Signature campaigns flop ("We are Church" and "Catholics of Vision" campaigns).
In North America, beginning in 1996, the appeal was extended to so-called progressive Catholics, one million in the U.S. it was thought, and one hundred thousand in Canada. Despite sustained and full coverage in daily newspapers and Catholic weeklies for the duration of over a year, the meager results were 37,000 names in the U.S. and 6,000 in Canada. U.S. organizer Sister Maureen Fielder acknowledged that they "had overestimated the degree of maturity and underestimated the level of piety among Catholic laity." Another way of putting it is that they grossly overestimated the number of dissenters, and underestimated those loyal to Catholic teaching.
The West coast monthly The Trumpet pointed out in its October-November issue the discrepancy between the treatment accorded the two groups by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Catholics of Vision, a coalition of perennial whiners (Corpus - married priests; Dignity - practising homosexuals; the Coalition of Concerned Canadian Catholics) was received by two bishops and the two CCCB general secretaries. The nine-page message will be "studied carefully," the CCCB said, and "appropriate follow-up" will be considered (Catholic Register)
But "Real Catholic Youth", mobilized to counteract the Vision group and having collected more than five times as many signatures - almost on the sly without media support - was at first refused a reception and then was allowed to present its mountain of pledges on September 15 to the CCCB's two General Secretaries only. Why the difference in treatment, The Trumpet asked, between an organization which challenges almost everything the Vatican teaches and a group which supports the Pope and the teachings of the Church?
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|Date:||Jan 1, 1998|
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