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       April 2012 E-Newsletter
  (Newsletter Archive)
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In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Cleveland Bishop Reopens 12 Parishes
Parish closing and appeals news
LCWR earthquake snaps tensions
New Women Deacons: Why Not Now available soon
Priest shortages in Switzerland, Ireland, Spain
Pope disapproves of German translations
The election of Bishops by clergy and people
Ad Limina dialogue results in fourteen meetings
Pope denounces priests' on Holy Thursday
Irish priests decry "heresy hunting"
Wall Street Journal article misleads
Revelations on removal of Aussie bishop
JP Morgan closes Vatican account
Other Catholic news
Organize to keep
arishes Open! SOPC image

Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet
2012 St Mary of Magdala Organizing Kit now available. 


End the Silencing of Catholic Women!
and Restore Women Deacons

Prayer service focuses  on early women deacons and raising up women for diaconal ministry in your community. 

Free prayer service and organizing materials  here
Prayer service celebrating prophetic witness of women religious available  here

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   


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



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)


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)
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 

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

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Magdala Market Online Store

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...


Upcoming  Events 

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  

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 APRIL E-Newsletter with others by   
ST Pats: Thank You Vatican


Cleveland Bishop Reopens 12 Parishes  

Cleveland Catholics rejoiced April 17 when Bishop Richard G. Lennon announced his decision to reopen 12 parishes whose closings were overruled Vatican. Lennon chose not to appeal to a higher Vatican court because of the need for "peace and unity' in the diocese. He did not give a timeline for when parishes would reopen. FutureChurch characterized Lennon's decision as "prudent" and "a final ratification of the courage of Cleveland Catholics whose love for their parish communities led them to appeal." FutureChurch played an important role in providing canonical resources to Cleveland parishioners. Read more...  


Read entire FutureChurch statement here


Download Canonical commentary on Cleveland decrees by Sr. Kate Kuenstler here


Review FutureChurch  Save Our Parish Community Resources here 



Cleveland parishes meet reopening news with relief, skepticism

Bishop decides to reopen 12 Catholic churches; 2 in Akron

Patricia Schulte-Singleton did what she had to do to get St. Patrick Church reopened


Sign open letter to US Bishops here 


Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons     


 Parish Closing and Appeals News  


Philadelphia Catholics learn of parish closings at Mass Archbishop Charles J. Chaput will merge a dozen parishes into five by July 1, resulting in seven closures. The moves constitute the first round in a process that Chaput had earlier warned would be "painful." All 267 parishes in the five-county archdiocese being reviewed for restructuring. The diocese foresees a steep drop priests supply due to retirements and deaths. A year ago it placed 27 priests on administrative leave for improper behavior with minors. Read more...


Judge rules in favor of St. Louis parish. A St. Louis judge ruled in favor of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church granting parishioners control over the assets and property that have been the source of a decade-long dispute between the historic Polish church and the Archdiocese of St. Louis. "The Archbishop may own the souls of wayward St. Stanislaus parishioners, but the St. Stanislaus Parish Corporation owns its own property," the judge wrote. Read more... 


Boston Archdiocese promises no church closings The Boston Archdiocese has a new plan to deal with the priest shortage. It will create about 125 Pastoral Service Teams for the___parishes across the Archdiocese, each led by one pastor and possibly a staff of priests. Most will serve two to three parishes, while a few will serve a single parish or four parishes."We are undertaking a pastoral planning initiative that does not call for the closing of parishes and does not call for the closing of churches," said Archdiocese spokesman Terrence Donilon. Read more...


Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here.

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet




LCWR earthquake snaps tensions present since Vatican II Tom Roberts, the National Catholic Reporter editor at large, recently wrote: "In the church, no greater challenge exists to hierarchical power and the traditional way of doing things than the sisters. Following the council, the women did what they thought the gathering had mandated... Many came out of that period with startling conclusions. One of them was that their mission was to be more than cheap labor for the hierarchy...This should not be a contest between men and women... It shouldn't be a win-lose matter. But the men have forced it to this point. Read more... 


Half-truths and innuendo about LCWR "The actual CDF [Vatican ]statement, however, is little more than a tissue of misinformation, misrepresentation, and innuendo that does a profound disservice to these religious women," wrote US Catholic's Bryan Cones on Apr 19. Cones suggested readers decide for themselves providing links to two LCWR documents strongly criticized by the Vatican. Read more...


LCWR Board to discuss Vatican document Pentecost week. The national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious will meet May 29-June 1 "in an atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and dialogue" to discuss the Vatican document issued April 18. LCWR membership around the country will engage in similar processes. "We will engage in dialogue where possible and be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit."Read more...


