A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

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1 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations For The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops 2014

2 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations for The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops 2014

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4 Introduction The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization will see bishops from around the world come together to discuss where they think modern Catholic families are on a wide range of subjects. On every continent, Catholics hold a diversity of views on topics including women s ordination, divorce and remarriage, sexuality, abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage. This guide for journalists is intended to provide you with contact information for a diverse group of spokespeople on hot button issues. The organizations listed in this guide include many prominent thought leaders and experts who can provide an in-depth analysis on a host of moral issues affecting the lives of modern everyday Catholics.

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6 Catholic Organizations 1 American Catholic Council 2 Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church 3 Call To Action 4 Catholics for Choice 6 CORPUS 8 DignityUSA 10 Ecumenical Catholic Communion 12 Federation of Christian Ministries 13 Future Church 14 National Coalition of American Nuns 15 New Ways Ministry 17 Southeastern Pennsylvania Women s Ordination Conference 18 Voice of the Faithful 19 Women s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual 21 Women s Ordination Conference

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8 American Catholic Council As the synod is expected to address issues related to church leadership, the American Catholic Council can provide the perspective of everyday Catholics. The American Catholic Council is a grassroots movement of faithful Catholics, grounded in prayer and informed by the proceedings of the inaugural convening of the American Catholic Council in Detroit, Michigan, which was held on Pentecost Weekend in June The Council is dedicated to exercising baptismal rights and responsibilities as full participants in the mission and governance of the church in order to make it more just, inclusive, collegial and compassionate. To that end, the Council provides action-oriented educational, and project resources. Areas of expertise Church reform Region covered The United States, with significant collaborations with worldwide reform organizations Web bit.ly/acc-facebook Spokesperson / Media contact Janet Hauter, National Chairperson (847) Alternate (518) A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations 1

9 Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church The synod is expected to cover a wide range of issues from women s roles in the church to divorced and remarried Catholics. The Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC) seeks to bring about substantive structural change in the Catholic church, and to institutionalize a collegial understanding of church in which decision-making is shared and accountability is realized among Catholics of every kind and condition. It affirms that there are fundamental rights that are rooted in the humanity and baptism of all Catholics. To this end, ARCC developed and works to implement a Charter of the Rights of Catholics in the Church and a proposed Catholic Constitution. Area of expertise Church reform Region covered United States Web bit.ly/arcc-facebook Spokesperson / Media contact Patrick Edgar, President Patrick Edgar has MDiv and DPA (Doctorate in Public Administration) degrees. He is the current president of ARCC and lives in Helena, Montana. Mr. Edgar is the director of professional development for the state of Montana. He has spent many years working for reform in the Catholic church, is versed in the many contemporary issues confronting the church, and has authored books and articles on both church reform issues and professional development. His latest book, Rational Gridlock, suggests ways to improve bureaucratic organizations responsiveness to their constituents. (406) Alternate (406) Any of the above 2 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

10 Call To Action The synod is expected to cover a wide range of issues from women s roles in the church to divorced and remarried Catholics. As the synod on the family discusses these topics and more, Call To Action can share its experiences in organizing a Catholic movement that is working for equality and social justice in the church. With over 25,000 members and 50 chapters, Call To Action educates, inspires and activates Catholics to act for justice and build inclusive communities through a lens of anti-racism and anti-oppression principles. Areas of expertise Catholic church reform; church worker rights; lay empowerment; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy; racial justice; women s equality Region covered United States Web facebook.com/calltoaction, twitter.com/ctacatholics Media contact Ryan Hoffmann, Director of Communications (773) ext. 285 Any of the above Spokesperson Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director Jim FitzGerald is executive director of Call To Action, the country s largest progressive Catholic organization working for equality and justice in the church. Before joining the Call To Action staff, he served as director of religious education in a local congregation and as a vice president of education at Planned Parenthood. He holds a master s degree in educational psychology from College of St. Rose in New York and another master s in theology and ethics from Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. A native of upstate New York, Mr. FitzGerald currently lives with his partner and children in Boston, Massachusetts. A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations 3

