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        March 2012 E-Newsletter
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In This Issue
Take Action on Roman Missal
Upcoming Events
Vatican orders Cleveland diocese to reopen 13 parishes
CBS This Morning airs segment on married Catholic priests
John Allen on what Vatileaks means for the next papacy.
Ad Limina dialogue results in eleven meetings (so far)
Fewer Young Catholic women practicing faith
New York Archdiocese copes with priest shortage
Boston reconfiguration plan bad for priests?
60 Minutes interviews Dublin Archbishop
Head German Bishop sees progress in dialogue
US Priests Association hosts June assembly
Priest who denied gay communion suspended
No "abortion inducing drugs" in Affordable Care Act
Commonweal editorial on contraception compromise
More parish closing and appeals news
Other Catholic news
Put Women Back in the Biblical Picture during Holy Week and Easter


Women and the Word:
Concrete ways to restore biblical women to our sacred liturgical celebrations.

  More info and order  click here


The new misguided missal website has an array of resources for letting your bishop and pastor know your views on the new missal. 


MY TWO CENTS COMMENT CARD (download and put in collection basket during Lent)


WRITE YOUR BISHOP AND THE U.S. NUNCIO (sample letters to download)  


FutureChurch Podcast by Fr. Anthony Ruff OSB on the New Roman Missal: The Rest of the Story. 






Compare translations


Download 1998 Missal (free)

Back by Popular Demand!




Journey Of Discovery:   

Rome & Ostia


A Pilgrimage to Archaeological Sites of

Women Leaders in the Early Church


March 14 - 21, 2013


Discover  frescos, mosaics and artifacts of early Christian women who were leaders of important Christian communities in Rome.  

Dr. Carolyn Osiek RSCJ, Educational Director


Sr. Christine Schenk CSJ, Spiritual Director  


$2,949 ALL INCLUSIVE! from New York


Complete info and flyer at   


Upcoming  Events 


 March 28, 2012, Fairfield University, CT. Rome, Women, and the End of Catholicism" Dr. Phyllis Zagano Center for Catholic Studies, Fairfield University, CT, 8:00 p.m. Contact pflakeland@fairfield.edu

May 2, 2012, New Rochelle, NY. Women Deacons: Past, Present, and Future Dr. Phyllis Zagano, The Upper Room, 7:30 p.m. Contact jmconroy1@aol.com

June 22-24, 2012, Dallas, TX.  And the Young Shall Dream Dreams: CORPUS National Conference. Watch the Corpus website for details. http://www.corpus.org

July 19, 2012, Cleveland, OH.   Unheard Homilies, Part Two: Cleveland Celebration of the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala. 7:00 pm. River's Edge, 3430 Rocky River Drive, Cleveland, OH contact info@futurechurch.org 

July 22, 2012. International Celebration of the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala. For free downloadable celebration resources go to www.futurechurch.org

September 14-15, 2012, Boston, MA. National Voice of the Faithful Conference. Tenth Anniversary. Watch the VOTF website: www.votf.org

September 30th, 2012, Cleveland, OH.FutureChurch 22nd Annual Benefite & time change) Windows on the River, 2000 Sycamore Street, Cleveland, OH Info at www.futurechurch.org

  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... 


 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

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
(Free download)

This free kit includes tools that help parishes, small faith communities, schools and dioceses 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 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 MARCH
with others by
Cleveland cartoon

Vatican orders Cleveland diocese  

to reopen 13 parishes

In an extraordinary move, the Vatican  reversed Bishop Richard Lennon's closings of 13 churches in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, saying the parishes must be restored and the sanctuaries reopened for worship, according to activists who fought the closings. "Our hats are off to all the courageous parishioners who appealed," said FutureChurch Executive Director Sr. Christine Schenk.  "This is their victory. Their rights have been vindicated. They said closing our churches wasn't right and the Vatican agreed. All the people constitute the church, not just the bishops." For the past five years FutureChurch has been educating parishioners all over the US and worldwide about their canonical rights.   Read more... 