Sisters' Petition gathers over 13,000 signatures in 6 days. If you haven't signed it yet, click here.


Read FutureChurch Statement on mandate here 


NCR to track stories on LCWR crackdown. Follow at Sisters Under Scrutiny 


On Facebook, Like SupportOurCatholicSisters 



Vatican nun crackdown hits US group for radical feminist ideas(AP)  

In LCWR oversight, key questions remain


A few famous nuns: [this is fun!]


                               women deacon 

New Women Deacons: Why Not Now? resource available late May  FutureChurch staff and our Women in Church Leadership Committee members are hard at work writing essays and prayer services about early women deacons for FutureChurch's newest educating/organizing resource, Women Deacons: Why Not Now? In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI said it was proper to ask if the church could offer "more positions of responsibility" to women. In 2009 he approved changes in canon law that may open the way for women deacons.   


Bishops have canonical authority to ordain women to the permanent diaconate right now. In an article in January's U.S. Catholic, Dr. Phyllis Zagano, the foremost U.S. expert on the female diaconate, stated: "All a bishop has to do is ask for derogation from the law.


Using parishioner-appropriate discernment tools, this project aims to surface female permanent diaconate candidates for presentation to bishops across the U.S. New educational essays and prayer services will simultaneously help Catholics learn about the rich history of female deacons and why the Church can and should restore the female diaconate today.


Opening the permanent diaconate to qualified women would enrich the entire Catholic community who can then hear the Gospel through the lens of female experience. It would also allow women to serve as ordinary ministers of Baptism and Marriage, and serve as single judges on Church tribunals.   


Email liz@futurechurch.org to be notified when the packet is available  (mid June)  



Swiss Church looks to a future with fewer priests A Swiss seminary built 30 years ago to house 40 seminarians currently houses five. Researchers predict that in 2029 there will be one third fewer priests in Switzerland than there were in 2009.  In Basel, Catholics have urged the dropping of the celibacy requirement and demanded that women be admitted as priests. Read more...


Australia looks to Asia to cover priest shortage Bishop Greg O'Kelly from the Port Pirie diocese in South Australia says only three of 23 priests in the diocese are under 50. O'Kelly has been to the Philippines and found strong support for the idea of relocations to Australia. Read more...  


Spain's bishops recruit priests from unemployed A group of Spanish bishops has produced a recruitment video telling job-seekers, "I do not offer you a great salary. I promise you a permanent job." It's a tempting message in a dismal economy where nearly half of people under 25 are unemployed....The campaign may be working .The number of priests in Spain rose more than 4% last year, in stark contrast to a 25% decrease over the last decade. Read more...


Pope disapproves of German translations On April 14, the Pope has sent a five page letter to German bishops objecting to, among other things, the use of fuer alle [for all] rather than fuer viele [for many] in referring to Christ's sacrifice in translations of German hymns. (And so it begins for our German sisters and brothers...deja vu all over again)Read more... 




The Election of Bishops by Clergy and People The March issue of Theological Studies has an interesting article about the election of bishops. "Nineteenth-century priest, philosopher, and theologian Antonio Rosmini argued that the ordinary way of appointing bishops must be through elections by the local clergy and people. All other procedures, including papal nominations, are extraordinary measures that must be resorted to only as a 'lesser evil' when exceptional circumstances prevent carrying out elections." Read more...


Ad Limina Bishop dialogue results in fourteen meetings and counting. To date, faithful Catholics have succeeded in obtaining meetings with their bishop in fourteen 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 2012Outcomes of the meetings and letters will be compiled and published in mid summer. 


The Open Letter  has already garnered over 5500 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    

Download paper copy of letter to circulate 


Download free Open Letter organizing kit  


Send Electronic Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons  

 Pope denounces priests' "call for disobedience" On Holy Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI denounced priests who question church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women, saying they were disobeying his authority. Pope Benedict asked, "Is disobedience a path of renewal for the church?" adding that Blessed John Paul II taught "irrevocably that the church has received no authority from the Lord" to ordain women.   

In 2006, a group of Austrian priests launched the Pfarrer Initiative, or pastor initiative, a call to disobedience aimed at abolishing priestly celibacy and opening the clergy to women to relieve the shortages of priests. The head of the Pfarrer Initiative, Rev. Hellmut Schueller, downplayed the severity of Benedict's message and said the pope was merely asking for reflection on whether disobedience can reform the church.  Read more..   


Vatican did not order Schoenborn to take action against rebel priests "Austrian bishops received no diktat from the Vatican ordering them to intervene against priests who form part of the Pfarrer Initiative . Confirmation of this was given to Vatican Insider by Michael Prüller, spokesman to the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. Read more...




