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DignityUSA Takes Action in Response to Silencing of Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent.

"I choose not to collaborate in my own oppression by restricting a basic human right. To me this is a matter of conscience."

These words are part of Sister Jeannine Gramick's announcement that she will not abide by the latest order from the Vatican — the one that prohibits her and Father Robert Nugent from speaking about homosexuality in any forum, discussing the 11-year investigation of their ministry, or urging other Catholics to write to Church officials about their case.

DignityUSA is leading the efforts to reverse the grave injustice that the leaders of our Church have perpetrated against Jeannine and Bob. We know that the vast majority of Catholics are appalled by both the Vatican's efforts to shut down their ministry, and by refusing them freedom of speech.

Since the latest attack on Jeannine and Bob, here's what DignityUSA has done:

  • We immediately issued a strong national statement in support of Jeannine and Bob, and decrying the Vatican's heavy-handed punishment of them.
  • We sponsored a successful press conference at the opening of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' meeting in Milwaukee. Speakers included representatives of religious communities, Call To Action, and Catholic parents of a gay son. We urged those bishops who disagree with the Vatican's actions to speak out, and to work to reverse the sanctions that have been imposed on Jeannine and Bob.
  • We are leading a national letter-writing campaign, and providing support for We Shall Not be Silent! Prayer Vigils and public witnesses all around the country.
  • We are preparing a coordinated, visible national action in the eventuality that Jeannine is expelled from her community because of her defiance of the Vatican ban.

We know that the Vatican and other Church leaders want this issue to go away. But we won't let it. DignityUSA has refused to collaborate in oppression for over 30 years, and we won't stop now! On behalf of Jeannine and Bob, John McNeill, and all the others who have been persecuted for endorsing appropriate pastoral care of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, we promise to be a constant, formidable voice for justice.

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