Petition to His Holiness, Pope Francis, Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki, His Excellency Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, Dominique François Joseph Cardinal Mamberti, Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Cardinal Blase Joseph Cupich, His Eminence Daniel Nicholas Cardinal DiNardo, Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Remove Bishop Robert C. Morlino from Diocese of Madison, WI
Imagine burying a loved one who was denied funeral rites just because of who they loved. It’s a reality LGBTQ families and their loved ones are facing due to the actions of Bishop Robert C. Morlino.My family has a long history with the Madison, Wisconsin Diocese that Bishop Morlino now presides over. We were raised in the Roman Catholic tradition and were taught by our family priest that love is core of the Catholic faith. Since his arrival, Bishop Morlino has put bigotry and hatred front and center.Bishop Morlino has instructed priests to consider withholding funeral rites or exclude the partner of the deceased to minimize “risk of scandal or confusion.” This is not being directed by church leadership or being asked for by parishioners, but solely based on his own bigotry.Pope Francis is transforming the church to return to love and compassion where people like Bishop Morlino have tried to instill hatred and bigotry. It’s why I’m calling on His Holiness Pope Francis to remove Bishop Morlino.In these moments of grief, providing these sacred rites is not a scandal — it’s what is right. I can’t imagine losing someone and then being interrogated about their or my own sexuality.Trying to deny LGBTQ people burial rites is just the latest example of Bishop Morlino’s divisive behavior. He has ordered priests to call on parishioners to stand against same-sex marriage, instructed priests to avoid monasteries that disagree with his worldview, and tries to infuse his personal politics into the pulpit.Bishop Morlino’s 14 year pattern of hate and abusing his power has no place in the Madison Diocese, let alone the Catholic Church. I’m calling on His Holiness Pope Francis to remove Bishop Morlino. With your support, he will hear our voices and restore love to our community and send a message that hate has no place in the Catholic faith.Signed,Amelia Royko Maurer
Petition to His Eminence, Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer
Pope Francis: Give Ahiara Diocese Justice - a "Pastor close to the people"
In 1987, Ahiara diocese, a rural enclave was created. An indigenous bishop was consecrated. Together with thousands of poor subsistence farmers, petty traders, teachers, etc., and a handful of priests, Late Bishop Victor Chikwe built a vibrant church in Mbaise. Over 20 years later, the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) would adjudge the diocese as the most efficient and most organized diocese in Nigeria. It was also adjudged the most organized and performs the best liturgical ceremonies in Owerri Province. Vocations grew exponentially - 700 indigenous priests, 1000 indigenous religious (50% has at least one doctorate while 25% has at least two doctorate degrees). The church also grew - 73 Parishes, 600,000 Catholics at home, 400,000 Catholics abroad. Ahiara diocese created an internship program that hosted representatives of other dioceses in Nigeria to understudy the efficiency and organization that set the Diocese apart. Our resilient Presbyterium understands the "parts", "mechanism", "coupling procedures" and general mechanics of the engine of Ahiara diocese. Our priests diligently thought others and partook in running, maintaining and troubleshooting this machine. The laity follows this Presbyterium because the sheep know the voice of a Shepherd and follow the Shepherd (Parable of the Good Shepherd: John 10:4). But 7 years ago, death robbed us of Bishop V A Chikwe. It threw us all into mourning. The seat of the Bishop is open. We waited on the Lord for another "pastor close to us" to "enter by the door into the fold of the sheep"... for "he who enters by the door is a Shepherd of the sheep." We trusted Mother Church - because the Holy Catholic Church is a Church of Laws. A few years later, someone "climbs up some other way" and the sheep "flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."(John 10: 5) The Catholic Encyclopedia insists that the Canon law "is the body of laws and regulations made by or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. . . and has for its object the well-being of souls in the society divinely established by Jesus Christ". On this matter, the canon law insists that "at least every three years, the Bishops of an ecclesiastical province or, if circumstances suggest it, of an Episcopal Conference, are to draw up, by common accord and in secret, a list of priests, even of members of institutes of consecrated life, who are suitable for the episcopate; they are to send this list to the Apostolic See. This is without prejudice to the right of every Bishop individually to make known to the Apostolic See the names of priests whom he thinks are worthy and suitable for the episcopal office". (Can. 377: §2). The words "WORTHY" and "SUITABLE" stand