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FutureChurch Reacts to USCCB Assembly: US Bishops Look Backwards While Catholics Look to the Future


Contacts:  Russ Petrus, Co-Director,
Deborah Rose, Co-Director,

This week, despite the valiant efforts of some reform-minded prelates, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, by their elections, discussions, and decisions signaled their intent to continue looking backwards.

The conference has, once again, chosen a culture war mentality when a majority of faith-filled U.S. Catholics are seeking an authentically welcoming and inclusive community.

The conference has chosen to stand by their single-issue voting guidance when a majority of U.S. Catholics seek support for the difficult job of discerning how the fullness of the Gospel mandate should impact their voting decisions.

The conference celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People while electing a churchman as president who oversees the diocese with the greatest number of clergy sex abuse cases in the country (

In essence, the conference continues to uphold a glorified moral certainty and to build walls to insulate themselves from anyone who would challenge them, rather than courageously and humbly follow the example of their brother bishop in Rome who, throughout his papacy, has consistently chosen love over security, trust over control, and service over power.

Yet, despite the trajectory of the U.S. Bishops’ conference, there is Good News.

Even as the USCCB continues down a path that offers scant light and love, the Church – the People of God – guided by the Holy Spirit will continue moving forward toward a future rich with possibility.  Synodality, a radically inclusive way of being church where open-hearted listening, faith-filled discernment, and decision making that arises from wisdom born of community, will mark our future.  With a clear, steady focus on living out the synodal priorities and style of Pope Francis, Catholics will continue to breathe new life into the Church we love.

FutureChurch invites all Catholics to join us in our work advancing a synodal church: