Mag imageJuly 2010 E-Newsletter
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In This Issue
A Troubled Vatican?
Million Voices Resource Ready to Download
News About Optional Celibacy
Cardinal Schönborn Prays with 'We Are Church,' Calls for Reforms
Vatican Upset by Nuns' Support of US Health Bill.
Gaillardetz on Limits of Bishops' Authority
Clevelanders Occupy 50th Closed Parish
Compare Mass Translations: Write your Bishop
Over 350 Worldwide Celebrations of Early Women Leaders
Anglicans Vote Yes on Women Bishops
Sponsor a Listening Session On the Future of the Church

Theresa Kane
20th Anniversary Benefit and Silent Auction
With Sr. Theresa Kane
In Cleveland:
Thursday, September 30, 2010

Register Now button
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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CTA 2010 National

Faithful Prophets:
God Alive in Every Generation

November 5-7
Milawaukee, WI

Register Now button

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

Claim Your Catholic Rights!
(and Responsibilities)

American Catholic Council

Pentecost Weekend

June 10-12, 2011

Detroit Convention Center

Click for more info!

Register Now button
(Discounts for Early birds)

FutureChurch Optional Celibacy Survey (2010)

The need to discover viable strategies for encouraging institutional leaders to open discussion of optional celibacy led FutureChurch to develop a special survey to learn what progressive Catholics believe about potentially viable strategies and next steps.

Our Optional Celibacy: So All Can Be at the Table electronic postcard and educational campaign is a direct result of survey findings.
Read Survey results
Dear Friends of FutureChurch:    We hope you enjoy our July  E-Newsletter. Share it with others by clicking here.
A Troubled Vatican? There has been an extraordinary amount of news from Rome recently as the Vatican addresses the worldwide clergy sex abuse crisis and a few other things. Here is a round up:

Seven days that shook the Vatican (John Allen analysis)

Long hot summer:Vatican faces external and internal challenges. (Catholic News Service summary )

Vatican to Equate Women's Ordination with Priest Pedophilia? (Mary Hunt)

FutureChurch Statement on Abuse Norms and Women's Ordination

FutureChurch Quoted in Media:
U.S. Bishops Defend Inclusion Of Women's Ordination In Church Crimes List (Religion News Service)
Vatican sets off controversy with church law revisions (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Court won't stop Vatican suit.. (Wall Street Journal account of US Supreme Court refusal to review Vatican appeal to dismiss clergy sex abuse lawsuit).

Heirarchy Deeply Damaged Within (NCR editorial)

Now Listen Again to Bishop Geoffrey Robinson on Love for the Church Even as We Work for Reform (podcast of his US presentation of two years ago...we need to hear it now!!)  
Million Voices Resource Ready to Download   The 45 page tool educates about the use of gospel nonviolence when a Catholic's right and responsibility to speak on a "matter concerning the good of the Church" (Canon 212.2) is violated. Info and free download here

The packet is organized into two threads:
Thread One provides resources and strategies for those who wish to continue the discussion of women's roles in the church, including church teaching on the non-ordination of women.

An important educational component is a CD audio recording of a 1999 debate at Georgetown University "Can a Woman Receive the Sacrament of Orders?" between Sr.Maureen Fiedler and Fr. Joseph Fessio. Click here to order ($8).

Thread Two provides resources and strategies for addressing and resisting an array of common abuses of authority in the US Church.

The packet includes advocacy materials for both threads. A key resource  is Richard Taylor's wonderful book: Love in Action: Gospel Nonviolence to Renew and Reform the Church Click here to order  ($13)

News About Optional Celibacy

Austrian Priests Want Optional Celibacy. Jun. 29, 2010
Four in five Austrian priests say the Roman Catholic Church should ordain married men to compensate for the lack of new candidates for the priesthood. According to the survey of 500 Austrian clergymen, 51% also favor allowing women to be ordained priests. Read more...

Bolivian president asks pope to abolish priestly celibacy   In late June, Pope Benedict XVI received Monday in the Vatican the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, who sought the abolition of priestly celibacy and the admission of women to the priesthood.  Read more...

Pope Benedict rejects calls to end celibacy rule Addressing more than 10,000 reverent, enthusiastic priests at the Vatican, Benedict compares celibacy to heterosexual marriage, which he calls the 'foundation of Christian culture.' Read more...

Priests Rally to defend pope while Pope Defends celibacy (National Catholic ReporterRead...

James Carroll: Celibacy and the Catholic Priest
(excellent opinion piece) Read... Read...

