* Wednesday, 9:21 pm - Cardinal Francis George went way overboard when talking to Mike Flannery and Dane Placko at Fox 32 Wednesday. During taping for the Fox Chicago Sunday program, George said he backed a North Side pastor who objects to the new route of next year’s Gay Pride Parade. The route would go right past the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church on a Sunday morning, starting at 10 o’clock, which the local pastor says would make it difficult if not impossible to attend mass. The parade drew something like 750,000 spectators this year.
Anyway, on to the interview, the transcript of which was provided by Fox Chicago…
Mike Flannery, Fox Chicago News Political Editor: The Gay Pride Parade is going to go right by there, at least it is scheduled to. What’s your view? The pastor there is upset by that.
Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago: Well, I go with the pastor. I mean, he’s telling us that they won’t be able to have Church services on Sunday, if that’s the case.
You know, you don’t want the Gay Liberation Movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism. So, I think if that’s what’s happening, and I don’t know that it is, but I would respect the local pastor’s, you know, position on that. Then I think that’s a matter of concern for all of us.
Dane S. Placko, Fox Chicago News: That’s a little strong analogy, isn’t it? Ku Klux Klan?
Cardinal George: It is. But you take a look at the rhetoric.
Placko: What rhetoric?
Cardinal George: The rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan, the rhetoric of some in the Gay Liberation. Who is the enemy? Who is the enemy? The Catholic Church.
Openly gay State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), whose district includes the Gay Pride parade route, criticized the Cardinal’s “unfortunate choice of words.” Harris predicted “it probably will provoke other unfortunate words” from some gay activists.
In a press release, LGBT Catholic organization Rainbow Sash Movement sounded off against the cardinal’s comments.
“Cardinal George wants to promote a doubled standard when it comes to the Gay Pride Parade,” the statement read. “One only has the look at the Chicago Marathon, and negative impact that race has on parishes such as Assumption Parish, St. Joseph’s Parish, Immaculate Conception Parish and St. Michael’s Parish just to name a few.”
Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda, said he understands that the parade takes place on Sunday, a holy day for Catholic churches, but that there are several churches along the parade route and they aren’t objecting to it. Some are even planning to participate in the parade, he added.
“It seems to me that the cardinal is lashing out at the LBGT community over past matters and legislation that have now been resolved,” Martinez said, referring to the civil unions bill and the Church’s loss of state foster home and adoption contracts.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel hosts the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach, and [Father Thomas Srenn of Mount Carmel] said that reservations about the event had nothing to do with the content of the parade.
Before Cardinal George made his KKK remarks, he told Fox Chicago that he supports the Catholic Gay & Lesbian organization based at Mt Carmel and has led the group’s liturgy.
*** UPDATE 1 - 10:15 pm *** Wow. Talk about your irony. This just in…
Organizers with Chicago’s annual gay pride parade have agreed to a later start time after one of Chicago’s oldest Roman Catholic churches objected to a newly-proposed route they claimed would block access to Sunday Masses.
I seriously doubt the KKK would be so accommodating.
*** UPDATE 3 - Thursday, 1:30 pm *** So far, none of the three Chicago-area newspapers has picked up this story. The Associated Press has moved two stories about Cardinal George since last night, but neither mentioned the KKK comment.
*** UPDATE 4 ***. I’m out of the office and posting via iPhone, but the Tribune finally posted a story.
When I saw this on the web my head starting spinning with all the ways that this comparison is deeply offensive, but to mention just one I will simply say that the Klan was about limiting the rights of others, the LGBT movement is about extending rights to others.
Come on, now. Flannery enjoys stirring a controversy, he’s not a PBS reporter after all, and controversy and sturm und drang equals ratings. I’ve worked next to him plenty of times, and have heard him do leading questions, designed to generate a good sound bite in response. On the TV political beat, that’s a standard shtick.
That the Cardinal walked into that one doesn’t really surprise me. He needs some professional media training to avoid being bear-baited and maneuvered quite so easily. And a sense of humor couldn’t hurt.
What does surprise me is that when offered a chance to clarify and re-state/ back-pedal, a clue that he might want to do a very quick inventory of what he just said and how it would be understood… his Holiness instead doubled-down.
He could have said: ” you know, most churches have several masses on Sunday, and sometimes they might have to schedule around any number of parish events or situations where there may be a logistical problem… like a blizzard or something. Or on certain Holy Days and Feasts, we change the Mass schedule around a bit sometimes. If the parade is going to make logistics hard at that hour, I’m sure the parishioners could celebrate a later Mass that same day after the crowds have left. I’ll be glad to give any displaced parishioners there a dispensation, if the parade makes it impossible to attend, though I would suggest that, with planning, you can always find a way to get to church if you really want to. When they DO go to mass, I hope they pray for greater understanding between all mankind, and use this event as a teaching tool to discuss outreach and engagement with the secular world.”
