This series is intended to reach out to Christians searching for new and creative ways to live their faith. It doesn't matter whether you are looking for something more than Sunday Mass or whether you've left the institutional church all together. We welcome you if you are appalled with the clerical sex abuse crisis, or perhaps feeling excluded due to being divorced and remarried, maybe a young adult who feels your life experiences in today's world are not being addressed, or you're simply seeking a more personal community.
Where to listen
Interview with Pamela Perry who discusses her Parishioners' Call website
Dr. Massimini shares his insights into how we grow up and become mature Christians in today's world. He reflects on the fact that it is our job as Christians to assume far greater responsibility for our world, our church, and the future of our planet. You might enjoy checking out his blog called the 21st Century American Catholic: http://the21stcenturyamericancatholic.blogspot.com/p/about_30.html.
In this episode, Sister discusses the coming 2020 presidential election. She points out the similarity of the healthcare plans proposed by the various candidates and how it is primarily cost that distinguishes them from one another. Understanding this will hopefully unite Democrats behind Joe Biden, the likely nominee for the Democratic party. She also addressed how Catholic Christians learn to make "prudential judgments" about applying the church's teaching to politics? it is not up to church hierarchy to tell Christians how to vote. With well-formed consciences, it is up to each of us to make that determination for ourselves as to the moral good of our country. Sister shares the need for us all to be multi-issue voters focused on the common good for all.
Virginia has worked professionally her whole life for the cause of women in the Church. In this interview, representing Voices of Faith, she invites all of us to participate in the March 8, 2020 Int'l Women's Day to stand in solidarity with women and the need for women to be treated with dignity and recognized for their significant contributions to the Church. It is well beyond time for women to be allowed to participate equally with men as ministers in the Church.
This episode introduces a discussion on family life as presented in the papal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, the Joy of Love. It discusses its perspective on such critical issues as divorce-remarriage, birth control, and the LGBT issue offering less emphasis on church rules and a greater realization of the need for compassion as families struggle in today’s world. It softens the ban on divorced and remarried Catholics being excluded from the Sacraments. This first segment introduces you to Love, Sex, and the Joy of Amoris Laetitia as presented by theologian, and author, Reverend Daniel P. Horan, OFM where Father offers an introduction to the Joy of Love. In the second segment, Josh Elliott interviews Candace Moss, a theologian and professor of the New Testament at Catholic University on this exhortation. And in the final segment, Professor John Leonard is interviewed who further explains this exhortation as moving away from a pronouncement of church rules to the need for personal conscience in these important matters.
Fr. Tony Flannery, from Ireland, is a religious writer and Roman Catholic Redemptorist priest who was suspended by the Vatican in 2012. He was told by the Vatican that he would be allowed to return to ministry only if he agreed to write, sign and publish a statement agreeing, among other things, that women should never be ordained as priests and that he would adhere to church orthodoxy on matters like contraception and homosexuality. Our discussion centers around the future of the Church.
Tina Beattie, a professor of Catholic Studies at Roehampton University in London, discusses the major challenges facing women in the Church today. She evaluates the setbacks of the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict for women. While Pope Francis is not doing all that many of us wish he could be doing for women, she feels he has created an openness in dialogue on this issue and her prayer is that the next pope will carry on what Francis has begun.
Dr. Antonio shares his insights about our changing church leaving behind the days of church attendance through blind obedience and fear of hell. Today's Catholic - those who still attend church - do so out more by looking forward to the community experience. Many groups are organizing their own parishes due to the shortage of priests. This along with small faith communities are the way of the future.
Anne Burke shares her experience while investigating clerical sex abuse cases. Much of her life has led her to work on behalf of young people whom she advises that the most important way to live their Christian faith is by getting involved collaboratively in social issues and taking active measures to show their love and concern for others.
Anne shares her 16 years of experience as director of www.BishopsAccountability.org. She has reviewed more than 100,000 pages of reports about pedophile priests and bishops who covered up for them. Despite the grueling work, Anne shares how her commitment to Catholicism is stronger than ever.
Fr. Gerry shares his philosophy of being a longtime pastor of his parish and his co-founding of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. He later founded Elephants in the Living Room. At the biannual priests' convocation at Boyne Mountain, MI in October 2003, Fr. Gerry Bechard rose to ask Cardinal Maida if they were going to talk about the Elephant in the Living Room. Cardinal Maida ignored the question and returned to the agenda. A few priests decided that some subjects needed to be discussed and agreed upon returning to Detroit to hold gatherings for that purpose. Thus, the name: Elephants in the Living Room.
