In recorded interviews with George Stephanopoulos on the ABC News program “This Week” and Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” on CBS, Cardinal Dolan, President of US Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) defined marriage as “one man, one woman, forever, to bring about new life,” but, he told Mr. Stephanopoulos, “we’ve got to do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people.”
“And I admit, we haven’t been too good at that,” the cardinal continued. “We try our darnedest to make sure we’re not an anti-anybody.”
Cardinal Dolan said that the Roman Catholic Church could be more welcoming of gay and lesbians despite opposing same-sex marriage.
Joe Murray, Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement dismisses the Cardinal’s comments as delusional and out of touch with reality. Does he understand how distorted such a statement is given the ongoing hostility from prelates such as himself? One only has to review his words during the Gay Marriage debate in New York City, which finally passed within the state to understand his personal bias and unreasonable view of the LGBT community.
Supporting the idea that you can oppose a community’s civil rights, while at the same time promoting a closet mentality in the Church, and say you are welcoming smacks of not only hypocrisy, but shows a serious attempt to mislead people.
Murray further said if there is going to be a new relationship of dialogue between the LGBT Community and Roman Catholic Church, the Cardinal has to be willing not to define us, but rather listen to us.
Rainbow Sash Movement News
The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) is saddened by the response of some “Catholic” LGBT organizations that have rushed to judgment, and are seemingly in a race to cast the
first disparaging remark against the new Pope. He has just been elected Pope, and should be given at least 3 months before such judgments are hurled. Let’s see what he does as Pope before we judge him. The job may redefine the man.
The Equally Blessed coalition seemingly won the day by labeling the Pope “hateful” within hours of Cardinal Bergoglio’s ascendance. In their statement about his past they neglected to point that he supported civil unions, and attended to people living with and dying from HIV.
“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.
“We are mindful some of our new pope’s past writings will be profoundly discouraging to LGBT Catholics. During an unsuccessful campaign against marriage equality legislation in Argentina, he wrote things that, frankly, could be considered hateful, calling the legislation that authorized same-sex marriage “a machination of the Father of Lies. He also said adoption by same-sex parents was a form of discrimination against children. These are not statements worthy of a pope, or, for that matter, anyone in pastoral ministry.”
We realize that our Church has a rocky and homophobic history with the LGBT Community. But to deny the potential that Pope Francis brings to the Church is be unreasonable, out of touch with Catholics in the Pew and unreasonable.
The Rainbow Sash Movement has invited Equally Blessed to enter into dialogue with us in the past, we now reissue that call. Prudence dictates that we take a wait and see attitude. LGBT Catholics have every right to be hopeful that this new Pope will bring healing and reconciliation. To promote anything else at this juncture is reckless and irresponsible.
Rainbow Sash Movement News
His Holiness Francis
00120 Vatican City State, EUROPE
The purpose of this communication is to call on you to open a dialogue with the Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) on how best to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ outside of the ancient taboos and personal biases that have been directed at the international Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) community by your predecessor. Many in our community have been made to feel unwelcome in the Church. Its public hostility towards our social justice journey have angered and alienated many.
We are a Roman Catholic Organization that supports the human rights of LGBT people within the Social Justice Tradition of the Church. Our vision is the formal acceptance of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) people into the Catholic Church.
On behalf of the Board of the Directors of the RSM please accept our fraternal love, and prayers on your election as Pope of the Universal Church.
Some might say you occupy the Chair of St. Peter at a difficult moment in history. We would prefer to understand your election as an opportunity of healing and reconciliation. Never forget we are all frail and sinful people in need of healing and reconciliation.
There has been too much misunderstanding directed at us in the Church, and it is my hope that a dialogue process would be better than public assaults on each other. It is in that spirit that I call for communication between people of goodwill to replace the present hostility.
