Mag imageMay 2010 E-Newsletter
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In This Issue
Hans Kung, John Wijndaards Analyze Credibility Crisis
Worldwide Calls for Rethinking Celibacy Rules
Vatican rejects Boston churches' appeals
Magdala Celebrations Highlight Early WOmen Leaders
Will Canon Law Change Open Way for Female Deacons
100 US Anglican Parishs Seek to Join Roman Catholic Church
Crying Out with A Million Voices.
Homilies Should be Under 8 Minutes Long
Vatican Confirms New Missal Translation
Tens of Thousands Join Church at Easter
Sponsor a Listening Session On the Future of the Church

Women and the Word for Educators: Free Sample!
Includes sample essays, prayer services and student work sheets about notable women such as Prisca, Phoebe, Dorothy Day and Mary of Magdala.

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For a free sample packet to give to your favorite high school religion and Spanish teachers, email:

To  PurchaseA celebrating Women Women Witnesses Packet
click here

To send a post card to put woment biblical leaders back in the lectionary click here.
Spanish resources also here

Optional Celibacy

Optional Celibacy
Click here to download free education/prayer resources.

Click Here for info and to Send an e-postcard.
Organize to keep
arishes Open!
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Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

to become a parish contact in your area, track parish closings and encourage best practices in a time of fewer priests!

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2010 St. Mary of Magdala celebrations to focus
Women Leaders in Early Christianity.


2010 organizing kit now available.
Free download here
Women Leaders in Early Christianity CD and Presenter's Guide

Includes 43 images of catacomb frescos and sarcophagi friezes of early women leaders and an extensively researched 16 page presenter's guide. Click here to order

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New Magdala Market Online Store

 Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America 

A new exhibit documenting the contributions made by US women religious in the history of the United States opened last winter. It will run for three years and has achieved significant critical acclaim.

View short videos and city venues here

Dear Friends of FutureChurch:    We hope you enjoy our May E-Newsletter. Share it with others by clicking here.

Hans Kung, John Wijngaards Analyze Credibility Crisis Hans Kung recently wrote an open letter to the world's bishops asking them to not keep silent work for reform, at collegially, find regional solutions to the priest shortage and call a council or at least a representative assembly of bishops.  Meanwhile, theologian John Wijngaards traces the historical decisions in the wake of Vatican II that led to the current situation.  He says "The paedophilia scandal that has engulfed the Church in North America and Europe reveals it as a systemic problem. The problem was not caused by errors of some isolated individuals, but by the failing of a centralised system that has affected all parts of the Church." See links below for complete articles:

Kung: Church in Worst Credibility Crisis Since Reformation

Wijngaards:  Why the Paedophilia Scandel Happened:  Abuse of Authority in the Roman Catholic Church

Worldwide Calls for Rethinking Celibacy Rules. In the wake of worldwide cover up of sex abuse by Catholic bishops, many church officials and laity are asking to review mandatory celibacy rules. Austria's Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn has called for an examination of  the role arrested sexual development played in the scandal, while bishops in Australia, Canada and Austria are calling for optional celibacy.  Below is a round up of articles and related links, but first...


SEND an Electronic Postcard  asking to open discussion of mandatory celibacy in the Church


DOWNLOAD a free So All Can Be at the Table  Education/Advocacy Resource

Related Articles:
Ordain Native Married men (Canadian Bishop Frederick Henry)

Archbishop of Vienna, calls for 'unflinching examination' 

Vatican Secretary Bertone, Priestly celibacy not 'untouchable'

Australian bishop:  'authoritarian' church, compulsory celibacy, role of women cannot be brushed aside

Catholic priests and celibacy:  a flashpoint in sexual abuse crisis (Christian Science Monitor)

European priests suggest celibacy is a problem

Priests with love lives speak out against celibacy

Secret sex in the celibate system - Richard Sipe

No greater love:  Speakers say celibacy mirrors Jesus' love for all

Vatican Defends Priestly Celibacy

Cardinal Levada Blames Celibacy for Clergy Sex Abuse
Vatican rejects Boston churches' appeals
The Vatican has rejected final appeals by 10 parishes closed by the Archdiocese of Boston in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal, leaving parishioners to consider fighting the closings in civilian courts, the leader of a parish advocacy group said Monday. Peter Borre of the Council of Parishes which is supporting parishioiners who have been conducting round the clock vigils for over five years said he did not expect the parishioners to back down now: "We expect the vigils to continue, so it's up to the archdiocese to decide whether to call in the cops,"
Read more...(USA Today)
Read Catholic News Service article

