Quest, the UK dissent group for homosexual Catholics, has signed the Catholic Church Reform letter to Pope Francis calling on him to abolish the hierarchy and to ordain women and gay priests. Other dissenting groups who have signed the letter include Catholics for a Changing Church, the US Women’s Leadership Conference for Religious Freedom, US Call to Action, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, Call for Women’s Ordination, Ireland’s Association of Catholic Priests, Austria’s Call to Disobedience, 2011.
Bishop Kieran Conry has recently been in discussions with Quest and he has expressed doubt that they dissent from the doctrine and authority of the Church.
Here is the section of the letter that Quest have signed that calls for the ordination of women and homosexual persons:
A Church that recognizes the fundamental equality of its members
‘Catholic teaching tells us that all persons have been created with equal dignity in the image of God. Therefore church structures must reflect this reality. Since all governance in the Church now rests exclusively with ordained male celibate priests, this excludes the vast majority of baptized Catholics. Therefore we recommend a canonical study of the feasibility of linking church governance to baptism rather than to ordination. With regard to ordained ministry, we recommend that identifying the call be based on individual and communal discernment of the candidate’s gifts, spirituality, pastoral sense, and theological formation, rather than gender, sexual orientation, or state in life. We reject the sexist exclusion of women from full participation at all levels of the Church. Equally, it is unacceptable to deny our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters’ access to full participation in every aspect of Church life and ministry. And it is unjust to ordain married male ministers from other denominations, while refusing to accept lifelong Catholic priests who have left the active ministry to marry. Further, divorced and remarried Catholics should not be withheld from full communion; their personal conscience in this matter should be respected.’
Dissenting groups such as Quest who signed Catholic Church Reforms letter also received notification of the threat to Pope Francis if he failed to respond to their demands:
”The meeting with the Pope and his advisors will be from October 1 to 3. We will all be watching closely. If Pope Francis tackles reforms, he will find he has the wide approval of people far beyond the Catholic Church. However, if he allows things to continue as they are, without clearing the log-jam of reforms now in progress….then we don’t give up. We do as Hans Kung suggested: “The call of ‘Time for outrage! Indignez-vous!’ will ring out more and more in the Catholic Church, provoking reforms from the bottom up.” We will continue gathering signatures and we will shout out all the louder so that our one voice, our very focused and relentless voice, will speak volumes when coming from millions of people all over the world. We will be heard!’
Protect the Pope comment: Replying to the concerns of a reader of Protect the Pope Bishop Conry expressed ignorance of Quest’s dissent from the teaching of the Church even though he was the Bishops Conference’s press secretary when Cardinal Hume Banned Quest from calling themselves a ‘Catholic organisation’ because they promote homosexual sexual acts. Bishop Conry wrote, ”I would also be grateful for evidence of the claim that Quest has made a ‘formal rejection of Church teaching but I have not seen its statutes or constitutions.’ Quest’s joining this worldwide coalition of dissenting groups is yet more evidence of their dissent from the teachings of the Church.