November  2013  E-Newsletter  (Newsletter Archive)
Like us on Facebook

In This Issue
Notable and Quotable
FutureChurch Executive Director helps launch lay survey at USCCB meeting
Synod on Family survey at 7000 responses
Fr. Tony Flannery and fundamental rights in the Church
Thelogians statement on Synod on family
Sr. Sandra Schneiders at BC Magdala celebration
NPR Interview on mandatory celibacy
Female philantropists advocate for women in Rome
Discuss a "theology by and for women''
Pope appoints progressive liturgical consultants
Yes, you CAN change Vatican policy
Parish closing and appeals news
Other Catholic news

Notable and Quotable: 



A deep theology of woman must be a theology by and for women, which learns from women's visions and struggles in terms of justice and ethics, sexuality and motherhood, sacramentality and prayer.  


There are many who would welcome an opportunity to discuss these issues more openly within the Church. The Women's Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity would be an ideal forum for such discussions.... This would allow the official Church to engage with the resources it needs to develop that deep theology of woman which Francis says it currently lacks. (British theologian Tina Beattie)  Read more   

Read Dr. Beattie's Responses to Synod on the Family Survey HERE 

January 26, 2014 New York, NY:
Preserving Parish Communities in a Time of Fewer Priests
Canon lawyer Sr. Kate Kuenstler and FutureChurch's ED Emerita, Sr. Chris Schenk. Sponsored by CTA: New York City. For details and info email Art McGrath

February 1, 2014 Hartford, CT:

You can't quench the Spirit: faith and the future of the Church. Sr. Christine Schenk12:30-4:00 PM St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church, 285 Church Street, Hartford, CT  06103.Sponsored by Women of Hope: Vibrant Voices. For more info: 860-756-4034.


March 20 - 27, 2014: Rome and Ostia  A Pilgrimage to Archaeological Sites of Women Leaders in the Early Church Sign up soon! Last year's pilgrimage sold out early! For more information call Liz tel: 800-206-TOUR (8687) or email: 



April 24, 2014:Lima, OHSave the Date!Sr. Chris Schenk addresses Serra Club, Lima, Ohio5:45 pm. For info, email



August 14, 2014: Cleveland, OHSave the Date!The Women You Never Knew:  The Women of Vatican II   9:00 am- 11:30 AM

FutureChurch Executive Director,

Deborah Rose-Milavec. At River's Edge 3430 Rocky River Drive, Cleveland, OH.

Fill out the Survey!
CLICK HERE to complete the new survey that has been prepared so that you can have your voice heard in preparation for the Synod on the Family!  Your wisdom and experiences are critical to the work of the Synod! 

CLICK HERE for the Spanish version of the survey! 


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


2014 Pilgrimage

Only Four Reservations Left!


March 20-27, 2014


Journey Of


Rome & Ostia

A Pilgrimage to Archaeological Sites of Women Leaders 

in the Early Church


with Sr. Carolyn Osiek   

and Sr. Christine Schenk


For detailed info


Read about 2013 pilgrimage here


To view NEW museum  at the Catacombs of Priscilla now avaialble on google maps




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 )



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! 

mag market header
Magdala Market Online Store

To donate to FutureChurch
renew your membership  

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).
17307 Madison Ave.
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
Copyright 2011-2013
FutureChurch all rights reserved
FutureChurch Executive Director in Baltimore for launch of lay survey at USCCB meeting. 



On November 12, FutureChurch executive director Deborah Rose-Milavec joined representatives from many other Catholic reform groups at a press conference outside the annual Fall meeting of the US Bishops Conference. The organizations announced the launching of a parish-level survey for US Catholics to gather input for the synod on the Family.  


Said Rose-Milavec: As a mother and grandmother, I know we need to engage real families at the Synod on the Family next October. Their experiences are critical to the work that will occur there.


Click HERE and complete the survey TODAY

FutureChurch helps lead coalition gathering input for Synod on Family. 7, 000 respond to date.  In preparation for next October's Extraordinary Synod on the Family, FutureChurch created an online survey modeled after the official Vatican survey to gather input from ordinary Catholics. We helped organize fourteen other reform organizations to join us. Already over 7000 survey responses have been recorded.   

