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                                          Celebrating 20 Years!
                                                        March 2011 E-Newsletter    (Newsletter Archive)
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In This Issue
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli helps us celebrate 20 years
Is Vatican Policy Shifting To Keep Churches Open?
During April and Easter Celebrate St. Mary of Magdala.
Tell us what you think of new missal translations
Germans pray Church will rethink celibacy
After Synod exhortation, lectionary advocacy continues
Majority of US Catholics back gay rights
Vatican denies female head of CARITAS a second term
End the silencing of Catholic women
Eugene Kennedy unmasks conservative attack on Cardinal Bernardin
Infallibility widely misunderstood
Other Church news
Put Women Back in the Biblical Picture during Holy Week and Easter
women holy week

Women and the Word:

Concrete ways to restore biblical women to our sacred liturgical celebrations.

  More info and order click 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

Read Rights and Responsibilities
April 10 Early Bird Deadline

       FutureChurch        Preconference before
American Catholic Council

June 10, 2011

(early bird rates available)
Louise Akers
Keynote Sr. Louise Akers with panel of activists.

Daylong teach-in on
principles of community organizing, gospel non-violence and

FutureChurch's proven systemic change resources.

Info and Register here

Inspirational Videos on Vatican II by Fr. John O'Malley SJ
Video Pic

 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

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...

A Million Voices
A Million Voices: Gospel Nonviolence for the Life of the Church
Educates about 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. ($5.00) 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)
Organize to keep
arishes Open!
SOPC image

Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

to become a local parish contact.
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.

dinner dove 

For a free sample packet
to give to your favorite high school religion and Spanish teachers, email:  info@futurechurch.org.

To  Purchase A celebrating Women Women Witnesses packet
click here

Spanish resources also available. click here

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Magdala Market Online Store



FutureChurch Annual Benefit: An Evening with Jason Berry 

Jason Berry 


Thursday, October 13, Cleveland Museum of Natural History    


Jason Berry achieved prominence for reporting on the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis in Lead Us Not Into Temptation (1992). USA Today calls him "the rare investigative reporter whose scholarship, compassion and ability to write with the poetic power of Robert Penn Warren are in perfect balance."

Berry's book Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church will be published in June, 2011.


Check out:  

Jason Berry's website 

NPR interview on Vows of Silence 


Dear Friends:   We hope you enjoy our March
Share it with others by

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli helps us celebrate 20 years.


               poggioli 2 staff                      

Sylvia (center front) and FutureChurch staff 


Sylvia Poggioli gave scores who flocked to Cleveland State University's Drinko Hall on February 3 their chance to meet and to hear the woman of the "golden voice" whose keen analysis of world events they had listened to for almost 20 years. Senior European correspondent for National Public Radio's foreign desk, Poggioli reports from Rome, Italy; she added with amusement, from the attic of the walk-up apartment near the Vatican where she lives.  Read more...   

Is Vatican Policy Shifting To Keep Churches Open? Parishioners from thirteen parishes in the dioceses of Allentown, Springfield and Buffalo have been upheld in their appeals to the Vatican to keep their churches open. Until now, virtually all appeals were denied. In each of the thirteen, the Vatican accepted the bishop's suppression of the parish but denied his petition to close the church. Recent remarks from Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican's highest Court, the Apostolic Signatura, also signal a shift. The January 22 issue of the British Catholic weekly, The Tablet reported that Burke told a group of canon law judges from England and Wales that closing a church should only be done "as a last resort." Read more...


Related articles

Appeals to reopen closed parishes see partial victories(NCR) 

Allentown Bishop appeals church rulings

Bethlehem parishioners want into church Vatican says should stay open 

Cleveland City Council delays stained-glass legislation

Boston Archdiocese pulls listing of closed church   


For more info on parish appeals and closings:


Download a free Crisis Kit,  

or  "Canonical Appeals for Dummies"

Or purchase

Save Our Parish Community Resource    

During April and Easter...

            Celebrate  St. Mary of Magdala  

                        (and other women of Holy Week)

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"There once was a follower of Jesus who loved him enough to have the courage to watch him be crucified.  He, in turn, loved her enough to choose her as the first to know of his resurrection."   Kathleen Housley


As we prepare for the Easter Season, please share the story of St. Mary of Magdala and other women of Holy Week with those in your faith community, especially youth, who may not know there were women disciples in Jesus' life and ministry.  


