Four LGBT Catholic organizations, Equally Blessed, Dignity USA, Believe Out Loud, and Catholics for Equality respond to the news Pope Benedict XVI today tendered his resignation, which will be effective February 28.
PRAYERS FOR BENEDICT, HOPES FOR HIS SUCCESSOR
Equally Blessed coalition prays for a pope who understands damage done by discriminatory policies on LGBT issues
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 11, 2013–The Equally Blessed coalition released this statement on the impending resignation of Pope Benedict XVI:
“We join with Catholics around the world who are grateful that Pope Benedict XVI had the foresight and humility to resign his office for the sake of the church to which he has given his life.
“With the pope’s impending resignation, the church has an opportunity to turn away from his oppressive policies toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, and their families and friends, and develop a new understanding of the ways in which God is at work in the lives of faithful and loving people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We pray for a pope who is willing to listen to and learn from all of God’s people. We pray for a pope who will realize that in promoting discrimination against LGBT people, the church inflicts pain on marginalized people, alienates the faithful and lends moral credibility to reactionary political movements across the globe. We pray for a pope who will lead the church in looking the sexual abuse scandal squarely in the eye and make a full report on the complicity of the hierarchy in the sexual trauma inflicted on children around the world. We pray for a pope who is willing to make himself vulnerable on behalf of the voiceless, the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed.
“We pray too for Pope Benedict XVI, in gratitude for his devotion to the church, and in the hope that he enjoys a long and peaceful retirement.”
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Gay Catholics Respond to Pope’s Impending Resignation
Call for a Leader who will Listen, Reconcile
Boston, MA, February 11, 2013. DignityUSA, the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, responded to the news that Pope Benedict XVI will resign at the end of February with the following statement:
Like all Catholics, we appreciate that Pope Benedict put the needs of the Church first in determining he is no longer able to meet the demands of his position. We wish him a peaceful retirement.
At this time of significant transition, we hope that the Cardinals who will elect the new Pope take time to listen to the people of the Church, and that they hear the voice of the Holy Spirit calling for a Pope who will be a Shepherd to all of God’s people. We hope for a leader who will work to heal the divisions of recent decades, and who values dialogue above conformity.
As members of the Church who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, as well as family members and allies, we call on the Cardinals and the new Pope to enter into a true dialogue with our community. We call for an end to statements that inflict harm on already marginalized people, depict us as less than fully human, and lend credence to those seeking to justify discrimination. We call on our Church not only to embrace but to champion the dignity and equality of all humans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
We call on all members and friends of DignityUSA to enter into a period of prayer and reflection as we prepare for the conclave.
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“Like so many Christians associated with Believe Out Loud, we welcome the news that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning his position due to his expressed concern of no longer being able to meet the needs of modern society,” says Joseph Ward III, Director of Believe Out Loud. “We see the ways traditional Catholic theology is challenged by ‘rapid changes’ in society in the current immigration debate, for example, where the Catholic leaders have a unique opportunity to expand their definition of ‘family values’ to include same-sex couples in immigration reform. As the Cardinals meet to select a new Pope in the coming weeks, we hope they will reflect on the enormous potential the Catholic Church has to protect LGBT people from inequality in and outside of the church.”
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Phil Attey, Catholics For Equality:
“I know the overwhelming majority of Catholics across the globe are rejoicing over this news. And I can imagine priests in rectories across Europe and North America are singing ‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead.’
“Yes today’s news was shocking to many, as it is almost entirely unprecedented. A papal resignation hasn’t happened since Gregory XII in the 1400s.
“But is this good news? I think not.
“What it means to me is that the most hateful and mean spirited pope in the history of the Catholic Church is so determined to continue his reign of terror beyond his life on earth, that he’s going to orchestrate his succession, ensuring the next pope carries on his mission to demonize, marginalize and oppress every gay man who comes out of the closet and demands to be treated as equals among God’s children.
“In short, it’s likely the next pope is even more hateful and mean spirited than this one.”
Image: Pope Benedict XVI following his announcement. Via Facebook.
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