Friday, December 30, 2011

Truth Wins Out Continues to Call Cardinal George to Accountability

Truth Wins Out continues its attempt to call Cardinal Francis George of Chicago to accountability for his recent inflammatory comparison of gay and lesbian persons with the Ku Klux Klan.  In a press release yesterday, Wayne Besen, TWO's executive director, notes that the group's petition asking George to resign after his Klan remark has now garnered more than 4,000 signatures (the count is actually now 4,691 as I compose this posting).

Besen's press statement also notes that TWO will be running a full-page ad decrying George's comments in Chicago Tribune this coming Sunday.  And (this is from an email TWO sent out with the press release) students at St. Nobert's College in DePere, Wisconsin, have now placed a petition online calling on their college to disinvite George as the 2012 commencement speaker after he mounted his most recent attack on the gay community (the Klan remark is far from the first time George has gone on anti-gay attacks).  In just a few days, that petition has gained almost 1,000 signatures out of its goal of 1,500.  

People are getting sick and tired of the anti-gay bullying and posturing of the U.S. Catholic bishops.  Of the raw, mean-spirited bigotry.  Of the attacks on brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, mothers and fathers, coworkers (and teachers, ministers, doctors, nurses, etc.) whom they love and admire.  People are sick and tired of the outrageous demand of the Catholic bishops to continue receiving state and federal money to support programs in which the bishops claim a special "right" to discriminate against those who are gay and a special right to flaunt laws prohibiting such discrimination.

The fact that George is the immediate past-president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gives his hateful rhetoric an even higher profile and even more significance than usual, since it appears he's speaking on behalf of all U.S. Catholic bishops.  If he has any real concern about the credibility of the church's moral message for contemporary society, he'll do more than grudging back-pedaling from his recent Klan comparison and more than image management that insults the intelligence of those calling for him to be accountable for the hate he's spreading: he'll admit that he was wrong and will apologize.  

And if his brother bishops have any concern about the credibility of the church's moral teaching, they'll exercise fraternal responsibility and call on him to be accountable.  And they'll stop the ratcheted-up, morally repugnant attacks on a vulnerable minority community and start acting like real Christian pastors for a change.  

If the leaders of the anti-gay Missouri Synod Lutherans are capable of behaving with a modicum of reason and compassion when it comes to the gay community, surely their brothers among the U.S. Catholic bishops have that capability, too.

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