When Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George came under fire earlier this week for comparing the LGBT movement to the Ku Klux Klan, I immediately thought of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Emperor’s New Clothes. I’m sure you are familiar with the story, so this video featuring the Cardinal’s interview on Fox News and some shots from the Chicago Gay Pride Parade might give you some idea about what I mean.
The Cardinal stated that he did not want the gay pride movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan — the analogy is that both groups persecute the Catholic Church. He later clarified that his comparing LGBT activists with the Ku Klux Klan:
shouldn’t be interpreted to mean the people in those two groups are the same — a suggestion he called “absurd.” George said the comments were meant to compare marches that he believes unfairly target the Catholic church.
I believe there’s some truth to what the Cardinal is saying here. For instance, I find it odd that the Gay Pride Parade in Manhattan, which marches right in front of St Patrick’s Cathedral, always falls on the Feast of Corpus Christi (as I mentioned in my first post), given that Corpus Christi is a movable feast.
It’s not odd that they have a parade. The nature of the parade itself is one thing, but the fact that they have one is nothing of a surprise. It’s not odd that the parade falls on a Sunday. It’s not even odd that they march right in front of St Patrick’s, since all major parades in Manhattan march down Fifth Avenue.
What’s odd is the fact that the New York Gay Pride Parade always coincides with the movable feast of Corpus Christi.
Incidentally, St Patrick’s used to have a Eucharistic procession on that day around the cathedral after the mass — not anymore, obviously. The church now holds the procession indoors on that day, while the Gay Pride event is going on right outside the front door.
In Chicago, they proposed to changed the route of the Gay Pride Parade in such a way that it would pass in front of a Catholic church during the Sunday liturgy — I don’t know if Chicago also hold’s its parade on Corpus Christi, but it would be interesting to find out.
The pastor of that parish opposed the change, concerned that it could interfere with Catholics coming to attend the Sunday liturgy. He probably thought that his parishioners would find it difficult to bring their kids to church while the streets were packed with men prancing around in briefs.
This is where Cardinal George weighed in. In the interview, he was explaining why he opposed the new parade route. His statement raised some eyebrows, but it should also raise the following question. Seeing as how organizers of pride events are uncompromising about interfering with Church activities at times when most people attend church then why should we be labeled as bigots for calling their behavior antagonistic? It is antagonistic.
Cardinal George’s choice of words may have offended and shocked a lot of people. It certainly caught their attention. Sometimes it’s hard saying what needs to be said in such a way that people will take notice. It takes the right type of person to say it.
Well, he said it.
After he said it, the organizers of the parade agreed not to reroute their march in front of the church. We should thank the Cardinal for being assertive, standing up for his flock, and saying what needed to be said.