Vatican Radio gives megaphone to dissident fringe group Future Church

I am confused about something.

The website of Vatican Radio shows that they did a piece on Future Church.

Future Church?!?

HERE  Listen.

What is Future Church?  HERE

This is from their site’s sidebar:

Visit their ABOUT page HERE.  They want married clergy and priestesses.

An excerpt:

Advancing Women in Church Leadership

We promoted women’s leadership by providing practical resources for women and men who wish to implement the far-reaching recommendations of the 1996 Benchmarks projects published by the Leadership Council of Women Religious [What a surprise.] this resource educates about the inclusive practice of Jesus and St. Paul and advocates for increased leadership roles for women in the Church right now..The project packet Contains articles written by experts about women in the Bible and lectionary and feminist theology, as well as organizing tips and prayer and faith sharing resources. Also includes expanded materials about lay ecclesial ministers (80% of whom are women), parish life coordinators, lay preaching and women officeholders in the early church. [A few weird examples do not an argument make.]

Scores of Women in Church Leadership “anchors” have organized dialogues in various parts of the country as a result of this project. They have continued to keep the conversation about the roles of women in the church on the front burner, even as talk about the ordination of women has been officially hushed by the Vatican. [Then by all means, have them on Vatican Radio.]

Another screen shot from their “Initiatives” page:

The role of women in the Church, including “leadership roles” is a matter for open discussion.

However, a group that pushes for the ordination of women is a dissident fringe group.  Such a group ought to be excluded from dialogue until they give up their heretical position (cf Ordinatio sacerdotalis).

So… what’s up with Vatican Radio giving them airtime?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Gratias says:

    It is probably a sign of the direction the wind is blowing. Radio Vaticana is well tuned in. Things like this are not left to chance. It is all part of the Who am I to Judge thinking. Msgr. Ricca is still director of Casa Santa Marta and papal delegate to the Vatican bank.

  2. Reliquary says:

    Looks like it’s because members have “been meeting with officials at different Vatican dicasteries,” according to the article.

  3. incredulous says:

    I imagine next they’ll be playing tapes of Bishop Lefebrve… oops! “Liberal” thought only allows for their message and nothing else…

  4. Sonshine135 says:

    Dissadents are starting to show their true colors in the church. Here at the local Catholic High School, a petition was started to basically censor the Priest (hard-identity Catholic) and a guest Nun for teaching the physical, social, and psychological dangers of Homosexuality. It has over 1,000 signatures. The counter-petition supporting the Priest and Nun has only a little over 50 signatures. The future of Catholic schooling is at stake. These groups are growing much bolder, because they are being aided by dissident Priests in the Diocese. It is all so very evil. Giving these people a platform is evil.

  5. Chiara says:

    I live in the Diocese of Cleveland, and I have had dealings with these people. When my parish, which had recently merged with another struggling parish, had only been in existence for a couple of months, these people put fliers on our car windshields while we were at Mass. They urged us to withhold our Offertory envelopes and other support to the church in order to punish and humiliate our good Bishop Lennon.
    I contacted one of the people listed, a former priest, and informed him that our Offertory supports various programs in our parish, including feeding and clothing the homeless, educating poverty-stricken children, and creating a home for our Newman students, among other things. I told him that depriving our parish of funds would not punish Bishop Lennon, but it would deprive the homeless, children, college students, visitors and our own parishioners of basic human needs and of the comfort of Our Lord. In other words, we would be unable to do Jesus’ work in our city. I told him I took Future Church’s manifesto as a direct hit on the people we are trying to serve.
    He replied to my e-mail with a very patronizing, condescending message, saying I obviously did not have the education to understand or address their movement. I told him that as far as I am concerned, he is welcome to worship at my parish, but he is not welcome to sabotage the good work my pastor, parish and Diocese does, and that he must treat my bishop with the respect he deserves as a person and as an ordained representative of the Vicar of Christ. (Coincidentally, one of Bishop Lennon’s first moves when he became our bishop in 2005 was to remove Future Church from the property of St. Mark parish in Cleveland, where they had been given office space.)
    I received no answer, but I have not seen them back for the last 4 years. These people are dangerous. Please pray for us.

  6. Magpie says:

    Seems to be all part of the new dispensation.

    Latin Mass and traditionalist drift? No way!
    Women and divorce and homosexuality? Let’s talk about it!

