House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) joined other California politicians and leading gay rights advocates in harshly criticizing San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for participating in the March for Marriage in Washington, D.C., on June 19th.
As SFGate reports, in a letter to Cordileone, Pelosi, a self-proclaimed Catholic who supports abortion on demand and same-sex marriage – both of which are against the teachings of the Catholic Church – described the March for Marriage event as “venom masquerading as virtue” and said the participants show “disdain and hate towards LGBT persons.”
According to The Chronicle, Pelosi invoked the words of Pope Francis to urge Cordileone to abandon speaking at the March for Marriage, the theme of which is “Kids deserve a mom and a dad.”
Quoting Pope Francis, Pelosi wrote, “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?”
“While we may disagree on the subject of marriage equality,” wrote Pelosi, “we do agree that every person is a child of God, possessed of the spark of divinity and worthy of respect.”
Pope Francis’s words were also used by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D), California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome (D), and other gay rights advocates in a letter to Cordileone in which they claim that by participating in the March for Marriage, the Archbishop is promoting “division and hatred.”
Cordileone, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, has become a national leader in vehemently opposing same-sex marriage. The archbishop helped to raise $1.5 million to get Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage, on the ballot in California in 2008.
“The ultimate attack of the Evil One is the attack on marriage,” he stated.
In a letter to the politicians and gay rights advocates Monday, Cordileone affirmed that the Church’s teachings indicate the “intrinsic human dignity of all people, irrespective of their stage and condition in life.”
The archbishop continued:
That principle requires us to respect and protect each and every member of the human family, from the precious child in the womb to the frail elderly person nearing death. It also requires me, as a bishop, to proclaim the truth–the whole truth–about the human person and God’s will for our flourishing. I must do that in season and out of season, even when truths that it is my duty to uphold and teach are unpopular, including especially the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife. That is what we will be doing on June 19th.
Cordileone countered that the March for Marriage “is not ‘anti-LGBT’ (as some have described it)… Rather, it is a pro-marriage March.”
“The latter does not imply the former,” he said. “Rather, it affirms the great good of bringing the two halves of humanity together so that a man and a woman may bond with each other and with any children who come from their union.”
The Archbishop reminded his critics of the vision promoted by Pope Francis, who said, “We must reaffirm the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and mother.”
Cordileone also challenged his critics, saying:
It gives me assurance that we share a common disdain for harsh and hateful rhetoric. It must be pointed out, though, that there is plenty of offensive rhetoric which flows in the opposite direction. In fact, for those who support the conjugal understanding of marriage, the attacks have not stopped at rhetoric. Simply for taking a stand for marriage as it has been understood in every human society for millennia, people have lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and have suffered other types of retribution, including physical violence.
The March for Marriage sponsors include the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the Family Research Council (FRC), the Coalition of African American Pastors, the Washington Times, American Principles Project, the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom, the Frederick Douglass Foundation, and Concerned Women For America, among others. In addition to Cordileone, former Arkansas Gov. and Fox News host Mike Huckabee (R) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R) will be featured speakers.