We are a group of Catholics, some of whom are ordained, brought together by our love of Christ's Church and our anxiety about its future. Still inspired by the Second Vatican Council, we want to contribute fully to the life of our Church so that we may be a more effective sign of the Kingdom of God. To do this, we believe that an atmosphere of openness and dialogue both with each other and with our church leadership needs developing. Accordingly, we aim to supply channels of free and frank communication. We desire to help create a climate of trust and respect for all where this dialogue may be fostered.
ACTA is a movement built from below by clergy and laity alike in every diocese in England and Wales. It exists to give those people an effective voice. It is an instrument to establish and promote space for a trusting dialogue within a hierarchically structured people’s Church.
ACTA believes that the reforms of the Second Vatican Council are the only way forward for mission to modern society. It is not a small chapel of selected followers; it believes in the Church as a “big tent”, with open doors. As a free and representative association of believers, it seeks to liberate the expertise in the ranks, so as to bring added energy and witness to the Church in the world.
ACTA Southwark Day Workshop, Amigo Hall, 27th May 2017
Dr Clare Watkins gave the main presentation, in which she proposed a view of the Parish as an outward-looking entity, with all its functions focused towards mission.She reminded us that the Parish has developed as a local organisational reality in response to various contexts - and that our context today is changing rapidly.The Parish should not be viewed through a clerical lens, with the Parish Priest directing everything.Instead, the Parish should have an external focus with the laity playing their proper roles in the world, which are according to the Catechism, served by the clergy.All of the laity, through Baptism, are called to be missionaries and are equipped to respond to the Spirit in the world.The Eucharist and the other sacraments are not just ends in themselves, rather they are places of empowerment and sending.The Eucharist must be lived in the world after the celebration, in our daily lives.Sacramental life is missionary in nature.