Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The Archbishop of San Francisco has shown that he’s not about to cave to political pressure from gay activists or left-leaning politicians and has sent an unequivocal response to a letter sent to him by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) asking him not to participate in this week’s pro-marriage March in Washington DC.
Breitbart is reporting that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone sent a response to both politicians and gay rights advocates who are urging him not to participate in a march they call “venom masquerading as virtue”.
In his letter, he urges them to get to know people who disagree with them first before rushing to judgments “based on stereotypes, media images and comments taken out of context.”
He cites as an example the wild distortions made about a comment posted on the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) website which, when taken out of context, has led to supporters of same-sex marriage accusing NOM of connecting homosexuality with pedophilia.
“It is not true that the National Organization for Marriage connects homosexuality with pedophilia and incest,” the Archbishop writes. “What is true is that three years ago a conference was sponsored in Baltimore by the group B4U-ACT for the purpose of finding ways to encourage tolerance for pedophilia. A statement on NOM’s blogpost objecting to this conference affirmed that this is something that would outrage people in the gay community as well. Unfortunately, many conclusions are being drawn about those involved in the March for Marriage based on false impressions.”
His letter also reminds them that authentic Church teaching calls the faithful to respect “the intrinsic dignity of all people, irrespective of their stage and condition in life.”
“That principle requires us to respect and protect each and every member of the human family, from the precious child in the womb to the frail elderly person nearing death. It also requires me, as a bishop, to proclaim the truth—the whole truth—about the human person and God’s will for our flourishing. I must do that in season and out of season, even when truths that it is my duty to uphold and teach are unpopular, including especially the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife. That is what we will be doing on June 19th [the day of the March].”
To those who are saying the March for Marriage is “anti-LGBT”, the Archbishop countered by saying it not anti-anything, but is rather a “pro-marriage” event.
“The latter does not imply the former,” he said. “Rather, it affirms the great good of bringing the two halves of humanity together so that a man and a woman may bond with each other and with any children who come from their union.”
He has also delivered an artful counter to those who cite Pope Francis’ comment about “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?” by reminding them that the same pope also said: “We must reaffirm the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and mother.”
The letter goes on to challenge his critics, saying:
“It gives me assurance that we share a common disdain for harsh and hateful rhetoric. It must be pointed out, though, that there is plenty of offensive rhetoric which flows in the opposite direction. In fact, for those who support the conjugal understanding of marriage, the attacks have not stopped at rhetoric. Simply for taking a stand for marriage as it has been understood in every human society for millennia, people have lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and have suffered other types of retribution, including physical violence.”
He concludes his letter by inviting those who disagree with him to meet with him personally “not only to dialogue, but simply so that we can get to know each other. It is the personal encounter that changes the vision of the other and softens the heart.”
In the end, love is the answer, he says, and reassures his critics that this can happen even between people with such deep disagreements.
“That may sound fanciful and far-fetched, but it is true, it is possible. I know it is possible, I know this from personal experience. When we come together seeking to understand the other with good will, miracles can happen.”
Archbishop Cordileone is one of the speakers at the upcoming March for Marriage and will be joined by Fox News host Mike Huckabee (R) and former Senator Rick Santorum.
Click here for more information about the March.
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