This week, Call to Action, issued this statement on the new leadership of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops which continues to demonstrate its indifference to providing the kind of Gospel-inspired public moral witness that people in the pews yearn for. Call To Action’s mission is to educate, inspire and activate Catholics to act for justice and build inclusive communities through a lens of anti-racism and anti-oppression principles.
The statement is published here with CTA’s permission.
Catholic Bishops have just elected the next President and Vice President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USSCB). In an election at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel today, the Bishops chose Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese and Archbishop José Gomez of the Los Angeles Archdiocese.
“While these two bishops may be heralded as more moderate than previous leadership,” said David Saavedra, Transitional Co-Director of Call To Action, “their views remain out of step with the majority of Catholics in the United States who want to see real change when it comes to church justice.”
We are grateful for the work these Bishops have done with regards to immigration and racial justice,” said Saavedra, “but neither of them have taken significant steps forward on other issues about which Catholics want to see change, including the sexual abuse crisis, women’s equality, lgbt justice and other significant concerns.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese was named this year among the country’s five worst Bishops by the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). He also worked against women’s equal access to contraception while he chaired the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities. His work against contraception shows how out of step he is with the Catholic laity since 99% of sexually active Catholic women over 18 have used some form of contraception banned by the Vatican.
Archbishop José Gomez of the Los Angeles Archdiocese is equally disconnected from the Catholics he has been elected to serve. He has repeatedly stood against the LGBT community. Five years ago he made headlines when he declared that LGBT people should not be included in the social studies curricula of California’s public schools. Last year, he spoke out against marriage for LGBT people when the majority of Catholics support marriage equality.
“At a time when our country has just been through a democratic election process,” noted Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, a Call To Action Board Member, “it is a stark contrast to witness the USCCB holding its election without a vote or even consultation of the Catholic laity.”
“Catholics deserve a voice in the decision of who represents them,” said Melendez Rivera. “Without equal representation of the laity at the decision-making table, Bishops will continue to be out of step with the majority of U.S. Catholics who support a more inclusive church.
To learn more about the movement for a better Catholic Church, visit cta-usa.org
Call To Action draws its mission from the US Bishops’ 1976 Call To Action conference, and the “Call for Reform in the Catholic Church” proclaimed by more than 20,000 signers articulates its goals for our Church. It began as a response to the challenge of the Second Vatican Council, held between 1962 and 1965, for all members to “scrutinize the signs of the times” and respond in the light of the gospel.
David Saavedra, Transitional Co-Director, Call To Action, 956.345.5444, firstname.lastname@example.org Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, Board Member, 240.997.8550, Lisbeth.Melendez.Rivera@gmail.com
Hate crimes and harassment has ticked up since the election. I do not have the energy to fight with these bishops or the Catholic church. I will attend a local church that welcomes all and is active in promoting LGBT inclusion, women’s rights, and racial justice. The church has officially left so many behind. The priests who told congregations that they would be committing a mortal sin if they voted for Hillary are deplorable. I choose to bond with like minded people to make actual change. I have been pushing for women in leadership positions in the church for my entire adult life. It is not happening. We have to do what it takes to make “the other” feel safe and welcome. The Catholic church is not doing that at this time.