears to be totally opposed to Catholic doctrine and the priest members involved need to be censored by their bishops pdq.

  • Kieran

    Wow what a list! While many probably agree that the Roman Curia does need reform, isn’t this list more about change rather than true reform or renewal. As I read the list I was left wondering whether what certain members of ACTA really want is a Catholic Protestant Church. Some of the points for example that of refusing to contribute financially to the local Church and Peters Pence is just a little childish and petty.

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick ,

    The cat well and truly out of the bag and gnawing at the pigeons.

    These people are deceitful from first to last.No integrity whatsoever.

    All of this must reach all Catholic media and the Nuncio’s desk.

    And everything cc’d to Rome.

  • “Withhoding money and saying `NO` to Peter`s Pence. Gee, that has us shaking. Of course it is the laity who are asked to contribute so I suppose the laity will be told in the parishes in a `democratic` way “I am not having a collection for Peter`s Pence”. This seems to be a collection of every and any imagined grievance the group could think up to attract membership. Perhaps I should put forward my grievance “There are too many candles being lit in the church. This dangerous practice has to stop. So I will take out membership right away for ACTA. Really, really, they must be so unhappy as priests, we must pray for them.

  • Mike2

    Deacon Nick,

    I thought that there is a certain amount of irony about a story blowing up in Scotland just now. Strangely, I first read about this story on a blog written by somebody who, I think, is an American: George Conger. But before you have a look at the links I have attached have a read of the article below.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/getreligion/2013/09/a-scottish-tabloid-libels-the-churches-of-christ/
    Further comment here:
    http://geoconger.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/daily-record-shows-how-not-to-write-an-attack-piece-get-religion-september-11-2013/

    Primary heads removed over gay propaganda row

    Senior teachers at a South Bloggshire school have been removed following a parent outcry over the involvement of a homosexual lobby group.
    Some parents at Anytown Primary have labelled Stonewall extremist.
    South Bloggshire has now redeployed the two officials who shared the head teacher post.
    The authority also said it had launched “a full investigation into management practices at the school”.
    Controversy over Stonewall’s involvement with Anytown Primary was highlighted in national newspaper articles.
    ‘Full investigation’
    Some parents were reported to have been outraged that their children were given books at an assembly questioning traditional marriage and promoting homosexuality.
    The authority held a meeting with concerned parents on Tuesday, after which the decision was taken to redeploy Sheila McCallum and Christine Muldoon, the school’s two head teachers.
    In a statement, South Bloggshire’s education director John Grant said: “As indicated to parents, a full investigation into the management practices within the school has been instigated.
    It was clear that everyone was keen to see the school move on from the current situation”
    “In order to assist with this, the current head teachers have been moved from the school and redeployed to other duties within education resources, with immediate effect.
    “A temporary senior management team has been put in place.
    “The council will continue to work with the parents to ensure that Anytown Primary School now moves forward with educating and caring for the community’s children.”
    Mr Gilhooly confirmed the changes at the school in a letter to parents on Thursday.
    He told them that Stonewall would no longer be given access to Anytown or any other local schools.
    The education director said the investigation would look at security at the school and the role of the parent council and school chaplaincy service.
    In his letter to parents, Mr Gilhooly concluded: “In my discussions with the parent council, and during the larger parent meeting, it was clear that everyone was keen to see the school move on from the current situation.
    “Hopefully these initial actions help to achieve this and I want to assure you that the safety and education of your children are paramount in all of our minds.
    “Finally, please also be assured that I will continue to inform you of decisions relating to your school.”

    Now, that is obviously a spoof. South Bloggshire? Anytown? Here is the actual article it is based on:

    Kirktonholme Primary heads removed over religious row
    Senior teachers at a South Lanarkshire school have been removed following a parent outcry over the involvement of a US-based religious group.
    Some parents at Kirktonholme Primary in East Kilbride have labelled the Church of Christ extremist.
    South Lanarkshire Council has now redeployed the two officials who shared the head teacher post.
    The authority also said it had launched “a full investigation into management practices at the school”.
    Controversy over the Church of Christ’s involvement with Kirktonholme Primary was highlighted in national newspaper articles.
    ‘Full investigation’
    Some parents were reported to have been outraged that their children were given books at an assembly questioning evolution and highlighting the church’s own religious viewpoints.
    The authority held a meeting with concerned parents on Tuesday, after which the decision was taken to redeploy Sandra McKenzie and Liz Mockus, the school’s two head teachers.
    In a statement, South Lanarkshire’s education director Jim Gilhooly said: “As indicated to parents, a full investigation into the management practices within the school has been instigated.
    Continue reading the main story
    “Start Quote
    It was clear that everyone was keen to see the school move on from the current situation”
    End Quote Jim Gilhooly South Lanarkshire’s education director
    “In order to assist with this, the current head teachers have been moved from the school and redeployed to other duties within education resources, with immediate effect.
    “A temporary senior management team has been put in place.
    “The council will continue to work with the parents to ensure that Kirktonholme Primary School now moves forward with educating and caring for the community’s children.”
    Mr Gilhooly confirmed the changes at the school in a letter to parents on Thursday.
    He told them that West Mains Church of Christ would no longer be given access to Kirktonholme or any other local schools.
    The education director said the investigation would look at security at the school and the role of the parent council and school chaplaincy service.
    In his letter to parents, Mr Gilhooly concluded: “In my discussions with the parent council, and during the larger parent meeting, it was clear that everyone was keen to see the school move on from the current situation.
    “Hopefully these initial actions help to achieve this and I want to assure you that the safety and education of your children are paramount in all of our minds.
    “Finally, please also be assured that I will continue to inform you of decisions relating to your school.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-24077924

    How terrible. An organisation has been allowed into a school without the knowledge and approval of the parents and has been promoting its ideas in that school. Now when this organisation is religious this causes a big stooshie and the story gets full media shock-horror coverage. But would the same ever happen when Stonewall does exactly the same thing?

