I have a new hero in Ireland. Her name is Emma Somers. She is a free-lance writer and she has come up with the most elegant and simple way to reply to Pope Benedict XVI’s letter to the Irish people regarding the sex crisis in the Catholic Church. We are all going to drop him a line, compose a letter, fire off an email, send an epistle, you choose the form it takes as long as the message is sent. I know this is starting as an Irish initiative, but I would like to see a more international effort supporting Emma’s campaign. This is a show of support for Ireland’s concerned movers and shakers who are done with the abuse committed by clergy and covered up and denied by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. This is a show of support for survivors worldwide. This is a pontifical “WAKE-UP” call to the Holy See.
Emma’s WordPress Blog is called “Dear Mr. Ratzinger: Letters from Ireland“. The rules are simple (I hope she forgives me for cutting and pasting):
No 1: Read the pope’s letter
Please do not post a response unless you have read the pastoral letter from the pope — or at least the parts directed at you (eg victims, young people, parents, etc). It is posted here.
No 2: Write your reply
It may be one line, it may match the pope’s 4,000 words — either way, you can get your message across. Feel free to borrow from other letters here if you have trouble articulating your feelings.
No 3: Share your reply
If you are comfortable sharing all or part of your reply, please post it as a comment on “Dear Mr. Ratzinger“. Your letter may inspire others to put pen to paper.
No 4: Post your reply on Saturday 15th May 2010
This is the most important part. DO NOT FORGET TO POST OR EMAIL YOUR LETTER! For the biggest impact, we will send our letters on the same day and show the Vatican Ireland cares about victims of clerical child abuse.
Note: (For you Americans out there, Post=Mail, find a stamp and mail the thing)
Participants are invited to meet at the GPO on O’Connell Street, Dublin, at 2pm on Saturday 15th May to post our letters as a group. (If you would like to be sent a reminder for this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Reminder GPO’ in the subject line. Your email will not be passed on or used for any other purposes.)
If you can’t make it to the GPO, all you need to do is post or email your letter before 5pm on Saturday 15th May. (Again, for a reminder, please email email@example.com with the word ‘Reminder’ in the subject line.)
Address for letters: Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Palace, 00120 Vatican City
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
00120 Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano
Address for emails: firstname.lastname@example.org
No 5: Spread the word
Please pass “Dear Mr. Ratzinger: Letters from Ireland” on to anyone you know who might be interested in having their voice heard or help friends and family who are not online to get involved in the campaign.
Consider this “Spreading the Word”! I need a Canadian and an Australian to get the word out in your neck of the woods.
For those of us that can’t make it to the GPO in Dublin on the 15th because of lack of funding, expired passports, or Icelandic volcanos, I recommend similar gatherings at post offices around the world. Talk amongst yourselves and come up with an appropriate location, preferably near a mail box, post box, container approved by your local postal authority or free WiFi hotspot.
If you are going to meet, let me know where and when and I will spread the word.
Why are you still reading this? Go to Emma’s Blog, Dear Mister Ratzinger: Letters from Ireland, you have reading and writing to do.