The survey will remain open through December 15. Then the coalition will compile and send the responses to four prelates: Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops; Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, papal nuncio to the U.S.; Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the American representative on Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals; and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., the newly elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Make your voice heard!
and complete the survey TODAY!  
Read Vatican Preparatory Document HERE


Lay groups launch surveys to answer Vatican questionnaire


Experts: Wide-range listening for synods a massive undertaking


Will there be an earthquake at the Extraordinary Synod? (12 things to know and share) : 


NCR Editorial: Synod questionnaire an opportunity to hear from the people


Argentina's bishops are busy consulting the laity in preparation for the Synod on the family

Fundamental Rights in the Church  


Cardinal Levada criticizes Fr. Tony Flannery but admits ignorance of "what the fundamental problem was." In a November 7 interview with the Irish Catholic Times, Cardinal Levada accuses Fr. Tony Flannery for being a heretic even as he admits "I have never seen in any reports what the fundamental problem was that led to our intervention."

If you haven't read Flannery's book "A Question of Conscience" do so. You will learn about the arcane and dysfunctional practices at the CDF including accusatory letters on blank paper with no signature and making false claims based on shoddy scholarship. In the coming year, FutureChurch will focus on fundamental rights of Catholics in the Church. The shameful treatment of Fr. Flannery is one reason this work is so important.     

Read a review of Flannery's book by the Irish Association of Catholic priests here

Read the Irish Catholic Times interview here 
A Million Voices

Parish rises up after bishop suspends Pastor 

Parishioners at St John ­Ogilvie's Church in High Blantyre, Scotland, reacted with fury and disbelief when they were told just before Mass that their pastor Father Matthew Despard had been removed from his ministry. Despard had published a book Crisis In The Priesthood publicly naming his experience of a culture of homosexual bullying in the priesthood.


Related: Congregation unites in protest at suspension of parish priest 


Order our A Million Voices resource for resisting
common abuses of authority in the church HERE

Moral Theologians list areas on family life that Synod should discuss

A Catholic Scholars' Statement on Marriage and the Family has been drawn up in preparation for the 2014 Synod on the Family.  Prof Joseph Selling of Louvain University prepared the first draft. Selling is an expert who has written about the responses to "Humanae Vitae" at the 1980 Synod on the Family in 1980 and on subsequent developments. The statement was discussed at a November 8-10 colloquium of moral theologians in Leeds, UK and has now been published online. It will be submitted to various Bishops' conferences by mid December.


Read and cosponsor the Catholic Scholars' Statement HERE
Sr. Sandra Schneiders IHM at annual   
Boston College St. Mary of Magdala celebration 
Professor Tom Groome, FutureChurch board member Rita Houlihan, Sr. Sandra and Melinda Donovan

A standing room only crowd of over 250 gathered for BC's annual celebration St. Mary of Magadala.  


View the video of Sr. Sandra's presentation


View photos and write ups of other celebrations   

NPR Interview with Professor Thomas Groome: Mandatory Celibacy A 'Destructive' Force

I've worked at Boston College for 37 years, and I couldn't count the number of young men across the years - I would literally say hundreds - who have said to me that they'd love to be a priest but they don't want to accept the celibacy requirement," said former priest Thomas Groome who now chairs
the department of religious education at Boston College. "And to be turning away such high-quality young people or to be sending away some of our finest priests because they want to marry seems, at least, problematic." Read more... 
'We're Catholic priests who want to marry'
Archbishop Godfrey Siundu of the archdiocese of Kitale in Kenya was the guest of honour. He is a member of the Ecumenical Catholic Church - a separate denomination in the universal Christian church. "I was a priest who had a girlfriend and I felt I could no longer live in hiding," Siundu said. Read more...

On October 29th a south African married priest organization calling for optional celibacy was launched.

We're visiting Vatican offices in March!


Send Your E-Postcard to the new Vatican  Prefect at Clergy today!  


About Optional Celibacy 

About Women Deacons    


Sign:  Open Letter to US Bishops  

How would we pay for Married Priests? Compensating married priests fairly should be manageable for most Catholic parishes Read more...  

Female philanthropists "hopeful" after candid advocacy for women at the Vatican   In late October six Catholic women philanthropists  held candid discussions met with prefects of Vatican Congregations about participation of women in church ministries.   


Their suggestions included expanding the number of women in professional roles in each major Vatican department; increasing the number of women advisers to pontifical congregations and councils; restoring women to diaconal ministry; restoring biblical women deleted from the lectionary, and appointing women to the Vatican diplomatic corps and communications apostolate. They came away hopeful. Read more...  


Women Deacons: Why Not Now? Education/Advocacy  resource  

Read more about women deacon effort   and order a packet 

We're visiting  Vatican Offices in March!

Send an Electronic Postcard to Rome  here! 