But a speech like that doesn’t generate ratings. Nor does it sound very “tough”. I think it does however sound about right.
I really don’t understand what’s going on in my church hierarchy these days. But I assume it’s a case of groupthink where the ones advising the Cardinal are reluctant to tell him anything contrary, to offer advice that’s painful to hear. Some of that comes from the natural authority systems of the faith, and is unavoidable. But some of it comes from the fact that we are all of us, imperfect human beings.
I’m going to pray for the Cardinal, that he gets better advice and counsel, and that he opens his heart to Loving His Neighbor again.
- lake county democrat - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:20 pm:
Wonder who the Grand Wizard would have voted for: Quinn or Brady?
- lake county democrat - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:21 pm:
(PS - NOT saying Brady = Klan, just the twisty-ness of how Cardinal George’s recent ventures into politics).
I mean it, Rich: he needs training to listen to himself in his head before he says stuff like that to an open mic. And he needs to not fall for first-year debate club tricks designed to get him riled and speaking without reflection. Tomorrow he’ll be all about how it didn’t come out the way he meant it to. And I’m sure that’s right. One way or another.
Fair enough, it IS a straight question. I could be wrong. I just went looking for the rest of the transcript of the show however, to see what came before it, to set it up, and I couldn’t find it. Maybe I’ll find the whole thing in the morning. Maybe I’ll still be wrong.
I can’t believe he’d say something that extreme after a good long period of prayerful reflection, however. He shot from the hip, and badly. He does need training. Nobody is too old to learn a new thing.
When Cardinal Bernardin was dying, I, like many people, sat outside his home praying for him. While I did not agree with his positions on reproductive choice or women in the priesthood, Cardinal Bernardin was generally a sweet soul, a person with whom dialogue could be had. A person who deserved prayers and whose loss was big for this city. This is exactly not what the current Cardinal in Chicago is. Cardinal George is a bully, a punishing conservative, not a nice person. His comments from the transcript are horrifying. For the soul of this city, that man cannot retire soon enough.
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:49 pm:
What’s pretty ironic is I just went and read a few of the news releases and press clippings from the Gay Liberation Network’s coverage of protests against Cardinal George and the bishops and I didn’t see any attacks on The Church itself.
In fact, the Gay Liberation Network explicitly stated they don’t have a problem with rank-and-file Catholics and noted the majority of grassroots Catholics support equal rights for gay Americans.
Cardinal George has pulled the Catholic version of playing the race card, and I actually think he’s done it pretty brilliantly.
Newsclown, it’s too late. You can’t spin this away or wish it away. The horse is out of the barn. And like you yourself noted, when given an out, he doubled down. This isn’t about media training. Give it up.
Amelia, great comment.
That’s how I feel too. With Bernardin, my wife and I went to Mass every week. We didn’t agree with all the positions taken, but we felt like the Cardinal really was preaching peace and understanding.
From the start, Cardinal George has gone the opposite way. He started as “The Corrector” going to parishes to nitpick on matters. Then we had his famous letter to prison authorities trying to get pedophiles out of jail early. A few years ago, my wife and I talked and realized that as much as we loved our old parish (Old St. Pat’s) the Church under George is just unacceptable. I find it extremely sad but necessary that my kids have never set foot in a Catholic Church, and will not as long as George is in a position of power.
–He messed up, he needs to fix it. And avoid making this kind of mistake in the future.–
He didn’t make a mistake. He expressed his view. Accept it or oppose it.
Many of my friends belong to Ascension in Oak Park, my neighborhood Catholic parish. The Quinn boys go there. The good folks there are in trouble with George all the time.
Somehow, they consider themselves good Catholics and manage to raise families, educate their children in the faith, take care of their seniors, provide charity, do good works and live good lives. Who knew you could do that while bucking the boss?
They don’t have persecution complexes and the KKK doesn’t come up much in conversation with them.
They’re too busy living.
I’m an ex-Catholic, and IIRC, there is nothing wrong in the Catholic Church with being gay, the only thing that is wrong is for ANYONE to have sex without the possibility of conception. Therefore, gay sex is just as bad as having sex on the pill. So why all the furor? I’ll bet there are a whole bunch of married couples at Our Lady of Mount Carmel using birth control.
- El Conquistador - Thursday, Dec 22, 11 @ 9:19 am:
It amazes and saddens me that these men who profess to speak for Jesus continually speak with such hatred. How can such a mean-spirited heart be the head of a church? Has he not read the New Testament?
It is a shame more people don’t watch this local interview show. Placko and Flannery regularly have interesting interviews with political and other civic leaders on important issues. These days, it is about the only quality journalism left on Ch. 32.
