In Edinburgh a vigil was held on 40 evenings up to Pentecost 2012, to pray for renewal of the Church, including of ourselves, and of those seeking to exercise authority in the Church. The group continues to meet regularly in Edinburgh to pray, reflect, eat together, discuss and seek to discern how to respond to the crises in the Church. Some of us attended the ACTA meeting in October in London. The group advertised, in the ACTA forum for our archdiocese, the intention to have a wider meeting to raise the profile of ACTA in Scotland. The ACTA email list for the Edinburgh/St Andrews archdiocese was set up but stalled at 6 members.
As we entered 2013 and ACTA settled into its paths, with its focus on seeking dialogue on issues, the group in Edinburgh thought its path was diverging. Those differences were explained in a couple of emails to ACTA that got some personal response, but otherwise dropped into the depths of the Web without a ripple. Rather than adopting ACTA as our group's title, in March we decided to go back to our own roots and to name ourselves "The Vigil Group", and established our own website.
It is the case that in common with ACTA our Vigil Group meetings do lead to some attempts at dialogue with those who seek to exercise authority; they provide a rare fear-free opportunity for people to explore their reactions to the institutional Church; they allow the wisdom of feelings to be listened to and explored and sometimes emerge as words. ACTA and the Vigil Group are both seeking to change the culture through small groups that they are empowering.
The key differences seem to us to be that the Vigil Group is primarily coming together in prayer; we are seeking our own renewal and are explicit in accepting some responsibility for the Church being where it is today. If we had been more active in establishing the teaching of Vatican II, the current Mass text and some other misuses of power could not have been received so passively. Our view is that the crises in the Church have roots that are spiritual more than simply of authority or organisation. Many issues needing dialogue have at their foundations models of Church, and understandings of God and the Mass, that for us do not resonate with the Gospels or Vatican II.
By continuing in vigil we are seeking to be alert to the action of the Spirit including in ACTA of course and in groups seeking to rekindle the embers of Vatican II (Bill Huebsch's trilogy, Kevin Kelly's "50 years receiving Vatican II" and Tony Castle's "Good Pope John and his Council" are among the resources that can help fan the flames); in statements and actions of Pope Francis (an unexpected gift of the Spirit); in those people so busy building community with the poor that they cannot join in yet more meetings, even with ACTA or the Vigil Group; and in too many other places and groups to list both inside and outwith "the Church".
Our view is that we should not wait for "authorities" in the Church to give us permission or leadership (while delighting in that given by Pope Francis), but we can already be seeking how to express in our lives that which we see obstructed by the Mass text and other actions of those seeking to exercise authority. We are puzzled that inappropriately exercised authority, from the Curia, was allowed to impose the inadequate new Mass text. Early criticisms, with reflection that in part led to the Vigil Group are here . The Vigil group's reflection on the Mass text is . In 1967 even the then Fr Ratzinger once called for disobedience when it is a choice between conscience and the Spirit .
There would be a certain neatness if all groups seeking reform were in ACTA - but diversity in how the Spirit is expressed is to be welcomed. The Church is too caught up in seeking neatness rather than vitality! It is also easy and important to communicate across such groups, with the web at least.
So those in range of Edinburgh who are waiting for an ACTA meeting are invited to join us at a Vigil Group meeting, and we hope many away from Edinburgh will continue to pray with us (and indeed, Pope Francis ) for renewal in the Holy Spirit.
The day we held in Edinburgh on 6 April is described here  - the Vigil Group is also willing to join in support of other such days or groups elsewhere in Scotland. If that is not what is wanted, then let an ACTA in Scotland group grow alongside.
 “Over the Pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official Church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism”.
Quoted by Bishop Dowling, from (Joseph Ratzinger in: Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II,Vol. V., pg. 134 (Ed) H. Vorgrimler, New York, Herder and Herder, 1967).
 This is a prayer we must pray every day: “Holy Spirit, make my heart open to the word of God, make my heart open to goodness, make my heart open to the beauty of God every day”. I would like to ask everyone a question: how many of you pray every day to the Holy Spirit? There will not be many but we must fulfil Jesus’ wish and pray every day to the Holy Spirit that he open our heart to Jesus.
Pope Francis, 15 May 2013, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/audiences/2013/documents/papa-francesco_20130515_udienza-generale_en.html
(In looking for this link I found this.... )
 A reflection on the Vigil Group's meeting on 6 April
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