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         October 2011 E-Newsletter
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In This Issue
Pray with us Priesthood Sunday
FutureChurch organizing meetings with US bishops
Irish Priests' Association calls for radical change
Sr. Mary Whited: "We are faithful"
Jason Berry at Cleveland FutureChurch
Pope names financial reformer as US Nuncio
Jamie Manson on the Roman Missal
Fr. Roy, WOC activists detained
Parish closing and appeals news
Other Church News

Blessing Prayer for Those Called to Serve the People of God in Ordained Ministry  (click to print or share the prayer with others)


Blessing Prayer For Those Whose Call to Serve in Ordained Ministry is Not Yet Recognized by the Institutional Church  (click to print or share the prayer with others) 


View 2011 media release


Read about last year's celebrations


Download free prayer service and organizing kit


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


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

Upcoming  Events 


November 4-6, 2011. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Living the Gospel of Love: Call To Action National Conference. With Edwina Gateley, Anthony Ruff, Jamie Manson, Marcus Borg, Chris Schenk, Roy Bourgeois, Raul Al-Qaraz Ochoa, Barbara Fiand and MANY others. Register at www.cta-usa.org  


November 5, 2011 Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Silencing of Catholic Women: Then and Now. Sr. Chris Schenkand Celebrating the Prophetic Witness of Women Religious Today prayer service with FutureChurch Board member, Lisa Barczyk. Register at www.cta-usa.org

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

To sign Open Letter to US Bishops

click here


More info... 

FutureChurch Presents:

Anthony Ruff, OSB
The New Roman Missal - the rest of the story

January 10, 2012
Independence Civic Center
6800 Brecksville Rd, Independence Ohio 

7:00 pm
Free will offering



 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

Organize to keep
arishes Open! SOPC image

Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet
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Magdala Market Online Store


View inspirational
Vatican II video by Fr. John O'Malley SJ
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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 



Women and the Word education/advocacy kit
This free kit 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.Download here...


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

dinner dove 

email:  info@futurechurch.org

To  Purchase A celebrating Women Women Witnesses packet
click here

Spanish Resources here

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

We now have a monthly giving option that 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 please send an endorsed and voided check to FutureChurch at 17307 Madison Avenue, Lakewood Ohio 44107).
Dear Friends: You can share our OCTOBER
with others by

FutureChurch organizing meetings with US bishops ahead of ad limina trips to Rome  At press time FutureChurch has organized groups from 11 Eastern dioceses to meet with their Bishops before they go to Rome for their every 5 year ad limina visit in November-December. We will be spearheading similar efforts in every US diocese in coming months. The main item on the meeting agenda is FutureChurch's Open Letter to U.S. Bishops which has already garnered nearly 5,500 signatures.


The letter addresses the priest shortage crisis and calls on U.S. bishops "to embrace your roles as shepherds" and "open dialogue about restoring our early traditions recognizing married and celibate priests and women deacons."

It will be published in the November 7 issue of America just before the meeting of the US Bishops' conference. If we raise enough money, we will publish it in more Catholic publications over the next year.  


Sign the Open Letter From the People of God to U.S. Bishops    


DONATE to publish the Open Letter  


Download paper copy to circulate 


Download free Open Letter organizing kit with ideas to inspire dialogue around optional celibacy.


Email chris@futurechurch.org if you wish to organize meeting with your bishop. (Please name diocese)


Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons  


Related Article : Ad limina's change means not all bishops meet privately with pope


Irish Priests' Association calls for radical changes  

In early October, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) in Ireland called for radical change in the Catholic Church - including an overhaul of how bishops are chosen, the Church's theology of sexuality and consideration of other models of priesthood that include married men and women.


Keynote speaker Fr. Kevin Hagerty said: "Loyalty is defined in old narrow terms. And it is so fearful of the feminine. Misogyny is dressed up in theological abstractions."


About 550 priests have now joined the association. Also speaking at the conference were Austrian Fr. Helmut Schüller, and American Fr. Bernard Survil both of whom organized similar priest associations in their countries. Read more...   



Irish priests appeal to Rome against bishops who covered up abuse, request study of mandatory celibacy.


Cardinal Piacenza explains 'crisis' of Catholic priesthood  


Sr. Mary Whited told Vatican, "We are faithful"  

Sr. Mary Whited was an introvert, a woman who considered and weighed her thoughts before speaking. But those who knew Whited, who died of cancer at age 70 on Aug. 31, did not mistake her quiet and gentle demeanor for weakness.


"We weren't there to defend," Whited later recalled. "We were there to speak our truth. And at the end of that conversation, Cardinal [Franc] Rodé [then prefect of the Congregation for Religious] said, 'I'm going to meet with the pope next week. What would you want me to tell him?' And I said, 'Tell him we are faithful.' And he said, 'Is that all?' And I said, 'That is enough.' " Read more...  


