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Updated: Hopeful Gay Catholic Groups Respond To Pope Benedict Resignation

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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.”

* * *

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.

* * *

Believe Out Loud

“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.”

* * *

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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‘Jan. 6 Wasn’t a Fantasy’: Top Missouri Paper Says It’s ‘Long Past Time’ for Senate to Investigate Josh Hawley

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On Sunday, the editorial board of the St Louis Post-Dispatch called on the U.S. Senate Ethics Panel to investigate Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) over any possible involvement he may have had in the Jan 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Hawley, whose political future will be haunted by a photo of him giving a raised fist to insurrectionists as they stormed the halls of Congress has been excoriated by the paper’s editors multiple times, but Sunday’s call for an investigation ramps up their attacks on the home state senator.

According to the board, “Ten months after a group of Senate Democrats lodged ethics complaints into the conduct of Republican Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas regarding their roles in sparking the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the Senate Ethics Committee has shown no sign of movement.,” with the editors saying it is “long past time” to take a hard look at both Republican senators.

“Jan. 6 wasn’t a fantasy; it was real, and the culpability of these two senators must be determined,” they wrote. “Hawley and Cruz were the only two senators to object to certification of Joe Biden’s clear victory in the 2020 election results, citing (with zero evidence) supposed concerns about the election’s integrity. That was the same baseless, toxic nonsense then-President Donald Trump had been spewing since before the election. Such talk whipped up the mob of Trump loyalists to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6.”

Related: Lauren Boebert needs to be subpoenaed to explain her ‘violent revolution’ Jan 6th tweets: MSNBC contributor

Adding, “Even after the violence, he persisted in voting with just five other senators to continue promoting Trump’s big lie that Biden’s win was illegitimate,” the editors wrote, “If he had an ounce of honor, he’d have heeded our Jan. 7 call for his resignation (we certainly weren’t alone on that). But at this point, why even talk about honor?”

Writing that, “Just because there’s a mechanism in place allowing senators to object to election results doesn’t mean it’s OK for Hawley to abuse that process for crass political gain,” the editorial concluded, “Hawley and Cruz have the right to defend themselves from the allegations — but so far, they haven’t even had to. The Ethics Committee should stop sitting on this.”

You can read the whole piece here.

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‘Hang on a Minute’: Chuck Todd Confronts GOP Governor Who Wants ‘Liberty’ for Vaccines but Not for Abortion

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NBC host Chuck Todd on Sunday challenged Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) over his push to deny abortion rights for women while insisting that people should have control over their own bodies when it comes to vaccines.

During an interview on Meet the Press, Todd noted that Reeves had recently championed “freedom and individual liberty” when it comes to vaccine mandates.

“Why should the state of Mississippi tell a woman what they should do with their body?” Todd asked. “Why shouldn’t they have that individual freedom on their body particularly in the first 20 weeks [of pregnancy].”

“The far left loves to scream ‘my body, my choice,'” Reeves replied. “And what I would submit to you, Chuck, is you absolutely ignore the fact that in getting an abortion, there is an actual killing of an innocent unborn child that is in that womb.”

Reeves went on to insist that fetuses should be considered “babies” at 15 weeks of age.

“Those babies at 15 weeks can feel pain,” he argued. “The difference between vaccine mandates and abortions is vaccines allow you to protect yourself. Abortions actually go in and kill other American babies.”

“But vaccines are not about yourself,” Todd interrupted. “Hang on a minute. A vaccine is about protecting a larger community. A vaccine is about preventing spread. You could argue a vaccine mandate is a pro-life position.”

“You could certainly argue that, Chuck,” Reeves agreed. “The vaccine may not keep you from getting the virus. It may not keep you from spreading the virus but it can keep you from ending up in the hospital. That’s what’s been proven during this delta surge that we’ve seen in America.”

He added: “Conversely, when you’re talking about the pro-life position of protecting unborn babies, let’s put it also in perspective, the fact is that during this very horrible and challenging time since I was sworn into office in January of 2020, Chuck, we’ve had 800,000 American lives lost because of Covid. And my heart aches for every single one of those individuals that has died because of Covid … But since Roe was enacted, 62 million American babies have been aborted and have therefore been killed.”

Watch the video below from NBC.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene Is Demonstrating ‘The Depth of Power She Has Over Kevin McCarthy’: Politico Reporter

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Appearing on CNN on Saturday morning, Politico’s Rachael Bade explained that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s overwhelming desire to become the leader of a Republican Party-dominated House has put him at the mercy of the demands and whims of extremist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

As the plans for the 2022 midterm elections ramp up, and political prognosticators are saying a GOP House takeover is highly likely, McCarthy’s path to staying leader is not certain with the far-right wing of the party balking at just handing the California Republican the gavel.

As Bade explained to CNN’s Christi Paul, Taylor Green is just now starting to feel her power over McCarthy grow.

“What is the takeaway for Kevin McCarthy?” Paul asked. “Particularly, I have to point out that after last night, Marjorie Taylor Greene said she tweeted that she got off a good call with him. spent time talking about problems not only for the country. ‘I like what he has planned ahead.’ Two different — two different points of view from her and in a 24 to 48-hour period. What do you make of that?”

“Look, I think Kevin McCarthy has a really long year ahead of him,” Bade suggested. “You’re right, the midterms are far away. That vote for him to become speaker is a long way off, but Marjorie Taylor Greene is just starting to realize the depth of power she actually has over Kevin McCarthy.”

“This is a man who has wanted to be Speaker for a decade,” she continued. “He needs her vote, he needs her support in order to get the gavel. I think what you’ll be seeing for the next few months, for a year, anytime Kevin McCarthy does anything to infuriate Marjorie Taylor Greene or infuriates [Donald] Trump — they’re going to be lording it over his head.”

“He’s got this real bind right now, he’s going to be in this pickle for a very long time,” she later added.

Watch below:

 

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