Want to scope out the loyal opposition in the Roman Catholic Church? FutureChurch is a good starting point.
Optional celibacy? You betcha. The site still posts a 2004 survey showing most Catholics in 53 dioceses want it discussed. There’s also a lot on the chronic priest shortage and arguments for optional celibacy.
Local parishes? Fer sher. With the surge of parish closings and mergers since 2000, FutureChurch offers some tips for fighting closures — including, of course, the idea of lay ordinations.
Women in ministry? Yep. FutureChurch all but mentions female priesthood. It does say that “early Christian women served as apostles, prophets, teachers of theology, priests, deacons, stewards, enrolled widows and even bishops.”
FutureChurch optimistically reports on a women’s delegation to the 2008 International Synod on the Word, pressing bishops to re-examine how women are presented in the lectionary. It also includes a sample postcard addressed to Vatican official Cardinal Antonio Llovera, boldly asking to restore women to the leadership the Bible says they once had.
The site makes much of Mary Magdalene, honoring her (with little evidence) as a leader in the early church. However, it rejects the recent gossip that she was Jesus’ wife, both on historical grounds and because “it focuses on the fiction of Mary’s marital status rather than the fact of her leadership in proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection.”