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New San Francisco archbishop must accept homosexuals, says former Catholic Charities director

October 05, 2012

On the day that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was installed as the head of the San Francisco archdiocese, the former director of the archdiocesan office of Catholic Charities published an op-ed column warning that the incoming prelate should not stress Catholic teachings regarding the sanctity of marriage.

“No one expects him to be silent on church teaching, but he has a choice to make,” wrote Brian Cahill in the San Francisco Chronicle) . He continued:

He can continue to be the aggressive, outspoken leader of the American Catholic bishops in their effort to prevent civil gay marriage, or he can be the shepherd of his flock. He can't be both, and if he tries, he will fail.

Cahill went on to say that Archbishop Cordileone should “not surround himself only with orthodox thinkers,” but take counsel from people with other perspectives. In that category he included Archbishop John Quinn, who resigned his post as leader of the San Francisco archdiocese in 1995, at the relatively young age of 66, and has subsequently made several public calls for change in the Church.


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  • Posted by: ColmCille - Oct. 08, 2012 2:47 PM ET USA

    Being a good shepherd means you must lead the sheep safely home, keeping them nourished, avoiding various dangers such as thorns, pits, cliffs, etc., and protecting them from predators,. For a bishop to take advice from the wolves, and allow his flock to fall into the pit by failing to warn them, is the opposite of being a good shepherd. A shepherd of sheep following such advice would lose most of his flock. For a shepherd of souls, the stakes are infinitely higher.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Oct. 07, 2012 7:27 PM ET USA

    Again, we are speaking of souls. At the heart of the Catholic rally cry against the HHS mandate is the issue of human life and of Natural Law. If life at the natural level is of such utmost importance- and deservedly so- it baffles the mind that so little commensurate urgency or empathy is expressed for the supernatural level. How many millions of dissenters, like this gentleman above, enjoy not only "good standing" but positions of prestige? Life matters. Eternal life matters. Souls matter.

  • Posted by: Leferink557202 - Oct. 05, 2012 7:13 PM ET USA

    This guy all the more proves why His Excellency DOES need to be "the aggressive, outspoken leader" in defense of marriage and "surround himself only with orthodox thinkers." God bless Archbishop Cordileone; he certainly has his work cut out for him.

  • Posted by: benniep5 - Oct. 05, 2012 6:51 PM ET USA

    May you Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone surround yourself with orthodox thinkers, and for sure God will bless you... and the Church will see growth.....

  • Posted by: gsarrazo9544 - Oct. 05, 2012 5:26 PM ET USA

    Cahill speaks as if being the outspoken leader in the prevention of civil gay marriage and being "the shepherd of his flock" are mutually exclusive. They are not. He IS being a good shepherd by being assertive on the issue. To actively evangelize the truth regarding a Catholic non-negotiable is the only way to lead the faithful under his care. What Cahill proposes is like telling a prison chaplain not to preach the Commandments because there are many thieves and murders in the flock.

  • Posted by: Gerry H - Oct. 05, 2012 4:24 PM ET USA

    I guess the word still hasn't gotten out: The cafeteria is CLOSED. As for the canard of being "pastoral," what is so pastoral about soft peddling the truth of the Faith, and risking that it not be apprehended by the Faithful? I doubt that Pope Benedict and Cardinal Ouillette selected the Archbishop for this post to have him change, so why should he on the advice of those who aren't part of, but think they know better than, the Magisterium?

  • Posted by: forlorsee - Oct. 05, 2012 2:41 PM ET USA

    Other perspectives? What about Jesus' perspective, handing down to us through His Church!

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Oct. 05, 2012 12:01 PM ET USA

    "New San Francisco archbishop must accept homosexuals, says former Catholic Charities director." The Catholic Church already does accept homosexuals - provided they are chaste and not shacked up as duos. There is nothing sinful about the condition of being homosexual, but everything sinful about practicing homosex.

  • Posted by: fwhermann3492 - Oct. 05, 2012 9:11 AM ET USA

    Thank God this guy is no longer directing Catholic Charities. This is just one more example of how the church needs to exercise more caution when selecting leaders.