11 Catholics for Choice Throughout the world, bishops and the church hierarchy are using public policy to impose one narrow viewpoint on issues of family life. The hierarchy is against contraception and abortion, so they seek to ban it. The hierarchy is against comprehensive sexuality education, so they seek to limit it. As the synod on the family discusses these topics and more, Catholics for Choice (CFC) can provide a thoughtful analysis and perspective of the vast majority of Catholics who disagree with the Vatican on these issues. Catholics for Choice seeks to shape and advance sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women s wellbeing and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives. CFC works in the United States and internationally to ensure that all people have access to safe and affordable reproductive healthcare services and to infuse our core values into public policy, community life and Catholic social thinking and teaching. Catholics for Choice is at the forefront of national and international debates on the intersection of faith, women s health and reproductive justice. CFC is committed not only to policy change, but also to a change in the culture in which policy decisions are made, a change in people s hearts and minds about the ways they think about sexuality and reproduction. Area of expertise Reproductive rights; women s rights; religious liberty; religion in public policy; condoms and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS; social justice; conscience as the final arbiter in decision-making in Catholicism Region covered International Media contact Claire S. Gould, Senior Communications Associate (202) Additional (202) Any of the above Web facebook.com/catholicsforchoice, twitter.com/catholic4choice 4 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

12 Spokesperson Jon O Brien, President Jon O Brien presents an authentically Catholic approach to reproductive health policy, focused on advancing reproductive health access for all women and increasing public support for abortion and contraception. He represents the views of Catholics on these issues and calls for a greater respect for core Catholic values like individual conscience and social justice. He has been called upon to inform critical policy debates by members of the US Congress and state legislators, UK Parliament, European Parliament and national parliaments across the globe. Mr. O Brien has appeared on numerous mainstream media outlets, including the Washington Post, BBC World News, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera America, Irish Times, Voice of America, Christian Science Monitor, RTÉ and Agence France-Presse. A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations 5

13 CORPUS Many hope that among the discussions of family life at this synod, the bishops will address the topic of ordination, and the possibility of expanding eligibility for the priesthood beyond celibate men. CORPUS is a faith community affirming an inclusive priesthood rooted in a reformed and renewed church. It not only provides a ministry of service that is open to the diverse ways people are authentically called by God but also seeks sacramental ecumenical collaboration. The community and ministry are in traditional and canonical categories and in terms of needs that require autonomy and pastoral service. CORPUS is defined by the Roman Catholic tradition and also by the charisms and conscience decisions that the Spirit inspires. Areas of expertise Married priests; history of ordained ministry; inclusive priesthood open to all who are called (women, men, gay, straight) Region covered International Web facebook.com/corpus.org Media Contacts Anthony Padovano, Corpus Ambassador (973) Linda Pinto, Co-Editor, CORPUS REPORTS (570) Additional (570) Any of the above 6 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

14 Spokesperson Anthony T. Padovano, CORPUS Ambassador Anthony T. Padovano served on the original board of CORPUS and became its first elected president in He held that position for 10 years, developing a theology of married priesthood and an analysis of canon law that provided a foundation for married priests to minister publicly. He holds doctorates and professorships in theology and literature and is the author of 29 books, including three awardwinning plays, translated into nine languages. He has been visiting professor at 25 American colleges and universities, lectures worldwide and appears regularly in the media on both sides of the Atlantic. A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations 7

15 DignityUSA Throughout the world, the debate over LGBT rights and same-sex marriage is top of mind in courtrooms, legislatures and the Catholic church. The synod on the family may discuss the place of LGBT individuals in the church, society and the family. DignityUSA works for equality and full inclusion of LGBT Catholics in our church and in society and provides spiritual support for those who do not find it in traditional Catholic settings. Areas of expertise LGBT Catholicism; intentional communities; lay presidership; resisting authoritarianism in the church; same-sex marriage; employment discrimination by Catholic institutions; LGBT parenting Region covered United States, some international work Web facebook.com/dignityusa, twitter.com/dignityusa Media contacts Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director Jim Smith, Associate Director (617) Additional (612) Any of the above Spokesperson Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke is executive director of DignityUSA, the leading organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their families, friends and allies. She has also served as the organization s president, vice-president, New England regional director and president of the Boston chapter. Marianne received a master s in theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was an honors graduate of Wellesley College. 8 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