  7. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Something I found when I went to the site was that when I went for specific information/downloads I ran into an login page and “authorization required.” That was at the end of the FAQs when I clicked on FutureChurch Mission and Vision. Apparently you have to pay to join and provide personal information to get access to the details of what exactly they are planning. This is far from a transparent attempt to foster community within the the church.

    If you look at the blog on the pilgrimage ( you’ll see they’re delighted to photograph a woman wearing a Roman collar with St. Peter’s in the background.

  8. iPadre says:

    “Read between the lines” This crazy lady is suggesting that Petronella was a “deaconess or priest”. Why in the hell is Vatican Radio fostering this heretical group?

  9. OrthodoxChick says:

    My initial thought was to assume that maybe someone slipped something past Fr. Lombardi and was able to get their pet cause posted on Radio Vaticana. But then I found an article from the Irish Times from this past November (Nov., 2013) in which Fr. Lombardi is quoted as saying (in response to the possibility of Pope Francis naming female cardinals to the consistory of Feb., 2014):

    “Theologically and theoretically, it is possible,” he added. “Being a cardinal is one of those roles in the church for which, theoretically, you do not have to be ordained but to move from there to suggesting the pope will name women cardinals for the next consistory is not remotely realistic.”

    I can’t figure out if giving this agenda some space on the Radio Vaticana’s web page is an attempt to appease them, or if it is a tacit endorsement in “theory”. Hopefully, now that Fr. Z. has drawn attention to it with this article, it will be removed – subito!

  10. Elizabeth R says:

    I have to wonder if this is a picture of one of their members. With the Pope.

  11. How does a dissident group get a Catholic platform in this way? Does Vatican Radio have a platform for describing what is wrong with this type of dissidence? How does real Church teaching get suppressed and innovation get a stage?

    “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their Confreres. The Church and altars will be vandalized. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises…” — Our Lady of Akita, Oct. 13, 1973
    We aren’t really fighting people. Pray the Rosary daily.

  12. yatzer says:

    I recognize one of those in the group as a woman who was “ordained” a couple of years ago, although she is not dressing as a cleric in the photos. I also wonder what induced anyone to give them the encouragement of an official hearing? Do they not know whom they are welcoming? Or maybe they don’t care?

  13. Elizabeth R says:

    In the photo Greg Burke posted, to which I linked, the woman is indeed wearing a Roman collar as she speaks with the Pope. Mr. Burke’s comment accompanying the photo is “Hmmm Don’t see that every day”

  14. wanda says:

    Would it be wrong to consider pulling my hair out? Why, oh why, so many mixed messages? How on earth does this happen? It’s not Hell’s bible or msnbc…it’s Vatican Radio. Stop it, please, just stop it.

  15. kpoterack says:

    For some good news ! . . . I know this is another topic but, still, related. Apparently, the conversation between John Kerry and Cardinal Parolin preceding the meeting between the Pope and Obama, contrary to the administration’s spin, went something like this:

    “According to Vatican sources with direct knowledge of what transpired, Parolin drove the entire conversation, emphasizing at some length the Holy See’s concerns over the Health and Human Services contraceptive/abortifacient mandate that has put the bishops of the United States, and many Catholic institutions, on a collision course with the government unparalleled in U.S. Catholic history.”

    From an article by George Weigel:

    So, not all is bad in the Eternal City.

  16. kpoterack says:

    Just thought that people might need some cheering up!

  17. JKnott says:

    Wake up call.
    Reality time.
    Layer upon layer.
    Not a pretty picture.
    God’s permitting will.
    Do we deserve any less?
    We must stay close to real teaching of the Church and to Our Lady and pray constantly.

  18. McCall1981 says:

    I might be able to top you in off-topic good news:

  19. Fr AJ says:

    Gee I heard it on Vatican Radio so this group must be okay. …and we wonder why people get mixed up.

  20. wolfeken says:

    The same Francis-era trend is happening at Radio Maria. It’s “Who am I to judge?” toward the liberals, and damnation for anyone who dares to lean traditional.

    P.S. a year into this papal rupture, is anyone still Reading Francis Through Benedict?

  21. robtbrown says:

    I spent eight years in Rome and seldmr thought it worthwhile to listen to Vatican Radio. One reason was they had someone name Henry ????, whose politics made Karl Marx seem like William F Buckley.

