It’s been a whirlwind week to be a Catholic! The church was shocked by the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would retire, due to ill health. Popes don’t retire! At least not in the past 600 years.
But retire he did, and the question on everyone’s mind is, who will be the queen bee of the Vatican? Some have mentioned Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, who’d be the first African pope— a cool prospect, except he has defended the so-called Kill the Gays Bill in Uganda.
Let’s face it: none of the papal contenders are likely to stick a rainbow flag sticker on the bumper of the Popemobile. But that doesn’t mean all Papists are anti-LGBTQ. In fact, right here in Louisville we have a group of Catholics for Fairness. This Sunday they’re holding a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Assumption, urging the Archbishop Joseph Kurtz to support statewide Fairness via Senate Bill 28 and House Bill 171.
We spoke with one of the organization’s leaders, Father Joseph Fowler, about the pilgrimage, and why he felt called to anti-discrimination activism. Jai also talked about growing up in the Black Catholic Church, and how faith can coexist with critical thinking.