VIDEO of MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Pope's Holy Thursday address  here 



Read about FutureChurch Optional Celibacy Campaign 


Irish priests' association decries "heresy hunting" The 800-strong Association of Irish Priests told the Vatican they were deeply disturbed over its recent decision to silence its founder for his liberal views. Irish liberal priests are being subjected to FBI Edgar Hoover like tactics says Fr Adrian Egan, the head of the Redemptorist Order in Limerick. His comments came after The Vatican stated they were investigating fellow Redemptorist Father Tony Flannery for his liberal views on issues such as female priests and his criticism of the church sex scandal. Read more...  



"Liberal" priest under Vatican investigation 


Wall Street Journal article misleads on ordination numbers. "Traditional Catholicism is winning," blared a headline in a recent WSJ article."There were 467 new priestly ordinations in the U.S. last year, and Boston's seminary had to turn away applicants." But Georgetown researcher, Mary Gautier had another take: "While there were 5,000 more priests worldwide in 2009 than in 1999, what isn't mentioned [in the WSJ piece] is the fact that "the number of Catholics worldwide is up by 150,000,000 during the same period." Another way of measuring that, she said, is to realize there were 2,551 Catholics per priest in 1999 and there were 2,876 Catholics per priest in 2009. "Catholics are still increasing at a faster rate worldwide than are priests, and the ratio is even starker in the United States."Read more...


Traditional Catholicism is winning  


Vatican says number of Catholics, priests, bishops worldwide increased [but Catholics increased even more]


Puzzling revelations on dismissal of Aussie bishop In his 'Statement of Position' to the three Cardinals gathered in Rome in January 2008, Australian Bishop William Morris said, "At the end of the Apostolic Visitation, when Archbishop Chaput was being driven back to Brisbane, he remarked to Fr Brian Sparksman, our diocesan Chancellor, that he would be astounded if our diocese were to lose its bishop. He also asked John Bathersby (Archbishop of Brisbane) why he thought he was asked to investigate me because as far as he could see from the material provided to him things that I had reportedly said and done were happening in other places as well." Morris was removed from his Toowoomba diocese in May, 2011 ostensibly for his progressive views.  Read more...  


JP Morgan closes Vatican account over lack of transparency (Reuters) - JP Morgan Chase is closing the Vatican bank's account with an Italian branch of the U.S. banking giant because of concerns about a lack of transparency at the Holy See's financial institution, Italian newspapers reported on March 19.The move is a blow to the Vatican's drive to have its bank included in Europe's "white list" of states that comply with international standards against tax fraud and money-laundering. Read more...

Other Catholic Church News


Cardinal Schoenborn allows gay Catholic to serve on parish council Austria's cardinal has overruled one of his priests and is allowing a gay Catholic to serve on a parish council. Florian Stangl lives in a registered domestic partnership. The 26-year-old was overwhelmingly elected to the council recently, but it was overruled by the priest -- a decision initially backed by Cardinal Schoenborn. But the Cardinal changed his mind after hosting Stangl and his partner for lunch, declaring Stangl to be "at the right place." Read more...  


Seattle parishes refuse to petition against gay marriage "A growing number of Seattle's Catholic parishes are saying 'no' to Archbishop J. Peter Sartain's offer that churches become signature gathering points for Referendum 74, the ballot measure to roll back Washington's recently passed same-sex marriage law." Notably, among the parishes declining to participate are St. James Cathedral, the seat of the archdiocese, and Christ Our Hope, a new and growing parish in downtown Seattle. Read more... 


Former Philly Archdiocese CFO charged with embezzling  The former chief financial officer of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been charged with stealing nearly a million dollars from the church's general operating fund over a nearly six-year period. Read more... 


Pittsburgh priests tell bishop to listen to laity on contraception Several priests of the Pittsburgh diocese have met with Bishop David Zubik -- the prelate who said in January that the Obama administration's mandate regarding coverage of contraceptives in health care plans told Catholics, "To Hell with you" -- telling him his stance on the issue was alienating women and creating "a lot of anger" among laypeople. Read more...


Vatican investigates document leaks Pope Benedict XVI has established a commission to investigate a series of leaks of letters exchanged among Vatican officials and with the pope himself. A Vatican tribunal will consider legal action against those who leaked documents to reporters. The Secretariat of State plans an administrative review of every Vatican office. Some of the documents include allegations of serious financial misconduct. Read more...http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1201092.htm


$144 Million in Catholic Sex Abuse Settlements in 2011 Roman Catholic dioceses and religious orders said they received 594 credible claims of clergy sex abuse last year, with all but a few of the allegations involving wrongdoing that occurred decades ago, according to a study released Tuesday by American bishops. Read more...

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).

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Phone: 216.228.0869 

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