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What's So Bad About Call to Action?

On March 22, 1996, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, speaking for the one, universal Church, warned Catholics that membership in Call to Action (along with Planned Parenthood, Masonic organizations, and Catholics for a Free Choice, among others) would result in excommunication. Why?

Call to Action literature explains:

Bruskewitz opposes CTA for the very reasons mainstream Catholics are embracing it: open dialogue on ordaining women, accepting married priests, birth control for married couples, a popular voice for selecting bishops.["CTA Stronger after Nebraska bishop's censure" http://listserv.american.edu/catholic/cta/watch.html]

Call to Action maintains an openly rebellious and dissident position against Catholic Church teaching on morals and discipline. In addition to the CTA positions expressed in the above text, CTA has called for the "restructuring of parishes".

We must begin again as church, reinvent the church, refound the church - with a different structure and leadership. [quote from Fr. Art Baranowski, urging the creation of small faith communities, Call to Action News, December 1995-January 1996.]

Call to Action was established in 1976 with the organizational assistance of Alinsky disciple and IAF-trained Monsignor Jack Egan. Twenty years later, CTA has 14,000 members, many of them priests or ex-priests, religious or ex-religious, and diocesan personnel.

Call to Action Conferences have featured guest speaker Rosemary Ruether, speaking on "Ecofeminist Theology". Ruether, besides preaching for population control, is an enthusiastic advocate for supplanting Christianity "patriarchalism" with pagan Gaia spirituality. The 1996 CTA Conference will feature the heretical "Catholic" theologians Hans Kung and Charles Curran, and the deposed Bishop Jacques Gaillot of France, removed from his post for permitting married priests to celebrate Mass, for blessing homosexual unions, for encouraging distribution of condoms in public schools, and for working to change Church teachings about divorce and contraception.

CTA-led coalition organizations include pro-abortion Catholics for a Free Choice, Conference for Catholic Lesbians, Matthew Fox's Friends of Creation Spirituality, CORPUS organizations in the United States and Canada, etc. These groups stand in defiant contradiction to the moral strictures of scripture which have been affirmed by 2000 years of Church teaching and Church discipline.

The Call to Action has launched the "We Are Church: A Catholic Referendum", a subversive petition which has been circulated even among the young people in Catholic high schools. The petition contains a distillation of major CTA positions, demanding

  • * popular, "democratic" selection of bishops and priests.
  • * female ordination.
  • * a lifting of the discipline of clerical celibacy.
  • * a change in the Church's moral stand concerning birth control,    homosexuality, and other sexual issues.
  • * a greater Church emphasis on social justice and environmental    issues.
  • * "freedom of speech" for Church theologians.


In contrast to this mutinous and divisive spirit, the Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc. is launching a Call to Holiness. We stand firmly behind the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, and behind 2000 years of Church teaching. We support the hierarchical structure of the Church which, we believe, was established by God as a means to personal salvation and for the salvation of all.

On the Ordination of Women: The Catholic Church "holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church." [John Paul II, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, quoting Paul VI]

On priestly celibacy: "All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church...are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate 'for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.'" [Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1579; Mt 19:12; see also 1994 Directory on the Ministry for the Clergy.]

On "democratic" selection of bishops and priests: The Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 874 - 913, details the hierarchical structure of the Church and the virtue of this structure. The moral and teaching authority of the Church flow from Jesus Christ, its head, through the Pope and then to the Bishops who operate in concert with the Pope [Lumen Gentium #25] and through them, to the faithful. "Popular selection" of priests or bishops reverses the flow of hierarchical authority.

On active, homosexual behavior: "Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder....when they [people] engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination....Christians who are homosexual are called, as all of us are, to a chaste life." [Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith]

On birth control: "'[E]very action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act. or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or a means, to render procreation impossible' is intrinsically evil." [Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2370, reaffirming Humanae Vitae, # 14.]

On abortion: "Among all the crimes which can be committed against life, procured abortion has characteristics making it particularly serious and deplorable. The Second Vatican Council defines abortion, together with infanticide, as an 'unspeakable crime.'" [Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II, # 58, referring to Gaudium et Spes, # 51.]

On social justice and Catholic Action: "The Church well knows that no temporal achievement is to be identified with the Kingdom of God, but that all such achievements simply reflect and in a sense anticipate the glory of the Kingdom, the Kingdom that we await at the end of history, when the Lord will come again." [Solicitudo Rei Socialis, Pope John Paul II, # 48.]

On "freedom of speech" for Catholic educators and theologians: "[I]t is apparent, however, that some today...desirous of novelty, and fearing to be considered ignorant of recent scientific findings, try to withdraw themselves from the Sacred Teaching Authority and are accordingly in danger of gradually departing from revealed truth and drawing others along with them into error." [Concerning Some False Opinions which Threaten to Undermine the Foundations of Catholic Doctrine, Pope Pius XII, # 10.]


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