16 Marianne speaks regularly at conferences around the country on issues of importance to LGBT Catholics and their families. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter and many other outlets. She was featured in the video DignityUSA: A Conversation with Marianne Duddy, and her work has been featured in several books, including, most recently, Redemption Stories: Stories of Survival and Transformation. She is a featured blogger for Huffington Post. Marianne has over 30 years of nonprofit and corporate leadership experience. She has worked in healthcare, human resources consulting and the elder care fields. Marianne lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with her spouse, Becky Duddy-Burke, and two adopted daughters. A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations 9

17 Ecumenical Catholic Communion The upcoming synod is expected to touch on many aspects of modern Catholic life, including divorce and remarriage, same-sex marriage and contraception. The Ecumenical Catholic Communion (ECC) is a compassionate, inclusive communion in the Catholic tradition. With bishops ordained in apostolic succession, they celebrate the same seven sacraments that have long been celebrated in the catholic tradition. The ECC is open and affirming, welcoming LGBT sisters and brothers to participate fully in ECC communities. They believe that all of the baptized women or men, married or single, gay or straight should have the opportunity to respond to a genuine vocation, and to participate in the ministerial priesthood. The ECC has communities in every region of the United States and several countries in Europe that live a non-hierarchical polity that embraces the active participation of all of the baptized laity, clergy and bishops. ECC laity has an active and significant voice at the communal, regional and local community levels. The organization affirms the dignity of all human persons regardless of race, national origin, religious affiliation, gender or sexual orientation and strives for justice within the universal church and the whole world. As a community of communities, the ECC follows the ancient wisdom of the church as expressed in the words of St. Augustine: In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity. Areas of expertise Women priests; married priests; LGBT issues; the rights of the divorced and remarried; issues related to reproductive rights; issues related to church reform in general; issues related to sexual abuse by clergy Region covered International Web Communion.org 10 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

18 Spokespersons / Media contacts Bishop Peter Hickman, Presiding Bishop, ECC (714) Communion.org Rev. Tom Altepeter, PR Director, ECC (509) Charlie Davis (843) Any of the above A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations 11

19 Federation of Christian Ministries The upcoming synod is expected to address the possibility of expanding eligibility for ministerial leadership. Called by God s Spirit and grounded in personal spiritual practice, the Federation of Christian Ministries responds by worshiping God and supporting the growth in faith and ministry of its individual and collective members. The Christ-inspired organization does this by welcoming people of all spiritual persuasions and offering empowerment and certification to those who have discerned a call to ministry. Areas of expertise Ministry and chaplaincy; small faith communities Region covered United States Web Ministries.org, bit.ly/fcm-facebook Spokesperson / Media contact Thomas E. Cusack, President Thomas E. Cusack was ordained a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Davenport, Iowa. After two years of presbyteral ministry at St. Patrick s Parish in Ottumwa, Iowa, he married and entered the insurance industry. He and his wife Ginny have two children, both married, and five grandchildren. Mr. Cusack has spent his career within the insurance industry in various position: first in sales and then training, writing and management training. In 1991 he entered sales full time and continues that activity in semiretirement since He has a master s degree in American history and has pursued graduate studies in theology. (609) Additional (732) A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

20 FutureChurch At the synod, the bishops will be considering the course ahead on a number of issues of great importance to the Catholic faithful. This top-down model is what FutureChurch seeks to change, looking for a future in which all Roman Catholics will have an opportunity to participate fully in church life and leadership. Area of expertise Education and advocacy in promoting the rights and responsibilities of Roman Catholics, especially in creating: a) just, open and collaborative structures for Catholic ministry, governance and organization, b) restoring our early traditions of both married and celibate priests, c) restoring women to the diaconate and promoting women for leadership and d) ensuring regular access to the Eucharist, the center of life and worship for Catholics. Region covered United States and international Web Spokesperson / Media contact Deborah Rose-Milavec (216) ext. 4 Additional (513) Any of the above A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations 13

