In another attempt to prove that the Catholic hierarchy is primarily made up of the out-of-touch crusty and contrarian, many articles treating Cardinal Francis George’s December 21st comments on the gay liberation movement in Chicago feature titles such as “Cardinal Francis George: gays are the new KKK,” “The Cardinal’s Bizarre Analogy,” and “Keeping Heat on Chicago Cardinal Francis George; Compared Gays to KKK.” The analogy was made by the Cardinal that, by planning a route for the 2012 gay pride parade that would directly conflict with or even prevent parishioners from attending mass at a downtown Chicago parish, the public demonstration of the gay activists would be comparable to more explicit anti-Catholic practices adopted by the Klan. The statement:
“You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism.”
Cardinal George did not amend his position:
“ . . .the organizers invited an obvious comparison to other groups who have historically attempted to stifle the religious freedom of the Catholic Church. One such organization is the Ku Klux Klan which, well into the 1940’s, paraded through American cities not only to interfere with Catholic worship but also to demonstrate that Catholics stand outside of the American consensus. It is not a precedent anyone should want to emulate.”
Note that the original statement expresses something positive for gay activists: the Cardinal’s hope that the group’s public demonstration not descend into the bigoted intolerance of the KKK. This hope for respectable public discourse obscured, a petition for the Cardinal’s apology has been made, as well as his resignation. The Cardinal will be sending in a letter of resignation next month anyway, a formality for bishops reaching the age of 75 that more often than not results in a new assignment or encouragement to continue in their current position. Needless to say, the Church’s requirement will probably go unmentioned when Chicago gay activists claim success in pressuring a Catholic Cardinal to tender his resignation.