December 26, 2011 at 11:28 am EST | by Phil Reese
Chicago Cardinal George backs away from gay ‘Ku Klux Klan’ comment

Cardinal Francis George (photo by Adam Bielawski)

According to ABCnews Chicago, Cardinal George has began to backtrack on comments likening gay activists to the Ku Klux Klan, even after earlier refusing to do so.

Last week Chicago’s Roman Catholic leader, Cardinal Francis George, decried a rerouting of the 2012 June LGBT Pride parade route to a path that would take the march in front of a Catholic church. The Cardinal caused an uproar, saying “You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism.”

Initially the Cardinal refused to apologize or renounce his comments, but facing criticism on Christmas Sunday, the Cardinal sought to downplay his comments.

“Obviously, it’s absurd to say the gay and lesbian community are the Ku Klux Klan, but if you organize a parade that looks like parades that we’ve had in our past because it stops us from worshipping God, well then that’s the comparison, but it’s not with people and people — it’s parade-parade,” George said Sunday.

When the Cardinal made his comments, initially on a Chicago Fox station, a reporter asked him if his comparison between the LGBT community and the Ku Klux Klan were too harsh, but the Cardinal said no.

“It is, but you take a look at the rhetoric,” George responded. “The rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan, the rhetoric of some of the gay liberation people. Who is the enemy? Who is the enemy? The Catholic Church.”

The organizers of Chicago Pride had already been in talks with the gay-friendly Catholic Church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, whose concerns had been characterized as being about the timing of the parade coinciding with parishioners leaving the church after Sunday morning mass. The church is located just outside of Chicago’s famous ‘Boystown’ gay neighborhood.

According to the news network, Cardinal George plans to send a letter of resignation to the Vatican after his 75th birthday next month. The resignation appears not to be related to the calls among the LGBT community for the Cardinal’s resignation, as ABCnews notes all bishops are required to do so. Chicago will await a decision on whether or not Pope Benedict XVI will accept the resignation.


  • As a Catholic Lay Minister I want to be one of the first to apologize for what Cardinal George said. What he said was morallly repugnant, ignorant, and prejudiced. He has hurt his own witness and that of others like myself who work at the lower end of the totem pole. The priority for my ministry is love and acceptance of those who are different from me. I believe in diversity and openness. I feel like my feet have been cut out from under me. Please do not judge all catholics for the ignorant and prejudiced remarks of an old FOOL.

  • Historically, the rhetorical phrases most used by LGBT people are terms such as: “compassion, love, fairness, citizenship, equality, rights,” and “justice.”

    But the cardinal, his Pope, their employees, and official church policy all preach that LGBT people are “intrinsically disordered” and “immoral” and “evil.”

    In calling an entire class of people irrecoverably flawed and lacking in morality and Satanically possessed, it is the cardinal who is spewing rhetoric, not LGBT people.

    This archbishop/cardinal wants to deny all citizens their human rights based on some supernatural assumptions belonging to a religious sect. He is a dangerous demagogue spewing religious rhetoric, trying to turn everyone else’s democracy into his own theocracy.

  • His Excellency said the right thing. In fact you couldn’t frame the problem in a better context. Cardinal just earned my heartfelt thank you!

  • Let me just call the kettle black here. Cardinal George had to settle a sexual harassment case between an unamed boy and a priest named Daniel McCormack who pleaded guilty in 2007 to abusing five boys (ages 10-12) and was sentenced to five years in prison.

  • Cardinals are covering pedophiles and saying this?!

    Pleeeaz! After all the priests that have committed the most heinous acts against small children how this man has the nerve to point fingers at the L.G.B.T. community is beyond comprehension. When his house is free of mega-sin, then and only then should he be contemplating what anyones motives are. Pardon me for being so unbelievably indignant!

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