Today is August 17, 2022
I want to share with you how my letter to Pope Francis, written to him in 2015, came into being, and eventually into his hands and hopefully his heart.
I did not include any personal information to receive contact back from him. That was conscious, so no pull might be felt by him, other than the message itself.
In 2015 John Morton shepherded some 60 people to the south of France to very specifically visit the areas of southern France that had been populated by the Cathars in the 12th and 13th centuries. This trip was a special dream come true for me.
I had delved very deeply into this spiritual culture beginning in early 2007 and I found myself affected by the terrible events of 1243 and 1244 and the accusations of ‘heretic’ by the Catholic Church towards the Cathars who were Christians called the Pure, or Good Men (and women). They had developed the south of France at that time into a democratic, open and thriving multi-cultural society. Because the area was politically independent from the French throne, and not Catholic, it became a perceived threat as it was not controlled by either the throne or the church. The Inquisition soon began, led by the priest Father Dominic, to attempt to ‘encourage’ the Cathars to join the Catholic church, as that would be in their best interests spiritually. In open debate often in town squares, the Cathars open and simple message was consistently ‘no thank you, we have a direct connection with God and need no intermediaries’, (certainly not to pay a priest to speak to God in their behalf). Dominic would return to Rome after these public debates, utterly perplexed by their gentle yet very clear refusal to be convinced, and at the same time always welcoming the Catholics to enjoy their own faith along side of their own.
Eventually both the Vatican (Pope Innocent 111) and the French King lost patience and a genocide began. It was called the Albigensian Crusade. Millions were killed and the aura of fear became penetrating. Torture became common in everyday life to determine if you knew who was Cathar, or knew who might be. This cancerous energy soon carried over to Spain and there it flourished for four centuries in behalf of the primacy of being Catholic. It was the Inquisition. On March 16 of 1244 approximately 300 Cathars remaining in a mountainous refuge were burned to death. It was Montsegur, a last Masada-like holdout of the faithful who chose this death over relinquishing their love of God. They chose eternity over the world that punished them, and they sang songs to God as they were burning.
I experienced a sorrow in the land when we were there, as if joy was missing from the land, and most clearly in the old Cathar centers and cities. It felt as if something was as yet uncleared in the ‘air’. Some beautiful villages had a splendid Catholic church, that was now empty and cold and seldom held the presence of a priest. I could feel an occasional sense of distrust amongst the people for anything or anyone of different persuasions spiritually or religiously. Our trip most especially held the purpose to bless and heal this beautiful area with the presence of our Beloved Traveler John amidst all of our prayers and Light columns. Hopefully we would be a contribution to a higher good.
Buenos Aires, is a beautiful city in Argentina that we would soon be visiting. I had asked for the help of two of my Argentinian brothers in MSIA. They were, and they still are, my Knights in shining armor as they immediately came forward to help me fulfill my vision. I had already told them I wanted to write the Pope, who is a Buenos Aires native, and would they know anyone who could deliver the letter to the Pope from his home city. Certainly this was a wild and bold request, but I meant it. I loved Pope Francis and I felt deeply called to write him asking him to ask forgiveness for any of the assorted versions of genocide the Church had instigated in past times to bring about compliance with Catholic ‘law’. I felt the beauty of Pope Francis’s heart and soul could evoke a great blessing of forgiveness and profound healing in saying simply, “I am sorry.”
I sat down and out of my heart came this Love letter to him. I finished it 10 minutes before leaving for Buenos Aires from Los Angeles. Spirit wrote it through my heart. My friends, Juan Cruz and Ariel Presa delivered it into the hands of their friend and Pope Francis’ dear friend, Father Malfa in Buenos Aires, who delivered it to Pope Francis the following week in Rome, … directly into his hands.
Juan Cruz Bordeau and Ariel Presa in Buenos Aires with their friend, and Pope Francis’ dear friend, Father Malfa holding a letter from Leigh Taylor-Young which Father Malfa delivered to Pope Francis the following week in Rome.
Thereafter there have been numerous moments noted of the Pope saying “I am sorry”: it occurred at Montsegur itself later in 2015, by a priest from the Church who apologized directly for what had happened to the Cathars, in Sweden in 2016 the Pope apologized to the Lutherans, and in this year, 2022 in Canada, Pope Francis apologized to the indigenous tribes for the sorrows incurred over generations to the native people.
Whether my intention affected this wave of healing, or he did indeed receive the letter, does not matter, as I know Spirit hit the spot, and shifted something to the higher good. God bless Pope Francis.
Here is my letter to Pope Francis:
October 31, 2015
Dear Pope Francis,
I love you. You are a very great Pope. I pray for you joyfully, with gratitude you are in this world.
Jesus Christ is my Beloved and my life also.
I am not Catholic, but I recognize that you are a Heart opener and a great Shepherd for all mankind.
My name is Leigh Taylor-Young and my profession for a very long time has been as an actress. I have worked for over four decades in the film business in California. I made many television shows and many movies since the 1960’s and I won an Emmy for my work in 1995.
As long as I can remember, I was aware of the dynamic Presence of Spirit. I became first a seeker, and then a dedicated student to know God and to ever increase my loving and devotion to God. I became a Minister in 1975. I stayed in my acting profession and at the same time was devoted to prayer and meditation and service.
