Timeline is a regular feature looking back to events and milestones that have helped us evolve into the community we are today.
“If the Pope will not speak the full truth, he should not speak at all.”
Members of Dignity/USA, an organization of gay and lesbian Catholics, expressed their concern over statements made by the Pope regarding the persecution of Jews during World War II in Nazi Germany. The Pope’s statements, included in a letter, were made to the Jewish community and expressed the sense of shame and guilt shared by those who remained silent during the genocide of Jews by Hitler’s followers.
While not meaning to disrespect the Jewish community, James Bussen, President of Dignity/USA, called attention to victims other than the Jews. “We do not, in any way, mean to diminish the suffering and loss of the Jewish people during the War. What we want to stress, however, is the fact that, in addition to six million Jews, hundreds of thousands of homosexuals, Gypsies, Slavs, political prisoners and mentally handicapped persons were also exterminated in the concentration camps. Why will the Pope not speak for these victims, too?”
Badges in the shape of pink triangles were used to identify homosexuals in concentration camps. Many gay and lesbian groups have adopted the pink triangle to symbolize the struggle against oppression and bigotry. Saint Maximillian Kolbe, the priest who died in a concentration camp, was officially pictured wearing the pink triangle.
“...we challenge the Pope to speak not only for the Jewish victims of the Nazi’s, but for all victims of injustice and hatred. If the Pope will not speak the full truth, he should not speak at all,” said Ken Greene, Regional Director of Dignity.
An organization opposed to the magisterial teachings of the church regarding homosexuality, Dignity/USA’s goal is to encourage a sexual theology within the church that ministers to all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation.