LGBT Communities Of Faith Respond To News Of Pope Benedict’s Retirement

Par3176910From DignityUSA:

 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.


From Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry:

The news of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation has surprised the Catholic community worldwide, and here at New Ways Ministry we are praying for the future of the church and for the pope’s health.

We are praying, too, for LGBT Catholics and their families and friends, whose lives were made more difficult living under Benedict’s reign both as pontiff and as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), where he served previously.  For the last three decades, Benedict has been one of the main architect’s of the Vatican’s policies against LGBT people.

New Ways Ministry directly experienced those harsh policies several times over the years, most notably in 1999 when the CDF attempted to silence our organization’s co-founders, Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent.  Fortunately, we have survived the many attempts by the Vatican to end our ministry, and, thanks to the support of so many Catholics, we have emerged stronger for it. During the CDF’s investigation of her ministry, Sister Jeannine serendipitously met Cardinal Ratzinger on a plane in Europe, and they had a conversation together about her case and about ministry to LGBT people. Sister Jeannine recalls that, despite their disagreement, she was impressed with him as a man dedicated to the church.

Benedict XVI’s dedication to the church, particularly to its intellectual life, has indeed been admirable.  We pray that a new pope will combine his intelligence with true and deep pastoral concern for the lives of the people of the world.  A new pope needs to be a listener who can discern the signs of the times in light of the Gospel.

Is it inevitable that the next pope will be as conservative as Benedict has been?  Certainly not.  History reminds us that no one expected the election of Pope John XXIII in 1958, and in calling the Second Vatican Council, he clearly moved the church into a more progressive era.  We trust that the Holy Spirit will guide our church in the days and years to come and that our faith, hope, and love will be strengthened by our next spiritual leader.


Giuseppina la Delfa of Italian LGBT group Famiglie Arcobaleno to Gay Star News:

I simply think that this Pope is obsessed by homosexuality and he acknowledged that a new Church is needed by our society.

I’m optimistic, I think that the new Pope could only be a better one. The Vatican has understood that they have made a lot of mistakes, on human rights, on LGBT rights, on condoms, on new families and on modern needs of contemporary people.

Now we need a Pope able to listen to everyone, a Pope who understands that the churches are running out of people because of a blind policy and that the Church can not be obsessed by homosexuality.

From The Equally Blessed:

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.

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  • Chad Hunt

    There sure is a lot of hoping going on in those statements. LOL Hell, why not throw in there we hope the Church will start performing Gay Marriages as well.

  • samfw

    I really do respect others’ faith(s), and that religion CAN be a very positive and sustaining element in their lives. But I have to confess, I get really weary of the constant hand-wringing and worrying over what crumb of acceptance the gay community might next beg from organized religion. I don’t CARE what those institutions and the people that run them think of me, I don’t need or crave their approval, and I don’t intend to waste my time in the pursuit of their grudging acknowledgement. I think it’s so important to remember that religion- steeples, collection plates, beautiful, expensive buildings- is manmade, and fueled by the biases and agendas of the humans who control them. To commune with God or Nature or the Universe, it means much more to me to watch a thunderstorm, or see the tide roll in, such as that.

  • jamesnimmo

    How about an atheist’s POV to balance all the hogswallow statements from the deluded and debased in the above article?

    He’s the VICAR of Christ on EARTH according to Catholic dogma yet this august position doesn’t come with healthcare from GOD to give him the strength of mind and body to continue to the natural end of his earthly life? Like other mere mortal politicians who have painted themselves into a corner due to their own follies–in this case the harboring of child rapists for generations–he’s wanting to spend more time with the grandkids.

    According to an AP story I read, he’ll do more writing from a cloistered convent inside the Vatican walls. That’s a good place to be since he’ll no longer be a head of state and will be subject to arrest for crimes against humanity. He and Cardinal Law, also hiding out in the Vatican and wanted in the USA for questioning about Boston diocese child rape crimes, can regale themselves with child rape stories.

  • the other Greg

    Every cardinal and bishop in the whole world at this point was appointed by either JPII or Benedict.

    So unless the next pope has been hiding his secret liberalism very, very well for many, many, MANY years, he’s going to be yet another homophobic a-hole.

    Dream on!

  • Chad Hunt

    @the other Greg: You do not have to be a Cardinal to be elected Pope, any Catholic male who has reached the age of reason, is not a heretic, is not in schism, and is not “notorious” for simony can be elected pope.