So he damages an outreach ministry of a church (and the entire archdioscese) under his care, and with his “I go with the pastor” thing he drags that parish minister into the mud with him, for what? He’s trying to pick a fight with a group that, by their actions, clearly isn’t interested in it. There’s no gain here.
Yeah, this one was well thought out. Comparing one movement to the KKK might be a horrible, horrible improv mistake. But the Cardinal expanded on it and showed he’s done some digging into the Klan’s rhetoric to draw out similarities he perceives.
By the way:
= Before Cardinal George made his KKK remarks, he told Fox Chicago that he supports the Catholic Gay & Lesbian organization based at Mt Carmel and has led the group’s liturgy. =
Now I’m even more confused. What does this organization try to do?
@Skeeter… merci. lots of other good church choices out there. really ironic, there is an Episcopal church right on the parade route, about across the street from the complaining RC church. but, then, that denomination has women and openly gay people in positions of leadership so they do not find it odd when they hear people pleading for civil rights.
The words chosen by the Cardinal were unfortunate. He could have expressed himself in more tactful or diplomatic language. Of course, it should be recalled that the activists who support such parades have disrupted the celebration of Mass, hurled packets containing simulated blood at church goers, and spat out the Host after standing in line to receive Communion.
Some of these incidents occurred in the Chicago Archdiocese, other incidents have taken place elsewhere. Closer to home, “activists” like Kevin Clark and Andy Thayer have engaged in protests and street theater antics that have offended traditional Catholics.
Cardinal George’s choice of words may have been unfortunate, but there is more than a scintilla of truth to the nature of his concerns.
===hurled packets containing simulated blood at church goers, and spat out the Host after standing in line to receive Communion.===
I’d like to see a little proof that any of this happened in Chicago.
===but there is more than a scintilla of truth===
OK, let’s see. The gay rights activists are doing things, perhaps some outrageous things, that are designed to show their furor at their treatment by their own church. The KKK wanted to eliminate all Catholics.
The hurling fake blood incident occurred outside of Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. I think it took place last Summer or the year before (2010 or 2009) Members of ACT UP spat out the Host during Communion at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City while protesting against the late Cardinal O’Connor (who used to spend some of his off hours as a volunteer at an AIDS hospice in NY) — this was some years back. I qualified this statement in my original post as it happened elsewhere.
As for Kevin Clark’s radicalism, supporting the Palestinian Liberation Organization and various gay activist groups that prefer to engage in bullying, screaming and “in your face” tactics, all you need to do is scan a newspaper or watch a local news broadcast occasionally. Some of this stuff did occur in Chicago.
In my original post, I did say that Cardinal George should not have expressed himself in language that compared some, not all, of those parade participants to the KKK.
To paraphrase the Michael, “Just when I thought I was back in,… they push back out.”
Usually around this time of the year when I end up in church a few times I think of all the good things the Catholic Church has done for my life. Not so much spiritual, because I really haven’t believed in most of their dogma since I was in grammar school, but because of the social, family, schooling, etc aspects. It was great to grow up in a tight knit community that was bordered by dozens of other tight knit communities (other parishes). The structure was what made me send my kids to the Catholic schools (grammar, high school & college).
But it all started to slowly unravel starting with the protecting the pedophile priests. Started cutting back on how often I participated in mass and other activities.
But I always start to find myself wanting to go back. But then, like clock work, the Church shows the true colors of the individuals that are in charge and their interpretations of what the Catholic Church should stand for.
And I stay away.
I would say the Cardinal’s comments are typical of the way the leadership of his denomination attacks anyone who doesn’t agree with them. They like to paint themselves as victims, when they’re really the 900-pound gorilla trying to bully everyone else into living by their rules. That said, I support Catholic Charities and wish a better solution could have been found on the adoption issue.
Yep, and when I do I take it back and apologize. He doubled down.
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Dec 22, 11 @ 2:00 pm:
As I said earlier, the protests by gay activists have been aimed at the Cardinal — not the Church itself, have explicitly acknowledged and thanked parishioners for widely supporting gay rights, and seem to have been largely comprised of current or former members of the Catholic Church.
What Cardinal George is attempting to do, as well as some posters here, is rewrite history and the facts and portray the GLN as anti-Catholic. They haven’t been, and as their reaction to George shows, they are not.
What they are opposed to is the antigay public policy agenda that is scripted, funded and pursued by a handful of bishops.
Most catholics and most priests have much bigger things to worry about than whether or not two women can marry.
“the antigay public policy agenda that is scripted, funded and pursued by a handful of bishops” …
Have you ever taken a class in cathecism or theology? A select handful of bishops did not wake up one morning recently and decide to set “policies” in order to offend people. The religious doctrines that you are criticizing have been recognized for about two thousand years or longer (if one considers Orthodox Judaism as well) and until about twenty years ago represented mainstream thought in most religious denominations and numerous Western societies.
