Catholic Common Ground Initiative

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The Catholic Common Ground Initiative is an intra-Church relations effort launched in 1996 by the National Pastoral Life Center.[1]

Its original goal was to dialogue with dissenting Catholics on a variety of unresolved issues that came about in the years following the Second Vatican Council. One of its most notable proponents was the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago.[2]

This initiative was met with strong opposition from leading bishops in the United States. Cardinals William Wakefield Baum, James Aloysius Hickey and Bernard Francis Law were especially opposed to any undesirable concessions regarding Catholic teachings on moral theology.[3] The New Oxford Review was also opposed to it.[4]

Its current purpose and central mission is "to promote dialogue within the Church on a variety of theological and social issues, including the changing roles of women, human sexuality, healthcare reform, and immigration—challenges facing not just the American Catholic Church but the United States as a whole."[5]

Since 2009, the CCGI has been a pivotal component of The Bernardin Center for Theology and Ministry, housed at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.


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