Monday, November 27, 2006

Pope's visit to Turkey

I don't usually include the Pope in my prayers, but I did this morning. He is off to Turkey, both to meet with Muslim leaders and Orthodox Christian leaders. This picture is from a rally yesterday in Turkey where more than 25,000 demonstrators shouted "No to the Pope." The news report I heard this morning said that the Pope will wear a bullet proof vest and will probably travel in an armored car.

I disagree with the Pope about contraception and homosexuality, but I find myself admiring his bravery -- and indeed his faith -- this morning. He doesn't have to go to Turkey; he is doing it to demonstrate his commitment to tolerance and inclusion. Those are values I share. Regardless of precautions, he is putting his life on the line for those beliefs.

It has me thinking about what I am willing to do for my beliefs and for my faith. People often tell me that they think I am brave for being public about my positions on sexual justice. But as a Unitarian Universalist, I don't have to be brave. My denomination and my congregation support my work. I have only felt physically at risk four times in my 30 year career. My clergy colleagues in denominations that threaten their orders for speaking out but do so anyway are much braver than I am.

So, let us pray for the Pope today -- his safety and for reconciliation and peace.


Bill Baar said...

I think we'll find Benedict putting many Liberal-Religous to shame. Read his Regensburg speech on faith and reason and you'll realize he's at the forefront of battles we should be fighting.

Anonymous said...

If it was me, I'd have had second, third and fourth thoughts about this one... even if my bodyguards didn't look like awkward contestants at a gay jousting match.

Cassandra said...

Thanks for this post, Rev. Deb. I agree with Bill Baar. People should be careful to pigeon-hole B16. His role as Pope is different from that of his former role as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. His focus is not so narrowly directed now. Expect surprises.

TheMalau said...

Thank you Rev, for this post and the opportunity for the discussion. He may indeed surprise us, but the likelihood that he will is not very high. That is, in fact why I would welcome those surprises.

Bill Baar said...

It has me thinking about what I am willing to do for my beliefs and for my faith.

Those TV reporters taken hostage in Gaza during the last war converted to Islam given a choice between belief and life.