Equally Blessed Applauds Pope Francis' Encouraging Words

Pope's compassionate tone clears the way for a conversation that could lead to change, coalition says
WASHINGTON, D. C., JULY 29--Pope Francis today uttered some of the most encouraging words a pontiff has ever spoken about gay and lesbian people.  In doing so, he has set a great example for Catholics everywhere.
The pope has rejected the harsh language of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, for a compassionate approach and a pastoral tone. Lesbians and gays are no longer a “threat to civilization,” rather they are people of faith and good will.
Catholic leaders who continue to belittle gays and lesbians can no longer claim that their inflammatory remarks represent the sentiments of the pope. Bishops who oppose the expansion of basic civil rights—such
as an end to discrimination in the work place—can no longer claim that the pope approves of their discriminatory agenda.
Pope Francis did not articulate a change in the church’s teaching today, but he spoke compassionately, and in doing so, he has encouraged an already lively conversation that may one day make it possible for the church to fully embrace gay and lesbian Catholics.
 Equally Blessed is a coalition of four Catholic organizations that have spent more than 120 years working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. Collectively and individually, Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry are devoted to informing, supporting and giving voice to the growing majority within the Catholic Church in the United States that favors equality under law for LGBT people.


All of you Catholics who have stood, and continue to stand, so steadfastly for God's love for all God's children are an amazing inspiration to me. And clearly, you are making progress though the power of the Holy Spirit. As you say so well, the change in tone of Pope Francis from his predecessors sets him on a path toward you that is momentous, however small a step it may seem. Please know that there is a cloud of witnesses supporting you from with out, like the flying buttresses of the lovely Gothic cathedrals of your faith community. Your work has brought this new moment in the church and will bring more, I know.

A day after the in-flight comments, Cardinal Dolan was on the morning news trying to diplomatically deny any substantial difference between Benedict and Francis and pretending to be mystified by the perceived contrast. Then either Charlie Rose or Gayle King broadsided him with "Do you think the church will ever change its teaching about gay sex?" He was stunned. As if he had never thought of such a question, he was without words for a few moments which is rare for him. Then he said the saddest thing imaginable and something that he will regret forever,"No."

Quite simply, love is winning over fear. The Church's hierarchy is beginning to catch up with the real center of the RCC, the laity, most of which accept the divinity and totality of LGBT people. We all are made in God's image. Love is on the march...

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