Thoughts about the Pope's visit

Posted by Bonnie Kantor on Monday, September 28, 2015

We received this note and picture from one of's long-time visitors, Gary Wyssling. Thanks for sending this, Gary!

clientuploads/pope.jpgI had the privilege of seeing the Pope in Central Park. I will admit that I am a frustrated Catholic and feel the church does not include my community as a gay man, but to be given the opportunity to see this MAN was something I didn't want to miss. I am a deeply spiritual person that continues to pray for those around me and myself. I stood in line with my sister and a friend and we were able to share many moments with the people from New York and the area. This experience transcended color, race, religion, language, sex and sexual orientation. Those People who stood with strangers and waited for hours waiting to see a glimpse of the Pope became small communities of hope, peace and love for all. We left with a renewed hope that the world would be a better place. We hugged, kissed and shared phone numbers to share photos. Not sure who else could have created this amazing healing amongst people. The energy of love and peace was so strong that I felt a healing and understanding for all of God's children.

This man is changing HISTORY for the Catholic Church and Mankind by being inclusive, loving and understanding of all of God's children. Let us continue to pray for the world where love of all God's people is the norm.

Cousin Butchie on October 2, 2015 at 9:51:28 pm said:
Hi Gary! I appreciated reading your experience of seeing Pope Francis. As the week progressed there has been a very confusing story about the Pope meeting with the county clerk from "down South" who refused giving marriage licenses to LGBT couples. Neither the story nor the comments from the Vatican offer a definite explanation of what occurred. Because of the way Pope Francis handled so many "hot" issues with love and mercy and even humor are enough to convince me that he has done his very best. As a gay man, I can't say I'm not disappointed in our lack of real acknowledgement, however I have never experienced a pope who was as willing to listen to us. What he is starting now will have ramifications for years to come. We need to have some faith that the conservatives in the Vatican who obviously feel insecure and displeased with Pope Francis need to be watched closely.
Having said that, I do wish that we had an end of the celibacy requirement and the impetus to ordain women to the priesthood. With the declining number of male, assumed celibate priests it is going to be necessary to make the change very soon or we will have no clergy. There are a number of very progressive Catholic groups constantly working for changes in the Catholic Church. They seek honesty and accountability. The shortest mindset we need is to work to change the church, not leave it. As Vatican II reminded us...THE PEOPLE ARE THE CHURCH. Again, Gary...keep the experience of meeting Pope Francis foremost in your mind.

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