October 8, 2000
Brothers and Sisters of the Church:
What is more important than to follow Jesus? Is that not our final and fundamental authority for everything that we do, either as leadership or membership in the church?
Apart from understandable disagreements on specifics, details, how, when, and where, we all the know the WHAT. Jesus came to draw us all into union with God, whom he called his Father. How sad if the public image of our church continues to be a group of people that judge first, exclude easily, and use theological arguments to cover basic "political" stances of power, image, and management of constituency. These seem to be things that Jesus cared about very little, in fact, he flaunted them. This is clear in the Gospels which we all proclaim with joy.
At last we have a group of dedicated Christians who are willing to use disciplined and Christian means of nonviolent protest against its church’s failure to live the Gospel. Christians outside the mainstream did this in the abolitionist movement against slavery, in the civil rights movement against racism, and in the antiwar movement. Eventually, in each case, the church, like Peter running late to the tomb, acknowledged that these were indeed Gospel positions.
SOULFORCE must take the role of John the Beloved, who runs swiftly to the tomb, because that is what love always does. But both of us will find there the Risen Christ who always reigns and transforms human history, but never without our "let it be." Our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered brothers and sisters have been left outside of his realm of grace for far too long. We can do so much better, and we will. I thank SOULFORCE for its courage, dedication, and proclamation of Christian nonviolence in the pursuit of justice and truth.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M.