Have to agree to disagree. No one is coercing dissident Catholics to remain in the church either. These are not referendum questions.
- Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Dec 22, 11 @ 3:14 pm:
- The religious doctrines that you are criticizing have been recognized for about two thousand years or longer (if one considers Orthodox Judaism as well) and until about twenty years ago represented mainstream thought in most religious denominations and numerous Western societies. -
Please, the only mention of homosexuality is in the old testament, in the same book that says you shouldn’t allowed disabled people to enter a place of worship and you can’t touch a woman or anything she touches during her time of the month. I don’t see the bishops putting a lot of effort into those ideas.
Cardinal under fire for comparing gay rights movement to Klan
Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George has never been shy about expressing his views on divisive issues like abortion rights and civil unions for same-sex couples.
But gay rights groups say the Chicago archbishop crossed the line when he compared the gay rights movement to the Ku Klux Klan.
The comments came during an interview Wednesday with Fox Chicago. When the cardinal was asked his views of a local pastor complaining that the annual gay pride parade would force the church to cancel its morning mass, George said he supported the pastor.
“You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism.” George said.
The Catholic Church is highly selective in the rules that get the hierarchy bent out of shape. Abortion? You bet! Death penalty? No biggie. Gays? An abomination! Married priests? Perfectly acceptable as long as they started out as Episcopalians, otherwise, an abomination. Gay priests? Hey, don’t ask, don’t tell, Mary.
The church is losing good people because its leaders violate its own teachings. Cardinal George is showing a lot of hate when he should be turning the other cheek.
There are only two commandments, Esquire: Love your God with your whole heart and love your neighbor as yourself.
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Dec 22, 11 @ 4:54 pm:
Actually, you are the one who is apparently ignorant of the Catholic Church’s history regarding Marriage.
The early Catholic Church opposed ALL marriage, even heterosexual marriage, which they equated with legalized fornication.
They believed that the teachings of Jesus were pretty explicit that good Christians should be chaste. A position which they soon found socially untenable, but which was later adopted by the Shakers. Who subsequently became extinct due to a lack of procreation.
It was not until 400 years later that St. Augustine finally won over the majority and convinced the Church to support marriage. And even then his argument was basically “better to have folks fornicating inside marriage than running around fornicating at random.”
Even then, it was more than another thousand years before the Sacrament of Marriage was instituted, and unless I’m mistaken the Church’s position that the primary purpose of marriage is procreation didn’t appear until modern times.
Moreover, it wasn’t until relatively recently in the church’s history that they concerned themselves with civil marriage at all — catholic matrimony was considered separate and distinct.
The Church’s anti-marriage views run so deep even today that the Sacrament of Marriage is the only one of the seven sacraments that is not performed by a priest. Technically, it is administered by the couple and the priest is a witness.
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Dec 22, 11 @ 5:01 pm:
And to those who would argue this is not a case of bigotry, but merely a defense of Church canon, I’d remind you that Canon 1055 also states that the purpose of marriage is procreation…yet Cardinal George is not pushing a public policy agenda to prohibit infertile couples from marrying.
In fact, Catholic Charities required PROOF of infertility from married couples seeking to adopt white babies.
And you just illustrated the attitude that drives people out of the Catholic Church and other Churches. The old “if you don’t like it leave” argument. How very Christian of you.
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Dec 22, 11 @ 7:16 pm:
@Amalia- True, but mostly in Europe. And their opposition to IVF is atleast partly rooted in the belief that destrpying fertilized eggs that arent implanted is murder.
Still, when have you heard the Church argue that infertile
Couples shouldnt be allowed to marry? Or say, women over the age of 50?
Perhaps Greg Harris should file a Catholic Marriage Bill requiring couples to get a fertility test, file an affidavit atrsting to their intent to procreate, and nullifying any marriage that does not produce any children within three years. Since thats the purpose of Marriage according to the Pope..
@YDD, I think the “statutes” say something more akin to it not being natural, therefore it’s verboten. which or whatever, they are in the business of prohibiting happiness. glad I’m not under the ruling men.
Technically, IVF isn’t forbidden if you only try one egg at a time. But most IVF doctors try to work with fertilizing and implanting a number of eggs in one try, to improve the odds of a success and because the procedure is generally too expensive for most people to try more than once. Then the doc goes into the womb and aborts or removes all but one or two of the successful implantations, in a “culling” procedure, leaving one or two babies to go on to completion. THAT is the part of IVF the church and I have trouble with.
As to the Cardinal: you’re on your own, pal, and thanks for ruining Christmas this year for no good reason. I gave you every benefit of the doubt, and you let me down.