May 26, 2004
His Eminence Theodore E. McCarrick
Archdiocese of Washington
P.O. Box 29260
Washington, D.C. 20017
Dear Cardinal McCarrick:
My name is Kara Speltz, and I am the chair for the Catholic Denominational Team of Soulforce, Inc.*
We have stood in prayerful vigil for the last four years in Washington, D.C. as the USCCB meets in November. I am also one of three who was refused Eucharist in 2002 at the Bishops’ Mass, and again, in 2003, I was one of a number of people refused Eucharist. I cannot express the deep sense of sorrow I experienced at that refusal. For weeks after, tears would flow remembering that moment at Mass. It is the Eucharist above all that keeps me in the Catholic faith. To be denied that was utterly devastating.
I read with great hope your remarks concerning serving Senator John Kerry Eucharist. I was delighted to read your statement, "I do not favor a confrontation at the altar rail with the sacred body of the Lord Jesus in my hand." I pray that your statement indicates that you will now instruct priests to give Eucharist without discrimination.
The rainbow cross that I wear daily represents for me a sign of God’s covenant with God’s people and the diversity of God’s creations. I am a lay minister of the Eucharist at my own parish in California, and I wear my cross at all times. It is a sign of my faith. I am hopeful that your recent remarks are an indication that all God’s children are welcomed to the table. I look forward to your response.
We pray for and with you,
Chair for the Soulforce Catholic Denominational Team
*Soulforce is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. We employ the nonviolent principles of Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities.