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      April-May 2013  E-Newsletter
  (Newsletter Archive)
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In This Issue
Notable and Quotable
Renewed hope for optional celibacy?
NPR/CBS cover FutureChurch in Rome
Finding Your Voice Teleconference
NCR Editorial supports sisters
Ad Limina Outreacah
Cardinal promotes gender equality day
Lay Group calls for Archdiocesan Pastoral Council
Parish closing and appeals news
Other Catholic news

Notable and Quotable: 


Rather than washing feet,  

I suggest looking Catholic  

women in the eye and saying, 

"You are my sister, equal in  

every way to me," and newspaper

then changing structures accordingly. To atone for centuries of discrimination against women  

will take more than

four clean female feet. 

Mary E. Hunt

Read more...  


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St Mary of Magdala 2013
Honor the Women of Vatican II

Free Prayer Service and Organizing Kit Here

Friday October 4

Saturday October 5
(morning workshop)

Living the Legacy of Vatican II
Jamie Manson
With NCR columnist
Jamie Manson,

and Cleveland "Vatican II Veterans" and "Next Generation" Vatican II leaders 

Watch the website for details
Upcoming  Events 

Saturday, May 4, 2013.
New York , NY  Church vs Conscience: How Do We Advance Justice for Women? with Fr. Roy Bourgeois and  Sr. Chris Schenk CSJ.
Judson Memorial Church 
55 Washington Square South, 
9:00 AM-1:00 PM  
Suggested donation $10
Contact:  pideritvotf@piderit.com

July 4- July 7 
DignityUSA Biennial Convention: Let Justice Roll Like a River Minneapolis, Hilton. Visit http://conv2013.dignityusa.org  


Monday, July 22, 2013. Honor the Women of Vatican II  International Celebrations of St. Mary of Magdala: 

Thursday, July 25, 2013, Cleveland, OH  The Catholic Tipping Point: A Conversation with Fr. Helmut Schuller, founder, Austrian Priests' Initiative.Civic Center,
Independence, OH (watch website for details) 

Friday October 4 and Saturday October 5. 
Living the Legacy
of Vatican II  23rd Annual
FutureChurch program:  Jamie Manson  and others. Cleveland, Airport Marriott  Watch website for details 
Sunday October 27, 2013. Annual International Celebration of Priesthood Sunday (info and free resources)

November 1,2 and 3, 2013 
National Call To Action Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Info at www.cta-usa.org




Women Deacons:

Why Not Now?

Organize to keep
Parishes Open! 
SOPC image 

 Women Leaders in Early Christianity  



 Celebrating Women Witnesses!   




 A Million Voices     

(Continue discussion of women's ordination to the priesthood )



2014 Pilgrimage now being planned

March 20-27, 2014


Journey Of Discovery:   

Rome & Ostia

A Pilgrimage to Archaeological Sites of Women Leaders 

in the Early Church


with Sr. Carolyn Osiek   

and Sr. Christine Schenk

If interested email


Read about 2013 pilgrimage here



Women and the Word education/advocacy kit
(Free download) 
WATA Reflex Blue
Tools to make visible the rich tradition of women leaders in the Church
Info Here 
Download Here 


So All Can Be at the Table 
women deacon

Send  an electronic postcard! 

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Magdala Market Online Store

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If using your checking account please send an endorsed and voided check to FutureChurch at 17307 Madison Avenue, Lakewood Ohio 44107).
Renewed hope for optional celibacy  
with Pope Francis?
(FutureChurch on CBS Sunday Morning)


Is Pope Francis open to optional celibacy? In a 2012 interview about celibacy, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio noted that in the Eastern churches, priests can be married, and "they are very good priests." He said: "It is a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change."   Read more.. 


Argentine ex-bishop's widow wants Pope Francis to make priestly celibacy optional.  She uses a wheelchair and carries the weight of her 87 years, but Clelia Luro feels powerful enough to make the Roman Catholic Church pay attention to her campaign to end priestly celibacy.  

