Call to Action held its national conference Nov. 14–16 at Detroit's Cobo Center. About 3,500 attended. Last year's conference drew about 5,000.
Organizers attributed the greater numbers last year to the attraction of the 20th anniversary of the original Call to Action Conference. They said another factor last year was the response to Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb. Bishop Bruskewitz had directed Catholics in his diocese to leave the organization or face excommunication.
Speakers at this year's conference included Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, Father Michael Crosby, OFM Cap., Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Father Charles Curran, and Rosemary Radford Reuther. Sri Lankan Father Tissa Balasuriya, OMI, spoke about his views of Mary and original sin which led to his excommunication.
Apresentation by Sister Maureen Fiedler, SL, focused on the failure of the We Are Church referendum. She said the petition drive calling for changes in the Church, like married priests and women's ordination, garnered only 37,000 signatures-far short of its goal of 1 million.