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Roman Catholics and LGBT People

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  • U.M. Cornet
    CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE Two items: One from the the Southern Baptist Convention and how they and Roman Catholics work together when it comes to
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 21, 2000
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      CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE

      Two items: One from the the Southern Baptist Convention and how they and
      Roman Catholics work together when it comes to anti-gay and anti-choice
      activities; the other an invitation from Soulforce and Dignity/USA in
      relation to their journey to Rome.

      ------------------

      From the Southern Baptist Convention:

      December 20, 2000
      Dobson praises Catholic church for efforts to protect family
      By Eric Gorski
      http://www.bpnews.net/article.cfm?articleid=7072

      ROME (BP)--It was a striking image to one observer: evangelical Protestant
      powerhouses James Dobson and Chuck Colson visiting the headquarters of the
      Catholic church, the very institution Protestants rebelled against centuries
      ago. <SNIP>
      Though Catholics and Protestants disagree frequently on theological matters,
      dialogue between the faith groups has been going on for years. On several
      social issues such as opposition to abortion and homosexuality many
      evangelicals and Catholics find common ground.<SNIP>
      Dobson, who spoke mostly about issues facing boys, the topic of an upcoming
      book, was not available for comment Friday, said Paul Hetrick, a Focus on
      the Family spokesman. <MORE>

      ------------

      From Soulforce and Dignity/USA:

      A CALL TO SOLIDARITY - ROME AT HOME
      An Invitation from Soulforce and Dignity/USA

      Dear Friends:

      As you probably know, Soulforce and Dignity/USA are going to Rome, January 5
      & 6 to take our demands to the Vatican to STOP SPIRITUAL VIOLENCE.
      http://www.soulforce.org/romejourney.html

      We need your prayers and support. We believe that having simultaneous prayer
      vigils throughout the country will draw much needed attention to the
      Vatican's continuing attacks against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
      (GLBT) people, especially GLBT Catholics. Whether it is just two or three of
      you in a dozen cities, or larger gatherings, the simultaneous actions will
      help to focus attention on our action to bring to the Vatican the truth
      about God's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children.

      Available on the web site at http://www.soulforce.org/romevigil.html
      are the requests that we presented to the National Conference of Catholic
      Bishops and will be presenting to the Vatican, called "Why We Vigil."

      There are several things to keep in mind as you start to organize such a
      gathering, whether you are a member of the Catholic Church or not.

      1) We are witnesses to the importance and depth of faith in the lives of
      GLBT people, despite centuries of oppression and discrimination. We love our
      churches and we long to claim our rightful place in them, openly and
      proudly, celebrating who God created us to be.

      2) We do all things in the spirit of nonviolence. We come in love, seeking
      reconciliation in justice and truth. We are calling chancery officials and
      other church leaders, to the dialogue that has been avoided for too long. We
      need them to understand the reality of our lives and loves, so that,
      together, we can bring about fullness of justice in the churches. We are
      willing to listen to them, person to person, to hear the truth that they
      bring, as well. This is the time to get past rhetoric and talk heart to
      heart and soul to soul.

      3) Individuals participating in the "Rome At Home" vigils should be
      familiar with the principles of non-violence, as outlined on the Soulforce
      web page at http://www.soulforce.org
      Please be sure they can participate in that spirit.

      We are listing below three links to websites: Dignity/USA, Metropolitan
      Community Church and a listing of gayfriendly Catholic Churches throughout
      the country. Please check out these websites, and make the connections in
      your local area, immediately.

      Dignity/USA - Local Chapters:
      http://www.dignityusa.org/chapters.html

      UFMCC GLOBAL DIRECTORY: UFMCC LOCAL:
      http://www.ufmcc.com/dircongs.htm

      Gay friendly Catholic Churches:
      http://www.bway.net/~halsall/lgbh/gayparishes.txt

      Contact any other people of faith you know who would be interested in
      taking part; don't forget to include PFLAG members. Begin spreading the
      word. Use this opportunity to build a community of faith to respond to
      future situations that will need quick organizing. If you live in a city
      that has a chancery, call the chancery in your area as soon as possible. You
      can probably find them listed under the "Diocese of ______(whatever city you
      are in). Check at this link to see if your city is a diocese:

      National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference:
      http://www.nccbuscc.org/dioceses.htm

      Ask for an appointment for the evening of January 5, if it is available, to
      emphasize solidarity with those who are going to be in Rome, and explain
      that is why you would like to meet on that date. However, any good faith
      effort to provide a meeting within a reasonable time frame should be
      respected. If they refuse to meet with you, do not be deterred. Make plans
      for your group to go to the chancery offices and "tape" the demands to the
      doors of the office. If you do not live in a city that has a chancery
      office, find another suitable site to hold your prayer vigil.

      Contact your local gay and straight media now to let them know about your
      plans. Be sure to tell them that this will be happening in conjunction with
      the actions at the Vatican and throughout many cities in the U.S.

      Below is a suggested prayer service for you to consider. On Friday, January
      5 (the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany, and the official end of the "Year
      of Jubilee") go to your local chancery office, hopefully meeting with some
      representative, but if, as we said earlier, their doors are shut, then tape
      the demands and the apologetics to the door in the presence of the media. If
      there is no chancery office then simply hold your prayer vigil.

      Within two weeks, follow up with this action by calling together those who
      have been a part of this organizing project and debrief and see if there is
      an interest in keeping the group active.

      Please be sure to let us know what you are doing. Send your information to
      Kara4Peace@... no later than December 31st. If you do not have your
      information together by that date, send it to Karen Weldin at
      Karen@....

      Last of all, don't forget to pray for those of us who will be in Rome and
      for all of us who carry this important message to the Church. If you have
      any questions, please contact me at Kara4Peace@....

      In the spirit of love and non-violence,

      Kara Speltz, Catholic Co-chair
      Soulforce Advisory Committee for NCCB/Vatican Actions

      Mary Louise Cervone, President
      Dignity/USA

      SUGGESTION FOR PRAYER VIGIL IN SUPPORT OF SOULFORCE/DIGNITY ACTION IN ROME:

      SONG: O Healing River

      READING: Ezek 36: 24-28

      I will take you away from among the nations gather you from all the foreign
      lands, and bring you back to your own land.

      I will sprinkle clean water upon youto cleanse you from all your
      impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.

      I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from
      your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts.

      I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to
      observe my decrees.

      You shall live in the land I gave your fathers and mothers, you shall be my
      people and I will be your God.

      SONG: Amazing Grace

      READING: M.L. King, Jr. Letter from Birmingham City Jail

      But the judgment of God is upon the Church as never before. If the Church of
      today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early Church, it will
      lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed
      as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. I am
      meeting young people every day whose disappointment with the Church has
      risen to outright disgust.

      Maybe again, I have been too optimistic. Is organized religion too
      inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world?
      Maybe I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual Church, the Church within
      the Church, as true ecclesia and the hope for the world. But again, I am
      thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion
      have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as
      active partners in the struggle for freedom.

      Brief chance to share our responses to the readings

      Lighting of Candles and Presentation of "Why We Vigil" to the Chancery.

      SONG: We Shall Overcome


      ======================
      To respond directly to Mel White, please send an email to:
      melwhite@...


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