Posts Tagged FutureChurch
Priest and lay reform organizations take on clerical culture
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Voice of the Faithful on June 7, 2019
Pope Francis has repeatedly called out the clerical culture’s danger to the Catholic Church and its faithful, for example, calling clericalism “our ugliest perversion.” Now a nationwide Catholic priests’ organization and two international lay reform groups have developed the BridgeDialogues: Laity & Clergy re-Imagining Church Together to show Catholics what they can do to recognize and prevent this perversion which blocks the laity from achieving their full potential in the Church.
Clericalism has been defined in various ways. In a 2011 report criticizing the Church’s “Study of the Causes and Context of the Sexual Abuse Crisis,” VOTF defined clericalism as “an overriding set of beliefs and behaviors in which the clergy view themselves as different, separate, and exempt from the norms, rules and consequences that apply to everyone else in society.” As the Pope has said, “Clerics feel they are superior, they are far from the people,” and clericalism “can be fostered by priests or by lay people” where the laity show clergy excessive deference because they assume the clergy are morally superior.
The BridgeDialogues is a collaborative effort of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, FutureChurch, and Voice of the Faithful. They offer:
- prompts for opening up discussions addressing clericalism, including topics such as the subtle ways that language and pastoral relationships can feed clericalism;
- examples of how you experience clericalism barriers and what you can do about them;
- tips for how you can guard against clericalism in your own behaviors, while removing the barriers others may use to hold you on “your side” of the lay/clergy divide.
The BridgeDialogues’ many resources are available online at bridgedialogues.org.
Deborah Rose-Milavec, FutureChurch executive director, said, “Although some form of clerical culture will always be with us as long as we make distinctions between priests and laity, we can all work together to reduce its deleterious effects. The BridgeDialogues provides the resources to begin a dialogue in your parish or community to look at the subtle ways that language and pastoral relationships can feed clericalism and how all Catholics experience those barriers.”
Donna B. Doucette, VOTF executive director, added, “We must make ourselves, priests and laity, aware of a clerical culture that has so many damaging consequences. Many Catholics are unaware of how embedded those effects are. Priests typically live aside and apart from the people they should serve—they are culturally and often physically far removed from the realities of the communities that surround them. Yet instead of trying to bridge the separation, too often lay people contribute to it. And some priests, of course, often don’t realize it should be bridged.”
Said AUSCP member Louis Arceneaux, a priest of the Congregation of the Mission living in New Orleans, “For our wounded Church to grow, we need organizations of women and men, of laity and clergy, to minister together. As an AUSCP member, I am delighted to be working with FutureChurch and Voice of the Faithful in promoting the BridgeDialogues, which affords me personally and our association a wonderful opportunity to be part of an important priests/laity collaboration.”
Association of U.S. Catholic Priests
(Contact: Louis Arceneaux, firstname.lastname@example.org)
AUSCP serves the People of God in parishes and other ministries. We seek to add a priest’s voice to the public conversation within our pilgrim church, among bishops and lay persons, vowed religious, ordained deacons and others. Our concerns are your concerns: good liturgy, social justice, the role of women in our church, immigration policies that reflect Gospel values, the dignity of all human lives, and a Church that welcomes all the People of God. Our mission is to be an association of U.S. Catholic priests offering mutual support and a collegial voice through dialogue, contemplation and prophetic action on issues affecting Church and society. Our vision is to be a Priest’s Voice of Hope and Joy within our Pilgrim Church. More information is at uscatholicpriests.org.
(Contact: Deborah Rose-Milavec, Executive Director, email@example.com)
FutureChurch’s mission is to seek changes that will provide all Roman Catholics the opportunity to participate fully in Church life, ministry, and governance. FutureChurch works for just, open and collaborative structures for Catholic worship, organization and governance; a return to the Church’s early tradition of both married and celibate priests; a return to the Church’s earliest tradition, modeled on the inclusive practice of Jesus, of recognizing both female and male leaders of faith communities; and regular access to the Eucharist, the center of Catholic life and worship, for all Catholics. FutureChurch’s activities grow from a spirituality based on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Eucharist, the Spirit-filled beliefs of the faithful, and the teachings of Vatican II. More information is at futurechurch.org.
Voice of the Faithful®
(Contact: Donna B. Doucette, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in reforming administrative structures that have failed. VOTF’s mission is to provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church. More information is at votf.org.
Catholic organizations launch new effort, ‘DeaconChat,’ to foster dialogue on women deacons
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Voice of the Faithful, Women Deacons, Women in Catholic Church on June 15, 2017
The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, FutureChurch, and Voice of the Faithful are launching a new initiative to foster education and conversation on women deacons.
