Ned Barnett’s Sept. 29 column nailed the widespread disappointment many of us on the N.C. Council of Churches’ governing board have been feeling since the Catholic bishops in Raleigh and Charlotte made the unilateral decision to withdraw their dioceses from membership effective Dec. 31.
I have maintained that when the Catholic priests and laity of North Carolina discover this sad decision, they will quickly let their bishops know of their unhappiness with this anti-ecumenical action and maybe they, with perhaps encouragement from Pope Francis, will reconsider. They’ve got three months to think and pray about this, and it’s always amazing what can happen when any of us listens carefully to what God and others might be saying to us.
We Protestants on the council truly value our 36-year relationship with our Catholic brothers and sisters, and we do not want to let them easily separate from us when we believe the vast majority of them want to continue what has been a mutually beneficial relationship for all of us who like calling North Carolina home.
Charles M. Smith
Chair, NCCC Personnel Committee