Frequently asked questions
Where does the name “Call To Action” come from?
In October 1976, the U.S. Bishops held the first Call To Action conference in Cobo Hall, Detroit. At this historic event, 1,351 lay, religious and clergy delegates, appointed by their local bishops, voted for an inclusive church, open to women and married priests, with shared decision-making and greater social justice. That Call To Action was the culmination of a two-year national consultation involving over 800,000 Catholics in 125 dioceses. Cardinal John Dearden, the conference chairman, hailed this collaboration as a “new way of doing the work of the church in America.” (Click here to view a more detailed history)
What is Call To Action today?
We are a Catholic organization seeking justice in church and society, carrying on the work of the original Call To Action Conference from 1976. We are 25,000 laity, religious, clergy and bishops who believe that the Spirit of God is at work in the whole church, not just its appointed leaders. The entire Catholic Church has the obligation of responding to the needs of the world and taking initiative in programs of peace and justice.
Who can join Call To Action?
Call To Action is open to all those interested in creating a more just Church and society.
How many members does Call To Action have?
Call To Action has 25,000 national members. The 53 local chapters make for many additional members.
What is Call To Action’s vision?
Our vision is broad and rooted in the gospel message of justice. We hope for a Catholic Church where:
• the call for justice in church and society is the church’s major priority,
• the church is called to be a model of openness and justice at all levels,
• theologians and church institutions are called to be free in their search for the truth,
• laity and clergy are to be consulted in the formulation of church doctrine and discipline, including human sexuality, academic freedom, roles of the laity and liturgical issues,
• the priesthood is open to all people: single, married, women, men,
• the people of a diocese should be consulted in the selection of their bishops.
Do the members of Call To Action hold a minority view?
Call To Action’s views actually represent the views of the majority of US Catholics. We vocalize what mainstream Catholics already believe:
• 62% of U.S. Catholics believe that the Church should become more democratic in its decision-making (April 2005 Contemporary Catholic Trends Survey)
• 78% see a greater need for shared authority with the laity (November 2002 Contemporary Catholic Trends Survey)
• 81% support a greater openness in financial and administrative matters in the American Catholic Church (November 2002 Contemporary Catholic Trends Survey)
• 65% believe that bishops should disclose financial settlements in sex abuse cases (November 2002 Contemporary Catholic Trends Survey)
• 83% of U.S. Catholics believe that it is morally wrong to discriminate against homosexuals (November 2001 Contemporary Catholic Trends Survey)
• 61% of U.S. Catholics believe that women should be priests (September 2005 National Catholic Reporter Survey)
Is Call To Action affiliated with a political party?
Call To Action is not affiliated with any political party and Call To Action members are spread across the political and ideological spectrum.
What happens to the money that is donated to Call To Action?
Call To Action leadership believes that we need to be good stewards of your money. We are a 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax deductible. Please click here for a copy of our annual report.
How do the appointed leaders of the Catholic Church view Call To Action?
Call To Action originated from the United States Catholic bishops’ conference in 1976. Since then, some church leaders have moved away from advocating the justice to which the church was called at the conference. Many others have embraced our work. Today, the 25,000 lay, religious, clergy and bishop members of Call To Action continue our work for justice in the spirit of the first Call To Action conference and in footsteps of Christ who has called us to action.
Please feel free to contact us directly for more information about Call To Action, and check back soon as the site is constantly being updated.