FutureChurch Optional Celibacy Survey (2010)
Active Parishioners Ready for Change The need to discover viable strategies for encouraging institutional leaders to open discussion of optional celibacy led FutureChurch to develop a special survey to learn what progressive Catholics believe about potentially viable strategies and next steps. Our Optional Celibacy: So All Can Be at the Table electronic postcard and educational campaign is a direct result of survey findings. Read Survey results

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
Cardinal Schönborn Prays with 'We Are Church,' Calls for Reforms In the United States, Bishops and Cardinals either shun mainstream church reform organizations such as FutureChurch, Call To Action and Voice of the Faithful or publicly ban them from Church property. But in Austria, a prominent Cardinal and close ally of Pope Benedict, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, recently called for major reforms in the Curia and according to reports from The Tablet, a British Catholic weekly, publicly prayed with the well-known reform group We Are Church.
Vatican Upset by Nuns' Support of US Health Bill  A Vatican doctrinal investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) appears to have been complicated by the group's support last March of health care legislation opposed by the U.S. bishops. A letter to LCWR member organizations reporting on an April with Cardinal Levada of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and  contained these quotations:

"We discussed at length the LCWR support of the health care bill. The cardinal [Levada] stated his belief that we cannot defend our position because it was contrary to the bishops," the letter went on. ": "We again clarified that we do not support abortion and that we are quite aware that we are citizens of our country who must take action, and we base our actions upon our understanding of all the moral imperatives brought to the table within this particular piece of legislation." Read more...

Related Articles about the Vatican's Apostolic Visitation
The Two Cultures of Sisters   by Ken Briggs
Global women religious: the new Catholic leadership:
(NCR editorial)
Progressive Adrian Nuns Are under the Vatican's Microscope
Gaillardetz on Health Reform/ Limits of Bishops' Authority Theologian and expert on the Church and the Laity Richard R Gaillardetz, recently had this to say about the health reform debacle:

"The main shortcoming of the bishops' assessment of the health-care legislation did not lie in their concrete judgment itself, but in their failure to acknowledge the more limited authority that such a specific judgment carried...The more an authority appears to overreach its competence, the more it undermines its own credibility...  Those of us who believe in the necessary role of an episcopal teaching office have to hope that our bishops will recognize that their authority is enhanced rather than diminished when they acknowledge its proper limits."  Read more...
Clevelanders Occupy 50th Closed Parish/ Rome "Overwhelmed" Grants Appeal Extensions/Boston Decision Doesn't Necessarily Apply Elsewhere.  On June 30th Bishop Richard Lennon shuttered the last of 50 parishes scheduled for closure in the Cleveland diocese.  Protesters held an overnight sit-in vigil at St. Emeric's parish, agreeing to leave only after being promised a meeting with the Bishop.   It appears that most of the 14 Cleveland parishes with pending appeals  will be granted extensions.  At least four (St. James, St. Peter St. Patrick and St. Emeric) were given  unusually lengthy extensions.  Peter Borre, a national parishioner advocate who recently returned from Rome, said:  "They are overwhelmed with appeals from American parishes, and this is especially the case with Cleveland." At this writing there are an estimated 50 appeals pending nationwide in Rome, even after the Boston parish appeals were denied. The recent ruling in Boston does not necessarily apply elsewhere. See related links below

50th Catholic parish is closing in Cleveland

Protestors leave closed Cleveland church peacefully (video)

Protesters end sit-in at closing Cleveland church (AP 7/1/10)

Cleveland's Catholic Church closures leave ethnic enclaves dispirited (LA Times)

Cleveland Parish Appeals Granted Extension

Vatican ruling upholds Catholic bishops' right to close stable parishes

Vatican's Boston decision does not apply to appeals in Allentown Diocese
Write Your Bishop About Flawed Mass Translations   The "What If We Just Said Wait?" online petition campaign asking Catholic bishops to slow down the implementation of the new Roman Missal has reached 21161 signatures from 61 countries. There are recent reports that the English translations are undergoing some last minute tweaking by former US Bishops'  Advisor on the liturgy,  Fr. James Maroney who is now a Consultor to the Vatican Congregation on Divine Worship.

Click here info on writing your bishop
Click here to compare translations

Over 350 Worldwide Celebrations of
on St. Mary of Magdala Feast
  In mid-July, organizers around the world joined together to expand awareness of women leaders in the early Church on the feast day of St. Mary of Magdala, the first witness the Resurrection.  At press time, 350 celebrations were planned including at least 30 outside the US (12 in Canada, six in Ireland, five in New Zealand and one each in Australia, Columbia, Finland, Kenya, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, South Africa and Zambia).
"This is the largest number of international celebrations we have ever had, said Sr. Christine Schenk, FutureChurch Executive Director.   "It is so heartening to see the growth in worldwide awareness of St. Mary of Magdala's leadership and now all the other women leaders from the first to ninth centuries."

Find a celebration

Read media release

Download prayer service here

Read about early women leaders from archaeology

Anglicans Vote Yes on Women Bishops/Traditionalists Look To Rome  (AP) - On Monday July 12, the Church of England's ruling body decided that women bishops should be allowed despite the efforts of  traditional Anglicans who had sought exemptions from serving under female bishops.The decision smooths the way for women to become bishops, but church officials say it will be 2014 at the earliest before any woman is elevated to such a role. See related articles below:

Anglican women bishops permitted
Anglicans expect exodus after Church of England OKs women bishops
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 7 months.

Read about Cleveland Listening Session

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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