Chicago Cardinal finally apologizes for KKK remark
 

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posted Friday, January 13, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 02

Chicago Cardinal finally apologizes for KKK remark
by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Roman Catholic Cardinal Francis George of Chicago finally apologized for his inflammatory remarks comparing Chicago's Pride Parade to the Ku Klux Klan.

On January 6, the cardinal posted a statement on the Chicago Archdiocese website.

'During a recent TV interview, speaking about this year's Gay Pride Parade, I used an analogy that is inflammatory,' Cardinal George wrote.

'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.'

George's initial remarks, broadcast by Fox News in a Christmas interview, provoked a firestorm of protest among mainstream media commentators as well as LGBT activists. Less than a week later, he repeated the comparison to reporters who approached him for his comments on the controversy.

Truth Wins Out responded with a full-page Chicago Tribune ad demanding George's resignation.

While most LGBT groups seemed to take the cardinal's apology at face value, the Gay Liberation Network dismissed it as 'disingenuous.'

'This is completely disingenuous. No one was challenging the church's 'liberty,' the group said in a statement.

'Even though George himself has done everything he can to prevent legal equality for LGBTs, we have never in turn insisted that the church be forced to perform same-sex marriages, for example, any more than others have insisted that it be forced to perform marriages for divorcees.'

The group followed up with a picket line outside the cardinal's Holy Name Cathedral on Sunday, January 8.

'It is totally inadequate,' GLN co-founder Andy Thayer said of the cardinal's apology. 'When it came time to issue an apology he chose the most passive manner to do it. & I would say it to his face.'

'We called for Cardinal George's resignation but we think remorse is a positive step in the right direction,' said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. 'It is gratifying to see the cardinal take personal responsibility for the hurt he has caused and we hope this incident leads to improving relations with the LGBT community.'

'It appears that the cardinal has had a chance to reflect on the deeply hurtful and destructive statement he had made on Christmas Day in comparing the movement for LGBT equality to the Ku Klax Klan. His apology is important and will go some way toward healing the pain he has caused,' Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov said in a statement.

'However, his actions will speak louder than words, and we will be paying attention to see if his words translate into acts of dignity and respect towards LGBT people.'

Meanwhile, the anti-Gay Illinois Family Institute denounced the cardinal's apology.

'What I wish Cardinal George had said was that homosexual acts are soul-destroying acts that are 'detestable' in God's eyes and that the parade is a tragic, offensive event that shouldn't take place on any day in any neighborhood,' said the group's spokesperson Laurie Higgins.

'It is not an act of love to affirm or appear to affirm that which God condemns.'



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