Optional Celibacy Campaign Expands, Advisory Committee Meets

FutureChurch's international optional celibacy campaign is expanding its reach with the help of a new optional celibacy advisory committee. (See p. 2) Comprised of people from all over the U.S. and Canada, committee members include veterans in the optional celibacy movement to GenNext parish catechists and volunteers connected to related reform groups such as Voice Of the Faithful (VOTF) and Celibacy Is the Issue (CITI). At a January 28 teleconference, the committee brainstormed strategies for reaching out to international contacts and priests in the active ministry, evaluated data from FutureChurch's optional celibacy survey and reviewed a potential video for the project. A priority for the next meeting is strategizing how to engage the institutional church.

In January, The Cleveland Plain Dealer published an in-depth story about FutureChurch's international campaign for optional celibacy. This prompted an extensive WTAM radio interview with Sr. Christine Schenk. Over 5000 electronic and paper postcards have been sent to Vatican officials and local bishops and over 60 people have downloaded organizing and prayer resources. The international segment of the campaign is just beginning to get under way.

Recently 20 Catholic priests in Uganda left the Catholic Church because of celibacy requirements, while 4 South Korean priests have become Anglican so that they will be free to marry. Meanwhile Irish churchmen are predicting the need for laity to adopt duties formerly performed by priests because: “The difficult truth is that priests will have effectively disappeared in Ireland in two to three decades.”

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Winter 2010


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