The Soulforce Catholic Team calls on all Catholics of good will to display publicly their grief at the election of Cardinal Ratzinger to the Papacy. We declare that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of liberation and freedom, not fear, exclusion and division. Our beloved Pope John XXIII said that history was the teacher of life. Cardinal Ratzinger’s history over the last twenty five years has been a path of oppression. In his role as head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (the office formerly called the "Inquisition") he was responsible for creating the following infamous declarations, which:
- opposed providing birth control information and condoms to the poor of the world, thereby contributing to the spread of AIDS and the death of millions in Africa and Asia;
- denied the ordination of women & "claimed" that this doctrine is matter of papal infallability;
- demanded governments & politicians follow the Church’s misguided dogma of "justifiable denial of human rights" to gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people.
As Catholics we have a long history of dissent within our faith, and now it is time again for us to actively become "faithful dissenters." We call on all those who are grieving this election to publicly acknowledge their grief by making a black arm band (a symbol of mourning) and wearing it to Mass this Sunday and subsequent Sundays.
We continue to affirm our belief during this resurrection season in the power of the Holy Spirit to transform fear into the spirit of compassion, acceptance and love, for all God’s gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender children. Therefore we will continue to pray for the miracle of resurrection within our Church.
Kara Speltz, Chair – Soulforce Catholic Team