Via Facebook, from a theology student in the United States. This link is provided to us, courtesy of the Jesuit Post. Our Twitter feed also provides links. As mentioned earlier, this is but part of an organized effort by certain Jesuit elements, and other supporters to precipitate a coup against the Papacy. On this blog, we will expose the enemies of the Pope and the Church. Long live Pope Francis.
The following letter speaks for itself, but reflects the degree of rebellion. In the words of Pope Paul VI: renewal yes, rebellion, no.
A Letter to Pope Francis
Dear Pope Francis,
When I heard that America was publishing an interview with you, I was intrigued. Over the past six months, this beleaguered Catholic woman has been encouraged, time and time again, by the pastoral approach you have taken to your ministry. In my work at a local Catholic parish, I have heard our parishioners talk about how they now feel proud to be Catholic in a way that they simply did not under the papal leadership of Benedict XVI and John Paul II. It seems that you, the Argentinian pope with the hipster glasses, have made it a little easier for us to “out ourselves” as Catholic in the cosmopolitan East Bay of San Francisco, heavily populated with the ranks of the spiritual but not religious.
However, for all the encouragement I have experienced as a result of your actions—efforts at reconciliation with key figures in Latin American liberation theology like Gustavo Gutierrez, OP; a statement that discourages the passing of judgment over our gay brothers in Christ; a statement that calls for forgiveness of our atheist and agnostic brothers and sisters for turning away from God—I have found myself disappointed and frustrated at the same time. As much as I value the change in pastoral approach from your predecessors, I feel equally unsettled by the lack of concrete and decisive action for doctrinal change.
In fairness to you, I acknowledge that you’ve been charged with this ministry for just a handful of months. Please know that I deeply value the pastoral tone you take with your flock. And I see the moves you take not only to uplift the poor, but also to call to task those who create the global structures that keep those people poor. In many ways, you are calling our church and the global community to get our collective priorities in order.
While we’re talking about priorities, though, I’d like to suggest two more areas where pastoral concern could lead to the kind of doctrinal change that could heal wounds to which the institutional church has too often turned a blind eye. I’m thinking about what it might be like to be a gay, lesbian, or transgendered person in parts of Africa where such sexual identities are seen as crimes punishable by death. Members of the LGBTQ community the world over encounter oppressive structures that violate the very human bodies we claim to value as a church community, and we need to stand on the side of those children of God who are among the most vulnerable in our midst.
And I’m thinking about what it’s like to be a woman in the Catholic Church. I look around at my female classmates from divinity school, at my fellow lay ecclesial ministers who are women, and I see the ways they are of service to our parishes, schools, universities, soup kitchens, and hospitals, among other places. I see women serving the economically poor in the favelas of Brazil and the spiritually poor in upper-middle class parishes in the United States.
Reflecting on the reality of what we do, I am convinced that we, too, can stand in persona Christi, and that the global church would be better served for it. The pain that my sisters in Christ who are called to ordination within our tradition is real, and that pain needs tending. Those women called to ordination not only need to hear from the institutional church that their exclusion from Holy Orders is worthy of lament, that the institutional church is sorry for the pain it has caused, but also that it will make amends by making room at the altar for all who are called to celebrate the sacraments. Their pain needs tending, and the church needs their ministry—not because of a mysterious feminine genius, but because of the diversity of gifts with which God has blessed them, a diversity of gifts of which the People of God are in desperate need.
Please know how heartening your ministry is to those of us in the church whose needs have gone unacknowledged in years past. It gives me hope that something new is arising within the shell of the old.
Your sister in Christ,