I have met with Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and have been in written communication with him and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York the current president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on the subject of LGBT inclusion in the Church. It is my hope that we can formalize this dialogue process. We believe your encouragement for dialogue rather than hostility would have positive consequences beyond our borders and send a message of welcome and not the opposite.
I will keep you in my prayers, and ask that you keep me in yours.
Rainbow Sash Movement
The significance of this Papal election we believe foreshadows a change not in doctrine, but in tone. He chooses Francis as his name. The first Francis is a saint known for his service to the poor, and rebuilding the Church. The second saint Francis is the cofounder of the Society of Jesus. We don’t know which Francis he had in mind, but we suspect it was both.
While the Rainbow Sash Movement does not expect any change in doctrine we do expect the tone of the anti LGBT rhetoric to be toned down. We also expect to see a commitment to give women a larger role in the Church. Doctrine will serve the “People of God” and not the other way around.
We believe Pope Francis will be servant Pope. In that capacity it is our hope he will listen to the various voices in the Church.
He will have more of a focus on social justice, and the preferential option to the poor, and will not be shy about this. As an outsider to the Roman Curia we expect a thorough house cleaning. One of the first things the 30 Cardinal governing the curia will have to do now is submit their resignations.
While Archbishop/Cardinal of Buenos Aires he denied himself the luxuries that previous cardinals enjoyed. He came close to becoming pope last time, reportedly gaining the second-highest vote total in several rounds of voting before he bowed out.
Like Pope John XXIII who was also elected as a compromise Pope we have hope that this Pope will bring unity back, and actively listen to the many sincere voices in the Church.
Rainbow Sash Movement News
The significance of this conclave cannot be underrated. The question on the minds of most Cardinals is the mess in the Vatican Bank, the Clean-up of the Roman Curia, and the clergy abuse scandal. The next Pope will be gay the only question reaming is will he come out of the closet after his election or not. To maintain another closeted papacy will only further undermine the integrity of healthy spirituality.
While many would like to see this conclave focus on Justice and Pastoral issues the focus seems to be on the Vatican’s current culture of dishonesty when it comes to who runs the Church, the curia or the Pope. The former only gets a sniff of disdain from Traditionalists.
The buffoonish grandstanding by some of the Cardinals only highlights what you should not be doing if you a serious papal candidate. Such candidates don’t understand in order to bring about reform you don’t have to get in the cage with the monkey’s all you have to do shake the cage. Such self-serving grandstanding does not reflect humility.
While Pope emeritus Benedict XVI took an historical step in resigning, the next Pope’s decision to come out of the closet will reflect a seismic shift in thinking. The issue of reform could than begin in earnest.
Rainbow Sash Movement
This indeed is a grace filled moment in the Church. The election of a new pope is always a time for hope. The Rainbow Sash Movement believes whatever the outcome of the Conclave the Holy Spirit will be calling the shots. We would like to hear from our readers what you look for in a New Pope. Please leave your comments.
The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) is calling for a national public dialogue with Dignity and New Ways Ministry on moving from pews of our Church to streets of the LGBT Community. While Dignity has moved away from the parish life of our Church, New Ways Ministry focus seems to be conferences and seminars, the RSM has been moving into our Catholic parishes. Our call for dialogue is not about those strategies rather what more can be done in the face of Church sponsored homophobia and sexism.
The view from the LGBT Community is that Catholics need to step up to plate when it comes to public opposition to the war on LGBT Community directed by the Vatican. Or we need to leave the Church, and stop supporting such an organization that does harm to our community. Our opinion is that Integrity and gospel values call us to address these issues.
Dismissing these concerns out of hand will only call into question our leadership in both the Catholic Community and LGBT Community.
The RSM understands these to be difficult and complex issues from a spiritual perspective, but one we believe none the less needs to be addressed in an open, forthright and transparent manner. Our community deserves no less clearness and leadership from LGBT Catholic organizations, not more liturgical theater, incense, and bells.
Board of Directors
Rainbow Sash Movement