The Rt. Rev. Catherine M. Waynick, Bishop of Indianapolis, has written a pastoral letter in response to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which became law March 26:
Though the group most likely to be singled out in our thoughts is the LGBT community, it is clearly possible for many others to be told they are unacceptable to receive whatever services or goods a person or company has on offer. Consider the possibility that only Christians will be served in some places, only Jews in others, while no Muslims, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, or Druids can purchase merchandise in some stores, and only Latinos will be included here, only Blacks excluded there … you see the point. This legislation gives the appearance of tolerating and protecting overt bigotry in any form so long as it is dressed up as personal religious fervor.
… As I write this letter to you we are approaching Holy Week and Easter — seasons of deep reflection and joyous celebration in which we rehearse the saving acts of God throughout human history and in the death and Resurrection of Jesus. We claim for ourselves the transforming, reconciling love of God in Christ; not as treasures to be hoarded, but as gifts to be shared with the whole world in the name of the Lord we serve and worship.
Please join me in prayer for all those who have experienced demeaning behaviors, and those who have chosen to treat them so badly. Both in our individual and our common lives, may we become faithful advocates for justice, and reconciling examples of the indiscriminate love of God.
Read the rest [PDF].
Image: Bishop Catherine Waynick greets Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis. • Archdiocese of Indianapolis photo