Just hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced his unexpected resignation, a bolt of lightning struck St. Peter’s Basilica.
Many say it's unequivocally a sign from God.
If so, I'm hoping it's an Amen moment signaling the end of an oppressive era of LGBTQ bashing as the church now moves forward.
"With the pope’s impending resignation, the church has an opportunity to turn away from his oppressive policies toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, and their families and friends, and develop a new understanding of the ways in which God is at work in the lives of faithful and loving people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said the LGBT Catholic group Equally Blessed in a statement.
This pope has used his papal authority to hold back the tides against modernity. And the early signs were there long before Benedict became pope. The reaction by many religious progressives to the election of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in April 2005 as Pope Benedict XVI had been tempered by either their faith to keep hope alive or by an apologetic acceptance in deference to Pope John Paul II.
If the Catholic Church was looking for a religious leader who embraces the world—as it is today—Pope Benedict XVI, a.k.a. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was not the man.
Benedict used his authoritarian and “Rottweiler” persona of church doctrine to maintain an ecclesiastical lockdown on the churches progressives.
For example, just last year he publicly bashed, not surprisingly, a group of U.S. "dissident" nuns for “focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping 'silent' on abortion and same-sex marriage." This rogue group of Catholic sisters were not only undermining the Church's teaching on the priesthood and homosexuality, but they were also brashly promoting "certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith."
Benedict pushed back against the tide of progressive theologies by upholding a rigid orthodoxy of millennium-old church doctrines and creeds.
Case in point, Benedict suppressed the growth of Liberation Theologies in Third World countries, the emerging face of the Catholic Church, for their supposedly Marxist leanings that exposed classism. However, Liberation Theologies combines Christian