Faithful Catholics committed to full equality for LGBT people in the church and civil society
Fired by a vision of a church that transcends cultural prejudices, the Equally Blessed coalition seeks to educate and inspire Catholics to take action on behalf of LGBT people, their families and friends.
PRAYING FOR A POPE WHO WILL LISTEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN DENIGRATED IN THE PAST
Equally Blessed Coalition urges Francis I to understand that LGBT people are created in God's image
WASHINGTON, D. C., MARCH 13, 2013--Equally Blessed, a coalition of four Catholic groups that have spent more than 120 years working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families, released the following statement on the election of Pope Francis I:
"We congratulate Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio on his election as Pope Francis, and join with Catholics everywhere in surrounding him with prayers as he assumes his sacred office. We are inspired by his humility, his devotion to the poor and the depth and thoughtfulness that characterize much of his writing. Pope Francis understands that we are all in need of God’s mercy, and we hope that he conducts his Papacy with this kind of humility. We are encouraged, too, by his frequently voiced conviction that the church must move beyond a preoccupation with its internal concerns and bear God’s love to people in the midst of their often difficult daily lives.
"If he truly desires to share the Gospel with all people, Pope Francis will come to realize that many of those created in God’s image are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. It is our fervent hope and continuing prayer that Francis will break new ground in opening a conversation with LGBT people so that he may come to know a little about their experiences of God’s grace, mercy and love.
In an Easter morning appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, spoke words that some gay and lesbian Catholics thought they might never hear.
Asked by the host, George Stephanopoulos, what he would say to people who felt excluded from the Roman Catholic Church because of their sexual orientation, the cardinal said: “Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, ‘I love you, too. And God loves you. And you are made in God’s image and likeness.’ ”
In the spirit of compromise, then — and realizing that we and the cardinal are not soon going to agree on how the church and state should treat same-sex couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other — we offer a few suggestions that do not require the hierarchy to adjust its teachings on the nature of marriage, but would send a clear message against distaste and mistrust.
Catholics may be wary of Pope Francis' conservative views on culture, but still couch their comments in hopeful tones.
A statement from Equally Blessed, a coalition of four Catholic groups concerned with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, urged Pope Francis to listen to their concerns.
They charge, though, that as archbishop of Buenos Aries, Bergoglio made statements "not worthy of a pope or anyone in pastoral ministry" and called his writings "profoundly discouraging to LGBT Catholics."