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      December  2012 E-Newsletter
  (Newsletter Archive)
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In This Issue
Notable and Quotable
Petition to revoke new missal
Ad Limina outcomes: Some bishops open to optional celibacy and women deacon dialogue
St. Nick Pastor on women deacons
Catholic paper urges correction of teaching on non-ordination of women
New cardinal raises issue of women's ordination
Bourgeois expelled from Maryknoll
92 year old priest sanctioned for support of women's ordination
Worldwide Priest Movement Persists
Eastern Catholics value married priests
LCWR to receive award
Sr. Kate Kuenstler receives Trivison Award
Parish closing and appeals news
Other Catholic news

Notable and Quotable: 


How does one explain how the management of an organization in the Twenty-first Century expels anewspaper man for insisting that unequal treatment of  

women is unjust and then insists that the men of the organization wear dresses?  I won't even try that with my grown children.   Eugene Kramer  Attorney, Chair of FutureChurch Board of Trustees

Sr.  Chris Schenk to step down as  FutureChurch Director in Fall  2013 Says "time is ripe," citing longtime wish for transition from founding director to occur at "a time of organizational strength and in a planned way. "  Read letter from Sr. Chris  

FutureChurch Executive Director Job Posting
Upcoming  Events 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013. Columbus, Ohio Women Officeholders in the Early Church. with Sr. Chris Schenk CSJ.
7 pm Maple Grove United Methodist Church (7 W Henderson Rd, Columbus, OH 43214). Contact tlupia@aol.com

Monday, July 22, 2013.  International Celebrations of St. Mary of Magdala
(info and free resources)

Sunday October 27, 2013. Annual International Celebration of Priesthood Sunday (info and free resources)

November 8 ,9 and 10, 2013 National Call To Action Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Info at www.cta-usa.org


Petition to revoke new missal

This just in for the folks at Misguided Missal:  We've lived with the 2011 Roman Missal for a year.  If you are one of the many folks who are disturbed by this Prayer Book, we urge you to take one... or both... of the following actions no later than January 6, 2013, the Feast of the Epiphany.    

Online petition    

Send paper letter to Nuncio and Cardinal Dolan



Bar is set low in acceptance of year-old English missal 

Missal Translation discussed at US Bishops meeting 

If interested in 2014 pilgrimage email


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


If interested in 2014 pilgrimage email


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

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... 

Organize to keep
arishes Open!  SOPC image

Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

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.
WATA Reflex Blue
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...


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 DECEMBER E-Newsletter with others by   

Ad Limina outreach: some bishops open to optional celibacy and women deacons dialogue
(others not so much!) 


USCCB map 2

Complete findings available here

By the end of the U.S. Bishops' every five year ad limina visits to Rome (May 2012), over 400 concerned Catholics had contacted forty-two dioceses to discuss the severity of the priest shortage, married priests and women deacons.  


All told, faithful Catholics succeeded in obtaining meetings in seventeen dioceses. Six bishops were open to dialogue about optional celibacy, but only one was willing to discuss it in Rome. Nine bishops were open to dialogue about women deacons with three open to discussing it in Rome. Five bishops categorically refused to meet and eleven did not respond at all.  

Executive summary and comprehensive narratives, verbatim letters and responses listed by USCCB region available  here.  


St. Nicholas pastor on women deacons  "Fr. Bill Tkachuk, the pastor at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Chicago, recently discussed his parish's conversation about women deacons. Although Tkachuk agreed to an interview with NCR in November, he "did not want to give

women deacon

the impression that [he and his parish] were involved in some sort of campaign

  or crusade, because that would change the nature of this particular conversation." "This is not a movement," he continued. "This is a conversation that we think the church should be having. It's about people understanding the issue out there."Read more... 


Related Media reports shine light on emerging discussion of women deacons


Download Women Deacons: Why Not Now? Education/Advocacy  resource  

Read more about women deacon effort   and  order a packet  


Send an Electronic Postcard to Rome  here! 


Circulate paper postcards  Download a template or order free postcards.


Catholic news outlet urges correction of unjust women's ordination ban  On December 3, the National Catholic Reporter wrote a landmark editorial formally calling for an end to the unjust practice of excluding women from the Catholic priesthood: "Our message is that we believe the sensus fidelium is that the exclusion of women from the priesthood has no strong basis in Scripture or any other compelling rationale; therefore, women should be ordained," said the editorial. A Million Voices


"Blessed John Henry Newman said that there are three magisteria in the church: the bishops, the theologians and the people. On the issue of women's ordination, two of the three voices have been silenced, which is why the third voice must now make itself heard. We must speak up in every forum available to us: in parish council meetings, faith-sharing groups, diocesan convocations and academic seminars.  We should write letters to our bishops, to the editors of our local papers and television news channels.  Read more...  


To open discussion in your faith community, download FutureChurch's A Million Voices resource here  (3.00)  


Email us if you are interested in starting a discussion in your faith community.


