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Providing support

Dear editor:

Holy Name Cathedral is the center of all things Catholic in Chicago. The recent fire that damaged its roof shocked and dismayed many Catholics and others in Chicago. Before the fire, the cathedral had just had its structure renovated. Certainly, many in the LGBT community would join their Catholic sisters and brothers in expressing their concern for the future of such a landmark in the City of Chicago.

The Chicago Rainbow Sash Movement wishes to reach out to the parishioners of Holy Name to assure them that they will be held in our prayers during the difficult weeks and months that will follow.

Circumstances, such as the cathedral fire, are tragedies but can also provide us with spaces for reflection on the uncertainty of this life, and how we should support one another on life's journey. The symbolism of fire is destruction and renewal.

Like the fire at the cathedral, there presently is a symbolic fire raging in the Church around issues of human dignity. Unfortunately, many gay folks, women who seek equal rights and victims of clergy sexual abuse see the vision of the Church hierarchy as a major problem.

However, we also see a church where many believe the expression of sexuality should not be restricted to marriage and procreation, those who embrace ecumenical dialogue and people who believe in the primacy of conscience.

Pope Benedict XVI, for instance, makes war on the LGBT international community, while paradoxically admitting to the Church people such as Bishop Richard Williamson, who deny the existence of the Holocaust. Virtually all the good Pope John Paul II did to renew and reinvigorate Catholic-Jewish relations has been undone by his hand-picked successor, Pope Benedict XVI. The act of lifting the excommunication ban on Williamson and three other bishops who belong to the Society of Saint Pius X only stoke the flames of alienation so many feel.

Perhaps Cardinal Francis George should take advantage of the goodwill that is being directed at the archdiocese because of the cathedral fire, as an opportunity to reach to members of the LGBT Catholic community to begin a dialogue of compassionate listening, built on respect.

It is our hope that the cathedral will be rebuilt, and will once again regain its status as one of the spiritual hearts of Chicago.


Joe Murray

Rainbow Sash Movement

Choice pro-choice candidates

To the editor:

Our pro-choice community is very fortunate in the upcoming Illinois' 5th Congressional District Democratic primary. The three frontrunners in this election share a common and important goal: to protect women's reproductive rights. They understand that choice is a public-health issue and a healthcare right for women across this country, and one that must be ardently protected.

Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, a state representative in the 12th district, has been a consistent voice and vote on issues of importance to our community. I know that she will continue to be so.

In the General Assembly, Rep. John Fritchey has been an unwavering leader on issues of importance to women. Time and time again, John has been a leader and champion for reproductive rights. I am confident he will always be so.

The work Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley has done to ensure that all women have access to all reproductive services at Stroger Hospital is unquestioned. Quigley puts women first and protects an important resource for them in our community .

The Democratic voters in the 5th are very fortunate to have three strong pro-choice candidates in the March 3 special election. Whether Feigenholtz, Fritchey or Quigley win, women and their lives and health win.

—Marcena W. Love

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