DIALOGUE within the Catholic Church


Catholic Common Ground Initiative


The Catholic Common Ground Initiative was inaugurated by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin with the release of a statemen Called to Be Catholic: Church in a Time of Peril, on August 12, 1996. It originated in a concern that unnecessarily polarizing differences among church leaders and members hinder efforts to build the church community and to carry out its mission. The statement proposes working principles for dialogue within the church and expresses the conviction that such an effort will transform those who engage in it as well as strengthen the church for its mission in the new millennium. The ongoing work of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative represents both a call to renewed dialogue within the church and an effort to undertake and exemplify that kind of dialogue.


The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church


The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC) was founded in 1980 by lay and clerical Catholics in the wake of Vatican condemnations of such theologians as Edward Schillebeeckx, Jacques Pohier, and Hans Küng. The Association affirms that there are fundamental rights and corresponding responsibilities which are rooted in the humanity and baptism of all Catholics. In the same spirit, the Association seeks to put into practice the statement of the 1971 Synod of Bishops:  While the Church is bound to give witness to justice, she recognizes that anyone who ventures to speak to people about justice must first be just in their eyes. Hence we must undertake an examination of the modes of acting and of the possessions and life-style found within the Church itself. Within the Church, rights must be preserved.


Dissent and Dialogue in the Church


Hypertext version (c) 1996 Ingrid H. Shafer


Birth Control and the Catholic Church


This website examines the Catholic prohibition against artificial contraception from a variety of angles,  has a wealth of information pertaining to the history and theology behind the teaching and has a rather active forum for discussion and sharing pertaining to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on birth control, and for visitors’ responses to the discussions on the web site, along with their experiences in trying to live out this teaching. Although focused on birth control, the discussions are wide-ranging and touch upon many issues related to dialogic principles and practices within the Church today.