Archbishop of San Francisco appears to be defusing Homophobia in his Archdiocese

The Rainbow Sash Movement wishes to congratulate the people and pastor of Most Holy Trinity Catholic in San Francisco. The parish asked Bishop Otis Charles, a retired Episcopalian prelate, to lead the November 30 Advent Service. After serving as the Bishop of Utah from 1971 to 1993, Bishop Charles publicly announced that he is gay. He had a blessed union service performed to bless his relationship with his lover in 2004.

The question is does  Archbishop George H. Niederauer current Archbishop of San Francisco silence on this matter signal a change on how to respond to homophobic attacks on Most Holy Redeemer Parish. If our conclusion is correct it could be a sign that there is division among the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Church on how to openly and honestly welcome gays and lesbians into the Church.

We believe this is significant step in courage on the part of the Archbishop, and he should be applauded for not being panicked into canceling the planed Advent service. Fundamentalist elements in the Church are trying to whip up a homophobic frenzy over this issue which appears not to be affecting  his decision. We believe Archbishop Niederauer understands the Archdiocese is called to follow Christ’s example toward all different kinds of poverty and neediness.

The Rainbow Sash Movement is encouraged by Archbishop Niederauer lack of action on this matter, and believes he is taking a role in responding to the rampant homophobia that is alive and well in the Church. We believe he takes to heart the words of St. Francis of Assisi “Always preach the Gospel. When necessary, use words.”

Bob Anderson
Rainbow Sash Movement

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