Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus,
Greetings and apostolic benediction from this humble servant of Christ and His Church and may the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you and yours now and always!
It is with joy that we offer our prayers and heartfelt well wishes to our brothers and sisters under the spiritual care of the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis I. We pray that the Holy Spirit will empower, encourage, and inform our Brother Bishop as he assumes his new role within the Roman Catholic jurisdiction and takes his place on the thrown of St. Peter. In all charity and humility, we pray for him and his ministry to over one billion souls of the catholic faith.
We would also offer prayer for our own jurisdiction, Christ Catholic Church, and for our sisters and brothers within the greater Independent Sacramental Movement as well, that we all might find compassion and patience within our hearts as the Holy Spirit continues to perfect Her work in the conversion of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio into that of Pope Francis I and within the Roman Catholic jurisdiction itself.
Rome was not made in a day and certainly one man will not rebuild or even disassemble it in one day. As a venerable brother commented recently upon the election of the new pope, “when the problem is the empire, a new emperor is not the solution.” A new pope is not the solution to all the troubles and trials of the Roman Catholic jurisdiction, though he may be an aid in righting some of the wrongs, only time will tell the story.
We acknowledge and give thanks for the humility that Pope Francis has shown thus far as he has assumed his new position within the church. True servanthood demands great compassion and charity and perhaps even greater sacrifice in death to oneself. It is a process with which we all grapple and are challenged by, whether we be a pope, bishop, priest, deacon, or lay person. Let us show charity for the conversion and process that Pope Francis now undertakes realizing our own shortcomings in our own similar spiritual growth process. Not one of us is perfect, though we follow He who was.
However, in our rush to celebrate the joy and hope this recent papal election brings, we would also pray for our LGBT sisters and brothers throughout the church, and the world at large, who now face the new reality of the election of a pope who once, as a “Prince of the Church” demonized the LGBT community and now will exert an extreme power and influence upon the entirety of the church and indeed the whole world.
Christ Catholic Church, while offering prayers for the conversion of Pope Francis, that he may one day celebrate the diversity of all of God’s children and support equality across the spectrum of the human condition, stands firmly and unapologetically in support of the LGBT community and the beauty, worth, and equality of all of God’s children regardless.
As the Presiding Bishop of Christ Catholic Church I would like to remind us all that as a Christian people we are to embrace faith, hope, and love. Ours is a faith built upon conversion and reconciliation, and founded in charity. Let us offer ourselves and our prayers for all concerned, Pope Francis, the See of St. Peter, the LGBT community, the Independent Sacramental Movement, Christ Catholic Church, and the world at large that the will of our Father in Heaven be made manifest and perfect here on earth and that someday we may all be one in Christ Jesus and celebrate together the beauty and diversity of creation as a unified people of one voice.
Pax et Caritas,
The Rt. Reverend Brian Ernest Brown, OSH
Presiding Bishop – Christ Catholic Church