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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
Deborah Rose-Milavec
Russ Petrus
Russ Petrus, Co-Director of FutureChurch, 216.228.0869,
Deborah Rose-Milavec, Co-Director of FutureChurch, 513.673.1401 (mobile),

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.


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.