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Bishop of Lancaster rebukes ACTA

Bishop Campbell of Lancaster (Flickr/Mazur)

The Bishop of Lancaster has said that the lobby group, A Call to Action (ACTA), is not recognised by the Catholic Church in his diocese.

In a blog post entitled “A Call To Communion in the Diocese of Lancaster” Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster said that it was his duty to clarify that “this particular pressure group has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Lancaster”.

“As Bishop of Lancaster and thus as a Successor of the Apostles, I am charged, in accord with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, with a special care in my ministry as ‘overseer’ to uphold the unity of the Church in this Diocese of Lancaster and so to guard against any attempt to confuse the faithful regarding authentic Catholic teaching and ministry in this Diocese,” he wrote.

“In this light there appears at times a momentum for certain pressure groups in the life of the Church Universal. Amongst these at the present moment is a small but vocal interest or lobby group self-styled A Call to Action (ACTA) which happens to meet within the Diocese of Lancaster and other dioceses and appears to espouse positions – at times and among others – in opposition to the defined teaching of the Catholic Church on faith and morals.

The bishop continued: “I need to make it clear here that in my judgement, as Diocesan Bishop, ACTA moves well beyond its self-described aim of ‘dialogue’ on controversial issues on its agenda and so does not provide an assured authentic forum or interpretation of sound Catholic teaching and sound pastoral practice in this diocese. Accordingly great care is required here from priests and people.

“Furthermore, although individual Catholics are quite entitled to meet and express themselves and certainly discussion within perimeters can be important and valuable, I have a duty at the same time to clarify for the faithful the status of such groups: This particular pressure group has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Lancaster nor has it ever requested, as other groups do, as a matter of courtesy, formal ecclesial recognition from me.”