Cardinal George and Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite
Saw today a post by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a professor and past president of the Chicago Theological Seminary and a minister of the United Church of Christ, in which she invited Cardinal George to join her and the Chicago Theological Seminary’s Pride group in the 2012 Chicago Gay Pride parade. The whole thing is worth a read, but here's part of what she wrote ....
Cardinal George, you’re wrong about Chicago Gay Pride
Chicago Gay Pride is a deeply spiritual event, combining a celebration of the diversity of humanity with a zest for life lived truthfully. Chicago Gay Pride is one of the largest such parades in the U.S., and it is listed on the city of Chicago’s official tourism Web site. Many, many Chicagoans are proud of their Pride Parade.
As a Chicagoan who is proud of Chicago Pride, therefore, I was very distressed to hear the Catholic Cardinal of Chicago, Francis George, make statementsto FOX Chicago Sunday, intimating that this wonderful Chicago event could become comparable to demonstrations by the Klu Klux Klan against Catholicism .........
Today I have written a letter to Cardinal George’s office, asking him if he will be my guest and march with the Chicago Theological Seminary’s Pride group in the 2012 Chicago Gay Pride parade.
This is a serious invitation. First, I make it in full confidence that the cardinal would be welcome in the Seminary’s Pride group. The United Church of Christ, to which our school is related, has as it’s motto, “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” We practice what we like to call a “radical welcome” and that includes the cardinal. We have had many fine Catholic students over the years.
Second, I would like to invite the cardinal because I have become an ally of the LGBTQ community and it has been an incredible spiritual and theological journey for me. I would like to share with him a small part of how important this journey can be for Christian leaders as well as parishioners ..........
Cardinal George has now attempted to walk back his hurtful comments, indicating the comparison was only “parade-parade” not “people and people.” It’s a start, but it’s far from enough.
Thus, my invitation stands, because more change is needed in the Catholic church, and truly in all churches, so that the “people and people” comparison is not merely descriptive, but a positive and even spiritually enlightening one.
Join us in Chicago Theological Seminary group at Pride, 2012, Cardinal George. I promise you it will help with your ministry.