Circulate paper postcards  Download a template or order free postcards.

Theologian calls for discussion of a "theology by and for women" A highly respected British theologian, Tina Beattie, has called on the Women's Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity to begin discussion of "a deep theology of woman ... which learns from women's visions and struggles in terms of justice and ethics, sexuality and motherhood, sacramentality and prayer."


 Beattiered candle wicl believes that the Vatican's credibility "will continue to be undermined unless it also engages in constructive dialogue within the UN and other agencies about maternal mortality, reproductive health, gender-based violence and women's rights" (The Tablet 10/13/13).  Read more... 


Educate about Jesus' inclusive practice and advocate for women ministers today.
Order FutureChurch's Advancing Women  in Church Leadership  Resource  Here 

Francis appoints progressive liturgical consultants  Pope Francis has appointed five new consultants who reject the so-called "reform of the reform" movement to change contemporary liturgical practices favored by his predecessor, Pope Benedict. All five studied at San Anselmo in Rome, home of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute and an influential center for promoting the Vatican II liturgical renewal.The liturgists are responsible for planning and overseeing all of the Pope's celebrations. They were named on September 26 (The Tablet 10/5/13).   Read more...  

Yes you CAN Change Vatican policy
In early November, two appreciative audiences heard canon lawyer Sr. Kat  e Kuenstler and Sr. Chris Schenk share the story of FutureChurch's successful
Sister Kate and Sister Chris team up
Save Our Parish Community (SOPC) initiative at Call To Action's national conference held in Milwaukee. To date, Catholics from 28 U.S. parishes in 6 US dioceses successfully won appeals to keep their churches open. At the sessions parishioners from over 15 North American dioceses shared details of their own diocesan reconfiguration plans and learned about their canonical right to resist closing vibrant churches.

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet here. 
Download a Crisis kit and free resources  here.  

Parish Closing and Appeals News   

NY Archdiocese Moves to Close Parishes  The Archdiocese of New York is planning another round of parish closings and mergers, marking the broadest shake-up since Cardinal Timothy Dolan took control of the diocese in 2009. Church officials are in discussions with the archdiocese's 368 parishes and expect to deliver recommendations by next summer. In an Oct. 1 letter, the Cardinal said he fears a shortage of  priests would hurt the church. The archdiocese once ordained 30 or 40 men per year in the 1960s, while that number now hovers between eight and ten. Read more..  


Related: If Staten island parishes are closed under church initiative, what will happen to the land?


Boston's St. Frances vigil marks nine years The around-the-clock vigil at St. Frances X. Cabrini church will be entering its 10th year as of Oct. 26, the ninth anniversary of what Jon Rogers, spokesman for the parishioner group, called "an incredible undertaking of faith." Read more... 


Detroit archdiocese asks Catholics: How effective is your parish? For the first time in 15 years, the Archdiocese of Detroit is asking Detroit-area Catholics  to answer an anonymous survey about parish life and issues facing the church. Read more...


UPDATED Canonical Appeals for Dummies  here.

Order the Save Our Parish Community packet here.   

Sign open letter to US Bishops here   

Other Church News

Ernst and Young to oversee finances of 'Vatileaks' "Governatorato" Nov 18 (Reuters) - The Vatican has hired an international accounting firm, Ernst and Young, to scrutinize the department at the center of corruption allegations that surfaced in last year's "Vatileaks" scandal. The "Governatorato,"  runs the day-to-day activities of Vatican City. This is where the Vatican's US Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, worked before his abrupt transfer to the United States for speaking out against what he said was corruption there. Read more... 


Newly elected USCCB president rooted in simple

values  BALTIMORE (CNS) The newly elected president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky, has been a bishop for nearly 14 years, but it's as priest, family member and social worker that he describes himself. Read more...  


Italian prosecutor says mafia would like to hurt the pope (CNS) "Those who feed off the power and the riches of the church are nervous and agitated," said Nicola Gratteri, the assistant prosecutor of Italy's Reggio Calabria region. "Pope Francis is dismantling the centers of economic power in the Vatican. If the bosses could bring him down, they wouldn't hesitate." Read more..


Father Murphy-O'Connor, acclaimed New Testament scholar, dies at 78 Dominican Father Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, acknowledged as one of the world's foremost scholars of the New Testament, particularly the writings of St. Paul, died in the early hours of Nov. 11 in Jerusalem ... Father Gregory Carroll, provincial of the Irish Dominicans, described Father Murphy-O'Connor as "a colossus" in the world of Scripture study who "never forgot his roots." Read more..