Archbishop issues statement on Pride, KKK comments

WiG

Cardinal Francis George this week repeated his comparison of LGBT civil rights celebrants to Ku Klux Klansmen.

George, the archbishop of Chicago, first made the comparison last week in a Fox news interview when asked about a Catholic church’s concerns that the city’s LGBT Pride parade would interfere with Sunday Mass.

Since then, the organizers of the parade held on the last Sunday in June have adjusted the time to avoid a conflict with church services.

Still, LGBT activists are circulating a petition calling for George’s resignation, and George continues to stand by his comparison of LGBT activists and KKK members.

In a statement posted on the archdiocese website, George said, “When the 2012 parade organizers announced a time and route change this year, it was apparent that the parade would interfere with divine worship in a Catholic parish on the new route. When the pastor’s request for reconsideration of the plans was ignored, the organizers invited an obvious comparison to other groups who have historically attempted to stifle the religious freedom of the Catholic Church. One such organization is the Ku Klux Klan which, well into the 1940s, paraded through American cities not only to interfere with Catholic worship but also to demonstrate that Catholics stand outside of the American consensus. It is not a precedent anyone should want to emulate.”

George also stated that is “terribly wrong and sinful” that gays and lesbians have been harassed and assaulted. These tragedies, he said, “can be addressed, however, without disturbing the organized and orderly public worship of God in a country that claims to be free. I am grateful that all parties concerned resolved this problem by moving the Parade’s start time so as not to conflict with the celebration of Mass that Sunday.”