Removal of US archbishop called for in full page ad

Dozens of prominent Catholics in San Francisco have taken out a full page ad in a major newspaper calling on the Pope to replace the local archbishop.

The ad in the San Francisco Chronicle on April 16 stated Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has “fostered an atmosphere of division and intolerance”.

More than 100 signatories to an open letter in the ad referred to themselves as “committed Catholics inspired by Vatican II”.

They include philanthropists, members of school and university boards, the former director of Catholic Charities CYO, high-profile attorneys and physicians, major figures in the business and corporate world, and officials of trusts, foundations and charitable organisations.

The open letter comes after fierce debate over so-called morality clauses inserted in contracts for teachers in archdiocesan schools.

A 2000-word statement by the archbishop for a faculty handbook had been criticised for its incendiary language and an overemphasis on sexual topics.

The signatories accused the archbishop of pursuing “a single-issue agenda” and coercing teachers with a “morality code which violates individual consciences as well as California labour laws”.

Concerns were also expressed about a local pastor who had discontinued the use of altar girls.

The letter also said Archbishop Cordileone isolated “himself from our community” as he “relies . . . on a tiny group of advisors recruited from outside of our diocese and estranged from their own religious orders”.

The archdiocese issued a statement calling the open letter “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 release stated.

“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.”

Those behind the ad had previously appealed to the apostolic nuncio in Washington about their concerns.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , ,