The Archdiocese of Detroit has been contacted by concerned members of the faithful about a movement called the American Catholic Council. Self-described as “bringing together a network of individuals, organizations, and communities to consider the state and future of our Church,” they have planned a national gathering in Detroit for the weekend of Pentecost 2011. The American Catholic Council movement and its national gathering are not conducted under the auspices of the Detroit archdiocese, the universal Roman Catholic Church, or any entity or organization affiliated with the archdiocese or the universal Roman Catholic Church.
Although their stated purpose is to “respond to the Spirit of Vatican II by summoning the Baptized together to demonstrate our re-commitment and the documents issued by the American Catholic Council offer some valid aspirations for the Church, in fact, the goals proposed are largely in opposition to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the Holy Spirit, which inspired the Council.
The archdiocese wishes to commend and embrace all true efforts at Church renewal – the American Church Council’s agenda is not such an effort. Some of the advertised speakers and groups organizing the effort espouse positions which are clearly contrary to Catholic faith, leading to alienation and estrangement from the Church. The Archdiocese of Detroit cautions any Catholic against participating in the American Catholic Council local listening sessions and national gathering in June 2011. Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions are not to host any meetings, gatherings, or “listening sessions” associated with the planning of the June 2011 American Catholic Council. Priests, deacons, and ecclesial lay ministers will want to avoid lending support to such a misguided effort. On behalf of the archdiocese, Archbishop Vigneron has asked the organizers to cancel their plans for this national gathering that distorts the true Spirit of Vatican II. He asks us all to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that we may embrace authentic development of faith and morals, and shun efforts which threaten unity.
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