Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church, Leonard Swidler, 215-477-1080
Call To Action Northern Virginia, Sharon Danner, 703-680-0860
Call To Action USA, Nicole Sotelo, Acting Co-Director, 773-404-0004
Catholics for a Free Choice Canada, Rosemary Ganley, 705-748-9756
CORPUS, Anthony Padovano, 973-539-8732
DignityUSA, Sam Sinnett, President, 314-477-5798
Loretto Women’s Network, Mary Ann Cunningham, SL, 303-936-5904
National Coalition of American Nuns, Jeannine Gramick, SL, Executive Co-Director, 301-864-3604
New Ways Ministry, Francis DeBernardo, 240-432-2489
Spiritus Christi, Mary Ramerman
Voice of the Faithful New Jersey, Theresa Padovano, Facilitator, 973-539-8732
Women-Church Convergence, Bridget Mary Meehan, Co-Coordinator, 703-283-2929
Women's Ordination Conference, Aisha Taylor, Executive Director, 703-352-1006
A Statement from Catholic Church Reform Groups
As progressive Catholics who are committed to our church, we respond with regret and dismay to the publication of Pope Benedict XVI’s two recent edicts.
The first statement released on July 7, “Summorum Pontificum,” encouraged a return to the celebration of the Latin Mass of 1962, subtly critiquing the vernacular liturgy of the last 45 years. It may well mark the return in Catholic prayers for the conversion of the Jews, a tragic and harmful manipulation of piety.
We are surprised the Pope has not learned from his remarks at Regensburg, which so offended the Muslim world a year ago.
Three days later, the Pope approved a document that reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church. In the document, Benedict stresses that the “one church subsists” in Roman Catholicism, whereas other Christian denominations “suffer from defects.” The Orthodox Church, without complete acceptance of the Bishop of Rome, “lacks something constitutive.”
This statement dramatically undermines the ecumenical spirit of Vatican Council II (1962-1965) and rebuffs forty years of ecumenical efforts at the grassroots. Needlessly offensive and untimely, this letter places in jeopardy good faith negotiations towards greater Christian unity. It is a giant step backwards and smacks of an outdated Roman triumphalism.
Taken together, these letters demonstrate the resolve of the Pope to turn back the clock, retain a conservative base and disregard major efforts at constructive action for justice among disparate partners in a multi-religious world. We feel more and more estranged from our church's leadership as the Vatican once again uses its power to demean rather than affirm others, to seek exclusion over inclusion and Christian love.