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An Ecclesial Dream Too Small: Pope Francis Undermines Synodal Process, Upholds Eucharistic Famine, and Sidelines Women

Release date: Thursday, February 13, 2020
Contact(s):
Deborah Rose-Milavec
Russ Petrus
Contacts:
Russ Petrus, Co-Director of FutureChurch, 216.228.0869, russ@futurechurch.org
Deborah Rose-Milavec, Co-Director of FutureChurch, 513.673.1401 (mobile), debrose@futurechurch.org

CLEVELAND – On July 16, 2020 the Vatican announced the appointment of Bishop Edward Malesic as Bishop of Cleveland. Currently the Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Bishop Malesic be installed as the Twelfth Bishop of Cleveland on September 14, 2020.

“FutureChurch welcomes Bishop Malesic to Cleveland and we pray for him and all Cleveland Catholics as we begin this new relationship,” said Todd Ray, Chair of the FutureChurch Board of Trustees. “We are heartened by indications from Greensburg laity and clergy that Bishop Malesic is a pastoral leader with strong listening skills,” Ray added.

Bishop Malesic succeeds Bishop Nelson Perez who was installed as Archbishop of Philadelphia in February.

“Bishop Perez’s time in Cleveland was a step in the right direction after the difficult leadership of Bishop Richard Lennon. And we are cautiously optimistic that Bishop Malesicwill continue to work with Clevelanders to foster healing, restore trust, and build relationships based on collaboration and mutuality,” said Russ Petrus, co-director of FutureChurch and resident of the Diocese of Cleveland.

“While we are particularly encouraged by reports regarding the listening sessions Bishop Malesic undertook in the wake of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, we also hope that he will extend that pastoral practice to the voices of women in this diocese beginning with an installation Mass that fully and equally includes women at the altar with the practice of genuine inclusion continuing throughout the course of his tenure in all aspects of ministry in this diocese,” added Deborah Rose-Milavec, co-director of FutureChurch.

“We hope his gift for listening will translate into meaningful and prophetic action that will respect and fully embrace the critically important ministry that Catholic women in this diocese already provide and help all Cleveland Catholics work together to address the most pressing issues facing the local and global Church today,” Rose-Milavec said. “We must finally address racism in our structures and culture, the exclusion of women, the vilification of LGBTQ Catholics, the need for a married priesthood, and the rapidly declining numbers of both priests and self-identified Catholics.”

FutureChurch looks forward to engaging with Bishop Malesic to find ways of working together to bring about a more just and inclusive diocese, Church, and world.

END

About FutureChurch Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, FutureChurch seeks changes that will provide all Roman Catholics the opportunity to participate fully in Church life and leadership. It is a national coalition of parish centered Catholics striving to educate fellow Catholics about the seriousness of the priest shortage, the centrality of the Eucharist (the Mass), and the systemic inequality of women in the Catholic Church. FutureChurch is a nonprofit organization that makes presentations throughout the country, distributes education, advocacy and prayer resources and recruits activists who work on behalf of its mission.

FutureChurch prays for Bishop Nelson’s success, healing for the Catholics of Philadelphia; urges Cleveland Catholics to voice their needs and desires for the next bishop of Cleveland

For Immediate Release: Monday, January 27, 2020
Contact: Deborah Rose-Milavec, Russ Petrus, Co-directors
(216) 228-0869

russ@futurechurch.org
debrose@futurechurch.org

CLEVELAND, Ohio – FutureChurch prays for both Bishop Perez and the Catholics of Philadelphia as they begin their relationship and embark on a new journey together. Pope Francis’ decision to appoint Nelson Perez as Archbishop of Philadelphia was announced on January 23, 2020. He will be installed on February 18th.

“Bishop Perez’s pastoral approach to leadership came as a welcome change to Cleveland Catholics in the wake of years of pain and difficulty under the leadership of Bishop Lennon,” said Marie Graf, a Cleveland-area Catholic and Vice-chair of the FutureChurch Board. Bishop Richard G. Lennon ordered the closing of 50 parishes in 2009, had a notably contentious relationship with many priests of the diocese, and was the subject of an Apostolic Visitation in 2011. Twelve of the closed parishes appealed closure with the assistance of FutureChurch and won.

“In his brief time here, Bishop Perez helped to begin what will be an ongoing healing process for Catholics in Cleveland. And we pray that the people of Philadelphia will have the same experience” said FutureChurch Co-director, Russ Petrus. Perez replaces Archbishop Charles Chaput, whose legalistic approach – particularly when it comes to divorced and remarried Catholics as well as the LGBTQ Catholic community – has frequently put him at odds with Pope Francis.

Bishop Perez’s successor in Cleveland has not been named. “Cleveland Catholics are understandably concerned about the future leadership for the Diocese,” said FutureChurch Co-director, Deborah Rose-Milavec, “and FutureChurch urges them to make their pastoral needs and desires known.”

FutureChurch has developed a brief survey for Cleveland Catholics and will forward results to the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who plays a vital role in determining which candidates are presented to officials at the Congregation for Bishops and Pope Francis for consideration. Take the survey at http://bit.ly/cle-bishop.

Those wishing to communicate directly with the Apostolic Nuncio can do so:

By email:

nuntiususa@nuntiususa.org

By phone:

202-333-7121

By mail:

The Most Reverend Christophe Pierre

3339 Massachusetts Ave NW

About FutureChurch Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, FutureChurch seeks changes that will provide all Roman Catholics the opportunity to participate fully in Church life and leadership. It is a national coalition of parish centered Catholics striving to educate fellow Catholics about the seriousness of the priest shortage, the centrality of the Eucharist (the Mass), and the systemic inequality of women in the Catholic Church. FutureChurch is a nonprofit organization that makes presentations throughout the country, distributes education, advocacy and prayer resources and recruits activists who work on behalf of its mission.

Marie Collins Accepts FutureChurch’s 2019 Louis J. Trivison Award

FutureChurch co-director, Deborah Rose-Milavec, introduces and presents Marie Collins with the 2019 Louis J. Trivison award in recognition of her tireless pursuit of justice for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, protection of children and vulnerable people, and accountability from the hierarchy. Accepting the award, Marie Collins offers a brief presentation on her background, her experience as a member of the Papal Commission for the Protection of Minors, two reforms she sees as necessary, and what gives her hope.

Read the transcript of this presentation.

2019 Keynote Presentation: Robert Mickens

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Read the transcript of this presentation

2019 Fall Event Program

FutureChurch’s 2019 Fall Event Program includes biographies of our guests, a listing of our event sponsors, advertisements from friends of FutureChurch, and reports and updates on our programming.

View/download the program.

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Friend of FutureChurch, Luke Hansen, introduces and presents Karen Gargamelli-McCreight with the 2019 Christine Schenk Award for Young Catholic Leaders in recognition of her co-founding of Benincasa Community in New York as well as her efforts to promote the role laity — and particularly women — in the Church. Accepting the award, Karen Gargamelli-McCreight introduces Benincasa Community, tells the story of its founding, and shares some of their advocacy actions with us.

Read the transcript of this presentation.