National Religious Leadership Roundtable responds to pope's impending resignation

February 11, 2013


Pedro Julio Serrano
Communications Manager
(Office) 646.358.1479
(Cell) 787.602.5954

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's National Religious Leadership Roundtable responded today to the news that Pope Benedict XVI will resign at the end of February.

Statement by Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of DignityUSA
National Religious Leadership Roundtable Member

"Like all Catholics, we appreciate that Pope Benedict put the needs of the church first in determining he is no longer able to meet the demands of his position. We wish him a peaceful retirement.

"At this time of significant transition, we hope that the cardinals who will elect the new pope take time to listen to the people of the church, and that they hear the voice of the Holy Spirit calling for a pope who will be a shepherd to all of God's people. We hope for a leader who will work to heal the divisions of recent decades, and who values dialogue above conformity.

"As members of the church who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, as well as family members and allies, we call on the cardinals and the new Pope to enter into a true dialogue with our community. We call for an end to statements that inflict harm on already marginalized people, depict us as less than fully human, and lend credence to those seeking to justify discrimination. We call on our church not only to embrace but to champion the dignity and equality of all humans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

"We call on all members and friends of DignityUSA and the National Religious Leadership Roundtable to enter into a period of prayer and reflection as we prepare for the conclave."

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.


The National Religious Leadership Roundtable (NRLR), convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is an interfaith network of leaders from pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) faith, spiritual and religious organizations. We work in partnership with other groups to promote understanding of and respect for LGBT people within society at large and in communities of faith. We promote understanding and respect within LGBT communities for a variety of faith paths and for religious liberty, and to achieve commonly held goals that promote equality, spirituality and justice.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from the ground up. The Task Force is the country's premier social justice organization fighting to improve the lives of LGBT people and working to create positive, lasting change and opportunity for all. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. (C) 2013, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C., 20005. Phone 202.393.5177. TTY 202.393.2284.