Catholic Coalition for Church Reform
CCCR's Bishop Selection Task Force PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 January 2014 11:16








Please register your name, email address, and parish (if any) to join in a strong lay voice on matters of concern in our Archdiocese.


As a First Concern, Would You Like to Have a Voice in the Selection of Our Next Archbishop?  You may nominate when you register or you may return and nominate after you have registered.

We are called to be Christ's voice in the world and in our own church. During 2014, we will exercise our call as faithful laity, along with clergy, to nominate three local priests whose names will be recommended for appointment as our next archbishop. We, the CCCR Bishop Selection Task Force, believe this process could give us a leader who will unite the faithful of our archdiocese working together to advance the mission of our local church in the world.

In the present global Catholic Church, the pope appoints a bishop or an archbishop from names he gets from his delegate in each country. The pope's delegate in the U.S. is Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, officed in Washington, D.C. Given the secrecy of the current process and the frequency with which bishops are moved, we are beginning now to develop an ongoing process for the people's participation in naming leaders. This is a first step in line with national and international Catholic movements.

Archbishop Viganò welcomes recommendations from the people of the archdiocese at any time. (To see his message, click on Bishop Selection in the menu to the left and go to "Papal Nuncio".)

Whose Names Shall We Send?

Ideally we might want to elect our bishops as they did in the early church and include married men and women. As an immediate first step, however, we are restricting candidates in accord with the current Canon Law. We are nominating men who have been ordained for at least five years and are at least 35 years old. Bishops have to submit their resignations at age 75, so we are thinking of men 65 or younger.

After collecting the nominations, a committee of ordained and lay men and women who are familiar with the nominees will apply the criteria and narrow the field to a slate of six candidates.

In November 2014 we will remind you to check back to this site and vote for three of the candidates whose names will then be sent to Archbishop Viganò to be investigated and forwarded to the Vatican.


Some criteria to consider:


The bishop should

  • be at least 35 years old and ordained to the priesthood for 5 years (Canon Law).
  • be able to relate to people and, through dialogue, seek to//unite Catholics in working together for the mission of the Church in the world.
  • have a strong collegial bond with Pope Francis and his fellow ordained and an ethic of servant leadership.
  • be willing to create structures within the Archdiocesan framework for two-way communication with priests and laity.
  • have a strong commitment to listening to and engaging youth in the life of the Church.
  • have knowledge of liturgy and a demonstrated ability to celebrate well.
  • be theologically open and well-read.
  • be comfortable with the secular press and unafraid of direct and honest dialogue on social policy.
  • have a strong and demonstrated commitment to interfaith efforts and cooperation.
  • have a track record of sensitivity to and credibility with diverse communities.
  • value transparency and accountability and have a reputation for being credible and trustworthy.
  • be able to speak with and to the higher educational community and be seen as a support for the advancement of higher education.
  • be able to represent the Church to the healthcare community and be comfortable being one of the voices at the table in discussing ethical questions.

Council of the Baptized has published a position paper entitled "People's Participation in Selection of Bishops":    Bishop Selection Position Paper

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 19:27
Toward an Expanding Lay Spirituality for the 21st Century PDF Print E-mail

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…and God saw that it was good.” That is how the book of Genesis begins the Hebrew people’s creation story, written down in the 6th century BC.

Homo Sapiens Sapiens (a species that knows that it knows) is a meaning-making creature, a spiritual seeker looking for answers to the ultimate question—why? Where did we come from? Where is it all going? Humans need coherent stories to survive and thrive. Their creation stories give them a secure understanding of their place in the world. Anthropologists have written about archaic societies that have disintegrated or become extinct when the story broke down. When they have a cosmology—a sense of belonging in the big picture—humans can work together to make supportive cultural systems, institutions where life can thrive. They can work together to reform institutions, even the religious institutions that carry the traditions of meaning.

In the 21st century we have global communication and economic systems, and the know-how to globally destroy ourselves, but do we have a shared story, a common meaning system? To what extent do we have a shared meaning system as a nation? What is the creation story of 21st century American Catholics?

Here is one creation story prevalent in the 21st century: Our knowledge of the beginning is by no means certain, but it has about five centuries of cumulative scientific investigation behind it. There was nothing but a pinpoint of energy until it exploded into a universe of matter about 15 billion years ago, the beginning of space/time. Particles of matter joined their energies to form increasingly complex structures till billions of stars, many with orbiting planets, spin ever outward in an expanding universe. And ten billion years later one medium-sized planet formed around one star amid twelve billion other stars in one of 100 billion galaxies. Earth was born.


The conditions on this planet earth are just right for molecules of matter to combine energies to form living cells, and they combined to form organisms, which combined to form ever more complex organisms in billions of species. And then, one species of very complex organisms, walking upright, with a cranium large enough to house an expanded brain, became conscious of itself as experiencing the world. The universe became conscious of itself and saw that it was good.

The evolutionary pattern is that new being emerges from the combined energies of already existing being; for example, hydrogen and oxygen combine and there is water. Looking back at that pattern of new creation emerging, from sub-atomic particles to atoms, then molecules, then cells, we can see that humans too have combined conscious energy to create cultural forms to produce new consciousness. They created increasingly complex or nuanced systems to live in community--governments, economic systems, educational systems—and complex systems to create meaning—religions, art, literature, music, dance. They have become co-creators of the evolving universe that now includes the culture of the species that has covered the face of the earth.

CCCR wants to explore how the above creation story can reveal Jesus’s message of God’s love for the world. Can the Christian religion, growing out of a Middle Eastern and Western cultural combination, fit with the evolutionary view of the universe? How do the concepts of incarnation, redemption, salvation, grace, and human deification fit in? How does Jesus’s vision of the Kingdom of God fit in? Is the call to personal and communal holiness the same as the evolutionary impulse to ever-expanding consciousness? Was Vatican II an evolutionary step forward in the history of the Roman Catholic Church?

We held workshops in the NW and SW quadrants of the Archdiocese during February of 2013 to talk about this shift in perspective.  Our keynote speaker for Synod 2013, September 28, is Sister Gail Worcelo who is a practicioner of the evolutionary perspective.  Look to the right of this article to register.

If you are interested in helping to set up further workshops on the questions for religion arising from this creation story, call (612) 379-1043 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Click on Evolutionary Christianity on the Main Menu to find articles, events, and a bibliography.




CCCR Board Members

                                   Sabrina Mauritz

                                               Peggy Benkert  

                                                     Paula Ruddy

                                               Mary Sutherland:               Secretary

                                                     Michael Bayly

                                              Mary Beth Stein

                                                       Lonne Murphy

                                                  Eileen Rodel:                      Co-Chair

                                                           Ed Walsh:                            Treasurer

                                                         Dan DeWan

                                                            Caroline Beal 

                                                              Bob Beutel:                         Co-Chair

                                                                Bernie Rodel:                      Co-Chair

                                                           Art Stoeberl