As a footnote to what I have just published, in which I contrasted Pope Francis's Christmas and new year's silence on the threat gay folks pose to . . . everything . . . with his predecessor's volubility about that theme in recent years: my posting notes that New Ways Ministry had compiled a list of the ten best and ten worst Catholic LGBT stories of 2013.
As Bob Shine notes in a recent posting at the Bondgins 2.0 blog of New Ways Ministry, there's already another new year's story of significance for Catholics interested in building bridges to the gay community. Bob points out that in his new year's peace message, Pope Francis stated the following:
Fraternity is an essential human quality, for we are relational beings. A lively awareness of our relatedness helps us to look upon and to treat each person as a true sister or brother; without fraternity it is impossible to build a just society and a solid and lasting peace.
And yet as Francis speaks those words, Bob notes, Uganda has just passed a draconian bill criminalizing homosexuality, and gay people continue to be under attack in Russia, India, and elsewhere. As he also points out, gay employees of Catholic institutions in the U.S. are not safe, either, and Catholic bishops in many places including the U.S. openly oppose laws designed to protect gay human beings from discrimination in the fields of housing, employment, family matters, healthcare, etc.
New Ways Ministry is encouraging folks to write Pope Francis and ask him to stand with LGBT citizens of Uganda as 2014 begins. Here's Bob Shine's information about how one can contact the Pope:
You can tweet Pope Francis at @Pontifex or by clicking here, and if you do use the hashtag #PathToLove. If you prefer writing a letter, here’s the Pope’s address and the address of the papal nuncio to Uganda:
His Holiness Pope FrancisApostolic PalaceVatican City 11020
Archbishop Michael BlumeApostolic NunciatureP.O. Box 7177Chwa II Road, Mbuya HillKampala, UGANDA
I intend to follow through and send a tweet or letter.
The graphic is the cover of the December issue of The Advocate, which named the pope it's 2013 person of the year.