  • the other Greg

    @Chad Hunt: Yeah, I did know that (even though I was never Catholic, so there was no need for me to know that!).

    But of course it’s extremely unlikely that anyone except a cardinal will be elected. I said “every cardinal and bishop” just to cover the bases, but what are the chances it will be anyone who’s NOT even a bishop? Are you guessing it’ll be Antonin Scalia or something? :)

  • Chad Hunt

    @the other Greg: Personally, I’m hoping it will be a Black Lesbian Nun who previously had several abortions but the chances of that are unlikely.

  • GreatGatsby2011

    @Chad Hunt: BWAHAHAHAHA!!! @ No.7. Oh that just made my whole day.

  • Ken

    Now that the pope has given two weeks notice, the cardinals will elect a new one, probably by Easter. They will elect a pope who will be able to steer them out of the child-abuse morass and out of the inter-faith train wreck. That does not require changing any teachings or policies; it just requires people skills and phrasing things more diplomatically.

    Can it be a coincidence that the old pope is giving up the papacy for Lent and a new one is arriving in time for Easter?

    When it comes to teachings and policies, the Vatican has the momentum of an ocean liner that takes centuries to turn around. It is not likely that there will be any changes in teachings or policies about gay people. We’ll hear the same lyrics set to an up-beat tune from a popular pope. The substance will be the same, but dealing with it will be much more difficult.

  • Ken

    @the other Greg: All cardinals are bishops or are made bishops before they function as cardinals. Anyone elected to be pope would be made a bishop before he begins.

    There are really only three orders of clergy in the Catholic Church: deacons, priests, and bishops. Everything else is a variation of one of those three. A monsignor is a priest who was honored by the pope. Archbishops, cardinals, and popes are all kinds of bishops.

  • Ken

    @samfw: You shouldn’t be so weary. They worry and wring their hands about the crumbs of acceptance gays get, not for themselves, but for vulnerable young people, isolated and alone, victimized by well-meaning ignorant people who think themselves wise.

    We do have problems from organized religion, mainly the Catholic Church and the Mormons, but most of it comes from unorganized religion, such as the unaffiliated “nondenominational” congregations that make things up as they go along.

  • MartinDK

    @samfw: So nice to see reflection in the comments section.
    You are of course right. Religion can be a very positive thing in peoples lives. According to the 13. century Theologian Meister Eckhardt whose teachings were only recently welcomed back by the catholic church, God sits in the soul (not beyond the stars) and when the soul is happy, God is happy.
    That is the problem. Unhappiness in the soul causes so many people to hate. And the hate goes both ways as the comments here shows…

  • Cee

    Good luck! They say the next Pope is going to be Black. I think he is from Ghana.

  • Chad Hunt

    @Cee: I doubt even the Catholic church is that stupid. First, they probably don’t want to piss off the latino’s by bypassing them up since half of their followers are of Spanish descent and there are more Spanish Catholic countries than anything else. Secondly, a black man from Ghana would be even more homophobic than what is currently holding the position. They know they can’t piss of that many people at once. He will be either white or Latino. Mark my words.

  • curan

    Friends in the vatican, attend me.

    Though you may stand for the gospel, if you will not speak the gospel, you cannot serve the gospel.

    All sin (save one) can be forgiven. To insist that any sin is mortal is against the Word.

    Your own celibacy is drawn from a reference to those who are born this way. Honor us, as you wish to be honored.

    Revere the Beloved Disciple, the man that Jesus loved the most from all the world. Contemplate the need for his secrecy.

    In the nature of their savior, many Christians are deceived. You must undo this.

  • niles

    Ratzi is in such a big hurry to get out of town. Very curious. One wonders just what the butler saw and why he was hushed up so soon.

  • Harley

    I grew up in the Catholic Church and was an alter boy for many years. Ahhhh. I really miss those after mass, wine fueled alter boy orgies. Good times, good times.

  • Cam

    He packed the college of cardinals with conservatives while John Paul was Pope thereby insuring his own election to Pope once John Paul died.

    He is probably doing this now so he can influence who the next Pope will be. He will insure it is another radical conservative.

    Either that or the documents that the court in CA. demanded as part of another child rape controversy are damning and he is resigning ahead of a massive scandal.

  • Merv

    Any word on what Jewish Nazis think?

Comments are closed.