Instantly download  a FREE brochure, prayer service and teacher worksheet about St. Mary of Magdala.  


Instantly download for $1.00 an essay, prayer service, and teacher's worksheet in SPANISH about St. Mary of Magdala  $1.00  


Click here for resources to restore biblical women leaders to Holy Week, and the Easter Season   


Click here to order the complete Celebrating Women Witnesses and More! Celebrating Women Witnesses resource packets   


Tell us what you think of new missal translations

We have posted a sampling of the new missal translations on our website. Click here to review, then email chris@futurechurch.org and let us know what you think.  


"What if we said 'wait'?" Vatican won't. A prominent Catholic pastor in Seattle is "letting go" of his campaign against a new Latinized translation of the church liturgy, but not his convictions in starting it.  "It is the people who will have the last word on the new missal once it is introduced," Fr. Michael Ryan, pastor of St. James Cathedral, said in a Sunday morning homily. Read more...

Germans pray Church will rethink celibacy (NPR)  "In Germany, calls are going out for the Catholic Church to rethink some of its basic principles, including the rule of celibacy for priests.... Many say the celibacy rule is partly to blame for a shortage of clergy. By 2020, two-thirds of parishes in Germany might not have their own priests. .. Theologians and even well-known conservative Catholic politicians, like Hermann Kues, are asking the church to rethink celibacy, especially since it's not a doctrinal requirement."  Read more and listen to NPR All Things Considered story

Send New E-Postcards  asking to open discussion of mandatory celibacy and women deacons.   

View FutureChurch Optional Celibacy Videos  

Download a free  So All Can Be at the Table  education-advocacy resource. 

FutureChurch Optional Celibacy Survey (2010) Read Survey results

After 2008 Synod exhortation, lectionary advocacy continues. Benedict's recent post-synod exhortation from the 2008 Synod on the Word is a beautiful meditation on the Bible event though it did not directly address any of the fifty-five proposals sent by synod bishops. FutureChurch's follow up initiative generated several thousand postcards to the Congregation for Divine Worship asking to address the exclusion of biblical women leaders in the lectionary. We received some positive responses from Vatican officials and plan to continue our advocacy now that the postcard phase is completed.  Read more...

Read full text of  Pope's exhortation, Verbum Domini 


Read Sr. Ruth Fox's article about women deleted from the lectionary  


Give a program in your parish! Women Leaders in Early Christianity Presenter's Guide and CD (with powerpoint images) Info and to purchase 


For info and to order FutureChurch Celebrating Women Witnesses resources click here.  

Majority of US Catholics back gay rights in survey

"The big finding here is that American Catholics are at least 5 points more supportive than the general population across a range of gay and lesbian issues," said Robert Jones, chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute, which conducted telephone surveys of 3,000 Americans."  Read more...


Bishops again denounce New Ways Ministry. The publication of a new booklet Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach, by Francis DeBernardo, Director of New Ways Ministry, has prompted two US Bishops' committees to reaffirm a year-old statement that the organization is not Catholic. A description of the booklet  on the organization's website says US Catholics are supporting same-sex marriage and that  Catholic laypeople do not follow what the church teaches against same-sex marriage. Read more...

Statement of Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry,  

Vatican denies female head of CARITAS a second termUpheaval compared to ICEL takeover

Dr. Lesley Anne Knight, Secretary General of CARITAS, was recently prevented from reapplying for her job by Vatican Cardinal Bertone even though she was widely respected and supported by CARITAS member groups (Catholic Relief Services being one).  Some believe this could be similar to the Vatican takeover of English liturgical translations from ICEL "...the candidate is elected by the members, not appointed by the Holy See. The Vatican's only role is to ensure that they are in good standing with the local Church. 'If Knight was in good standing with the Church four years ago, what has changed?' asks Knights' predecessor, Duncan MacLaren. " Read more...

