"Holy Father, please provide us with a leader true to our values and your namesake," begins the text of a full page ad in today's edition of the Chronicle imploring Pope Francis to "Please replace Archbishop Cordileone."
Signed by 100 local catholic leaders including alumni of San Francisco Catholic schools, church volunteers, and former board members of Catholic Charities, the open letter is the latest indictment of the gay-hating, drunk driving Archbishop and his move to include "morality clauses" in the contracts of teachers and staff at Catholic high schools.
To recap, Cordileone has instructed the almost 500 employees of archdiocese high schools to “affirm and believe” that actions like "homosexual relations," birth control, and masturbation are “gravely... intrinsically” evil. In other words, it's a ban on teachers engaging in any of the "behaviors" themselves or expressing — let's call them "more nuanced" views in their classrooms.
The letter, whose signers include Brian Cahill (a former head of Catholic Charities) and Charles Geschke (chairman of Adobe Systems and also former head of the University of San Francisco Board of Trustees), blames Cordileone for fomenting “an atmosphere of divisiveness and intolerance.” According to the Chronicle, it likely cost tens of thousands of dollars. The letter also criticizes Cordileone for appointing a pastor to Star of the Sea Catholic Church who then banned girls from altar service.
The archdiocese fired back the following response to the letter:
The advertisement is a misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, a misrepresentation of the nature of the teacher contract, and a misrepresentation of the spirit of the Archbishop. The greatest misrepresentation of all is that the signers presume to speak for “the Catholic Community of San Francisco.” They do not.
The Archdiocese has met with a broad range of stakeholders. Together, we have engaged in a constructive dialogue on all of the issues raised in this ad. We welcome the chance to continue that discussion.
KQED points out that, although rare, popes have removed prelates over doctrinal disputes and misconduct. Pope Francis, for example, removed a bishop in Paraguay for reportedly protecting a priest suspected of abusing children. Why the hell doesn't the archbishop's DUI — a clear an dangerous indulgence — count for anything?
Here's the full text of the letter.
Holy Father, please provide us with a leader true to our values and your namesake.
Please replace Archbishop Cordileone.
We are committed Catholics inspired by Vatican II. We believe in the tradition of conscience, respect and inclusion upon which our Catholic faith was founded From Archbishops Alemany, Hanna, Mitty and McGucken, to Quinn, Levada and Niederauer, our Archdiocese has been “an immigrant Church” built on a rich tradition of diversity. The Archdiocese as created a remarkable system of churches, schools, hospitals, homes for the elderly and support services for those in need.
That is why we now respectfully ask you to replace Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
Archbishop Cordileone has fostered an atmosphere of division and intolerance.
Upon threat of losing their jobs, he coerces educators and staff in our Catholic high schools to accept a morality code which violates individual consciences as well as California labor laws. Teachers, students and parents are overwhelmingly opposed to his divisive proposal. The absolute mean-spiritedness of his required language for the Archdiocese high school faculty handbook sets a pastoral tone that is closer to persecution than evangelization. Students, families and teachers have been deeply wounded by this language, yet the Archbishop refuses to withdraw his demands.
Instead of your famous words “Who am I to Judge,” Archbishop Cordileone repeatedly labels the behavior of our fellow brothers and sisters (and their children) as “gravely evil.” He has selected and installed a pastor for Star of the Sea parish who marginalizes women’s participation in the church by banning girls from altar service and who has inexplicably distributed to elementary school children an age-inappropriate and potentially abusive, sexually-oriented pamphlet. The priest was recruited by Archbishop Cordileone in spite of a troubled history of questionable judgment as a pastor outside our diocese.
The Archbishop has isolated himself from our community. He disregards advice from his priests and has brushed aside the deep reservations expressed by our retired priests regarding his actions. He relies instead on a tiny group of advisors recruited from outside our diocese and estranged from their own religious orders.
The Archdiocese of San Francisco is threatened by Archbishop Cordileone’s single-issue agenda and cannot survive, let alone thrive and grow, under his supervision. The City of Saint Francis deserves an Archbishop true to our values and to your teachings.