Chicago Cardinal Compares Gays to the K.K.K.
Chicago’s 2012 Gay Pride parade has been rerouted and will now travel by Our Lady of Mount Carmel, on West Belmont Street in Chicago, My Fox Chicago reported in a Dec. 21 article.
The church has a Mass planned for about the same time and the new route has caused a bit of an upset -- at least with Cardinal Francis George.
Even though parade organizers changed the start time of the event in order to please those who are upset, George still takes an issue about the new route.
"You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism," he said on FOX Chicago Sunday.
Officials decided to change the route after 800,000 people attended the 2011 pride parade, which "caused problems with traffic and crowed control," due to the shape and size of the parade.
The 2012 parade is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and follow an easier route.
"It seems to us that this parade route and time is workable," said parade coordinator Richard Pfeiffer. "This church has multiple Masses that go on... they could say for people to come to an earlier Mass."
"It’s just a sad thing that it’s Sunday morning," Father Thomas Strenn said. "We’re petitioning -- we’re asking for some consideration for that."
The Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBT civil rights organizations, responded to George’s remarks in a statement and condemned his statements on Fox News.
"Cardinal George’s horrific comparison of the LGBT movement to the Ku Klux Klan drives an unnecessary wedge between Catholics and the hierarchy," said Dr. Sharon Groves, Director of HRC’s Religion & Faith Program. "This is a sacred time of year for many people of faith, a time when we should be creating and cherishing unity in our communities - not casting about dangerous and divisive rhetoric. As people of faith we should expect better from our leaders."
The co-founder of Catholics for Marriage Equality, Anne Underwood, said that as a Catholic she is saddened by George’s comparison of the LGBT community to the Ku Klux Klan.
"His rhetoric rings particularly off-key coming the week before Catholics celebrate the birth of Christ. As a Catholic who responds to our historic Church teachings to stand with all marginalized people, I work for freedom and fairness for my LGBT friends. I feel dismissed and betrayed by our hierarchy, but not by our God, for whom Cardinal George did not speak."
Unfortunately, the American Catholic Church hierarchy’s opposition to gay rights isn’t anything new. A Minneapolis archbishop wanted Catholics to recite a "marriage prayer," which supports a passage of marriage amendment to the state’s constitution that would ban gay marriage, reported the Star Tribune in a Dec. 15 article.
"Much rides on the success of our struggle to defend marriage," Archbishop John Nienstedt said.