DeaconChat, brings Catholics―both lay and ordained―into dialogue.
On May 12, 2016, Pope Francis―responding to a question posed by members of the International Union of Superiors General―said that he would establish a commission to study the question of ordaining women deacons in the Roman Catholic Church. That commission was formally announced in August 2016 and began its work in November 2016.
“Already in 2013, AUSCP called for consideration of ordaining women deacons. As the papal commission continues its work, it is important that Catholics―lay and ordained―undergo their own study and discernment of the history and present possibility of ordaining women to the diaconate,” said Fr. Bob Bonnot, Chair of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. “DeaconChat provides that opportunity.”
“This initiative is designed to foster educational efforts to enrich dialogue on women deacons,” said Donna B. Doucette, Executive Director of Voice of the Faithful. “The program has three important components: learning, sharing, and connecting.”
“The initiative includes important educational materials, a link to purchase Phyllis Zagano’s book Women Deacons: Past, Present and Future, and guides for inviting clergy to dialogue,” said Deborah Rose-Milavec, Executive Director of FutureChurch. “We hope Catholics in the United States and around the world will be inspired to start a conversation in their parish.”
Go to http://www.CatholicWomenDeacons.org/support/deaconchat to download the DeaconChat materials.
Fr. Bob Bonnot, Chair, Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, 330-397-1257, email@example.com
Deborah Rose-Milavec, Executive Director, FutureChurch, 513.673.1401, firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Doucette, Executive Director, Voice of the Faithful, 1-781-559-3360, email@example.com
Reform groups’ petition asks Vatican to diversify lay voices at family synod / National Catholic Reporter
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Future of the Church, Pope Francis, Synod of Bishops, Synod on the Family, Vatican, Voice of the Faithful on February 13, 2015
At the Synod of Bishops on the family held at the Vatican in October 2014, several couples from around the world were invited to attend as representatives of the Catholic laity. One American couple, Alice and Jeff Heinzen, spoke about the beauty of family life and the advantages of natural family planning, a practice embraced in the church’s teachings.
“But Deborah Rose-Milavec, executive director of FutureChurch, said, ‘While their voice and constituency should be represented, they should not be overrepresented. The purpose of the synod is to break new ground on these issues and to develop pastoral practices that reach out to Catholics who have not felt welcomed because they do not entirely conform to current teaching and practice.’
“In an effort to ‘widen the circle’ at the second synod on the family, scheduled for October 2015, reform groups FutureChurch, Voice of the Faithful and the American Catholic Council have drafted a petition calling for more diverse laity to be invited. Twenty other organizations have joined the cause. The letter, which launched Jan. 21, addresses Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, and the bishops of the world. Organizers plan to deliver it March 4 by mail and email to the bishops, and hand-deliver a copy to Baldisseri at the Vatican.”
By Soli Salgado, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Catholic organizations post open letter to let bishops know 2015 Synod on the Family needs broad input
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Bishops, Synod of Bishops, Synod on the Family, Voice of the Faithful on January 22, 2015
Voice of the Faithful®, along with 15 other Catholic organizations, is issuing an open letter calling on the world’s bishops to widen the circle of auditors and experts invited to the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family.
In part, the letter states: “We urge the Vatican Synod office to make every effort to include a wide diversity of Catholics, especially those from the constituencies being discussed: divorced and remarried people; cohabitating couples; interfaith families; impoverished families; single parents; families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members; same-sex couples; and families torn by the violence of war and abuse.”
Click here to read and sign the letter and offer additional comment. You have until March 3. The letter then will be sent to all English-speaking bishops and Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops. The Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family takes place this October.
COR (Catholic Organizations for Renewal), to which VOTF belongs, also has put up a website to help facilitate input into the synod — OurCatholicFamily.org — And Click here to download sample letters and resources from fellow COR member FutureChurch. These will help you communicate your views to your bishop.
Click here to review the Lineamenta the Vatican has sent to bishops around the world to outline the parameters of the synod and the process of collecting input.
Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church.
An Open Letter from the People of God to U.S. Bishops
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Bishops, Celibacy, Voice of the Faithful, Women Deacons on June 11, 2014
Voice of the Faithful® encourages interested Catholics to join with FutureChurch supporters and ask U.S. bishops to open a dialogue “about restoring our early traditions of married and celibate priests and male and female deacons.”
In an open letter to U.S. bishops, FutureChurch urges bishops “to discern the needs of all the people of God and to listen to Pope Francis’ call for courage in realizing reforms that will bring new vitality to Eucharistic communities.”
You can join this effort by clicking here to send your bishop a copy of the letter.
We need to shout loudly for our bishops to hear our Spirit-filled voices and help us change the Church.