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         November 2011 E-Newsletter
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In This Issue
Ordain Women as Deacons Now!
Discuss priest shortage solutions at Rome ad limina visits
Austrian Bishops say no to lay-led Masses
Priesthood Sunday celebrations double
Fighting back for female altar servers
Melkite Bishop: study married priests
US Church welcomes Anglican priests, laity
Video of new U.S. Nuncio
Catholics divided over Roman Missal
Phoenix bishop apologizes
Parish closing and appeals news
Other Catholic News
Upcoming  Events 


January 10 Cleveland, OH  The New Roman Missal-The rest of the story. Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB speaks for Cleveland FutureChurch at 7:00 pm Independence Civic Center, 6800 Brecksville Rd. Independence, OH. Free will offering.

March 15-17 Baltimore, MD. From Water to Wine: Lesbian/Gay Catholics and Relationships. New Ways Ministry Symposium with Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Luke Timothy Johnson, Patricia Beattie Jung, Richard Rodriguez, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Register at www.newwaysministry.org/

June 22-24. Dallas, TX. And the Young Shall Dream Dreams CORPUS National Conference. Watch the Corpus website for details. http://www.corpus.org


October 2012. Cleveland, OH (Date and Place TBA) FutureChurch annual benefit with Dr. Carolyn Osiek RSCJ speaking on Women Leaders in Early Christianity.  


November 9-11, 2012. Louisville, KY    Call To Action National Conference. Info 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.

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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 NOVEMBER
with others by
Ordain Women as Deacons Now! Why Not? U.S. Catholic spent two days in October interviewing three scholars on the topic of women deacons at the book launch of Women Deacons: Past, Present, and Future (Paulist, 2011) at Loyola University, Chicago. "The interviews with Gary Macy, William Ditewig and Phyllis Zagano leave me convinced that there is not a single good reason for not ordaining women as deacons-and a lot of reasons to do it." Read more...  


Seeking larger role for women in the church "Permanent Deacons go through several years of part-time study in theology, pastoral counseling and other areas before they are ordained. One Catholic advocacy group, Cleveland-based FutureChurch, has launched a postcard campaign to pressure the Vatican to approve female deacons and received 3,000 responses since May, said the group's executive director, Sister Christine Schenk. 'It's a scandal we don't integrate the gifts of women into church leadership,'" she said. Read more...     


Read about FutureChurch's work for women deacons  


Download NEW sample educational program: The case for women deacons 


Send an electronic postcard to Rome 


Ask your friends to send an electronic postcard too


Scores of U.S. Catholics ask bishops to discuss priest shortage solutions in Rome Many groups and individuals have committed to seeking a meeting or otherwise contacting their bishop before or near the time of his ad limina visit to Rome. Our request to discuss solutions to the priest shortage raised in FutureChurch's Open Letter to U.S. Bishops  has reached bishops, cardinals and archbishops in the Northeast and in New York state where at least one Bishop has agreed to discuss the issue in Rome. All Catholic bishops travel to Rome every five years to report on their dioceses. At this writing groups are organizing in at least 30 dioceses from the East Coast and Midwest, with more still to be counted.      


The Open Letter  has already garnered nearly 6,000 signatures. It addresses the priest shortage crisis and calls on U.S. bishops "to open dialogue about restoring our early traditions recognizing married and celibate priests and women deacons." It was published in the November 7 issue of America.


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  


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 : 

Addressing U.S. bishops, pope defends church efforts on sex abuse


Austrian bishops reject call for laypeople to celebrate Mass Catholic bishops in Austria have rejected a call by dissident church members for lay people to preside at Mass when parishes have no priests, but the bishops also pledged to maintain a dialogue over possible changes in church life.Hans Peter Hurka, Austrian chairman of We Are Church, told Catholic News Service Nov. 11 that the bishops "don't seem to realize the train has already left and they're still standing on the platform." "The situation is now beyond church control and the dangers of a schism are very real," he said. Read more...

Priesthood Sunday celebrations double At least sixty FutureChurch initiated Priesthood Sunday celebrations were held this year including one each in Ireland, Australia and Canada. This is double last year's numbers. Ninety-one people downloaded the service and eleven of the 38 celebrations about which we have specific details were held in parishes reaching between 30 and 5,000 participants. One priest wrote: "When I preached on restoring the traditional married priesthood along side the single priesthood and when I talked about the opening that has been made for women to become deacons... the congregations applauded. It was quite spontaneous and most encouraging. Thanks for the info to help with this observance"


Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons    


Fighting back for female altar servers Just a few months after the cathedral of the Diocese of Phoenix caused an uproar over its  decision to restrict altar service to boys only, parents in Virginia are taking a stand against another parish's decision to eliminate girls from the altar. It seems that the wave of male-only altar servers is spreading, and though not everyone seems to mind, hopefully more parents will speak up and "Let Them Serve" will become a national effort. Read more...


If you believe girls ought to be able to serve alongside boys as altar servers in the Roman Catholic Mass, please click here  to vote in a Washington Post Poll.  Currently girls are gaining in the poll.   


Related: Protests of Va. parishes' move away from altar girls reflects wider Catholic debate (Washington Post)



U.S. Melkite bishop urges study of married priests To address a shortage of priests in his nationwide eparchy, the Melkite Catholic bishop Nicholas J. Samra of Newton, Mass., is exploring the possibility of ordaining married men from the U.S.  Bishop Samra notes that of the 40 parishes in his diocese, eight have no resident priest. He prefers to develop priests from within the diocese rather than ask bishops from the Middle East, to supply them. "The Melkite Church never had a married clergy (tradition) in the USA," Bishop Samra said. Read more... 

