Church Bulletin, Pt. 1: Chicago’s Cardinal Apologizes For, Y’know, The Whole KKK Thing.

Hey Chicago gays—you got to sleep in Sunday morning!

The protest planned over Cardinal Francis George’s offensive comparison of a gay Pride march to the KKK got canceled after Ol’ Georgie said he was sawwy.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune on Friday, George said:

“I am truly sorry for the hurt my remarks have caused. Particularly because we all have friends or family members who are gay and lesbian. This has evidently wounded a good number of people. I have family members myself who are gay and lesbian, so it’s part of our lives. So I’m sorry for the hurt…

When I was talking, I was speaking out of fear that I have for the church’s liberty and I was reaching for an analogy which was very inappropriate, for which I’m sorry. I didn’t realize the impact of what I was saying. … Sometimes fear is a bad motivation.


We would think a man of the cloth hopes to never come from a place of fear.

And this wasn’t some slip of the tongue—George, who’s set to retire this month, made his remarks on television and then defended them a week later. Sorry, Francis, we”re not Catholic: We don’t think just saying you’re “sorry” absolves you of your sins.

Still some local gay groups took the Cardinal at his word. “We asked for an apology, and we got an apology,” Joe Murray, of gay Catholic group Rainbow Sash Movement, told the Tribune. “From our perspective, it was a heartfelt apology.”

Dignity Chicago president Chris Pett called George’s apology a “gift.” “We believe in reconciliation. It’s not a time to continue to draw battle lines and go back to prior history,” he said. “It’s time to say we’re grateful for that gift for someone realizing that he or she misspoke in a way that caused some harm and seek forgiveness.”

Members of the Gay Liberation Network were going to go ahead with the demonstration, but the group changed its mind at the eleventh hour. GLN’s Andy Thayer’s posted on Facebook:

Even though the Gay Liberation Network finds the ‘apology’ of Francis George woefully inadequate, we nevertheless agree to call off the protest scheduled for January 8 (tomorrow, Sunday) at Holy Name Cathedral. While taking this action, we highlight our sharp disagreement with some LGBT groups which previously backed the protest and now bubble over with undeserved praise for Cardinal George

The Tribune reported on Sunday that a handful of protestors did actually appear to demonstrate outside Holy Name, but didn’t identify if they were part of any group.

Ah well. It’s not like Holy Name hasn’t see picket signs before! On Valentine’s Day, gay rights groups protested outside the church because of George and other clergy’s fight against civil-unions legislation (that passed anyway), and in April demonstrators marched to urge the Roman Catholic Church to ordain women as priests.

Pretty soon you’ll need to take a number.

Photos: Gerald Farinas, Adam Bielawski

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  • Steve

    That reads to me as “sorry you were offended, and you obviously didn’t understand what I was saying,” not “I’m sorry what I said was offensive”

  • Kurt

    “I was reaching for an analogy which was very inappropriate, for which I’m sorry.”

    That’s better than most apologies. Let’s accept it and consider it a sign that when we speak up, people eventually see how they were wrong.

  • Alex, UK

    @No. 2 agreed

  • kevininbuffalo

    When it’s all said and done he’s just another nobody preacher, no different than Brother Billy Bubba at the Bible Baptist Temple He’s a silly man, with a silly title in a silly hat. The only thing sillier is that so many people take him seriously.

  • Ruhlmann

    @Kurt: I am repulsed by his superstitions and rituals. I am offended that there are mindless apes whose fealty to him and his kind strengthens their corrupt and perverse organisation. I don’t want his apology because I don’t respect him as a human being.

  • B

    No. 4 · kevininbuffalo, “When it’s all said and done he’s just another nobody preacher, no different than Brother Billy Bubba at the Bible Baptist Temple.”

    Not really – to be a cardinal in the Catholic Church, you have to be competent at office politics and generally a good senior-level manager. The theology may be silly, but the office politics is world class.

    By contrast, “Brother Billy Bubba at the Bible Baptist Temple” isn’t expected to be able to balance his checkbook without adult supervision. Billy Bubba just has to be able to say “sinners” and “fornicators” with an exaggerated ‘s’ and ‘f’ that non-believers would generally associate with inebriation.

  • mayther

    As a Black person, I’m still deeply offended even after his apology, so can I still protest? My grandparents had run-ins with the KKK and for a public religious authority to come out and say that a group of oppressed individuals marching to express solidarity and their desire for equal rights is JUST LIKE a deranged group of hate-filled murderers who have hurt my ancestors badly…no, I am still offended, apology notwithstanding.

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