January 25, 2004
January 4, 2004
Statement by the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church
The resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law means it is now show-time for Bostonís Catholics. They have proven that organized and informed laity and clergy can have a profound impact on Church life. This new-found voice of the laity and clergy should be raised to claim their right to have a say in the choice of Bostonís new bishop who has to bring them out of the chaos left to them by Law and several of his former auxiliary bishops.
The only way the Church can begin to regain credibility is to allow the people to choose their own bishop. The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC) calls on Boston Catholics to quickly make known their needs and assemble a job description for the new bishop, which would include the following:
∑ The candidate must have pastoral experience
∑ The candidate must be a person of prayer
∑ The candidate must be a Good Shepherd who is known for compassion, kindness, and honesty.
∑ The candidate must come from the local church.
∑ The candidateís first loyalty must be to Jesus, the people of God, and the papacy -- in that order.
A constitutional elective process to choose the new bishop would go a long way towards starting the healing which must take place within the Church. Boston could regain its traditional place as a leader in US Catholicism and become a model of Catholic democratic governance with the establishment of appropriate democratic principles.ARCC is a 501-c3 non-profit international organization dedicated to achieving substantive structural change in the Roman Catholic Church. It works to implement an identified body of rights that every Catholic has from Baptism and membership in the human community. ARCC works for a more collegial church structure which affirms these rights through accountability and shared decision making.