A Call for White Papers - The Peoples Synod



The American Catholic Council
announces a Peoples Synod and Call for Papers

“Without a vision the people will perish” Proverbs 29:18


Baltimore, Maryland. September 27-29, 2019

The Peoples Synod will train participants in a style of small group listening that they can take back to their communities and use to establish “listening circles” to hear one another deeply, to allow one’s own perspective to grow, thereby honoring the dignity of each participant. These familiar yet new ways of touching each other’s heart can then mature into a practical paradigm for being the Gospel that Jesus preached, not through the politics of consensus but by preserving the diverse gifts of the Spirit within the people of God. Something new and life sustaining is emerging.

Call for Papers

Suggested topics include those raised by the above description and by the following questions:

Vatican II recognized the people of God as church but did not implement this vision. How can the people themselves rise to fulfill this vision? 

Why did Vatican II state this vision of church but not do more? Can the leadership of the Spirit be felt within and through the people of God from the grass roots? How can the familiar forms of discussion and dialogue be given new life at the grass roots to make this vision coherent and real? What do historical precedents say about prospects for lay initiative?

At a time when the shepherds of the institutional Church seek lay leadership in responding to the sexual abuse crisis, does the credibility of that response require lay initiative rather than appointment of lay leaders by the shepherds?

The call for papers is in two parts:

First, submit an informal summary of a proposed paper, at least 500 but no more than 1000 words, by September 15, 2019, to acc.whitepapers@gmail.com

These summaries will serve as “white papers” to be reviewed by participants in preparation for the Peoples Synod, first in September 2019 where the approach will be monitored and refined, with another Peoples Synod in 2020 or 2021 to carry on implementation of the concept. 

Second, papers corresponding to these summaries should be submitted by August 15, 2020 for review, presentation and publication in a symposium that will be held subsequently reflecting upon the Peoples Synod. 

Those submitting papers will be expected to peer review two other papers submitted to the symposium. The symposium will publish a Proceedings of the Peoples Synod, including both the papers and the summaries, revised and edited by the submitters as appropriate.


Background Papers

Files coming soon.