Friday, January 06, 2012

Quote of the Day

During a recent TV interview, speaking about this year's [Chicago] Gay Pride Parade, I used an analogy that is inflammatory.

I am personally distressed that what I said has been taken to mean that I believe all gays and lesbians are like members of the Klan. I do not believe that; it is obviously not true. Many people have friends and family members who are gay or lesbian, as have I. We love them; they are part of our lives, part of who we are. I am deeply sorry for the hurt that my remarks have brought to the hearts of gays and lesbians and their families.

I can only say that my remarks were motivated by fear for the Church's liberty. This is a larger topic that cannot be explored in this expression of personal sorrow and sympathy for those who were wounded by what I said.

– Francis Cardinal George, OMI

Recommended Off-site Links:
Cardinal George Apologizes for Linking Pride Parade to KKK – Manya A. Brachear (Chicago Tribune, January 6, 2012).
Cardinal George's Apology
– Frank DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, January 6, 2012).
Dignity/Chicago Welcomes Apology from Cardinal George DignityUSA (January 6, 2012).
Another Nugget of Gold from Cardinal George's Apology – Francis DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, January 7, 2011).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – December 28, 2011
A Christmas Message of Hope . . . from Uganda
Quote of the Day – December 23, 2011
Doug Mataconis on the Bishops, Religious Freedom, and Living in a Civil Society


colkoch said...

Too bad Cardinal George. You were playing to the FOX audience and now you know most of us don't watch FOX. Live with it.

Mareczku said...

Well, it is about time. This is a start. We need more healing.

brian gerard said...

"Many people have friends and family members who are gay or lesbian, as have I. We love them; they are part of our lives, part of who we are" I think this is a remarkable statement on his part. Also, credit for a sincere, public apology.

Paula said...

I wish I could be as optimistic as Brian about Cardinal George's sincerity. Something does not ring true. Can a public person like George say something like the kkk thing, not just once as McClory points out, but a second time in answering criticism, and then suddenly realize how offensive it might be? I certainly hope he had a Saul/Paul moment and that it has given him a new heart.

Clayton said...

Fear can be a two-way street. The corollary of homophobia is Romephobia.

Can the advocates of same-sex unions admit that fear has not brought out the best in them, as Cardinal George has?

Fear is a two-way street, as is trust. There is work to be done on both sides of this question, if there is to be a path forward.

That's not easy, because I know that on both sides, there are experiences that make trust difficult.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Hi Clayton,

It's been a while. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

What is it that "the advocates of same-sex unions" fear? Can you give an example of something that has been said by advocates that illustrates this fear and/or is as egregious as Cardinal George's comparison of the gay rights movement to the KKK?

Also, what do you mean by "Romephobia" and how does such a concept apply to those beyond the Roman Catholic sphere who are working for marriage equality?



CDE said...

It's a long history... going back to ACT-UP stomping on the consecrated host in St. Patrick's Cathedral. I would guess that the act was not simply violence for its own sake, but violence motivated by fear. Perhaps fear that the Church would begin persecuting homosexuals. If it were just a desire to be left alone, or accepted as equal in dignity as others, I don't know why those things would have led to violence.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Hi Clayton,

Are ACT-UP activists what you think of when you consider the "gay rights movements"? Is that what Cardinal George fears: a St. Patrick Cathedral-type incident in Chicago? (Also, my sense is that the 1989 protest you're referring to was not motivated by fear but by anger. It was a protest that saw 4,500 people arrive at St. Patrick's Cathedral during Mass to protest the New York Archdiocese's public stand against AIDS education and condom distribution. From everything I've read, only one person out of the 4,500 desecrated a host -- a deplorable act to be sure.)

But that was a single incident over 20 years ago! I'd like to think that when Catholics today think of the gay rights movement they think of groups like PFLAG, Dignity, and individuals like all the parents, grandparents, friends and co-workers who are willing to take a stand for the LGBT people they know, love and respect.

It is these types of "activists" that comprise the bulk of people who participate in gay pride parades today. The ACT-UP-type activists are, by and large, a thing of the past.

Members of the hierarchy would know this if they took the time to meet with and listen to actual gay people and their families. Their energies, however, seem fixated on perpetuating stereotypes of gay people (and the gay rights movement) and defending a sexual theology that the vast majority of U.S. Catholics recognize as having no basis in reality.

For a faith tradition that has a long history of valuing reason, these fixations and their consequences for the church are quite tragic, wouldn't you say?



CDE said...

That's partly my point: both sides tend to paint with broad brushes, which is unhelpful.