Read FutureChurch's Conscience, Dissent and the Non-Ordination of Women here 


New cardinal, John Onaiyken, raises issue of women's ordination Toward the end of an August 22 panel presentation on Catholic theological understandings of feminism held in Nigeria, then Archbishop John Onaiyekan asked to raise an issue "about which we are all nervous: Have you experienced any handicap in your theologizing because you have no access to ordination?" Panel moderator, Linda Hogan, vice provost of Trinity College Dublin, replied that she'd rather ask another question. "Does the church experience itself a sense of loss because of the absence of ordained women in the church?...I don't know the answer because we haven't talked about it." At a reception afterward, Onaiyekan said he wasn't worried about bringing up the subject: "I've got nothing to lose." Onaiyekan is one of six prelates recently elevated to the College of Cardinals. Read more...


Maryknoll priest Roy Bourgeois expelled over support for women's ordination  "The Vatican and Maryknoll can dismiss me, but they cannot dismiss the issue of gender equality in the Catholic Church," Bourgeois said in a statement published Tuesday on the website of the Women's Ordination Conference. "The demand for gender equality is rooted in justice and dignity and will not go away." Read more... 


Send letters of support: Fr. Roy Bourgeois SOA Watch, PO Box 3330, Columbus, GA 31903



Former Maryknoll head decries Vatican interference "My own position would be of support for women's ordination and opening up ministry to others," Sivalon said, "and I think it would be the position of probably many in leadership in Maryknoll."  Read more... 


Roy Bourgeois: they finally got him The point to be made, now that Bourgeois is out, is an obvious one. There are cardinals who have had as much to do as any individual might with the near destruction of once grand Catholic communities in places like Boston and Philadelphia, who have been permitted to remain priests and go quietly into retirement. Read more... 


Statement from the Women's Ordination Conference  

Canon lawyers: Vatican's role ambiguous in Bourgeois' removal

Vatican's doctrinal congregation clears Bourgeois by condemning him [Eugene Kennedy]


Milwaukee priest, 92, sanctioned for Mass with woman A 92-year-old Milwaukee Jesuit has been sanctioned for celebrating the Catholic Mass with a woman priest in violation of church teaching. Father Bill Brennan, a longtime peace activist, was ordered by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and his religious order, the Society of Jesus, not to celebrate the Eucharist or other sacraments publicly, or to present himself publicly as a priest. "Sometimes in our lives we have to trust our conscience and bring about the consequences," said Brennan, who taught at Marquette University High School spent 17 years working in Latin America. Read more...


Send letters of support to Fr. Bill  

Rev. Bill Brennan  

10100 West Bluemound Rd,  

Wauwatosa, WI 53226.



Christianity is about the absence of fear (Tom Fox)  


Worldwide Priests' Movement Persists Despite Vatican Push Back


Austria: "Cold war" between rebel priests and the Vatican  The decision to revoke Mgr. Helmut Schueller's title of Monsignor comes just as the Austrian rebel priest movement prepares for a big international event. The meeting is expected to take place in 2013 and groups of priests from Germany, Ireland, France, the U.S. and Australia who have links with the Pfarrer Initiative, ("Call to Disobedience") have already expressed their interest in attending. Schueller explained that 2013 is going to be "a year of internationalization for the movement and a congress will probably be held in Germany." Read more...


Swiss Benedictine abbot speaks out on Church reform "When problems are not taken up, or one is not permitted to speak about them, such behavior puts at risk the credibility of the church and even the very content of the faith." Playing off the "Appeal to Disobedience" of the Austrian priests, the abbot states that it is an "act of disobedience" when people and realities are not taken seriously." (The word "obedience" has as its stem the Latin word for "listening.") "Because officials do not do their duty and thus are disobedient, initiatives are begun as emergency measures and cries for help. This is understandable, but can also lead to schism and abandoning the institution." Read more... 



Interview with Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn 


Eastern Catholics explain value of married priests In Eastern Christianity -- among both Catholics and Orthodox -- a dual vocation to marriage and priesthood are seen as a call "to love more" and to broaden the boundaries of what a priest considers to be his family, said Russian Catholic Fr. Lawrence Cross. Cross spoke at the November 13 Chrysostom Seminar in Rome. The speakers unanimously called for the revocation of a 1929 Vatican directive that banned the ordination and ministry of married Eastern Catholic priests outside the traditional territories of their churches. (Catholic News Service) Read more... 


Sign:  Open Letter to US Bishops 


Send Postcards to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons    


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



LCWR to receive prestigious award  The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), has been awarded the Herbert Haag 2013 prize for Freedom in the Church. The prize was awarded to LCWR in recognition of its extensive effort to help the poor and marginalized and of "their careful reflection of the signs of the times in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council," making the nuns "a pillar of the Catholic Church in the United States of America." The ceremony will be held next April in Switzerland.

Nun's Music Heals Vatican Rebuke  Last spring, when the Vatican issued a harsh assessment of the group representing a majority of American nuns accusing them of "serious doctrinal problems," Sister Kathy Sherman CSJ said she responded the way she always does when she feels something deeply. She wrote a song. (New York Times)  Read more...   


