Call to Action was founded in 1976 to promote a progressive agenda in the Catholic Church. We affirm the theological thinking of the Second Vatican Council. In accordance with the principles set down by that Council, we decry the culture of clericalism that pervades our church and encourages clergy at all levels to monopolize decision-making. The new parish structure which we envisage will be a collaborative venture welcoming the talents and insights of all members of the community.
Thus, we affirm the vital importance of the sensus fidelium, and in this crucial area of mature discipleship, we are secure in Christ’s promise that the sincere community is always accompanied by the Spirit.
We support a church that is fully inclusive of divorced Catholics and unequivocally responsive to the needs of LGBTQ+ people who must enjoy full equality in the ecclesial community. In addition, we reject the outmoded thinking that precludes women from ordination as deacons and priests, and we strongly favor the elimination of mandatory celibacy as a prerequisite for ordination.
Call to Action enthusiastically affirms Pope Francis’ prophetic encyclical, Laudato Si, which sets out clearly our moral duties to preserve and enhance our common home. We also applaud this pope’s commitment in Fratelli Tutti to Catholic Social Teaching and his trenchant critique of the prevailing brand of capitalism which pays little heed to considerations of the common good, the core guiding principle of Catholic social belief.
We also abhor racism in all its manifestations and pledge to join other like-minded groups in working to eliminate this evil from our society.
Board of Directors
- President – Art McGrath
- Vice President – Roe Sauerzopf
- Treasurer- Marylee Raymond Diamond
- Secretary – Paula Acuti
- Board Members – Juan Fonseca, Gerry O’Shea, Mary Sugrue, and Karen Jorgensen
- Dignity USA
- Future Church
- National Catholic Reporter
- New Ways Ministry
- Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
- SNAP Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
- Voice of the Faithful
- Women’s Ordination Conference
Call to Action Metro NY supports
USCCB Pastoral Letter on Racism and applies it to the Chapter
Call to Action on Mass incarceration
The November 2018 meeting of the USCCB approved publication of Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love – A Pastoral Letter Against Racism
The letter defines racism as people “… either consciously or unconsciously…holding that his or her own race or ethnicity is superior and therefore judges person of other races or ethnicities as inferior and unworthy of equal regard.” The letter notes that when this conviction or attitude leads “individuals or groups to exclude, ridicule, mistreat or unjustly discriminate against persons on the basis of their race or ethnicity, it is sinful. Racist acts are sinful because they violate justice. They reveal a failure to … recognize them as the neighbors Christ calls us to love (Mt 22:39).”
SILENCE, THE CHURCH AND MASS INCARCERATION
One of the many forms of racism noted by the letter is silence. The sin of omission occurs “when individuals, communities, and even churches remain silent and fail to act against racial injustice when it is encountered. The letter quotes the Pew Research Center that the “number of inmates of color (in prison), notably those who are brown and black, is grossly disproportionate.” The letter considers the role of the Catholic Church in racism including the Papal Bull of 1452, Dum Diversas, Nicholas V which “granted apostolic permission for the kings of Spain and Portugal to buy and sell Africans, setting the stage for the slave trade.” Despite subsequent Popes rejection of slavery “many American Catholic leaders, including Catholic bishops, failed to formally oppose slavery; some even owned slaves.”
CALL TO ACTION
The USCCB has mandated the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism to work for justice and implement the vision of this letter. The letter instructs “priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters, lay leaders, parish staff and all the faithful to endeavor to be missionary disciples carrying forth the message of fraternal charity and human dignity… (and to work on) developing and supporting programs that help repair the damages caused by racial discrimination.”
THE CHALLENGE OF THE CALL TO ACTION
The letter remind us that this work (as missionary disciples) is not easy. The letter encourages us to “invite into dialogue those we ordinarily would not seek out. We must work to form relationships with those we might regularly try to avoid. This demands that we go beyond ourselves, opening our minds and hearts to value and respect the experience of those who have been harmed by the evil of racism. Love also requires us to invite a change of heart in those who may be dismissive of other’s experiences or whose hearts may be hardened by prejudice or racism.”
CTA Metro NY has accepted the invitation of the of “Open Wide Our Hearts..” Clearly mass incarceration and the new Jim Crow structures supporting it were caused by racism and now is the time to help repair the damage caused by the structures that created mass incarceration.
Call to Action Metro NY, Inc