21 National Coalition of American Nuns The upcoming synod is expected to touch on many topics affecting everyday Catholics, including divorce and remarriage, same-sex marriage and social justice. The National Coalition of American Nuns studies is part of a long history of nuns who speak out on justice issues in church and society. Areas of expertise Church reform; LGBT issues; women s issues; worker justice Region covered United States Spokesperson / Media contact Sister Jeannine Gramick, SL, National Coordinator Jeannine Gramick joined the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1960 and taught in junior and senior high schools for several years in Baltimore. While in graduate school, she began a pastoral outreach to the lesbian/gay community and continued this ministry while teaching mathematics at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. In 1977, Sister Jeannine co-founded New Ways Ministry, a national Catholic social justice center working for the reconciliation of lesbian/gay people and the church. Two of her books, Building Bridges: Gay and Lesbian Reality and the Catholic Church and Voices of Hope: A Collection of Positive Catholic Writings on Lesbian/Gay Issues, were the subject of a Vatican investigation. In 1999, the Vatican s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith permanently prohibited her from any pastoral work with lesbian or gay persons. The following year, the School Sisters of Notre Dame ordered her to cease speaking about the Vatican investigation. In 2001, she transferred to the Sisters of Loretto, where she continues her advocacy on behalf of LGBT persons. (301) Additional (301) Any of the above 14 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

22 New Ways Ministry Many Catholics will be hoping for changes to come out of the synod on the family, and LGBT Catholic families are among them. New Ways Ministry is a national Catholic bridge-building ministry of justice and reconciliation for the LGBT community and the Catholic church. Through education, advocacy and dialogue, New Ways Ministry works towards a day when LGBT people are full and equal members of the Catholic church and civil society. By providing information, resources, programs and consultation, it strives to empower Catholics to create more just institutions and policies for LGBT people. Areas of expertise Catholic LGBT issues, including marriage equality; pastoral care; theological developments and family life Region covered International Web facebook.com/newwaysministry, twitter.com/newwaysministry, Bondings wordpress.com Spokesperson / Media contact Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director Francis DeBernardo has served since 1996 as executive director of New Ways Ministry, a 37-year-old national Catholic ministry of justice and reconciliation for LGBT Catholics and the wider church community. He has conducted programs on LGBT issues and Catholicism in religious and secular settings throughout the United States. He is the author of Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach and the editor and main contributor to Bondings 2.0, a daily blog about Catholic LGBT news and opinion. (continued) A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations 15

23 Mr. DeBernardo speaks frequently to church groups, university audiences and the media on the following topics: the history of Catholic ideas about sexuality; Catholicism and marriage equality; current events concerning the Catholic church and LGBT issues; Catholic pastoral outreach to LGBT people; the spiritual gifts of LGBT Catholics; new theological approaches to sexuality and gender; Catholic families with LGBT members; religious liberty and Catholic LGBT issues; and employment issues surrounding LGBT people in Catholic institutions. Mr. DeBernardo will be in Rome from September 30 through October 12, (240) Additional (301) Any of the above 16 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

24 Southeastern Pennsylvania Women s Ordination Conference It is likely the synod will address the issue of women in the church and society as the hierarchy addresses a shortage of priests and renewed pressure from lay Catholics for greater inclusion. As women and men rooted in faith, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Women s Ordination Conference calls for justice, equality and full partnership in ministry. They are committed to church renewal and to the transformation of a structure that uses gender rather than gifts as its criterion for ministry. Areas of expertise Women in the church; Catholicism in the Philadelphia region; issues related to church reform in general and all issues to be addressed by synod Regions covered Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware Web Spokesperson / Media contact Regina Bannan, President Regina Bannan is president of SEPA WOC and membership chair of Catholic Organizations for Renewal, as well as convener of Catholic Organizations for Renewal/ Philadelphia. Ms. Bannan is retired from the Women s Studies and American Studies departments at Temple University. She is also former national president of the Women s Ordination Conference. (215) Additional (215) Any of the above A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations 17

