A letter I sent to Pope Francis in yesterday’s mail. I hope he reads it.
April 13, 2015
His Holiness Pope Francis
00120 Vatican City
Most Holy Father,
I am writing to you with profound gratitude for the work you are doing to return the Church to its original foundation in Jesus’ message of compassion, mercy and love. Your presence and your actions give me hope for the future of our Church.
I write this because I am included in the second-largest religious denomination in the United States – a denomination made up of 42.7 million non-practicing Catholics (PEW Research). While I still call myself Catholic and honor with profound gratitude my Catholic upbringing and the many things I love about the Catholic Church, eight years ago I made the decision to “fast from the Eucharist.” I have enclosed an essay (HERE) which explains the whys and the hows of this decision. This decision was made after many years of careful discernment and a decision I believe was guided by God, so that I could be obedient to the fullness of God’s call for me.
I share this essay with you because I know that I am not alone in my experience of feeling no longer welcome or at home in the Catholic Church. I believe my essay reflects the many reasons others have left. I find that my ministry has been to these women and men. Above all else, these people are longing to be healed of the false perception of separation between themselves and God (love). My work, firmly rooted in scripture and Ignatian Spirituality, meets this need, and I am both humbled and grateful to have been given the gifts along with the call to meet these needs. I believe this is the work Jesus did and the work he calls us all to do.
Most Holy Father, I am grateful for the way in which you have turned your ears and your heart toward those crying out for God’s unconditional love and mercy. I believe this was the focus of Jesus’ ministry, the call he imparted upon his disciples, and the call he extends to us all. I am happy to see the Church returning to its foundation in compassion and it is my hope that all those who once felt separated may once again find the Church to be an unconditionally loving and safe place to be the person God is calling them to be.
Yours in Christ,
Lauri Ann Lumby
Authentic Freedom Ministries