Yesterday, our Congregational Leadership Team sent the following letter to Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky.
Dear Bishop Stowe,
Greetings of peace to you in this time of Pentecost. We, the Congregational Leadership Team of the Sisters of Joseph of Carondelet, an international congregation of women religious with four provinces in the United States, are writing to thank you for your leadership in our Church. Most particularly, we are grateful for the way you stand with our most marginalized brothers and sisters: the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and people who are the targets of racist rhetoric and violence.
We read of the events that recently took place in Detroit when Auxiliary Bishop Battersby made it public that Fortunate Families would no longer be welcomed in any facility affiliated with the archdiocese. That same article mentioned that you are the ecclesial advisor to the executive director of Fortunate Families, and that Bishop Gumbleton is the local ecclesial advisor to the group. That puts you in prophetic company, and thus it surely makes you the target of much criticism and worse.
We are aware that a public statement like that of Bishop Battersby not only speaks loudly in his archdiocese, but that it puts pressure on other bishops, especially men like you who have publicly supported LGBTQ people and their families. We also admire you because this is not the only controversial issue on which you have taken leadership in our Church. We have read about your stance on broadening the views presented in Faithful Citizenship, your support for immigrants, and your public calls for US bishops to exercise greater leadership in denouncing the racism that is growing in our country. We agree with you on all these issues.
Bishop Stowe, we write today as your sisters to thank you for being the kind of leader the Church in the United States needs. We pledge to stand with you in solidarity with our oppressed and marginalized sisters and brothers and to keep you in our prayer that you may have the grace and strength to continue to act with wisdom and courage. If there is any other way we can support you, please do not hesitate to call on us.
In these days of Pentecost, we thank God for you and ask the Holy Spirit to be with us all as we strive to understand and respond to the signs of our times.
Congregational Leadership Team