This woman, whose romance with a bishop and eventual marriage became a major scandal in the 1960s, is such a close friend with Pope Francis that he called her every Sunday when he was Argentina's leading cardinal. Read more...    


UK Catholic lawmakers ask pope to relax celibacy rule

Twenty-one Catholic members  of England's  House of Commons and the House of Lords said in a March 25 letter to the pope that the celibacy rule should be changed to allow married men to be ordained priests where pastoral needs required it. Read more...

Sr. Chris Schenk delivering documentation of 19,000 optional celibacy postcards to Congregation for the Clergy



Let's make it 25,000 by next year!


Send Your E-Postcard to Rome:

About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons    


Sign:  Open Letter to US Bishops 

NPR/CBS cover FutureChurch Rome Pilgrimage 


Sylvia Poggioli of National Public Radio accompanied FutureChurch pilgrims in our morning in Ostia, an excavated early Roman city.  She mentions Sr. Chris's  delivery of over 25,000 petitions and postcards asking the Vatican to restore the female daconate   You can listen to Sylvia's inspiring three minute segment here..



And CBS Los Angeles did an informative segment on women's roles in the church...including FutureChurch's work for women deacons.  Click on the video to view the story.

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.


zagano finding your voice


Finding Your Voice Teleconferences. This three part series is proving to be a great way to bring people together. The first two sessions reached over 100 people each.    


In February, Sr. Kate Kuenstler discussed the role of the laity as found in Book 2 of Canon Law.

April's calls with Dr. Paul Lakeland emphasized the primacy of conscience and the reality of dissent according to Vatican II documents.    

Podcasts of the presentations are available if you were unable to join us or would like to share them with friends.


Join us May 22nd to learn more about the history of ordained women and how you can advocate in your parish for women to serve as deacons. FutureChurch wants you to find your voice and become a local organizer today!   

January U.S. Catholic interview with Gary Macy on women's ordination:  "The very important thing to realize here is that ordination didn't mean the same thing up through the 12th century as it would mean from the 13th century on. There's a huge shift in the definition...for over half of Christian history, ordination was the process by which a community picked a person to do a particular job, any job.  The installation rite for that was called an ordination.... and they existed for both men and women in the church. Read more...


NCR summarizes women's ordination in first five centuries  "By the third century, there are both male and female deacons, particularly in the Eastern church. There is abundant literary and inscriptional evidence of female deacons. ... From [the mid-third century] come several conciliar and episcopal condemnations of women presbyters ... It is highly unlikely that so many condemnations would appear about a nonexistent practice. The frequency of occurrences suggests a widespread practice. Read more...  


Order A Million Voices Kit to continue discussion of priestly ordination in your faith community.  



NunJustice project continues strong support of US Sisters. Since the Vatican's April 15 communiqué stating that Pope Francis reaffirmed the earlier actions taken against LCWR, over 500 people have downloaded resources from the nunjustice.org website and/or sent electronic paper communications to church officials, including the Apostolic Nuncio. Letters to the editor invited Pope Francis to "come and see" the good works sisters are doing in their cities and asking him to withdraw the unjust mandate. Visit nunjustice.org for resources


We were called sister "We were called Immaculata. We were called Concepta. We were called Chrysostom, Eusebius, and Stanislaus, after a Polish boy-saint. We were called Bernard, John, and Thomas after our fathers and Theresa, Elizabeth, and Maureen after our mothers. We were called Paul Kathryn and Robert Rita, pleasing both parents. Read more...


Sisters' Relate Experience of Visitation in their Own words


LCWR president asks Pope Francis to promote women


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  


NCR Editorial strongly supports sisters "If the Vatican insists on carrying out its LCWR takeover, the group will have no choice but to end its canonical relationship with the institutional church. This is because the entire LCWR body  almost unanimously voted last August to continue a dialogue with the bishops as long as the effort does not compromise LCWR integrity. At issue, in the final analysis, is not obedience. It is rather the dignity of every person and the rights of every person in the church, stemming from his or her baptism." Read more...  