out. Unfortunately, they are lacking in the selection of Bishop Peter Okpalaeke for Ahiara diocese. Over a period of 22 years, Late Bishop Victor Chikwe secretly sent 21 names to the Vatican for possible episcopal office should he suddenly die. He thought that those individuals were worthy and suitable. He built the diocese with them and created the most efficient and most organized diocese in Nigeria. What else was lacking on this team? Why throw in a log in the wheels of this progress? By dropping the list transmitted by Late Bishop Chikwe, and picking Fr. Okpalaeke from Awka diocese, "morality, convenience and safety" have been compromised. Awka diocese has insisted on a disturbing pattern of grabbing episcopal positions all over Southeastern Nigeria and beyond - seven bishops already. We know that the Holy Spirit is courageously just! The fallout of this crisis is that in the last 5 years, children have been starved of the sacrament of confirmation, and seminarians have been denied ordinations by our Apostolic Administrator. We believe that these spiritual tools should never be used as "tools of war" in the Church of the Living God! To insist that no one among the 700 priests in Ahiara Presbyterium is "suitable and worthy" to be bishop amounts to bearing a false witness. It defies logic. It cannot represent justice, equity, and good conscience. We consider it repugnant. As a result, the faith of thousands of people in Ahiara diocese now rests in your hands. Like the Widow and the Unjust Judge, We say: "Give us Justice". We must submit that a unique and monolithic community of a million Catholics deserve a say in deciding who must receive their collective personal spiritual sovereignty. We urge you, and urgently too, to give us a Shepherd that "comes in by the door"; a Shepherd that knows our voice; a Pastor close to us; and, a pastor from the Presbyterium of Ahiara diocese. The flock of the Highest God will scatter should someone- "a stranger" comes in by the window. The flock will flee and scatter. Let it not be in your own time. God be with you. Amen!
Petition to Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Cardinal Blasé Cupich
Support LGBT Catholics Being Denied Communion & Funerals
A new decree from Bishop Paprocki, of Springfield IL, states that the LGBT community should be denied communion, confirmation, RCIA, liturgical ministry, and funeral rights in the Catholic church. (Read this NPR article for more context) We are a group of Catholic parishioners who believe this decree does not represent the love of Christ or our Catholic values. Please join us in praying for transformation and sending a message to the Catholic hierarchy to right this wrong.
Petition to Pope Francis
Remove Bishop Of Syracuse For His Callous Attitude Towards Priest Sex Abuse Victims
My friend Charles Bailey and I are just two of many men who were sexually assaulted as young boys by Catholic Priests in the Syracuse Diocese. Bishop Robert Cunningham knows that the Vatican has credible allegations of sexual abuse against these priests, yet he refuses to reveal the identity of known child molester priests and is allowing them to live in the Syracuse community. As survivors, we want to spare other boys the torture that we endured at the hands of numerous priests in Upstate New York. But Bishop Cunningham is standing in the way. Not only has he refused to reveal the identities of these priests, he has even allowed accused priests from other dioceses to relocate and live in Syracuse without any supervision and without being reported to law enforcement. In particular, sometime after 2004, a number of priests with substantiated claims of child molestation against them from Baltimore were relocated to Syracuse. Other priests, including one in 2014 living at the Tommy Coyne Residence for Priests in Syracuse have been arrested and convicted for possession of child pornography. Bishop Cunningham has even testified under oath that we and others who were molested as children are somehow "accomplices" and are "culpable" for our abuse. This abhorrent attitude is not appropriate for any educated adult, let alone the leader of our church. Despite the obvious public safety concerns for all of the children in our community who maybe living near, or interacting with child molester priests, Bishop Cunningham refuses to disclose the names of these priests in the diocese who have had credible findings of abuse entered against them by the Vatican. We are calling on Bishop Cunningham to resign and need your help. Please sign this petition and help us. Earlier this year, a Bishop in Kansas City Missouri resigned after a Change.org petition helped bring international attention to his covering up of child abuse in his diocese. We’re taking this as far as we can in order to protect other children. We’re calling on Pope Francis to remove Bishop Cunningham from his leadership position and to appoint a new Bishop who can rebuild the trust that Bishop Cunningham has shattered. We plan to present Pope Francis with our petition in two weeks when he visits New York. Please sign this petition to help our efforts to reestablish trust and transparency to the dioceses of Syracuse.