Call To Action staff and leadership are excited to share our 2020 vision: A National Campaign to coordinate Catholic Church reform efforts across strategies, organizations, communities, and generations.
Our Campaign begins with an in-person leadership Convergence of organizational partners, CTA Chapter leaders, and Re/Generation Leaders from 2018, 2019 and 2020 cohorts. The Convergence will introduce three basic change-making strategies through which we are coordinating the Nation Campaign efforts. The strategies are:
1) Direct actions, especially in the form of occupations of Catholic spaces–churches, seminaries, shrines, etc.
2) Lobbying Church leaders.
3) Educating fellow Catholics and allies.
Before leaving the Convergence, attendees will begin teams around each of the three strategies.
Over the course of the first half of the year we’ll describe why and how we plan to use these ideas for our Campaign, through a series of articles and emails on “strategies for making change.”
The Convergence will lead directly into six months of locally-focused community organizing, where leaders who were not present at the Convergence will join the Campaign. Each Strategy Team will meet virtually on calls facilitated by Call To Action staff on a monthly basis from June-December to coordinate across localities and welcome new members into the efforts.
The National Campaign will culminate with a series of coordinated actions during the season of Advent 2020. In addition to each locality’s unique demands, our Advent actions will demand that the USCCB recognize the power of the laity, especially the laity who are marginalized based on race, gender, sexuality, class and more. We will specifically call on the USCCB to join CTA and our collaborators in a 2021 constituent assembly. We want priests and bishops to join us on a level playing field, acknowledge our grievances, and commit to co-creating a more just church as our partners. We will discuss and develop this demand throughout the campaign on open calls with all members.
We’re directly engaging the USCCB through this campaign because the Catholic Church still has spiritual and material grace and gifts to offer; and because many Catholic leaders continue to use the institutional power of Catholicism as a tool of oppression. We’re incorporating confrontational strategies in our campaign because the USCCB has made a habit of simply ignoring the needs and suppressing the voices of progressive Catholics. Both scripture and the lives of the saints are full of holy confrontation, demonstrating how it is an essential piece of our holy call to action.
The National Campaign is balanced between creating something new while building on what we’ve already done. We draw on Call To Action’s forty-year history in which members have lobbied church leaders, organized protests, and planned educational events for fellow Catholics. There is great potential in coordinating these strategies and our local efforts toward a larger goal. By staging our actions simultaneously, we hope to leverage the unique power of these three strategies — direct action, lobbying leaders, and educating others — to create change in our church.
We’ll expand, explore, and explain the many aspects of this campaign through calls and emails in the weeks and months to come. We hope you’ll join us, and thank you for your support.
Beyond the National Campaign you can always share your talents by connecting with your local chapter. Call To Action has more than 25 chapters or chapter affiliates across the country that work for both local and national causes and they love to welcome new members. Look here for a chapter near you.
And don’t underestimate the power of taking action online. In today’s world, this is often the first step toward something bigger and more powerful. Sign up for Call To Action’s email list and receive information about action opportunities and news in the movement! Get started today.