FC logo          Celebrating 20 Years!
                                                                     October  2010 E-Newsletter                                                                                                    
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In This Issue
Richard Sipe Predicts Clerical Reform
New Women Deacons E-Postcard campaign
Why Stay in a Corrupt Church?
Saint Mary MacKillop Exposed Clergy Sex Abuse
The Real Reason for Church Polarization.
Parish Closing and Appeals News.
Pope Praises Women Theologians
Interesting Church News
Upcoming FutureChurch Events
Fund for Women Unjustly Fired by the Church
Sponsor a Listening Session On the Future of the Church
So All Can Be at the Table
women deacon
Optional Celibacy
and Women Deacons

To send an electronic postcard asking to restore women deacons,
click here 

To send an electronic postcard asking to restore optional celibacy

click here

More info...

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

Featured Article
A Million Voices
A Million Voices: Gospel Nonviolence for the Life of the Church

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. ($3.00) Info and download here

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).

Another  key resource  is Richard Taylor's wonderful book: Love in Action: Gospel Nonviolence to Renew and Reform the Church Click here to order  ($13)
Women and the Word for Educators: Free Sample!
Includes essays, prayer services and student work sheets about notable women such as Prisca, Phoebe, Dorothy Day and St. 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  Purchase A celebrating Women Women Witnesses packet
click here

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

Organize to keep
arishes Open!
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Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

to become a local parish contact.
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Claim Your Catholic Rights!
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American Catholic Council

Pentecost Weekend

June 10-12, 2011

Detroit Convention Center

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Richard Sipe Predicts Clerical Reform. In a wide ranging article, an international expert on clergy sex abuse, Richard Sipe, sees convincing evidence of movement toward reform of clerical  system: "The international importance of  Archbishop Zollitsch's public stance is impossible to overestimate. It, along with Cardinal Christopher Schönborn's recommendation that the Vatican conduct an 'unflinching study' of the causes of clergy sexual abuse including 'mandatory celibacy, personality development and seminary education' indicates the inexorable direction of clerical reform."  Read more...

Related Articles

Baltimore Episcopal Parish votes to join Catholic Church
Not enough Catholic priests? End celibacy, ordain women:(Baltimore Catholics Should Speak Up (op ed)

Anglican bishop joins Catholic ordinariate

Pope tells seminarians abuse crisis cannot discredit priestly mission

View new FutureChurch Optional Celibacy Videos

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

DOWNLOAD a free  So All Can Be at the Table  education-advocacy resource.  Active parishioners ready for change.

FutureChurch Optional Celibacy Survey (2010)
Read Survey results

New! FC E-Postcard For Women Deacons  Just before Christmas, Pope Benedict made changes in canon law that, according to female diaconate expert, Dr. Phyllis Zagano, "may have ended the controversy over whether women can be ordained deacons." FutureChurch has added an electronic postcard asking to open the permanent diaconate to women to our international our So All Can Be At the Table initiative. Read more and send a postcard


Evanston Parish Explores Women Deacons. The pastor of an Evanson, IL  parish, the Rev. Bill Tkachuk, is raising the question if women can become deacons. His parish,St. Nicholas, has been discussing the topic for months, and a long-time female member has expressed interest in becoming a deacon should the Vatican open up the option to women.  Read more

Related Articles

Is the Vatican Opening the Way For Women Deacons?

Eight Reasons to Restore Women Deacons


Why Stay in a Corrupt Church? When the public face of the Church shows itself to be uncaring and corrupt, the question more and more Catholic men, women and youth ask themselves is, "Why stay?" For increasing numbers, the answer is to go.... Yet, the majority of Catholics, as the majority of priests, will not leave the Catholic Church, even though they may do what in years past was unthinkable, deeply consider leaving. What will keep them in?  Read more..

Saint Mary MacKillop Once Excommunicated For Exposing Clergy Sex Abuse. Mother Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) became Australia's first saint on October 17. Her cause faced serious hurdles, not the least of which was her brief excommunication. A documentary aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Oct. 10 revealed she was excommunicated because her sisters exposed clergy sexual abuse of children. A vindictive priest "was so angry that he swore vengeance ... by getting at the Josephites and destroying them,"   Read more 

John Paul II Bishops: The Real Reason for Church Polarization. Writing in the National Catholic Reporter, the former chair of the Theology Department at the University of Notre Dame Fr. Richard Mcbrien had this to say "...if there is any single reason why polarization exists in the Catholic Church today it is because of the type of bishops whom John Paul II appointed and promoted within the hierarchy over the course of his 26 and a half years in office. Any other explanation of the polarization that now afflicts the Church is simply naive." Read more... Read more...