Read about FutureChurch Optional Celibacy Campaign


Send Electronic Postcard to Rome  


Download free "So All Can Be At the Table" Organizing Kit 


U.S. Catholic Church to welcome married Episcopalian ministers and laity. The 67 former Episcopalian ministers in the U.S. who asked to become priests in the Catholic Church, are rejoicing: "In five hundred years, this occasion will be talked about in history books." On January 1 the new US Ordinariate will bring a community of former clerics and some 2,000 Episcopalian faithful back into full communion with Rome. Read more...


Cardinal says U.S. ordinariate for former Anglicans to be created Jan. 1  


Sign FutureChurch Open Letter From the People of God to U.S. Bishops    [about the priest shortage, optional celibacy and women deacons] 


Download paper copy to circulate 


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


Video of new U.S. Nuncio's address at USCCB On October 19, 2011, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigaṇ took over as ambassador to the United States from the Vatican. On November 15, the Nuncio addressed the U.S. bishops conference. Video available here...  (move cursor to 57 minutes)


Vigano is known as a financial reformer who apparently did not want the U.S. job, even writing letters to Pope Benedict XVI stating his strong preference for remaining in Italy and serving as President of the Vatican City State. He was opposed by doctrinal conservatives and Vatican officials offended by his sometimes aggressive style. Read more... 




USCCB reality TV by Phyllis Zagano The webcasted November meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops held the excitement of a gathering of accountants discussing actuarial tables.... they covered their topics without a nod to the several elephants camped in their midst. It's not just the sex mess. It's women and inclusive language. It's married priests. It's the plight of the poor. You almost want to scream at the screenRead more... 

Catholics divided over new Mass missal Bishop Richard Lennon of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese sees it as "lyrical and poetic," leading to a better understanding of the spiritual mysteries of the Mass. Bishop Donald Trautman of the Erie, PA., Catholic Diocese sees it as an archaic "jumble of subordinate clauses" leading to a "pastoral disaster." Read more... 


View new "Misguided Missal" website


Compare translations


Download 1998 Missal (free)   


Phoenix Bishop apologizes for mistaken restriction of Communion wine The Phoenix diocese is not going to restrict the distribution of the Precious Blood at Mass after all. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted wrote a private letter to Phoenix priests, saying he had misunderstood church documents, and apologized for provoking anxiety among lay Catholics, according to The Arizona Republic. Read more...


Parish Closing and Appeals News  


Vatican forbids Springfield, MA diocese to sell churches The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield cannot deconsecrate and sell three shuttered churches, the Vatican's highest court has decided, in a ruling that leaves the diocese in possession of sacred buildings it no longer wants. Read more...  


Springfield ruling offers hope to St. James vigil St. James parishioners have an appeal pending in Rome that is similar to the successful Springfield, MA appeals, asking for the reversal of the Wellesley church's deconsecration this summer. "We have a feeling that our dedication is being recognized,'' said Paul Hughes, a lawyer who helped start the St. James vigil and who wrote some of the early appeals. "I believe Rome is saying to the American bishops, 'Don't just close a church when you have problems.' '' Read more...

Akron Parishioners protest St. John's closing of 2 years ago Barb Piurkowsky said she wanted to draw attention to the impending second anniversary of the closing of her church, St. John the Baptist. Piurkowsky and 10 others - family and friends - picketed outside the church in late October, holding signs and asking passing motorists to honk their horns for support. Read more...

Vatican upholds sale of Boston church to Syro-Malabars, vigil ends  Rome has denied all appeals from former parishioners to prevent the sale of St. Jeremiah Church, the Vatican communicated to the Boston Archdiocese Nov. 16. But the Syro-Malabar community has agreed to keep the name of the Church and to allow one Latin rite Mass on Sundays to meet the needs of vigilling parishioners. Peter Borre, chairperson of the Council of Parishes, and Jackie Lemmerhirt, co-chair of the vigil appeal, confirmed the end of the vigil. Read more..


Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here.

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

Other Catholic Church News


Pope urges international agreement on climate change Pope Benedict XVI urged international leaders to reach a credible agreement on climate change, keeping in mind the needs of the poor and of future generations. The pope made the remarks on Nov. 27, the day before officials from 194 countries were to begin meeting in Durban, South Africa, to discuss the next steps in reducing greenhouse gases and stopping global temperatures from rising. Read more... 


Disgraced Cardinal Law Resigns Vatican Post Cardinal Bernard Law has stepped down from a plum post in Rome, where he has presided as head of Sancta Maria Maggiore basilica since leaving  Boston in 2002 in the wake of the priest sex abuse scandal.  Victims of abuse and their advocates say Law still hasn't been held to account for his role in transferring pedophile priests. Read more...  


New Vatican commission to crack down on church architecture? A team has been set up, "to put a stop to garage style churches, boldly shaped structures that risk denaturing modern places for Catholic worship. The 'Liturgical art and sacred music commission' is being established by the Congregation for Divine Worship...The new commission will give precise instructions to dioceses. It will only be responsible for liturgical art, not for sacred art in general; and for liturgical music and singing. The judicial powers of the Congregation for Divine Worship will have the power to act." Read more


Aussie bishop's forced retirement illegal? An investigation by a retired Australian Supreme Court judge has found the Catholic Church breached canon and civil law when it asked the long-serving bishop of Toowoomba, William Morris to retire. Morris was asked to step down after he made comments about the ordination of women and married priests. Read more...  

Women bishops approved by 42 out of 44 Anglican dioceses The diocesan synods of Liverpool, Newcastle, Oxford, Portsmouth, Southwark, and York debated the draft legislation on women bishops on Saturday, and all six backed it in all three houses. In total, 42 out of the 44 dioceses have voted in favour of the legislation. London and Chichester voted against.  Read more...

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