The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests passed six resolutions at the group’s second annual Assembly this week in Seattle:
- favoring exercise of authority in a collegial manner through consensus decision-making processes with councils and boards;
- supporting Pope Francis in the reform of the Church to restore credibility, with participation of laity and clergy in the selection of bishop;
- endorsing Cardinal Bernadin’s Common Ground Initiative to promote inclusive dialogue and collaboration;
- supporting the ordination of women to the permanent diaconate;
- encouraging the reintroduction of general absolution;
- supporting the Labor Priests Project of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils and establishing its own Priest-Labor-Union-Friendly Caucus.
Seven proposed resolutions did not pass:
- asking the US bishops to work to resolve the problem of precipitous decline in number of active priests;
- making the selection of bishops more transparent, with selection generally from the local presbyterate and proceedings not done in secret.
- seeking permission to use the 1974 Sacramentary;
- asking the US bishops to appoint a liaison to AUSCP and include an AUSCP delegate as auditor at its November meeting;
- supporting a plan for evangelization including diagnosis of why Catholics leave;
- calling for study and open discussion of women and married men in the priesthood;
- promoting sufficient time for presbyterate to determine its own interim leader when a bishop reaches age of resignation/retirement.
Two motions were withdrawn, one selecting a Priest of the Month and another decrying the annual collection for the Archdiocese for Military Services. Full wording of all proposed resolutions is found here.
According to its website, AUSCP is a forum where priests across the United States foster dialogue with clergy, bishops, religious, laity, and with their organizations. They seek to celebrate and implement the visionary concepts of the Second Vatican Council; to be servant leaders in a servant Church; to minister with humility, mercy, and faithfulness; to revitalize the Body of Christ through contemplation and witness to the goodness among our fellow pilgrims; to be a voice of hope; and to preach and act prophetically. Slightly under 1,000 US priests belong to AUSCP.