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Dignity Canada Dignité
 
I am forwarding an important email from New Ways Ministry in the USA asking those who are concerned about the violence towards LGBT persons in Nigeria, Uganda, Russia, Jamaica and elsewhere to send their concerns to Pope Francis. In Nigeria, there are essentially lynch mobs seeking to kill LGBT persons who have recently been rounded up and imprisoned under new laws simply for who they are. Unfortunately, some Catholic bishops and at least one cardinal in those countries have spoken out in support of their countries' draconian legislation and are proclaiming the misinformation that gay/lesbian sexual orientation is being imported into their countries from the West. Such ignorance and/or prejudice by Church leaders is truly shocking and runs completely counter to the message of God's universal and unconditional love as conveyed by Jesus. Thanks for anything you can do to bring this urgent matter to the Vatican's attention.
Frank Testin
President, Dignity Canada Dignité
                                                                 14 February, 2014

Tweet the Pope to Save LGBT People Around the World!
A world of humanity is mobilizing around the #PopeSpeakOut Twitter campaign to persuade Pope Francis to speak out against the growing tide of anti-LGBT laws around the globe.  The campaign is launching today! Bondings 2.0 encourages all of its readers who use Twitter to participate.
 
The campaign organizers are New Ways Ministry, The Fellowship Global, and a growing number of co-sponsors. It offers a positive action that people can take to respond to the dangerous new wave of anti-LGBT laws and policies in countries such as Nigeria, Russia, Uganda, India, and Jamaica.
 
“By sending tweets to the pope, we want to move him to speak out against these laws, many of which have been supported by Catholic leaders and people in these nations,” said Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry.  “We were amazed and gratified when Pope Francis said ‘Who am I to judge.’ Now we need a powerful, faith-based statement from Pope Francis to support the freedom and lives of our LGBT sisters and brothers.”
 
Pastor Joseph Tolton, Executive Director of The Fellowship Global said, “People of faith and hope from all traditions will tweet the Pope to urge him to make a pronouncement to the world to ‘Do no harm!’ The rising tide of draconian laws to criminalize LGBT people and their supporters allow vigilantes to rape, beat and kill people who are suspected of being LGBT with impunity. This must stop!”
 
It will be incumbent on all of us, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, to help spread the word about the campaign so that the pontiff hears from people from all over. We are heartened by the fact that the papal nuncio in Uganda was pre-disposed to reject that nation’s anti-gay bill and that Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the archbishop of Mumbai who is one of the pope’s closest advisors, has spoken out strongly against India’s anti-LGBT action. These signs indicate that there is a good chance the pope will, with the right encouragement, speak out, too.
 
The campaign has established a website, NoMoreTriangleNations.com, as a resource and headquarters for the campaign.  “Triangle Nations” is a reference to the pink triangle assigned to gay men in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust.
 
New Ways Ministry is a 37-year old national Catholic ministry of justice and reconciliation for LGBT people and the wider church community and civil society.
 
The Fellowship Global is a partnership with circles of Christian clergy and LGBTI people in the African Diaspora to express a faith perspective supporting the social, legal, and moral inclusion of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
 
Bondings 2.0 will keep you updated on the campaign, the pope’s response, and on Catholic influence in “triangle nations” as they develop.
 
Here are some sample tweets that can be used: (in Twitter, click on "compose new tweet" and paste in one of the lines below)
  • .@pontifex please call on Christians to love LGBTQ individuals, not legislate their extinction. #PopeSpeakOut 
  • .@pontifex please urge heads of state to respect human dignity. #PopeSpeakOut 
  • .@pontifex please speak out against such unchristian prejudice in the wake of anti-gay legislative measures made in Nigeria and Uganda. #PopeSpeakOut 
  • .@pontifex please condemn Uganda’s anti-gay bill as you defend human rights for all! #PopeSpeakOut
  • .@pontifex please urge Nigeria to stop arresting gay and trans people! Please save lives! #PopeSpeakOut
  • .@pontifex please stop the unjust legal discrimination of gay/lesbian/trans people. #PopeSpeakOut 
  • .@pontifex please speak out against anti-gay laws around the world #PopeSpeakOut 
  • .@pontifex please publicly condemn anti-gay laws as a voice for the voiceless #PopeSpeakOut
  • .@pontifex please call Christians around the world to love gay people not legislate their extinction #PopeSpeakOut
– Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

Dignity Canada Dignité is Canada's organization of Roman Catholics who are concerned about our church's sexual theology, particularly as it pertains to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons. We work in collaboration with other Catholic organizations seeking reform in our church's leadership and teachings.