ALL APOLOGIES

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.

Sometimes?

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