Facing pressure from Catholics who view him as a church leader who fosters "an atmosphere of division and intolerance," San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has pulled out of an expected appearance at the National Organization for Marriage's upcoming "March for Marriage" in D.C. this weekend.
CBS SF reports:
In a written statement, the Archdiocese of San Francisco said other Catholic bishops from around the country will attend the March for Marriage, saying it allows Cordileone to “remain home and attend to the pastoral needs of the Church here at this time.”
Cordileone has helped lead the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage. The archbishop attended last year’s rally in the nation’s capital over objections from local groups.
In February, Cordileone sparked a firestorm of controversy over proposed "purity tests" for Catholic schools that threaten termination for teachers who give any statement that contradicts church doctrine, including holding a position that homosexuality is anything other than "gravely evil."
Last week, more than 100 prominent Roman Catholic donors and church members published an open letter to Pope Francis urging him to replace Cordileone over his outspokenness on divisive issues.
In related news, HRC has published an open letter to the Pope asking that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the current Apostolic Nuncio leading the Holy See's diplomatic mission to the U.S., withdraw from his speaking role at the NOM rally.
"There is absolutely no room for an emissary of one of the world's great religions at an event that will espouse hate and bigotry and promote outright discrimination against LGBT Americans and their families," said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. "Pope Francis has continually emphasized love and acceptance in his tenure, but this event stands for anything but."
Read the HRC letter, AFTER THE JUMP...