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Soulforce to Protest the Escalation of Catholic Anti-gay Policies and Teachings

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  • umcornet
    CALLED OUT ... Thursday, October 31, 2002 Soulforce to Protest the Escalation of Catholic Anti-gay Policies and Teachings Protests to Take Place at Catholic
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2002
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      CALLED OUT

      From Soulforce:

      ---------
      Thursday, October 31, 2002
      Soulforce to Protest the Escalation of Catholic Anti-gay Policies and
      Teachings
      Protests to Take Place at Catholic Bishops' Conference in Washington,
      DC November 10 - 14, 2002

      Soulforce leaders today announced plans to protest and vigil
      November 10 - 14, 2002 outside of the United States Conference of
      Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for the third year in a row. The
      demonstrations will take place at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill,
      400 New Jersey Avenue NW, in Washington D.C., to protest the
      scapegoating of gay priests and the escalation of Catholic anti-gay
      policies and teachings.

      The theme for this year's protest is "God's Gay Children Bring Gifts -
      Bless Them." This was also the theme used in January 2001 when
      Soulforce supporters traveled to Rome to protest the Vatican's anti-
      gay policies and teachings.

      Vigils will begin Sunday, November 10 at the Hyatt from 5 p.m. - 7
      p.m. Vigils will continue Monday - Thursday, starting at 7 a.m.
      each day. Each day at noon, from Monday, November 11 through
      Wednesday, November 13, a variety of gifts will be brought to the
      Hyatt and bishops will be asked to bless them. The gifts are
      symbolic of the gifts and talents that GLBT people bring to the
      Church.

      * On Monday, Nov. 11 (Veteran's Day), gifts will be brought for
      homeless and disabled veterans.
      * On Tuesday, Nov. 12, gifts will be brought for people living with
      AIDS.
      * On Wednesday, Nov. 13, gifts will be brought for marginalized,
      abandoned and abused women and children.

      The Catholic Church has been the subject of much criticism and media
      attention recently involving a scandal and cover-up which scapegoats
      gay priests in an attempt to protect the hierarchy of the church
      over the well-being of children. According to the Catholic News
      Service, the Vatican has recently prepared a draft proposal that
      will prohibit gay men from becoming priests. Many experts estimate
      that 50% of priests in the Catholic Church are gay.

      "The Vatican has no concept of the gifts gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
      transgender (GLBT) people bring to the Church," declared Kara
      Speltz, Soulforce Catholic co-chair. "Banning gay priests will
      create a huge spiritual vacuum in the Church and have a chilling
      effect on laity. A ban will be a stated and blatant rejection of
      the many gifts that GLBT people bring to the Church."

      In 2000, over 100 people were arrested in a non-violent civil
      disobedience during the United States Conference of Catholic
      Bishops. Last year during the conference, no arrests were made, but
      vigils were held in front of the Hyatt for three days in protest of
      anti-gay policies and teachings.

      # # #

      Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
      Cell: 717-278-0592 soulforcemedia@...
      http://www.soulforce.org
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