    Here’s a second irony. I belong to a teacher trade union called the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association. In June they sent me the latest edition of their newsletter. It contained this item:

    “Equalities – LGBT Youth
    As many members will be aware homophobic bullying in schools is an all too common problem. This is especially so since the evidence is gathering to show that LGBT young people are ‘coming ‘out during their senior years in school whereas in the past this tended to be delayed until work or college time. The SSTA is attempting to work closely with LGBT Youth Scotland and the EIS to raise the profile of the needs of LGBT young people.
    In particular, we are attempting to promote the teaching materials that have been produced by LGBT Youth and have been sent to Scottish schools. We would welcome members’ views on the issue of homophobia in schools and our Equalities Panel are co-ordinating this.”
    (The EIS is the Educational Institute of Scotland. It is the largest teachers’ trade union in Scotland.)

    Now the EIS commented on the Kirktonholme Primary School story. This was in response to a request from BBC Scotland. Unfortunately, the lunchtime edition of Reporting Scotland is not available on iPlayer and the 6.30pm bulletin did not mention the EIS response so I can’t give the exact quote from the EIS but basically they said that they disproved of outside groups going into schools in an attempt to promote their beliefs. I just wondered how the EIS squared this with their co-operation with LGBT Scotland.

    Where I think that the Church of Christ got it wrong was the way in which they gained access to the school. What they should have done obviously, is to say that bullying of Christians in schools is all too common and that they were going into the school to help deal with the problem of Christophobic bullying.

    I pass this story onto you as it is a good example of the hypocrisy out there when it comes to dealing with matters religious and homosexual. There is no need to put it onto your blog.

    Ditto the following:

    Here are some interesting stories.

    The Herald newspaper has this article:
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/crime-courts/ex-bbc-radio-presenter-used-his-celebrity-to-abuse-vulnerable-boys-court-told.1378811838
    Three days after it was published there are still no comments. You can bet that if this gentleman had any connection with the Catholic Church there would be umpteen comments by now.

    In March this year, John Humphrys on the Today programme on BBC said that the terms ‘paedophile’ and ‘priest’ had become ‘almost synonymous’. When I complained the BBC I got the reply that there was nothing to complain about as the comment would not have misled the average listener of the today programme. On the other hand, when a BBC presenter made a comment about Rangers football club to which some Rangers fans took exception, the BBC apologised. No mention of the comment not misleading the average listeners to the programme.
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/bbc-says-sorry-over-spences-rangers-comments.22092189

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick -wonderful English -”to dialogue a bishop”?

    Interesting that they are also focussed on money-and that the original meeting was planned to be held at Heythrop-which last time I looked-claims to be vaguely aligned with that backward looking sect in Rome.

    Number 51-smack on! Number 52-”ought” to be …”the Catholic Church in E and W withholding any resources whatsoever.”

    All of this is plainly heretical….and their obfuscating tactics have now been blown wide open.

    I note you have a Part 1….can it get even worse in Part 2?
    What is /should be in the back of our mind is the current (sadly) train crash in the Church of England…….their General Synod did not exist before 1970-so in just over 40 years of sweet-talking to eventual thuggery has transformed that ecclesial body.
    Time to act against our activists is …now. If the Catholic church in Britain secures good , holy and courageous bishops then ACTA is finished.They know it too.
    The 50 year struggle to protestantise the Catholic Church is coming to its climax -both here and elsewhere.

  • BJC

    Deacon Nick

    Keep it going. This is one “dialogue” we all need to have. I don’t see why we should be putting our hands in our pockets subsidising this lot.

    Matthew Fox, by the way, was expelled from the Dominicans by Benedict in 1993 when he was head of the CDF. He believes in something he calls the “Original Blessing” not Original Sin amongst other kooky liberal ideas. Full story below.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Fox_(priest)

  • Bob Hayes

    ACTA seems to have an official foothold in Plymouth Diocese, in the form of
    ‘A collaboration between the local ACTA group, Torbay Deanery and the Vicariate for Formation’.

    http://www.acalltoaction.org.uk/…/119-vatican-2-and-you

  • Benedict Carter

    I share the other posters’ wrath at this group of neo-protestants and their infiltration techniques (classic Marxist entryism) on display.

    But I have to ask you all: why the shock?

    This is exactly what the post-Vatican II Church has been like since the poison of that Council flowed into the Church’s veins from the mid-’60′s onwards.

    The institutional Church you knew no longer exists. My personal thought is that to save our souls we should have nothing whatever to do with it.

  • [...] still maintain they are loyal Catholics. This hobby is made a great deal easier by the excellent Protect the Pope blog, who has recently reproduced extracts from meetings of a group calling itself ACTA. You can [...]

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