  22. Elizabeth R says:

    kpoterack, thank you. I definitely need cheering up today, and George Wiegel’s article was encouraging.

  23. St. Corbinian's Bear says:

    “Members of the Future Church group have also been meeting with officials at different Vatican dicasteries, sharing suggestions on how to follow up on Pope Francis’ call to increase the participation of women in Church and in society.”

    Well, there you go!

    You know, not just anyone can share their ideas with Vatican dicasteries and merit a writeup by the Vatican press organ. The Bear once tried to get the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants to address concerns of ursine circus workers, and they shot him with a tranquilizer dart! He spent the next five years in the Bioparco di Roma bear enclosure. Plenty of horse meat, so no complaints, but still… They could shoot the Future Church ladies with tranquilizer darts, but what would you do with them afterwards?

  24. pannw says:

    “But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh.”

    Lot of people on the road to woe. Have they no fear of the Lord? Do they even believe in Him?

    May God give our shepherds wisdom and courage to stop all this Scandal, otherwise, they are also guilty of it. Lord, have mercy.

  25. Cathy says:

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen their website before – in perusing links on religious orders within the diocese which I belong, it is a popular link on the, surprise! social justice page.

  26. robtbrown says:


    Sorry, but I can’t resist adjusting your comments:

    Reality time.
    Wake up call.
    Layer upon layer.
    Not a pretty picture.
    God’s permitting will.
    Do we deserve any less?
    We must stay close to real teaching of the Church and to Our Lady and pray constantly.
    Do we deserve any less?
    God’s permitting will
    Not a pretty picture.
    Layer upon layer.
    Wake up call.
    Reality time.

  27. jhayes says:

    If you look at the blog on the pilgrimage ( you’ll see they’re delighted to photograph a woman wearing a Roman collar with St. Peter’s in the background.

    According to the article, she is a Methodist pastor:

    One of the Methodist pastors with us, Lisa Schrader, had fun putting on her Roman collar and having her picture taken with us.

  28. Polycarpio says:

    I don’t understand the big hubbub. I know people say Francis does not speak clearly, but what is unclear about this statement: “As far as women’s ordination is concerned, the Church has spoken and said: ‘No. John Paul II said it, but with a definitive formulation. That door is closed.” (July 28, 2013 remarks aboard the papal plane back from Brazil.) Or this: “Women in the Church must be valued, not made into clerics. Whoever thinks about women cardinals suffers a bit from clericalism.” (Dec. 14, 2013 «La Stampa» interview.)

    We know that church progressives don’t want to hear it, but how about the rest of us. It seems to me that one of the reasons there is confusion is that people on both sides are not listening to what the Pope is actually saying and are letting themselves be guided by their own agenda or unwarranted fears.

  29. Reliquary says:

    Exactly, Polycarpio. Let’s tend to our own sanctification, and pray and sacrifice for our Holy Father and the Church.

  30. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    The woman, Methodist or not, thought it “fun” to put on the Roman collar and have her photo taken in front of the Vatican. The ‘c’atholics with her thought it was “fun” too. I’ve noticed that many dissidents don’t make much distinction between those nominally Catholic and those nominally Protestant — or nothing at all. Since the first blog entry is about praying for women’s ordination, there is no doubt where FutureChurch’s sympathy lies.

    I really wonder what is behind the group’s firewall that prevents visitors from digging into what FutureChurch plans. I don’t want to pay to join them, however. I already know a woman who is an official of this group — she is in charge of several “ministries” at a Boston-area parish.

  31. apman says:


    Cleveland is home to St. Stephen’s and Immaculate Conception right? Any diocese is lucky to have those two Churches in their jurisdiction. I hope the fight against the modernists goes well because I have a soft spot for Ohio and Cleveland in general.

  32. Dave N. says:

    At this juncture, SSPX is probably thinking they dodged a bullet.

  33. Chiara says:

    Hi Apman –

    I am from Akron, which is 40 miles from Cleveland, but in the Cleveland Diocese. I am not terribly familiar with Cleveland, but I do think I recognize those parishes (we also have an Immaculate Conception parish here in Akron). Thank you for your kind words.

