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Cardinal mum about three prominent Dems — Quinn, Madigan, Cullerton — backing gay marriage

Springfield Catholic bishop plans same-sex marriage ‘exorcism,’ blasts Illinois pols for ‘twisting the words of the pope’
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Updated: December 19, 2013 6:28AM

The same day that Cardinal Francis George released a letter predicting Illinois’ soon-to-be same-sex marriage law would help undermine the “bedrock” of society, the normally outspoken leader of Chicago Catholics had little to say about three prominent elected leaders — Catholics themselves — who championed the measure.

“What’s the point of talking?” George told a Sun-Times reporter Sunday after Mass at St. Genevieve Parish, on the city’s West Side.

He made the comment after being asked specifically whether he would seek to deny communion to the trio of Chicago Democrats: Gov. Pat Quinn, who’s expected to sign the bill into law this week, as well as House Speaker Michael Madigan or Senate President John Cullerton.

Further commentary would be “creating a story of good guys and bad guys,” the cardinal said, adding that he feels his words are “sliced up without nuance.”

“So, I don’t see any point in talking,” George said.

Messages left with representatives of all three elected leaders were not immediately returned Sunday night.

The recently approved bill takes effect in June.

In a Nov. 11 letter distributed in parish bulletins across Chicago’s archdiocese this weekend, Cardinal George said Catholics would do well to accept gay marriage as reality.

“We have lived with bad laws before, and we will do our best to adjust to this one for the sake of social harmony,” George wrote. “The law . . . will contribute over the long run to the further dissolution of marriage and family life, which are the bedrock of any society.”

The document sounded a more moderate tone for Cardinal George, who once compared organizers of Chicago’s 2011 pride parade to the Ku Klux Klan for routing the parade by a church. The cardinal apologized for those remarks, but later backtracked on the apology, saying both the KKK and gay rights groups have tried to infringe on Catholics’ freedom to worship.

During Sunday Mass, the cardinal made no mention of his letter. Instead, he called on Catholics to take care of one another and trust that final judgment is in God’s hands.

“We learn to love so that we can move forward to meet our judge without fear,” he said from the pulpit. Later he added, “We are creating a world of caring and providence no matter how disastrous things may seem to be.”

Cardinal George previously told the Sun-Times that anyone living a lifestyle at odds with the Gospel of the church — and not just same-sex couples — are not allowed to take the sacrament of Communion.


Twitter: @BrianSlodysko

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