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Cardinal George apologizes for comparing gay activists to Ku Klux Klan

January 09, 2012

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George has issued a public apology for a statement in which he compared gay-rights activists to the Ku Klux Klan.

“I am truly sorry for the hurt my remarks have caused,” said the cardinal in a January 6 interview with the Chicago Tribune.

In a December interview, the cardinal had said that he was concerned about the attitude displayed by organizers of a Gay Pride march, which would pass directly in front of a Catholic church during regular Mass times. He remarked that “you don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism.”

In his January 6 comments, Cardinal George said that comparison had been made “out of fear that I have for the church's liberty.” He added: “Sometimes fear is a bad motivation."

In apologizing, the cardinal said that he had come to realize his comparison had been offensive to many people. He said “we all have friends or family members who are gay and lesbian.”

Speaking more generally about the fundamental conflict between gay-rights activism and Catholic Church teaching, Cardinal George asked the question: “Does respect mean that we have to change our teaching?” He left that question unanswered in his remarks to the Tribune, saying only: “That’s an ongoing discussion, of course.”

Despite the cardinal’s public statement, a group of gay activists picketed Chicago’s Holy Name cathedral on Sunday, January 8. Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network said that the cardinal’s apology was “totally inadequate.”


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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jan. 09, 2012 11:15 PM ET USA

    This is not humility on the part of Cardinal George, it is major obsequiousness. While he is at it he might apologize to the KKK for comparing their brand of hatred to the homosexuals'. At least they stayed clothed at their gatherings.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Jan. 09, 2012 10:30 PM ET USA

    Total capitulation. It has been said that the crisis in the Church is a crisis of bishops.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jan. 09, 2012 7:08 PM ET USA

    I totally agree with Mr. Andy Thayer.

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Jan. 09, 2012 6:40 PM ET USA

    I have to believe someone in the Chancery got to him. How disappointing. I thought the comparison to the KKK was completely appropos. This apology will encourage bolder more virulent protests against the Faith. We must rely on God's help in this fight, as we cannot rely on the clergy.

  • Posted by: filioque - Jan. 09, 2012 6:39 PM ET USA

    His first two statements were too good to last. How pathetic.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jan. 09, 2012 5:43 PM ET USA