Catholic priests gather to say ‘Race Matters’

Other issues: Women Deacons and married priests

May 26, 2017

For immediate release

The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests will hold its 2017 Assembly in Atlanta, June 19-22, on the theme, “Peacemaking in our Fractured Society.” Participants will hear keynote addresses regarding race, peace and justice, and visit the King Center. 

• Father Bryan Massingale will speak June 19 on “To Redeem the Soul of America — Martin Luther King’s Vision and its Challenge to American Catholics.” Massingale is a member of the Fordham theology faculty and one of the world’s leading Catholic social ethicists and scholars of African-American theological ethics, racial justice and liberation theology.

JustFaith founder Jack Jezreel will speak June 20 on “Pope Francis and a New Paradigm for Parishes.” Jezreel insists that “Church social teaching takes flesh and hits the road in parishes.”

• Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory will also speak June 20 on “Peace Not as the World Gives.” Archbishop Gregory will preside at Mass June 21 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church near the King Center in Atlanta.

• Bishop Gregory Hartmayer, OFM Conv., a long-time parish pastor in Atlanta and now Bishop of Savannah, will guide a retreat on the first day of the assembly, June 19, on the topic, “Sabbath Space for Grace.”

At the assembly, the AUSCP will release survey results that show strong support among its members for ordaining women as deacons and married men as priests, two of several issues that have arisen over the years. More than half of the 224 respondents supported efforts toward the ordination of women deacons, priesthood ordination of married “men of proven worth,” immigration reform, collegiality and consensus decision-making in the Church and “Overcoming Racism in American Society and Culture.”

Survey respondents favored speakers and assemblies on themes that have “clear Vatican II grounding” and offer continuing education opportunities. Speakers in previous years have included theologians and liturgists, historians and prophetic voices, including Dr. Massimo Faggioli, Father Peter Phan and Sister Carol Zinn at the assembly of 2016 in Chicago.

The recent survey found strong agreement with the published vision and mission statements, and appreciation for the AUSCP E-bulletin and a user-friendly website. Almost 83 percent of the respondents continue to support “Improving [the] Roman Missal translation,” an issue that has persisted since the AUSCP was established. Most significant toward recruitment efforts were the responses to the question, “How does AUSCP impact you as a priest?” “It gives me hope,” said 87 percent of responding members. Eighty-four percent said, “It helps me feel less alone in my vision, hopes and dreams for the Church and priesthood.”

Rev. Bernard “Bob” Bonnot, chairs the AUSCP Leadership Team. Email: • Phone: (330) 755-9819.

 For more information, email or call (872) 205-5862. Sister Jackie Doepker, a member of the Franciscan Sisters, Tiffin, Ohio, serves the AUSCP as Executive Secretary of the Association of US Catholic Priests, 200 St. Francis Avenue, Tiffin OH 44883-3458.

A complete listing of speakers and events during the Atlanta Assembly is available at the AUSCP website,