Send a Christmas Card to the Nuncio, Bishops to Support the Sisters! here 


Here is a timeline of project actions from the Nun Justice Project about what has been accomplished.   

View photos of hundred of national vigils here 

Read FutureChurch Statement on mandate here  


Sister Kate Kuenstler Receives Trivison Award  Parish appeal victories catalyze change in Vatican policy  


Sr. Kate Kuenstler Receiving FutureChurch 2012 Louis J. Trivison Award 
Sr. Kate Kuenstler Receiving 2012 Trivison Award    

Sr. Kate assisted parishioners from dozens of U.S. parishes, including with canonical appeals to keep their churches open. This catalyzed a monumental change in Vatican policy, moving away from automatically accepting bishops' decisions to close and sell vibrant churches because of the priest shortage or property values. On September 30, FutureChurch gave Sr. Kate Kuenstler its highest honor, the

Fr. Louis J. Trivision Award for outstanding leadership in advancing the FutureChurch mission  in one or more of the areas of advocacy, administration, teaching, research, publication, and pastoral service. It is named for FutureChurch cofounder, the late Rev. Louis J. Trivison.


(view 20 minute video above)   



Parish Initiative Catalyzes Change in Vatican Policy 


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


FutureChurch Save Our Parish Community Resources here 


Sign open letter to US Bishops here    


Other Parish Closing and Appeals News  


Last of shuttered Cleveland parishes reopens after winning Vatican appeal "We are now on the road to reconstruction," said  Cleveland St. Emeric parishioner and church organist Miklos Peller.  Peller had filed an appeal to the Vatican when Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon announced in March 2009 that he was closing dozens of churches. Thirteen of fifty closed churches appealed. Two appeals were granted immediately by the Bishop. 

Eleven parishes subsequently appealed to Rome. Last March, the Vatican issued decrees upholding all 11 appeals, saying Lennon had failed to follow canon law procedures for closing churches.  Lennon initially denied St. Emeric parishioner requests to reinstate their Hungarian speaking pastor, Rev. Sandor Siklodi. After a second appeal to Rome, Siklodi was reinstated.  Read more...

Closed Chicopee church to have Mass again The doors of St. Patrick's Church in Chicopee, MA have been closed for years, but on December 1st, they will be open to worshipers again. Father Darisuz P. Wudarski, the Pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Chicopee announced in mid November, that St. Patrick's would re-open for a single weekly Mass starting at the beginning of Advent. A group of parishioners launched a successful appeal to the Vatican after Springfield Bishop Timothy McDonnell closed the church in 2009. Read more...  

Boston Cardinal approves archdiocese reshuffle that see parish groups sharing r Cardinal Sean O'Malley on Thursday approved a plan that aims to stabilize the Boston Archdiocese's declining finances by combining its 288 parishes into 135 clusters that share staffing and resources. The plan tries to keep parishes intact as the church deals with weak attendance, a looming priest shortage and decaying parish finances that have left 4 in 10 parishes unable to pay their bills. In 2011 there will be just 178 priests available to serve parishes.  Read more... 


Brockton, South Shore churches in Cardinal O'Malley's reorganization plan


 New Plan to Reverse Decline? (America)


Download Free Canonical Appeal Resources here.
Order the Save Our Parish Community packet

Other Church News


"Female theologians reinterpret Vatican II. Accepting history, preparing for the future" On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, Female Italian theologians promoted "an opportunity to reflect on" the way in which the Catholic Church "was able to see gender difference as a contribution of intelligence and a reserve of enthusiasm." The conference was attended by historians and theologians from across the world, including Hervé Leg

rand, Gerald Mannion, Maureen Sullivan, Massimo Faggioli, Tina Beattie and Mercedes Navarro Puerto. Read more... 

Missouri Bishop's conviction leaves clergy divided In the three months since Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City, MO became the first American prelate convicted of failing to report a pedophile priest, lay people and victims' advocates have repeatedly called for his resignation. Now, recent interviews and a private survey by a company working for the Roman Catholic diocese here show for the first time that a significant number of the bishop's own priests have lost confidence in him. Read more...


Vatican: Priests, bishops should wear cassocks  Bishops, priests and religious should wear the formal long robes of a cassock during most occasions when visiting Rome, a high-ranking Vatican official has said.  Read more...


Related: Vatican: In the curia, everyone dressed as he should


Pope Benedict tightens control over Catholic Charities Bishops must exercise closer supervision over Catholic charities and ensure that their activities do not contradict church doctrine, according to new rules issued by Pope Benedict  on Saturday (Dec. 1). The Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, stressed that the limits on funding will need further clarification. He cited the case of the Gates Foundation, one of the world's largest private donors, as an example: "They fund Caritas organizations throughout the world for very good and specific objectives. But they support family planning, too." (Washington Post) Read more...


Women and remarried divorcees given special mention at Synod on Evangelization

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