25 Voice of the Faithful As the Catholic church takes steps to address the clergy sexual abuse crisis, Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) seeks to provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic church. In pursuing its mission, Voice of the Faithful seeks to achieve three goals: supporting survivors of clergy sexual abuse; supporting priests of integrity; and changing the Catholic church s governing structure to allow laypersons a more expansive and effective voice. Areas of expertise Child protection; support for clergy sexual abuse survivors; parish, diocesan and Vatican financial accountability; equality for women; ordination of women to the diaconate; optional celibacy for priests; ordination of married Catholic men to the priesthood; elimination of clericalism and clerical culture; greater lay input into the selection of local bishops; lay education in the origins and workings of the church Region covered International Web facebook.com/voiceofthefaithful, twitter.com/votfnational, voicefaithful.wordpress.com Spokesperson / Media contact Nick Ingala, Director of Public Relations (781) Additional (617) Any of the above 18 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

26 Women s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual The roles women can play in the church, society, and the family will come into focus at the synod. The Women s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) is a nonprofit social justice organization in Silver Spring, Maryland, committed to theological, ethical and ritual development by and for women. Founded in 1983, WATER s mission is to use feminist religious values to create social change. A feminist educational center and network of justice-seekers, WATER brings 31 years of experience to programs and publications, liturgical planning and consultation, workshops and retreats, counseling and spiritual direction, which have helped thousands of people create and sustain inclusive communities in society and religion. Areas of expertise Feminist theology and ethics; liturgy; ritual Region covered International Web facebook.com/ WATERWomensAlliance, twitter.com/watervoices Spokesperson / Media contact Mary E. Hunt, WATER Co-founder and Co-director Mary E. Hunt, PhD, is a feminist theologian who is co-founder and co-director of the Women s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) in Silver Spring, Maryland. A Catholic active in the Women- Church movement, she lectures and writes on theology and ethics with particular attention to social justice concerns. (continued) A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations 19

27 Among her many publications are articles in the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Concilium, Conscience, ReligionDispatches.org and Mandragora. She has published chapters in books such as Feminist Theologies: Legacy and Prospect (edited by Rosemary Radford Ruether); Heterosexism in Contemporary World Religion: Problem and Prospect (edited by Marvin M. Ellison and Judith Plaskow); God Forbid (edited by Kathleen Sands); Sexuality and the Sacred (edited by James Nelson and Sandra Longfellow); Feminist Theological Ethics (edited by Lois Daly); Sexual Diversity and Catholicism (edited by Patricia Beattie Jung); and Women s Voices and Visions of the Church: Reflections from North America (edited by Letty M. Russell, Aruna Gnanadason and J. Shannon Clarkson), as well as entries in the Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America (edited by Rosemary Skinner Keller and Rosemary Radford Ruether). Ms. Hunt is a member of the Society for Christian Ethics and the American Academy of Religion, where she co-chaired the Women and Religion section. She is an advisor to the Women s Ordination Conference and a member of the editorial board of I.B. Taurus publishers. (240) Additional (301) Any of the above 20 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

28 Women s Ordination Conference The synod will discuss family issues affecting Catholics today, but the faithful are also looking for the hierarchy to affirm all the roles women can play, including within church leadership. Founded in 1975, Women s Ordination Conference (WOC) is the oldest and largest national organization that works to ordain women as priests, deacons and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Catholic church. WOC also promotes new perspectives on ordination that call for more accountability and less separation between the clergy and laity. Areas of expertise Ordination; women priests; feminism; nuns; women s rights Region covered International Web facebook.com/ordainwomen, twitter.com/ordainwomen Spokesperson / Media contact Erin Saiz Hanna, Executive Director Erin Saiz Hanna serves as the executive director of the Women s Ordination Conference (WOC). Prior to WOC, she served as an organizer for the National Organization for Women. Ms. Hanna is a known leader in the church justice and women s rights movements. An expert in her field, she has been featured in many prominent media outlets including the Associated Press, Reuters, New York Times, Washington Post, International Tribune, Al Jazeera, ABC World News and CNN. Ms. Hanna received a bachelor of arts in religious studies and sociology from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, in She resides in the Greater Boston area with her partner, Khushal, and son, Nico. (202) Additional (401) Phone A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations 21

29 22 A Media Guide to Catholic Organizations

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