Considering all the "fan" mail I got (and continue to get) for blogging about what I'd like to see during Pope Benedict XVI's first 100 days (see the original post here ), a link to a new website created by Catholics For A Free Choice is sure to get me more angry letters from people telling me to just leave the church. But considering that this week, Pope Benedict spoke out again against gays , saying that homosexual marriages—legal in several European countries and U.S. states—are "expressions of anarchic freedom which falsely tries to pass itself off as the true liberation of man," another push for inclusivity seems to be in order.
The website is www.pope-watch.org , and it keeps tabs on what Pope Benedict is doing—or not doing—on the items included in CFFC's First 100 Days campaign. As I explained before, these items are not earth-shattering. They call for inclusion, humility and tolerance. The first on the list calls for the pope to meet with survivors of clergy sexual abuse and apologize. (Instead, the church seems to like to pretend these unfortunate victims don't exist.) Another item calls on the pope to celebrate Mass with those the church has hurt, including gays. And an important item calls on the church to re-evaluate its position banning condoms to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.
The Vatican's decisions affect more than Catholics. They also affect millions of non-Catholics around the world, especially those in developing countries dependent on religious organizations for food, shelter and health care. Considering the long Catholic tradition of helping the poor and sick, the pope's position on condoms, for example, has the potential to do much harm. It's an authoritative tenent put forth without adequate grounds. A shorter way to say that is "dogma."