The Rainbow Sash Movement (LGBT Roman Catholics) believes it is time that the Vatican moves to replace Cardinal Francis George as soon as possible. His discredited approach to tackling sexual abuse crisis within the church, and his narrow, authoritarian clericalism explicitly rejected by Pope Francis and most reasonable Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago support this position. The church in Chicago must move on if it is to restore its credibility and appeal to those who are deserting in droves.
George has constantly portrayed himself as the solution rather than the problem in tackling clergy sexual abuse. This position is not rooted in the reality of his leadership.
In our opinion, George has trivialized child abuse as a short-term embarrassment and one that did not require self-examination.
He has consistently attacked the LGBT Community in an unreasonable and authoritarian manner refusing even to listen to the concerns of LGBT Community. We hope his replacement will be open to the diversity of opinions and not be afraid to listen to those opinions in a respectfully manner.
On the issue of women in the Church his position can only be described as sexist. Women continue to allow the Church to operate, and yet that is not reflected the leadership of the Archdiocese.
Pope Francis has shown us that change in the leadership of the Church is possible, and that new approaches to Church leadership must be broad based, and open to reasonable criticism. Most recently Francis has taken the necessary step of replacing hardline Cardinal Burke from the Vatican body that appoints the world’s bishops.
Now is the time for Francis to continue his effort for reform in the Church by replacing Cardinal Francis George with an Archbishop who believes in the call of Vatican II that its leadership should always be rooted in service of the people. We believe that Francis wants to change this clericalist model of Church leadership. Now is the time for Francis to continue to build God’s Church in a very troubled world.
US Board of Directors
Rainbow Sash Movement