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Over a dozen progressive Catholic organizations express disappointment over Bishop Paprocki’s decree

June 27, 2017

Washington DC— Over a dozen progressive Catholic organizations representing diversity within the Church signed a joint letter to Bishop Thomas Paprocki expressing disappointment over a decree he issued denying communion and funeral rites for same sex spouses. The groups—representing a broad coalition of feminist, LGBTQI and prochoice Catholic voices– called upon the bishop to unite fellow Catholics during a time of divisive rhetoric and polarization in our country.

Glenn Northern, senior associate of domestic programs at Catholics for Choice said the following: “The Catholic Church is universal—meaning a place for all—a refuge during times of tumult. Our Priests are who we turn to for fortitude and our sacraments a way of reaffirming the mercy of the Lord. At a time of such divisive rhetoric, we look to our Church for unconditional love and solace. We call upon Bishop Paprocki to look within and ask: how can we be in keeping with our faith if we deny our sisters and brothers universal love and acceptance?”

“Although LGBTQI Catholics and families confront exclusionary policies in many places, this directive is the most extreme and hurtful we’ve ever encountered,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of DignityUSA, the group that first publicized the decree. “We know that this does not reflect what most Catholics believe and urge our fellow Catholics to speak out against injustices like this.”

“Bishop Paprocki’s decree is a sobering reminder that our church, even under Pope Francis, is still sadly the vanguard of public, stubborn, violent, institutional prejudice,” said Zachary Johnson, executive director for Call to Action. “This is a reminder that we still have a lot of work to do to change our church.”

“My heart goes out to the people of Springfield, Illinois who have been subjected to this kind of pastorally inadequate theology,” stated Mary Hunt, co-founder and co-director of Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER). “They deserve better. I rejoice that the groups signing this statement are living proof that better exists.”

To read the full letter click here.