Nine years ago, I married another Minister, John Morton, who has devoted his life to teaching and loving service all over the world. We are in the church called the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (msia.org), founded by a great man of God and Wayshower of spirit and Soul Transcendence, John-Roger. John-Roger led my way into greater awareness of my Soul, my life purpose in loving and serving. John Morton now carries the mantle of John Roger’s work, and today I travel with my husband, supporting his sharing of the teachings of Soul Transcendence. He assists in awakening people to their own Soul awareness and oneness with Christ. It is an honor to be a part of this work. Tomorrow we are on our way to Chile, Argentina and Brazil.
You, dearest Pope, are my family and of my own spiritual heart, and I feel comfortable asking you a favor. A favor of forgiveness that I deeply believe you have the power to demonstrate to the world.
You are addressing many of humanity’s imbalances, including this year you spoke out against genocide. Would you consider giving a blessing into the Languedoc region of Southern France to heal the genocide extended by the Catholic Church and France itself, against the Cathars in that region in 1209. Pope Innocent 111 initiated the Albigensian Crusade at that time against these people. It was the first crusade of Christian against Christian. This action, on-going over some years, eventually led to the beginning of the Inquisition in 1233 to eliminate all remaining Cathars, or ‘heretics’. The spirit of inquisition caught on, and infectiously traveled to Spain in time.
At least a million people, and some chroniclers consider that up to eight million people were killed by armies of the Vatican and the French…primarily French. A predominant reason for this action was because the Cathars did not want to be Catholic and had strong influence in this thriving part of France of the Languedoc. I understand that the political conditions of the time were very complicated. However, the people who suffered deeply were the Cathars. They were Gnostic, and good simple people who wished to be controlled only by God and understood that their relationship with God was direct and pure and needed no interventions (they were actually called the ‘Pures’ or ‘Bon Homme’, good men). They stood their ground in their faith, with remarkably little violence returned to their perpetrators. Many were martyred. The land that they had long nurtured was rich and abundant and their culture was tolerant of all faiths. After this crusade, this area essentially collapsed and these provinces were now under the control of France and the church. Being Catholic was now essential, as the energy of the inquisition permeated all life and fear of being ‘other’ was subliminally infused into daily life.
I passionately feel that the Albigensian Crusade is a mark to be healed and forgiven and blessed, as much darkness came from it. I do not value blame. It is a useless exercise and causes the perpetuation of darkness. I do my personal best to live for the healing, letting go of the past and forgiving it…this, for me, is the most fluent way that individuals, as well as whole cultures, can move to Greater Good. I feel so deeply that if you were to extend a blessing to this area and the people, and perhaps say ‘I am sorry’ in behalf of the Church, it would lift something up to Christ Himself and be a blessing for you, for the Church and the land in France, will open to greater Light. The power of ‘I am sorry’ is immeasurable in my opinion, and the world needs to see this demonstrated in more powerful ways by leaders. Accountability, forgiveness of self and others, leads to blessings and ultimately to Joy.
If this is not to be, I am not attached. I am grateful my heart feels safe with you to ask.
I want to share how much admiration I have for the Catholic Church and for the extraordinary sharing of the Christ teachings, education and Charity, for generations. As a little non-Catholic girl, I was powerfully affected by the spiritual mystery of the Church and begged my Catholic girlfriends for one of their little statues of saints that glowed in the dark. I was finally given one. It was St. Anthony. I held him to my heart every night and I prayed and prayed to Jesus, the saints, and a God I knew was ‘living’, just invisible. My parents were agnostic, and so I was on my own in my spiritual training, but I already knew Jesus and I knew He walked with me in a very personal way. I have always loved St. Francis and take his teachings to my heart. During several trips to Assisi over the years, I became friends with Father Max Mizzi who lived there and taught of St. Francis. He is gone now, but oh what a beautiful Franciscan. He traveled all over the world doing his best to contribute to Peace.
Dear Pope Francis, I feel France has not overcome this wound of the past. I just returned from a month in this area of the Languedoc. My husband, John Morton, led a group there for several weeks, visiting these places of past events such as Toulouse, Montsegur, Carcasonne, Minerve, Beziers, planting prayers of love and peace. I noticed several things about this time in France. First of all there is a subliminal ‘witch hunt’ mentality in that if you belong to any spiritual devotion that is ‘other’ than the mainstream, you are vulnerable to being targeted such that your job, and life is ‘threatened’ with duress. There are lists kept and tracked as to any outer sign of what they might call a ‘cult’. This is a feeling of restriction. We also visited a charming small town of Espelette and there was a beautiful old church, empty. No priest in residence and one came now only once a month. There was an energy of sadness and emptiness in this beautiful church. I was sad. A church longs for the aliveness of the Sacred…and this was just dark and void. I pose to you the consideration that this is all a result of the past and that you can bring forward New Life and spiritual vitality by the demonstration through you for the Church a mea culpa and a loving blessing for all. A release of the past into the Christ. I see your Blessing as a magic wand of transformation for France spiritually. Possibly including an encouragement to honor all faiths that lead to God.
Thank you, dear Bishop of Rome, Father Francis.
Thank you for ‘listening’ and I pray this might reach you if for no other reason than I am one more person in this world that loves you and wants to tell you. God brought you to us at this time. I will be holding you in my heart for your health, your safety, your continued service to us all. I hold a prayer that one day my husband and I may meet you. I would like to hug you.
I love you, God bless you, and Peace, Be Still.