Magdala Celebrations Highlight Early Women Leaders

A new Mary of Magdala prayer service and resources from archaeology highlighting women leaders in early Christianity (from the fourth until the 9th centuries) are available for free download. These women are nearly unknown, but thanks to catacomb frescos, sarcophagi friezes, original art, paintings and mosaics, we are beginning to learn and share their stories. To date over 150 celebrations are planned with many more to come.

Download prayer service here


Read about early women leaders from archaeology

Will Canon Law Change Open Way for Female Deacons?  Just before Christmas, Pope Benedict made changes in canon law to clarify the role of deacons.  According to female diaconate expert, Dr. Phyllis Zagano, the changes "may have ended the controversy over whether women can be ordained deacons."  The changes make it explicit that governance rests with bishops and priests, while deacons are to serve in "the liturgy, the word and charity."  An in depth 1974 analysis by a member of the International Theological Commission, Fr. Cipriano Vagaggini OSB, confirmed the tradition of ordained women deacons in the church. Once that became clear, the argument among the prelates revolved around how to restore women to the diaconate while barring them from the priesthood.  Zagano believes Benedict's canonical change could be interpreted as addressing that issue. 

100 US Anglican Parishes Seek to Join Roman Catholic Church  In early March about 100 traditionalist Anglican parishes in the United States decided to join the Catholic Church as a group under the guidelines established in Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus."  Meanwhile, three traditionalist Anglican bishops from the Church ofEngland met secretly with Vatican officials in Rome to discuss making a similar move.

More about US transfers...

Anglican bishops in secret Vatican summit

Anglicans entering Catholic Church should blend well, Cardinal Levada says

Crying Out with A Million Voices FutureChurch is launching a new education-advocacy effort geared to providing ordinary Catholics with tools to discuss pressing issues facing the Catholic Church and to resist unjust suppression of that discussion by some Church officials. The failure of bishops to deal with the priest shortage, women's equality in the church, clergy sex abuse, and the lack of transparency in no small number of financial scandals is driving even the most faithful Catholics from the Church.

Even so, FutureChurch believes the power of the Spirit at work in the People of God has great healing and transformative potential for the life of the Church.The Million Voices project will provide education and advocacy information to address these and other painful situations. Email to be notified when the free downloadable resource becomes available (late April or early May). Read more...

Homilies Should Be Under Eight Minutes Long, says Vatican Official

Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops recently said homilies should be no longer than eight minutes. In a new book titled, "The Word of God," the archbishop highlighted some tips that came out of the 2008 Synod of Bishops on the Bible. Everyone should spend an appropriate amount of time to craft a well-prepared and relevant sermon for Mass, he said. Read more (scroll to bottom)...

Vatican Confirms New Missal Translations

The U.S. Bishops' conference announced April 30 that the Vatican has confirmed the new English translation of the Roman Missal, but said the exact date for its implementation has not been set. The Vatican also approved a series of adaptations and proper texts for use in the United States. The translations have been widely criticized for using an archaic style of English in an attempt to render translations as close to Latin as possible.  Read more...

Compare translations

Tens of Thousands Join Church at Easter
Tens of thousands of new Catholics, including an 89-year-old former atheist, joined the church at the Easter Vigil, April 3. Jean Henry of Easton, Md. found that "this life is hell if you're an atheist," But she also found hope and new life through what she considers "an intervention by God." 

Sponsor a Listening Session On the Future of the Church  The American Catholic Council is a new coalition of organizations, communities and individuals organizing "discussion at every level of the Catholic Church in the United States to consider the state and future of our Church." The coalition will convene a nationwide conference on Pentecost 2011 (June 10-12) at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan.

But first it hopes to encourage local and regional listening sessions to be held over the next 18 months.

To download a free toolkit for sessions in your home, parish or small faith community click here.

For more info on the American Catholic Council, click here.
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