We are a group of Catholics, some of whom are ordained, brought together by our love of Christ's Church and our anxiety about its future. Still inspired by the Second Vatican Council, we want to contribute fully to the life of our Church so that we may be a more effective sign of the Kingdom of God. To do this, we believe that an atmosphere of openness and dialogue both with each other and with our church leadership needs developing. Accordingly, we aim to supply channels of free and frank communication. We desire to help create a climate of trust and respect for all where this dialogue may be fostered.
ACTA is a movement built from below by clergy and laity alike in every diocese in England and Wales. It exists to give those people an effective voice. It is an instrument to establish and promote space for a trusting dialogue within a hierarchically structured people’s Church.
ACTA believes that the reforms of the Second Vatican Council are the only way forward for mission to modern society. It is not a small chapel of selected followers; it believes in the Church as a “big tent”, with open doors. As a free and representative association of believers, it seeks to liberate the expertise in the ranks, so as to bring added energy and witness to the Church in the world.
This makes sobering reading - note also the 15 readers' responses. We are nowhere near as strong yet. But we must surely start reaching out to try and engage our own bishops whereover possible. I hope that all the bishops (and our nuncio) will be invited to our national meetings in future - and local bishops to any regional ones. They need to listen before it's too late. And if any are willing to engage with us, we need to listen to them.
In this link Fr Brendan Hoban from the west of Ireland explains what the two-year-old ACP is - and is not - about. He has a new book out: Where do we go from here? The crisis in Irish Catholicism. Don't know the publisher - and it's not yet available on Amazon.co.uk. But I'd imagine the situation here is not that different. The Irish have now started an Association of Catholics in Ireland (ACI) for the laity. But if the bishops refuse to talk to their priests... We need prayer and strong, wise leadership ! And, of course, many more members.
I'm attaching a handout sent me from Melbourne, Nottinghamshire. I'd like to use it as a basis for a handout to publicise a similar meeting here in Lancashire where the dioceses of Liverpool, Lancaster and Salford meet. - were one to happen. Where indeed do we go from here? - Paul Browne
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