Fr. Reese discusses the key topics that resulted from this synod. The Bishops voted to recommend to the the pope that already married men be ordained to serve in the most remote areas of the Amazon. This is a response to the needs of the many people who only receive the Eucharist every few months and some not even every year. They also voted to put the Church strongly on the side of global issues like protecting the Amazon rain forest, the environment, climate change, and the rights of the indigenous people living there. Recognizing that women are the ones who primarily keep the church running in the Amazon, the Bishops voted to recommend that Pope Francis reopen the commission to study the possibility of women deacons. After all, the women are already performing the work of deacons.
Pamela Perry from Salisbury England shares her faith journey of being raised in the Anglican church and, as an adult, converting to Roman Catholicism where she has become a forceful defender for reform. She credits many of the Anglican Church's contemporary advancements to the inclusion of women in ministerial roles. Despite this, she explains how Catholicism is now in her blood and, even though she sees its flaws, she chooses to remain and speak out for the reform of the Catholic Church. She began a website, www.ParishionersCall.com, encouraging the people to assume leadership to help bring about a new kind of future for our church.
Martha and Gert Heizer were excommunicated for holding a Eucharistic liturgy in their home without a priest. The couple openly discusses why it is necessary to have a presider who is called to a “higher state” that only sexually celebrate men could fulfill. If it is the Holy Spirit who transforms the bread and wine, then the presider is only the instrument. To move the Church forward, perhaps we need to return to the format of the Church as it was in the early days: Christians gathering in homes, in catacombs, wherever they could to love one another, support one another, and celebrate the remembrance of Jesus Christ. When they gathered, they reenacted the last supper together. There were no ordained ministers, no authority figures. There were just followers of Jesus Christ.
Tom, a former Dominican priest, left the priesthood to stand with victims of clergy sexual abuse. He explains the reason for the cover-up was, sadly, not to protect the victims but rather to protect the image, the prestige, and the power of the institutional church. He sees little hope for the institution but finds comfort in the future of Christianity expressing itself through Small faith communities.
Bridget describes her calling and ordination as a woman Catholic priest and how the movement is growing today. She has no aspiration for being recognized as part of the church hierarchy but rather sees herself called to serve in a community of equals. For others feeling called, she recommends People's Catholic Seminary: https//pcseminary.org.
In this interview, our guest discusses the forthcoming synod taking place. It will focus on: the victimization of the indigenous people in the Amazon, adapting Christianity and the sacraments to the indigenous culture, protection of the environment, and the possibility of ordaining already married men to the priesthood due to the shortage of priests to serve this huge area. These are controversial topics and strongly objected to by the conservatives in the Church. It is anticipated that the outcome of these topics will have an impact on the universal church globally. See Fr. Reese's article on Controversy mixes with consensus as bishops gather for Amazon synod.
In this interview, our guest shares his insights into the politics of the Church and the necessity of the laity to reclaim their rightful place in it. In addressing the clerical sex abuse crisis, Massimo points out how this is all leading to a vertical collapse of the hierarchical authority of the institutional church. Alongside the worldwide conferences of bishops, he feels there should be corresponding conferences of the laity.
In this interview, we explore with Nontando Hadebe, a woman theologian from South Africa, why the Bishops Synods on the Family did not engage the work of women theologians who have for many years been writing on issues of marriage, family life, sexuality, and human relationships. Our guest points out that without women, there would be no church in Africa since women comprise 85-90% of the laity. The Roman Catholic Church is one of the few institutions not promoting full equality of women.
In this first forum we're seeking to gain a global perspective of the issues of greatest concern to Christians today. From experience, the chances are slim that we are going to reform our church from the top down. The majority of bishops aren’t listening and are not likely to even want to. We have a far greater chance of change in our church from the bottom up. We may not be able to change the minds of the hierarchy but we can change ourselves and our behavior.
A vast number of young people are moving away from the institutional Church and finding the best expression of their values and their Christianity is much more through social justice, climate justice, and environmental issues. The future of the Church for today's Millennials may well become Young Peoples Small Christian Communities.
In this interview, Allan de Neronha from India, commonly known as chhotebhai, shares his insights into the Second Vatican Council and the impact it has had on the Church today. He is especially interested in the role of the laity as envisioned by this council.
In this discussion, Allan de Neronha from India shares how we must move forward toward an adult Church with the people recognizing that they have the right to use their conscience in matters of faith and morals. Even though a couple may have left a bad marriage and are now living in a new and healthy relationship, why are far too many waiting for "Father" to tell them it is okay to receive Communion?
This series is an outreach to Christians looking for alternative ways to celebrate their faith in today's world. Whether you are looking for something more than just Sunday Mass or someone who has moved on from the institutional church completely, you will find insight and inspiration into these episodes.