Listen to two NPR in depth interviews:

Program on 3/9/12 

Program on 3/13/12  

 wcpn cleveland appeals victory

 (L to R..Sr. Chris Schenk, FutureChurch, Christine LaSalvia, attorney from Friends of St. James, and Pat Schulte-Singleton, leader of Endangered Catholics and St. Pat's appealing parishioners)


Read FutureChurch Media Statement


Read Vatican decree for St. Patrick parish (scroll to bottom)  

Read Community of St. Peter Cover Story in National Catholic Reporter 



Vatican Overrules 13 Cleveland Closings

Ohio bishop pressed by Vatican ruling on churches 

Cleveland parishes await Lennon's response


Sign open letter to US Bishops

Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons     


CBS This Morning airs segment on married Catholic priests On March 12, the This Morning program on CBS aired a story about Rev. Doug Grandon, his wife Lynn and their family of six children.  Fr. Grandon is an associate pastor in the Archdiocese of Denver who converted in 2003. He is one of 87 married priests currently serving in the US church. View program

Irish priests want optional celibacy and women priests The national independent radio broadcaster known as Newstalk, recently invited 320 Irish priests to participate in a survey and 114 responded. Of the respondents, 80 percent wanted to be able to marry and 60 percent supported women's ordination to the priesthood. Most (96%) had been serving members for 10 years or more. Many (65%) felt their reputations have been damaged by abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. Read more... 


Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons      


John Allen on Vatileaks and what it means for the next papacy "Slowly, Benedict XVI has tried to move people who embody a more transparent and less nakedly ambitious way of doing business into key positions. The question is, has this gradual reform hit a brick wall? If it's dying the death of a thousand cuts, as some believe, what's the next step -- to go back, or to move forward to a more aggressive phase? Read more...


Related: Five questions about the Vatican's leaks


Vatican leadership comes under attack "The fact is that the Vatican has never, in its recent past, witnessed a mass of documents as great as this being let out into the open. Who is leaking these documents? While in the case of Vigaṇ's letter to the Pope and Bertone, (denouncing the alleged scandals in the Governorate, which inquiries have not confirmed) the supposed "deep throat" could not have been any of these three individuals, be it in a direct or indirect manner, for others, things are not quite as simple." Read more...


Ad Limina Bishop dialogue results in eleven meetings with more organizing To date, faithful Catholics have succeeded in obtaining meetings with their bishop in eleven US dioceses with  groups organizing in an estimated 25 additional dioceses. FutureChurch is encouraging people to talk to their bishops about their  Open Letter to U.S. Bishops before or at time they go to Rome for their ad limina visit. U.S. visits are projected to extend through May 2012.  


The Open Letter  has already garnered over 5500 signatures (our previous report of 6200 included duplicates.We apologize for this unintentional error)  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    

Download paper copy of letter to circulate 


Download free Open Letter organizing kit  


Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons  


Fewer young Catholic women are practicing their faith "Millennial Catholic women are slightly more likely than Catholic men their age to say that they never attend Mass (the first generation of American Catholic women for whom this is so)...None of the millennial Catholic women in the survey expressed complete confidence in churches and religious organizations." Read more... 


The Catholic Church Is Not For Women: NPR Talk of the Nation ".... this is not in any way a condemnation of men. It is a condemnation of systematized misogyny. And it's very, very difficult, I think, for people to make that distinction sometimes." Listen and read more...


New York Archdiocese Copes With Priest Shortage Some 500 active diocesan priests currently serve in the Archdioceses of New York's 2.6 million Catholics. The average age of priests is 65 and climbing, with retirement usually at 75 years of age.The future is not promising. In 2010, seven men were ordained and in 2011, only four were ordained."This year, we'll only have one ordination but next year, God willing, we'll have eight," said the Reverend Luke Sweeney, the director of vocations for the Archdiocese of New York. Read more...  

