Sent by courier to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Congregation of the Faith, Vatican City, Europe for delivery by hand to the Holy Father on March 5, 2000.
His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Bishop of Rome
March 3rd., 2000
Greetings. This letter is occasioned upon your implementation of the Year 2000 Jubilee of the Catholic Church. It is our understanding that you feel that it is necessary for the Church to undergo an examination of conscience to move forward into the new millennium. We are told that on March 12th. you will offer a public apology for the Inquisition and the damage it has caused, and other areas where the Church may have in the past deviated from the teachings of Christ in some way.
We applaud your motivation and these proposals as spiritually sound conclusions. There is no better way to teach all the people of the world than by example. In reviewing your addresses, homilies and statements of the past years, it is clear that you are courageously leading your people to a higher form of understanding, insight, and spiritual life through this voluntary taking of responsibility for past oversights, neglects, or injustices in the history of the Church. We thoroughly understand this action, for as Wiccans and other Pagans from various traditions, we are conscious of our obligations to Deity to be responsible and accountable in every way.
We find ourselves in a position where we must follow your example, for we too are ultimately responsible for guiding the spiritual health of our respective peoples. Yet we find ourselves with a dilemma. Let us explain.
We are certain that you will agree that there is little reason why any informed person would not agree that the Wiccan and Pagan faiths today have been misrepresented and badly treated by the persisting popular mythologies about us rooted in the middle ages, since much has been published by many objective academicians in the past twenty years.
Still, there are some who will not hear us and continue to believe ill of us by choice, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, and this has caused not insubstantial ill will toward Christianity among our people. Whatever the justification, these resentments are contrary to our moral laws. Such ill feelings enslave the inner self, that part of the self which communes with Deity, and left unchecked, will inhibit our movement toward Spirit.
We find your deeds and proposals of the recent past to be most laudable, and feel that we can do no less for our own people. We are bound to Spirit to follow a just course of action, even when the cue originates from another faith, for it is at the heart of our beliefs and practices, and our vows.
In light of this, we are asking our people to let go of those ill feelings and resentments, and redirect their energies into more creative and constructive dialog and purpose, to better serve Deity, our personal relationships, our respective communities and the world as a whole.
Therefore, in keeping with the spirit of your recent endeavors, we offer our forgiveness to the Church for any injury, real or perceived, our ancestors sustained due to the Inquisition and from any subsequent misinformation concerning our faiths which may have been perpetuated in the ensuing years.
Further, we ask forgiveness from the Church for those of our people who have inflated or exaggerated the effect of the actions of the Church, and for any anti-Catholic sentiment which may have been spread by our people. Further, we make a firm commitment to work tirelessly toward building tolerance between our respective peoples, using the common bond of our shared humanity and of Spirit as the foundation.
We have only one world. Let us get back to the real work at hand, that of teaching our people how to grow and thrive spiritually, in peace on this great planet we share with all of humanity.
Most Respectfully Yours, for The Aquarian Tabernacle Church International:
The Rt. Rev. Wende Northstar Davis,
Archpriestess of the tradition
The Rt. Rev. Peter Pathfinder Davis,
Archpriest of the tradition
Drafted by Revs. Colleen and Drew Rose, Presiding Elders,
The Church of Caduceus-ATC on behalf of:
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church in America,
Rev. Albert Dudley, Dir. of Religious Affairs;
Rev. Deborah Hudson, ATC International VicePresident
and President of The Woolston-Steen (Wiccan) Theological Seminary;
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada,
Michele Favarger, APs and Erik Lindblad, AP;
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church in Australia, (COWA-ATC)
Lady Tamara Von Forslun, APs; Rev. Peter A. Guala, HP;
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church in France,
Rev. Anthony Kemp, AP.;
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church in Ireland,
Janet Farrar, APs.;
And concurred in by the following Wiccan and Pagan traditions and groups:
The Irminsul Aettir, an Asatru church,
Rev. Susan Granquist, Presiding Gydhia;
The Covenant of the Pentacle Wiccan Church,
Rev. Velvet Reith, Presiding Elder;
Our Lady of the Mist Wiccan Church,
Rev. Donald Joseph, Presiding Elder;
The Church of Iron Oak,
Rev. Roger Coleman, Presiding Elder;
The Church of Indo-European Wicca,
The Rt. Rev. Garland Priddy, presiding;
Nature-Wise Church of Wicca,
Rev. Steven E. Repko, and Rev. Bonnie Repko, Presiding Elders;
Mid-Atlantic Pagan Alliance,
Rev. Marcus Kephera Wicoff, Principal Minister;
The Church and School of Wicca,
Rev. Gavin Frost, PhD and Rev. Yvonne Frost, DD, founders;
Sylvanic Tradition (Strega),
Rev. Dr. Arawn Machia, Presiding Elder;
Mintaka Wiccan Church,
Rev. Sarah Simpson, Senior Clergy;
Hands of Change, a Wiccan church,
by the Kore Body of Elders:
Rev. Amara Wiley, Rev. Peggy Sahulka, Rev. C. Lynn Carr,
Rev. Cate Anderson, Rev. Anthony Minson;
Rev. Ardeith Carter, Presiding Elder;
Rev. Catherine Dalton and Rev. Francis A. Dalton III, Presiding Elders;
And by these distinguished Wiccan authors, lecturers and teachers who have also requested they be included:
Rev. Patricia Telesco, (30 Wiccan books);
Rev. Ann Maya Heath ( 5 Wiccan books) and Robert C. Heath;
Eileen Holland, The Wicca Handbook.