Parish Closing and Appeals News


Minneapolis-St. Paul to Downsize 21 Parishes, Cluster 33. Parishioners in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis St. Paul learned from the news media that their diocese will downsize by 21 parishes under a new strategic plan to be implemented over the next several years.Read more

Related items

St. Paul-Minneapolis  Archdiocese New Strategic Plan: Who Was Consulted?

Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources Here

Albany diocese challenges tax of closed churches Albany civic officials want to tax churches after they've been closed for a year. "A church can be deemed taxable by the assessor if the church is not being used for purposes of the religious organization," according to state Tax Department spokesman Geoff Gloak. But the Roman Catholic Diocese  of Albany has launched a legal challenge. "As municipalities and counties become desperate for tax revenues, they begin to look at nonprofits," said Dennis Proust, a spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference. The conference has joined with other nonprofit organizations to oppose taxing their properties. Read more...

Vigiling Boston Parishioners Appeal to Pope. A group of Roman Catholics asked Pope Benedict XVI to reverse the decision by the Boston Archdiocese to close their churches, which sparked a six-year fight and several round-the-clock parishioner vigils. Peter Borre, of the Council of Parishes, walked through the bronze gate at Vatican City on Tuesday, October 19 and delivered the long-shot appeal to a Vatican guard on behalf of nine closed parishes.

Borre all but dismissed chances for "a miraculous Hollywood ending," but said the appeal was important as a final recourse within the church and to perhaps make space for negotiations that could prevent protesting parishioners from forming breakaway groups.

"It's not an idle threat," Borre said. "It's a likely development in at least a couple cases." Read more

Pope Praises Hildegard of Bingen, Women Theologians

At his September 8, General Audience Pope Benedict spoke about the medieval female theologian Hildegard of Bingen, and took the opportunity to praise women theologians:

"...we see how theology can receive a special contribution from women, because they are capable of speaking of God and of the mysteries of the faith with their specific intelligence and sensitivity".

He encouraged all women "who undertake this service to do so with a profound ecclesial spirit, nourishing their reflections with prayer and looking to the great riches - still partly unexplored - of the mediaeval mystical tradition, especially as represented by such shining examples as Hildegard of Bingen".. Read more



Scaled Down Role for Pope? Vision of a Catholic-Orthodox Union on USCCB website. More autonomy to local and regional bishops, scaled down role for Pope and Roman Curia, dropping the filioque from the Creed:

Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue Lays Out a Vision of Unity in Unprecedented Document (USCCB) 

Steps Towards a Reunited Church

Celebrating Easter/Pascha Together

Sisters Ask Synod to Promote Women's Dignity Read More

Laywoman new vice president of canon law group; to be president in 2011 Read More

Europeans, Vatican officials dominate new cardinal selections  Read More

Mary Hunt on Cardinal-making  Read More 

Upcoming FutureChurch Events

Cincinnatti: March 12, 10 am - 3 pm: "Women Leaders in Early Christianity: Evidence from Archaeology and Women Deleted from the Lectionary." Christine Schenk, CSJ $20.00 includes lunch. Please RSVP to 513.381.6400 St. Monica-St. George Parish Newman Center 328 W. McMillan Street Cincinnati, OH 45219 More info

Waterloo, Ontario: May 26-28: Canadian Forum on Theology and Education. Catholicism at the Crossroads: How the Laity Can Save the Church. Sr. Chris Schenk and Dr. Paul Lakeland at the University of Waterloo,Thursday at 7:30pm to Saturday May 28th at 12 noon. More info 

Detroit, Cobo Hall: June 10, 2011. Hanging Tough: Keeping Your Integrity and Changing the (institutional) Church. FutureChurch preconference before the American Catholic Council. Keynote Sr. Louise Akers. A panel of activists will anchor this workshop teaching principles of community organizing, gospel nonviolence, support and training in how to use FutureChurch's proven systemic change resources. $50. More info or register
Fund Established for Women Unjustly Fired by the Church.The Emily and Rosemary Fund was established to support women who lose employment in the Roman Catholic Church as the result of injustice or discrimination, and to help women who are working to bring about justice and equality in the Church. It is administered by Voice of the Faithful. The first round of applications opened August 10, 2010, and awards will be announced in late November 2010. Read more and apply...
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 the April 21, 2010 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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