Read about FutureChurch Optional Celibacy Campaign 


Boston reconfiguration plan could "crush pastors" The Boston Archdiocese's proposal to cut costs by organizing its 290 parishes into 125 groups that share resources could crush its pastors, who now face a bleak future after sustaining the church through the abuse scandal, a veteran priest wrote in a letter to Cardinal Sean O'Malley obtained by The Associated Press."I can well imagine that the very process of implementing such a proposal would result in serious psychological and even physical sickness," wrote Monsignor William Helmick, pastor at Saint Theresa of Avila in West Roxbury, who recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination. Read more...  

Related:Plan would group Needham's Catholic churches


60 Minutes interviews Dublin Archbishop on Sex Abuse Crisis  On Sunday, March 4, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was interviewed on CBS' 60 minutes. In an earlier address on next steps in Irish Catholicism "Many people are disillusioned by the Church. It is very hard to underestimate how much the scandals regarding the sexual abuse of children and the manner in which it was dealt with by Church authorities has wounded the Church in Ireland" Read more and watch video...


German bishops' leader welcomes progress in church dialogue The president of the German bishops' conference Archbishop Robert Zollitsch has welcomed progress in a national dialogue on the Catholic Church's future, inaugurated in the wake of sexual abuse scandals. But Germany's "We Are Church" movement, said lay Catholics would not be satisfied with '"pro forma dialogues and beautiful visions." At their late-February meeting, the bishops also discussed the situation at Germany's 54 theology faculties and institutes, after new church data confirmed student admissions had dropped by half in the past 15 years Read more...  

Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons    


New US Priests' Association to host June assembly Founded in August, 2011 by 27 priests, the new National Association of U.S. Catholic Priests is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Vatican II with an inaugural assembly. The gathering for priests only, will be held from Monday, June 11 through Thursday, June 14, 2012 at St. Leo University, located near Tampa, FL.  The assembly's theme is "Keeping Alive the Vision and Passion of Vatican II." Read more... 


Priest who denied lesbian communion suspended On March 9, Bishop Barry Knestout, a top administrator in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC announced that the Rev. Marcel Guarnizo was placed on administrative leave for "engaging in intimidating behavior toward parish staff and others that is incompatible with proper priestly ministry." Guarnizo recently denied Communion to a Catholic lesbian woman at her mother's funeral Mass telling her he could not give her the sacrament "because you live with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin." Read more...


No "abortion inducing drugs" included in Affordable Care Act  In February, US bishops ordered letters to be read from pulpits all over the country alleging that the new health care reforms include "abortion inducing drugs."  Catholic Church officials and others have argued that because IUDs Plan B and Ella are abortifacients, the government is forcing them to participate in the distribution of devices and drugs that cause abortion.


Turns out, there is overwhelming scientific evidence that the IUD and Plan B work only as contraceptives and there is no scientific proof that Ella acts as an abortifacient either. There is only one drug approved to induce abortion. It is called RU-486 (mifepristone) and is not on the FDA's list of approved contraception.  Read more...


Send a copy of "What an abortifacient is -- and what it isn't" to your bishop (and email to let us know you did)    

Related  The Pope Must Secretly Be Working for President Obama


Commonweal editorial: on contraception compromise " Even before all the details of the president's proposal were known, the bishops rejected it and then upped the ante by insisting that the only possible solution was to repeal the mandate altogether. Isn't that sobering fact more deserving of a national campaign than this self-defeating battle over contraception coverage? Read more....



Some see bishops in danger of overplaying their hand 

Catholic women must speak out

Bishops should take their clear victory


More Parish Closing and Appeals News  


Detroit archbishop spares churches in planned merger of 38 parishes into 18 plan On February 20, Detroit Catholic Archbishop Allen Vigneron released a complicated, wide-ranging restructuring of 267 parishes. There will be at least 27 fewer parishes, and at least 38 parishes will be merged or reduced to 18 parishes by 2016. However, a newly-merged parish in many instances may retain two, or three churches. Vigneron directed many more parishes to merge in coming years, but did not always specify a date by which the merger needs to take place. Much will depend on the availability and health of the priests that head parishes, and the parish's ability to maintain their finances.

