Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ex-SF Archbishop Quinn Advises Catholics on Obama

In the current issue of America magazine, Archbishop Emeritus John Quinn of San Francisco has this advice for those Catholics (including 33+ bishops) who are urging Notre Dame University to rescind the invitation to Barack Obama: don't.

Unfortunately, the former Archbishop's track record of social analysis and judgement is not such as to inspire confidence.

I recall that it was under Archbishop Quinn that Most Holy Redeemer Parish began "outreach" and "dialogue" with the same-sex attracted community of San Francisco's Castro District in the early-1980s. From Fr. Donal Godfrey's indispensible history of Most Holy Redeemer, "Gays and Grays":

“'They came from the chancery, the personnel board, to ask questions, to see whom to send. We have to replace Fr. Moriarity, they said; ‘What kid of pastor do we need in this parish?’ I said, ‘The parish is gradually becoming more gay. These are the demographics of the area. This needs to be thought about in making this decision.’ There was absolute stone-dead silence in the room. . and the meeting went on to another point.’
--Deacon Laurence Rolle, quoted in "Gays and Grays", page 27.

“Fortunately, Archbishop John Quinn was well aware the question needed to be asked, and chose a man who turned out to be especially suited to the new sociological profile ofthe parish. Under Father Anthony McGuire—‘Fr. Tony—the parish was reborn….Anthony McGuire became the ninth pastor of Most Holy Redeemer parish in 1982.” -"Gays and Grays" pps 27-28. (emphasis added)

That was in 1982. Over the next 19 years did Archbishop Quinn learn anything that might cause him to reconsider--years in which the celebration of homosexuality at MHR became the defining fact of parish life? Apparently not, because this next quotation is from an inteview the former Archbishop gave to Fr. Godfrey on February 13, 2001:

"I think Most Holy Redeemer does an important service, an important role for the Church in the city of San Francisco. I think if there weren't a Most Holy Redeemer we should create one." -"Gays and Grays" p. 54

Well, they certainly did that.

They created a parish that today has at least seven openly same-sex "married" lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, and acolytes; a Liturgical Planning Coordinator who competes in the "Golden Dildo" awards; that has at least one "transgender" Eucharistic Minister; that welcomed the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence when they embarassed our current Archbishop George Niederauer; and where Archbishop Niederauer recently had to forbid the performance of a play by teenagers from Sacred Heart High School of Atherton.

In other words, Archbishop Quinn's attempts at "outreach" and "dialogue" (to put the best face on what he was trying to do) have actually prevented any genuine Catholic outreach and dialogue with the same-sex attracted community. What happened is simply that a formerly Catholic parish turned into a "gay" parish. That's not dialogue, it's surrender. Worse, to the extent MHR is perceived as being the Catholic church in the Castro, it has become a cause of scandal to the surrounding community. They see the word "Catholic" applied to teachings and activities that are in direct opposition to the Catholic Church, and they naturally wonder: what is the real teaching? Which is the true Church?

This sounds a lot like what is happening because of Notre Dame's invitation to Obama. MHR is a good object lesson as to what happens when the former Archbishop's advice is followed.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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