Jason Berry Speaks to Cleveland FutureChurch On October 13, investigative journalist Jason Berry, spoke to an enthusiastic and thoughtful crowd of nearly 200 at FutureChurch's 21st annual benefit on the topic of his new book: Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church. FutureChurch's work was profiled in two chapters of the book which will soon be released in paperback and translated into four other languages. 


Berry spoke of the financial scandals in the Cleveland diocese and subsequent closure of 50 parishes. It was a surprise to learn the diocese had a healthy financial picture compared to others. This led many to wonder again, why the decision to close viable parishes? 


The second annual Rev. Louis J. Trivison Award went to
Call To Action Co-founders Dan and Sheila Daley.   

Read more...  


Group Wants Accountability in the Catholic Church:  Sister Christine Schenk was quoted in the Akron Beacon Journal: "We need to take some ownership and ask [church leaders] for the same transparency and accountability that we would expect from any other nonprofit that we support with our money." Read more... 


'Nonfeasance' - church collections go unprotected

The Catholic Church is highly susceptible to internal fraud. How much money has it lost? No one knows. From documented research in his book, "Nonfeasance" author Michael W. Ryan estimates Sunday collection embezzlements produced a loss of $89.8 million for US chruch in 2010 alone.  Read more...


Read FutureChurch statement and action plan for Financial Accountability in the Catholic Church 

Pope names financial reformer, Archbishop Vigano,  new U.S. nuncio  On October 19,  Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 70, to be the new nuncio to the United States.  Vigano is known as a financial reformer, whose arrival according NCR's John Allen:  "coincides with a mounting push in church circles for improved money-management practices." A 2007 survey by Villanova University found that 85 percent of responding dioceses had suffered embezzlement. Vigano hopes to be in the United States in time for the bishop's annual assembly November 14-16.  
Read more from John Allen
Read more from Catholic News Service

Jamie Manson on the Roman Missal and "Anthony Ruff: The accidental activist" "I'm sure bishops want a speaker who can put the new missal in a positive light,"Bendictine Fr. Anthony Ruff wrote in February of this year, "and that would require me to say things I do not believe." Earlier this year, six years into his work with the Church's International Commission on English in the Liturgy, Ruff suddenly resigned. He published an open letter to U.S. Catholic Bishops in America magazine explaining why he why he withdrew from all of his speaking engagements on the new Roman Missal.  Read more...


View new "Misguided Missal" website


Compare translations


Download 1998 Missal (free)   


Fr.  Roy Bourgeois and Women's Ordination Leaders detained briefly by Rome police. A U.S. Catholic priest who supports ordination for women was detained by police on after marching to the Vatican to press the Holy See to lift its ban on women priests. The Rev. Roy Bourgeois, Erin Saiz Hanna, Executive Director of Women's Ordination Conference, and Miriam Duignan of Womenpriest.org were taken away Monday in a police car after their group marched down the main boulevard leading to the Vatican and chanted outside St. Peter's Square "What do we want? Women priests! When do we want them? Now!"  



View photos of Rome witness here 


Sign petition supporting Fr. Roy   


FutureChurch statement on Fr. Roy Bourgeois 


Parish Closing and Appeals News  


New Miami archbishop reopens three churches after parishioners fight for rebirth Two years ago, the Archdiocese of Miami closed two of the three predominantly African-American churches in Miami-Dade County. But now, thanks to parishioners, one of them is reopening along with two others closed in June 2009 by the previous Archbishop, Joseph Favalora. The reversal was made by the new Archbishop Thomas Wenski. Read more... 


Vatican High Court to Hear Wilkes-Barre Parish Appeal After years of recurring defeats in its quest to save Sacred Heart Church, a local group scored a late victory when the highest religious tribunal in the Roman Catholic Church agreed to hear its case. "It's amazing," Noreen Foti said with a smile, noting very few appeals ever get to the Apostolic Signatura Tribunal. Foti and her husband have spearheaded efforts to save the church for nearly a decade. Read more...


Vatican again extends deadline for Cleveland appeals For the fourth time, the Vatican has given itself an extension to review appeals from churches closed two years ago by Bishop Richard Lennon. The new deadline is March 1."It's kind of disappointing, but it's still a good development," said Patricia Schulte-Singleton, president of Endangered Catholics, a group fighting church closings.  Read more...


Angry parishioners confront bishop over Bridgeport church closings When Bishop William Lori decided to close three longtime churches in the Diocese of Bridgeport, over 100 parishioners at Holy Rosary Parish confronted him: "This is nothing more than a money grab," said Chris Caruso, a parishioner at Holy Rosary and a former state representative. "We have the money and they want to grab it. While the closings will take effect January 15, diocesan officials the churches will still be available for weddings and funerals. Parishioners have established a Save Holy Rosary Bridgeport Committee. Read more...