    Future Church is trying to gain a stronghold in our area, but we are fighting the good fight. Our area is actually quite conservative compared to other parts of the country. From what I can tell, the misguided people in this organization consist of former priests and nuns, and other very liberal people. They are very vocal and eager to gain the attention of the media. They are unhappy because the Church will not make concessions to their personal situations, i.e., married clergy, female priests, homosexual marriage, etc.

    I asked the former priest I contacted about the flyers on my car why, if he is dislikes Bishop Lennon so much, he does not attend Mass in a neighboring diocese, which would only be a matter of 20 miles away. That only made him angrier, possibly because the Bishop of Toledo is very faithful, as is the Bishop of Youngstown.

    They will not be happy until they overturn the Magisterium and rewrite the Catechism of the Church. They are very angry, dangerous people, and we should take them seriously – this is how Martin Luther got started.

  34. Dave N. says:

    I have to wonder if this is a picture of one of their members. With the Pope.

    No, that’s Rev. Jessica Crist, President of the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

    This is how rumors get started.

  35. MaryL says:

    Advancing Women in Church Leadership

    Isn’t this careerism? It’s what Pope Francis has been instructing the Cardinals against, so I would say any of these women who think they can apply for leadership positions need a big dose of humility to even be remotely considered to be Cardinals. Yuk anyway. As a woman, I find it really creepy with all these women in positions of power, pretending to be men.

  36. Elizabeth R says:

    Dave N, Thank you! I kept hoping someone would explain who was in the photo.

  37. jhayes says:

    that’s Rev. Jessica Crist, President of the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

    Yes, see her here:

  38. joan ellen says:

    Surely, His Holiness, Pope Francis, is ‘skinning the cat’ in a way that none of us has ever considered,
    understood, nor enjoyed as much as he seems to be. 3 Aves for him daily as he asked…and 3 Aves daily for us…to survive this ‘skinning’.

  39. Pingback: Pope Francis and President Obama Meet. . . -

  40. Urs says:

    This is totally disgusting!
    Future Church supports Women’s Ordination, the LCWR and the reform of the Church in line with their Vatican II vision that misinterprets the Council with a complete hermeneutic of rupture using the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ ideology.
    ! I believe that this IS the great apostasy …as we go forward, they may seem to win but we must not give up. We must not become discouraged and quit.
    We must remember our basic weapons;
    Prayer, Fasting, Penance… the Rosary…and TRUST in the promises of the Lord…
    I truly believe that this is what John Paul II warned us about. The ‘reform’ that these groups work for and the beliefs formed by this way of thinking IS the antiChurch , spreading the antiGospel , preaching and teaching an antiChrist….
    Lord have mercy on us and protect us and guide us!
    I truly hate seeing the fighting, arrogance and judgmental condemnations on many traditionalists blogs. They seem to have become their own magesteriums. Often, I can see little difference between them and Pharisees. Oftentimes it seem that many have lost sight of the difference between judging words, ideas or actions and judging a person….and it is hard for me to see any charity in what I am reading.They believe that they are fighting FOR the Church but as I see it, in reality, they are often fighting AGAINST Her.
    Thank You Fr, Z for your blog… and for your insights. You are one of the few blogs with traditional values and the beliefs that I hold dear that I can still read. I really appreciate that…and YOU!
    For most of us it is easy to see how the deceived ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ crowd is fighting against the Church. But they also truly believe that they are fighting FOR her. It is harder for many us to see it as fighting against the Church if it is from a traditionalist point of view.
    The deception is great in these times that we live! I believe that it is a grave mistake to think that we are immune to being deceived.. I pray every day for protection against deception and for guidance. Again, this is how I see it…
    The Church needs us all to fight FOR her!

  41. Urs says:

    Yep! I knew it….It IS the purposeful hijacking of Pope Francis. I am not as nice as most people on the issues of the mistranslations at the Vatican. After the 4th or 5 th time….There is no benefit of the doubt to be had as far as I m concerned. It is purposeful at the Vatican to mistranslate his words into English. It does not matter what PopeFrancis actually says if it is different from what people are TOLD that he says…and everyone just believes the distortions that they are TOLD that he says! It seems that far too many people are sooo quick to believe the worst…. (and even to judge and condemn Pope Francis- on what they are TOLD that he has said)… or ,as in the case of the liberal antichurch, to believe the best, as in what is closer to what they WANT to hear him say !
    The Vatican’s English Translator Should be Fired!

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