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DignityUSA Sees Challenge Ahead in New Papacy

DignityUSA Press Release

Washington, DC - The leadership of DignityUSA, the organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Catholics reacted with dismay to the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as the new Pope.

DignityUSA President Sam Sinnett said, "The new Pope is seen as the principle author of the most virulently anti-gay, anti-GLBT rhetoric in the last papacy. The elevation of Cardinal Ratzinger is being seen by many GLBT Catholics as a profound betrayal by the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and betrayal of one of the most fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ as the loving Good Shepherd who reached out to the ones separated from the flock. We believe the 21st century Roman Catholic hierarchical shepherds are themselves lost and it is up to the flock to call them back."

"This election tests our faith in the Scriptural promise that 'all things work together unto good for those who love God.' We express deep sadness for all those who will find themselves further alienated from the Church because of Cardinal Ratzinger's assumption of the papacy. With their support and that of all our members and allies, we will re-double our efforts to speak the truth of our lives as faithful GLBT Catholics."

Sinnett continued, "DignityUSA reaffirms our steadfast commitment to witness to the holiness of GLBT people, our lives and our loving relationships and in so doing we serve our community and the greater Church. We will continue to be nourished by the sacrament of the Eucharist, by our prayer lives, and by the increasing acceptance and welcome we find among the people of our Church."

DignityUSA called on its members and Chapters to enter into a period of prayer for the Church and the world from now until Pentecost, which will be celebrated on May 15th. "Pentecost is the feast of the birth of the Church," said Sinnett. "We pray that this Pentecost may be a time of rebirth."

God Bless Us All.

DignityUSA is the nation's foremost organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their families, friends and supporters. Founded in 1969, it is an independent nonprofit organization with members and chapters across the country. DignityUSA works for full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the life of the Church and Society.

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