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RG6206.AM:  Call to Action Nebraska (CTAN)

Records: 1996-2020

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska

Size:  1.75 cu.ft.; 2 boxes


The national organization Call to Action (CTA) draws its mission from the US Bishops’ 1976 Call to Action conference.  It began as a response to the challenge of the Second Vatican Council, held between 1962 and 1965, for all members to “scrutinize the signs of the times” and respond in the light of the gospel. The council provided a wake-up call for lay Catholics who had tended to defer initiatives entirely to the clergy. Then in 1971, Pope Paul VI emphasized that it is the laity who have received the primary “Call to Action” to create a more just world.*

*Taken from the History page of the Call to Action website.

A group of like-minded Catholics in the Dioceses of Lincoln, Nebraska, had formed in 1981 under the organization, Catholics for Active Liturgical Life (CALL).  They were interested in certain church reforms and addressing concerns of parishioners in the Lincoln Diocese.  CALL remained active in Lincoln until they disbanded in 1993.  Various members of CALL then decided to reform and joined Call to Action Nebraska (CTAN) in 1996.

The steering committee of CTAN sent a letter to Bishop Bruskewitz of Lincoln and several other Bishops in Nebraska announcing the formation of their organization.  Bishop Bruskewitz responded that CTAN was “fundamentally divisive” and “subversive of Church order.”  Bishop Bruskewitz went on to issue extra-synodal legislation stating that all Catholics in the Lincoln Dioceses were forbidden to be members of CTA, CTAN, Hemlock Society, Planned Parenthood, and several other groups.  Any Catholics in the Lincoln Dioceses maintaining membership in any of the forbidden groups after April 15, 1996, were considered under interdict and were forbidden Holy Communion.  If they continued to maintain membership in any of the listed organizations, they would be excommunicated.

Some members left CTAN at this time, but those who remained were excommunicated on May 15, 1996.  Members of CTAN have continued to promote more modern reforms in the Catholic Church and have continued to lobby for their excommunication to be rescinded.  For more information about the history of CALL and CTAN, see the book, Crisis of Catholic Authority: Faith and Power in the Dioceses of Lincoln, Nebraska by Rachel Pokora.


This collection consists of the records of Call to Action Nebraska (CTAN) dating from 1996 to 2020.  The collection includes organizational records such as constitution and bylaws, as well as meeting minutes, conference and program information, etc.  The last folder of the collection contains a copy of Rachel Pokora’s Crisis of Catholic Authority: Faith and Power in the Dioceses of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Note: See also RG0954.AM for records of Catholics for Active Liturgical Life (CALL).


Box 1


    1. Organizational records, pt. 1

    1. Organizational records, pt. 2

    1. Excommunication, 1996-2005, pt. 1

    1. Excommunication, 1996-2005, pt. 2

    1. Excommunication, 2006-2020

    1. Records and information, 1996, pt. 1

    1. Records and information, 1996, pt. 2

    1. Records and information, 1996-1999

    1. State Board, 1997-1998

    1. State Board, 1999-2000

    1. State Board, 2001-2002

    1. State Board, 2003-2005

    1. State Board, 2005-2006

    1. State Board, 2006-2007

    1. State Board, 2007-2009

    1. State Board, 2009-2011

    1. State Board, 2011-2013

    1. State Board, 2013-2020

Box 2


    1. Conference information, 1996-2016

    1. Conference, 1997, pt. 1

    1. Conference, 1997, pt. 2

    1. Conference, 2002, pt. 1

    1. Conference, 2002, pt. 2

    1. Conferences, 2003-2005

    1. Conference, 2006

    1. Conference, 2016

    1. Misc. other actions, programs, etc.

    1. Newsletters, 1996-2002

    1. Newsletters, 2003-2010

    1. Newsletters, 2011-2017

    1. Photographs of members

    1. Lincoln Diocese sex abuse audit, 2002

    1. National Call to Action materials

    1. Crisis of Catholic Authority: Faith and Power in the Dioceses of Lincoln, Nebraska by Rachel Pokora, 2013


Subject headings:

Call to Action Nebraska (CTAN)

Catholic Church — Diocese of Lincoln (Neb.)

Catholic Church — Discipline

Church and social problems — Catholic Church

Church renewal — Catholic Church

Dissenters, Religious



TMM     10-01-2021