Priests’ association pledges support for bishops, 
asks for change, end of secrecy, dialogue with clergy and laity

 

June 4, 2019 • For immediate release

In a letter to the bishops of the United States, the chair of the Association of  U.S. Catholic Priests pledges support, asking “Please engage all of God’s People in bringing about the needed change.”

Father Kevin Clinton, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul – Minneapolis and chair of the AUSCP Leadership Team, calls for an end to secrecy in the church, eradication of clericalism, and integration of women.

“We are in crisis. We need change,” Clinton said. “Please engage all of God’s People in bringing about the needed change. Clericalism most especially must be eradicated, and women must be integrated.”

The AUSCP will meet June 24-27, shortly after the bishops meet for their annual conference, addressing accountability, the sex abuse crisis and other matters.

“We priests see ourselves as your collaborators in facing this challenge,” Clinton said. “Our Assembly this June in St. Louis will focus on ways all of us baptized Catholics, laity and the ordained, can and must function together as God’s Priestly People.”

He went on to say, “Bishops have operated in secrecy for too long. You need to admit it and then you need to end it. We ask you as a bishop to do what Pope Francis urged you to do: dialogue with us, clergy and laity, attentively and with respect. Listen to us, engage us in setting direction for our Church, and accompany us as we do our work in our Church’s field hospitals.”

The full text of the letter follows.

For comment or more information;

Rev. Kevin Clinton, Kevin.Clinton@npcatholic.org,  (651) 338-7222

Rev. Bernard “Bob” Bonnot, auscpbonnot@gmail.com, (330) 397-1257, or

Sr. Jacquelyn Doepker, OSF, Executive Secretary, office@uscatholicpriests.org, (872) 205-5862

Website: https://www.uscatholicpriests.org


 

 

TEXT OF LETTER FROM AUSCP TO BISHOPS OF USCCB

Dear Bishop …

Pope Francis is calling us to become a deeply synodal and not only a hierarchical Church. We support him in that and we ask that you, along with your brother bishops, focus your energies on effecting that change in the United States. People are increasingly aware that our Church remains diseased by the three deadly viruses flagged early in Vatican II: legalism, triumphalism, and clericalism. Those viruses generated among leadership pride, secrecy, and lack of accountability. We have got to address this crisis together.  

We priests see ourselves as your collaborators in facing this challenge. Our Assembly this June in St. Louis will focus on ways all of us baptized Catholics, laity and the ordained, can and must function together as God’s Priestly People.  Bishops have operated in secrecy for too long. You need to admit it and then you need to end it. We ask you as a bishop to do what Pope Francis urged you to do: dialogue with us, clergy and laity, attentively and with respect. Listen to us, engage us in setting direction for our Church, and accompany us as we do our work in our Church’s field hospitals. Sadly,they are diminishing in number and are weakened for want of ordained or adequately trained and empowered lay ministers. That must change lest we decline further and implode. 

We are in crisis. We need change. Please engage all of God’s People in bringing about the needed change. Clericalism most especially must be eradicated, and women must be integrated. 

With you we believe that “God is close to the broken hearted, and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.” We are Easter People!  You are in our prayers and we trust that we are in yours.  We are ready to accompany you in addressing these challenges for the good of the entire Church.  

Sincerely in Christ on behalf of our Leadership Team, Members and Friends,

 

Rev. Kevin Clinton, Chair

Association of U.S. Catholic Priests