National Religious Leadership Roundtable responds to pope’s impending resignation

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.