Read more...  

Related: All the details of the Catholic church restructuring plan

Priest shortage forcing Saginaw diocese to reorganize parishes The Diocese of Saginaw has 109 churches but just 54 active diocesan priests and another 22 senior retired priests to provide sacramental ministry. A total of 17 pastoral administrators also serve the spiritual needs of the region's more than 108,000 registered Catholics. In September the bishop, the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, hired a national consulting agency called the Reid group to help. "It's apparent the numbers don't jibe, and something has to be done," said diocesan committee member, Rev. Thomas E. Sutton. "The bottom line is - and I don't want it to sound cold - but the reality exists that there's only so many priests to go around." Read more...


After three-year vigil, Massachussetts Church reopens for services The bells rang February 18 at St. Stanislaus Kostka parish which protesters have been occupying non-stop for more than three years, signaling the church's reopening as a site for regular Catholic worship.  "We are thrilled," parishioner Robin J. Loughman said. "It's what we were hoping for and what we expected." The Diocese of Springfield has eliminated 69 parishes in Western Massachusetts since the year 2000 in response to declining attendance and finances and a shortage of priests. So far, St. Stanislaus Kostka is the only group that has managed to restore Mass to its building. Read more... 


Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here.

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

Other Catholic Church News


Church Puts Legal Pressure on Abuse Victims' Group "If there is one group that the higher-ups, the bishops, would like to see silenced," said Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University and an advocate for victims of clergy sex crimes, "it definitely would be SNAP. And that's what they're going after. They're trying to find a way to silence SNAP." (New York Times 3/12/12)  Read more...


Group splits from Legion of Christ's female branch

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The female branch of the scandal-plagued Legionaries of Christ religious order was in turmoil Tuesday following the resignation of its leader and the decision of some 30 members to split from the movement. What makes the exodus of the 30 consecrated members significant is that they are seeking to continue living out their religious vocations under bishops - something that is potentially problematic for the Legion's survival since it shows a potential avenue for continuing similar lifestyles outside the Legion, if others were to follow suit.

Read more...  


Maine's Bishop Malone withdraws from Marriage Equality fight.   Reversing a policy in 2009 when the Church spent 1.09 million to repeal a marriage equality statute, Bishop Richard Malone recently announced that the Church is taking no active roles in fundraising, staffing, advertising, or campaigning against marriage equality in Maine. He said that the church "doesn't want to impose a law or belief on anyone," especially non-Catholic citizens, who comprise 86% of Maine residents, and 77% of all Americans. Maine voters will decide by ballot in November whether to write same-gender marriage into state law.Read more...

Related Gay Marriage In Maryland: Catholic Governors In Five States Sign Legislation

Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial: "Couldn't shred the truth" With the deeply troubling disclosure that Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered aides to shred a memo identifying 35 suspected predator priests, there's no longer any question that Pennsylvania should give victims of long-ago abuse an avenue to have their day in court. Similarly, it has been revealed that Bevilacqua joined with other Pennsylvania bishops "to examine how the dioceses . . . can better protect their secret archives from civil-law discovery," according to court records. Read more...  


Judge won't dismiss case against Philadelphia Archdiocese official tried for cover up In late February, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina denied a bid by defense lawyers to drop the charges after prosecutors argued that the shredding directive and other recently unearthed files were the equivalent of "a smoking gun" that bolstered, not weakened, their case against Msgr. William J. Lynn.  Lynn is the first Catholic church official to be tried for covering up clergy sex abuse.  The fireworks Monday stemmed from revelations that Bevilacqua had ordered another aide to shred a 1994 memo Lynn wrote about 35 priests suspected of molesting children. Read more... 

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