Thursday, June 09, 2005

Catholic Women Watch New Pope

Catholics for a Free Choice -- a courageous organization that has stood up for the equality of women and for reproductive rights for many years -- has a new project.

"As with any transition of power," CFFC stated in a press release today, "the first 100 days are a crucial indicator and opportunity to establish the values and priorities of a new administration. As we reach Day 51 of the papacy of Benedict XVI, Catholics for a Free Choice... reveals that the new pope is squandering that chance."

CFFC has launched a project they call the First 100 Days Campaign to advocate for change in the church and to monitor the actions of Vatican. The new Pope, the former Cardinal Ratzinger, once headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- the agency that defines and enforces doctrinal orthodoxy. Back in the day, it was the Vatican agency responsible for the Inquisition.

CFFC has a few suggestions for the new Pope.

"The recommendations of the First 100 Days Campaign are easy. They do not require theological change. Each of the recommendations could and should be done immediately. These things remain undone not because of doctrinal restriction, but because the Vatican has chosen not to act. Among the requests: meet with sexual assault survivors, hear their stories and apologize publicly, lift the ban on condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, and appoint women to high level positions in the curia and throughout Vatican agencies."

"CFFC president Frances Kissling noted, 'The first 100 days of any leadership post signals to the world the values, priorities and style of the leader. While not every issue can be addressed—nor every problem solved—in this time, the initial steps of any administration sets a tone that both predicts and guides future work.'"

"However, instead of taking steps forward in the church, the new pontiff has focused his energies on ensuring that things are 'business as usual' at the Vatican: reappointing Pope John Paul II's leadership team, attacking the separation between church and state and making divisive statements."


"On Day 18, a prominent Jesuit editor of a Catholic magazine resigned his position under pressure from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly headed by the new pope. On Day 35, the Vatican declared that there would be no investigation into the allegations of abuse against the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder and head of the Legionaries of Christ. On Day 48, Pope Benedict XVI reiterated his opposition to homosexuality, which he once called 'a more or less strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil,' and condemned same-sex unions at a conference on families at the Diocese of Rome. As part of his screed, he also strongly spoke against contraception and divorce."

"As we pass the mid-point of this critical period, CFFC has launched a new website to monitor the actions of Pope Benedict XVI and evaluate what he is and is not doing to address the needs of Catholics—and non-Catholics—around the world."

The Washington-based CFFC will continue to highlight the activities of Pope Benedict XVI at a new web site called Pope Watch.

Check it out.

[Crossposted from FrederickClarkson.com]

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