'Tainted by radical feminism'? More like 'living the Gospel'

(Joan Chittister)

Pope Francis and the Leadership Conference of Women  

Religious   (James Martin)    

Michael Sean Winters critiques Sr. Laurie Brink

Disinformation permeates Vatican crackdown on nuns  (Jason Berry)  

Pope Francis reaffirms Vatican's punitive position on US nuns (Jason Berry)  

Religious women press for change (James Carroll)


US Archbishop John R. Quinn advocates decentralized church structures   Emeritus Archbishop John R Quinn of San Francisco recently published a book Ever Ancient, Ever New: Structures of Communion in the Church that advocates greater decision making authority for the world's bishops. In a recent interview with Vatican Insider, Quinn said: "A deliberative or decision-making synod would have several advantages. .... These members would be bishops actually involved in the pastoral care and government of a diocese in various parts of the world. ... In a world of rapid change and instant communication the ability to call on wide input such as this would be a very great advantage. " Read more...

Ad Limina outreach: some bishops open to optional celibacy and women deacons dialogue


In 2012, FutureChurch supported over 400 concerned Catholics from an array of Church renewal organizations as they contacted 42 dioceses prior to their every five year ad limina visit to Rome USCCB map 2
 Six bishops expressed openness to dialogue about optional celibacy.   Eleven bishops expressed some level of openness to dialogue about women deacons.  We are now following up.

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


New papal advisor, Cardinal Gracias, promoted day for gender equality   On the evening of January 27, every parish, convent and seminary in the Archdiocese of Mumbai held an hour of prayer. The Cardinal Archbishop of Mumbai and President of the Bishops' Conference of India, Oswald Gracias, had declared a Day of Solidarity for justice, awareness and gender equality. Gracias, who was recently appointed one of seven international advisors to Pope Francis, expressed hope that the day would "announce a social transformation", because "contempt" against women has many faces - selective abortion, female feticide, discrimination, domestic violence and exclusion - and "causes great injury to men and society" Read more...


Lay group calls for return of Archdiocesan Pastoral Council  The Council of the Baptized, a 21-member panel of  Catholics looking to represent Catholic laity in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese, is calling for the re-establishment of an elected Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. The council would consist of laity, clergy and hierarchy and its purpose would be to "facilitate communication among all baptized Catholics and to consult in pastoral planning to better serve the mission of the Church,Read more...


Visit Council of the Baptized website 


Parish Closing and Appeals News  


Chicago Catholics Appeal Planned Demolition of Church On Easter Sunday, members of St. James Catholic Church braved gray skies and chilly weather Sunday to protest the demolition of their beloved 132-year-old parish. They have appealed to Rome and are awaiting a decision. Read more...  


Saginaw diocese to merge 106 parishes into 56.

At a January 20press conference, Saginaw Bishop Joseph Cistone announced his intent to reorganize the diocese's

109 parish communities reducing services at 53 churches. Some will stop holding regular services altogether. Some parishioners are appealing the decision. Read more...

Download Free Canonical Appeal Resourceshere.

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet here.    


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


Sign open letter to US Bishops here   

Other Church News


Swiss abbot urges change in how bishops are selected 

A leading Swiss abbot Benedictine Abbot Peter von Sury is calling for a change in how bishops are selected, saying that the nomination process should include greater local input, and he wants bishops and theologians to join him in pressing for the change. "In our church we have serious structural problems. It is important to me that questions [such as clerical celibacy and women's ordination] simply be dealt with."

Cardinal leads rethink on same-sex civil unions
A leading Austrian cardinal has said that same-sex relationships should be respected and recognized in law amid signs of a change in church thinking on the subject.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, made the remarks in an April 8 lecture at the National Gallery evening titled "Christianity: Alien Presence or Foundation of the West?" on Monday. Read more...

US bishops to replace staffer behind theological investigations The U.S. bishops' staffer behind several controversial criticisms of Catholic theologians in recent years is stepping down. Read more...


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