Rome sides with Archbishop; two Twin Cities parish appeals denied Last October, the parish at St. Austin in Northwest Minneapolis balked when they received news about the merger with nearby St. Bridget. St. Austin's parish of 250 families was free of debt, and had made many improvements to its nearly 50-year-old building. But in mid October, the two congregations got the news that the Vatican had rejected their merger appeals. St. Austin's will merge with St. Bridget. While the parishes will be suppressed, the disposition of the St. Austin church building will be decided by parishioners and the pastor.  Read more... 


Springfield Diocese sues parishioners occupying Holyoke parish, refuses offer to buy church. In early October the Springfield diocese filed a lawsuit forcing nine parishioners engaged in a 24 hour prayer vigil at Mater Dolorosa church to vacate the premises. "Everybody here is saddened and shocked that the bishop would interrupt a prayer vigil like this. It's unheard of. We can't believe our own people in Christ would treat us this way" said attorney Victor Anop, a spokesman for the Friends of Mater Dolorosa. Protesters who have been holding a 24-hour vigil for more than three months offered to purchase the building but the offer was rebuffed by Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell. 


Read more about the lawsuit    

Read more about the offer to buy the church 


Boston Archdiocese sells Church but protesters won't leave Even though parishioners have been engaged in 24 hour vigils for six years at St. Jeremiah parish, on October 1, the Archdiocese of Boston announced the sale of the church building, parking lot and rectory for $2 million to the Syro-Malabar diocese, a part of the Eastern Catholic Church that shares the same fundamental doctrines as the Roman Catholic Church. Mary Beth Carmody, coleader of protesting parishioners, said archdiocesan officials miss the point. They aren't trying to save their church buildings; they're trying to save their community. "When you destroy that community, you destroy people where they live their faith."  Read more...


Related article:

McCaffrey: Injustice and the Catholic church


Boston Archdiocese shuts off utilities at St. James parish. In mid October, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston shut off heat and water at St. James the Great, angering church members who have occupied the church since it was closed in 2004. The latest action by the archdiocese follows years of legal wrangling and protests over the church closures. Parishioners still maintain vigils at several churches, including Wellesley, East Boston, and Scituate. Parishioners have filed another appeal to Rome. Read more... 


Related St. James vigilers to file emergency appeal 


'Rearranging' of Norwich Catholic churches under way In late September, the Diocese of Norwich began an eight-month study of possible consolidation of services and facilities. Diocesan officials said the diocese does not plan on closing parishes and will seek to preserve the identity of each church community. Plans call for a report to be filed with Bishop Michael R. Cote in June 2012. Read more... 


Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here.

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

                          Other Church News


Exodus as Pope's Legion reform lags An Associated Press tally shows that disillusioned members are leaving the Legionaries of Christ movement in droves as they lose faith that the Vatican will push through the changes needed. The collapse of the order, once one of the most influential in the church, has broader implications for Catholicism, which is shedding members in some places because the hierarchy covered up widespread sexual abuse by priests.  

Read more...   


Vatican Calls for Oversight of the World's Finances On October 24, the Vatican called for an overhaul of the world's financial systems, and again proposed establishment of a supranational authority to oversee the global economy, calling it necessary to bring more democratic and ethical principles to a marketplace run amok. Read more...


Catholics Far Removed from Heirarchy on LGBT Issues

The Catholic Church has been one of the leading opponents of marriage equality across the country, but a new survey shows that most American Catholics do not identify with the Church leadership's anti-gay rhetoric. For example, only 35 % of Catholics support the church's ban on same sex marriage. Read more...


Survey shows Catholic shift on church leadership, authority issues Catholics favor a variety of responses to the priest shortage but give less credence to official church teachings than they formerly did, according to the results of a survey commissioned by National Catholic Reporter newspaper. And at least three-quarters of the respondents agreed that laypeople had the right to decide how parish money should be spent, select their new pastor and decide on parish closings. Read more... 

Read full study... 


How parish life has changed: A look at Mass attendance, leadership and lay participation

In 1987, there were about 19,600 parishes for 54 million Catholics, or about 2,700 Catholics for every parish. By 2011, the number of parishes had been reduced to about 17,800, a net decline of more than 7 percent. Even though most of the parish mergers and closures occurred in the Northeast and the Upper Midwest, in areas that have lost Catholic population, there has been no corresponding increase in new parishes in the areas of the country that are experiencing the most growth. Thus, the ratio nationally is now more than 3,600 Catholics per parish. Read more...


Brazil's Roman Catholics Shrink A new study, based on 200,000 interviews conducted for Brazil's 2010 census, shows the Catholic share of the population hit its lowest level since census figures tracked religion beginning in 1872, bottoming out at 68 percent last year. Read more...  

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