And more analysis here 


John Allen interview of Lesley Ann Knight

Women and the Word: End the silencing of Catholic women FutureChurch has made substantial progress in our work to bring to visibility women leaders in the Church, both past and present. Advocacy with Rome is important and so is reaching out to Catholics here at home. To address both, FutureChurch has two new initiatives:

New Women and the Word education/advocacy kit.  This free download includes tools that encourage our parishes, small faith communities, schools and dioceses to make visible the rich tradition of women leaders in the Church. Sample educational programs on women in scripture and church history, articles by scholars and activists and sample postcard and background info about women deacons are also included (Email emily@futurechurch.org to be notified when it becomes available  in mid April)

International campaign to restore the tradition of women deacons. In December 2009, 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 in six languages asking to open the permanent diaconate to women Read more and order or send a postcard


Related Articles Is the Vatican Opening the Way For Women Deacons?


Eight Reasons to Restore Women Deacons 

Eugene Kennedy unmasks conservative attack on Cardinal Bernardin (analysis)   


Ed note: If you are looking for an in depth explanation of events leading to the selection of bishops who failed to address clergy sex abuse, here it is. A key player who retires November 4, is Cardinal Bernard Law. Here are salient quotes from a recent article by Eugene Cullen Kennedy, a prolific author, psychologist and confidante of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin who critiques an article "The End of the Bernardin Era"by conservative George Weigel that appeared in the February issue of "First Things".


"What, indeed, lies behind this attack on [Joseph Cardinal] Bernardin if not his need to make other church leaders and their activities less visible to the public? ... The writer [Weigel] thereby reveals what he is so anxious to conceal -- the real name of the "machine" that is running out of gas and the prelate whose "era" is coming to an end...


He cannot distract us from Cardinal Bernard Law...who was and remains a member of the [Vatican] council that makes bishops, and pleased John Paul II by forwarding only candidates for the bishopric who had never spoken a word on any controversial issue. The resulting crop of generally non-creative but intensely orthodox bishops took their cues from Law on everything, including how to manage, as he thought they could, the already developing scandal of sex abuse by their priests...


In 1985, Law restrained the National Conference of Catholic Bishops from funding a proposal made by a group headed by Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle to investigate the still covered up sex abuse problems among priests....Had Law acted differently he might have saved grief for thousands of victims and mitigated the most serious scandal the church had suffered since the Reformation...


The gods of irony shuddered, however, for they sensed that Law's Nixonian bravado was contributing to his own downfall after the sex abuse in his own archdiocese exploded in The Boston Globe just after New Year's Day in 2002 and he was forced to resign before Christmas."  Read more... 

Catholic scholars say infallibility widely misunderstood.

"...Almost every teacher of Catholicism will tell you this: People have mistaken notions of what the faith believes about infallibility.  'It's not,' theology professor Margaret O'Gara says, 'like a hotline to God.'" Read more...  

                  OTHER CHURCH NEWS


Philadelphia scandal calls into question bishops' reporting system. Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali's move to place 21 priests on administrative leave calls into question whether the system the U.S. bishops set in place in 2002 has protected children, say victims' advocates. Terry McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org said:  'No doubt there are priests who remain in ministry in other dioceses and no doubt review boards there are doing pretty much what they did in Philadelphia, which is protect priests in the system instead of protecting the children." Read more...


Report "puts cloud over" church efforts to prevent abuse, says official


Cardinal places 21 Philadelphia priests on leave as inquiry continues


Bishop Hubbard says Cuomo's right to Holy Communion is a private matter.  Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany recently said that it was not appropriate for church officials to comment on whether specific elected officials should be allowed to receive holy communion. Hubbard made his comments at a news conference after meeting with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to discuss the state budget, same-sex marriage and other issues. Read more...


Northwest Jesuits to pay $166 million to sexual abuse victims

To donate to FutureChurch or renew your membership,  please  click here 

We now have a monthly giving option, which provides an easy way to manage your donation and saves on administrative costs for FutureChurch. You can participate in the monthly giving program using your credit card or checking account (if using your checking account must send an endorsed and voided check to  FutureChurch at 17307 Madison Avenue, Lakewood Ohio 44107)
Upcoming FutureChurch Events

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.
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. Early bird (before May 20th) $40. After May 20th, $50. More info and register

July 20, 2011.  Cleveland Celebration of St. Mary of Magdala: Unheard Homilies: End the Silencing of Catholic Women.

Three women will share the homilies they would love to preach at Sunday Mass.  7:00 pm Independence Civic Center 6363 Selig Drive, Independence Ohio. Free will offering. 

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