QUOTE TO NOTE: “A powerful example that faith leaders should be following.”

LGBTQ news outlet Advocate.com published an essay entitled “During Easter, Some Religious Leaders Display Ungodliness,” in which writer John Casey criticizes Christian leaders who used this year’s Paschal season to promote conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and to encourage defiance of social distancing guidelines.  One leader he singled out in particular is Rev. Tony Spell, head of the Life Tabernacle Church, near Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Spell has a record of anti-gay messages.

But Casey, who is a is a public relations professional and an adjunct professor at Wagner College, New York City, and a frequent columnist for The Advocate,  used a sunnier kind of spotlight for another religious leader: Pope Francis.  Casey concludes his essay with the following:

“I’m a lapsed Catholic, but for some reason, seeing the image of Pope Francis delivering a special message about the coronavirus pandemic, by himself, one evening last week in the middle of a rainy, dark, and lonely St. Peter’s Square filled me with hope. It was beautiful, simple and safe – a powerful example that faith leaders, like Spell, should be following.”

To which I say, “Amen!”

Francis DeBernardo, April  24, 2020

4 replies
  1. Richard Boyle
    Richard Boyle says:

    Looking at the haunting photo of Pope Francis in St. Peter’s, it is evident that John Casey is referring to the “Urbi et Orbi” event a few weeks back. I watched that livestream and was completely transfixed (and in a strange way, “transported,” elevated, and inspired) by the simplicity, the starkness of the setting, and most especially by the pastoral warmth and sincerity displayed by the Holy Father. A number of my friends also watched it and we were unanimous in our opinion; “moved,” and deeply touched (all of us) by a palpable spirit of grace permeating the entire time. As both a solemn recognition of the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic (being broadcast from Italy, obviously, one of the countries most devastated at that time by the virus), and as a preparation for the power of Easter Hope for all Creation through the Resurrection of the Lord, I’d offer that it was the singular most powerful spiritual moment in my Lent of 2020. I will never forget it…

  2. Barry Blackburn
    Barry Blackburn says:

    I agree with John Casey’s comments about how powerful was Pope Francis’ “Urbi et Orbi” on that cold, empty, dark night just before Easter. The Scripture reading was Jesus asleep in the boat during the storm. The message: do not be afraid and trust in God’s presence through it all. What clinched the power of the moment for me was the Blessing with the Blessed Sacrament- Faith and strength went from an empty square into our hearts!

  3. Mickey Mcgrath
    Mickey Mcgrath says:

    That incredible image of Pope Francis will stay with me forever as a powerful symbol of the ending of the church and world as we have known it and the birthing of new realities struggling to be born.


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