According to Fox News, Cardinal Francis George has weighed in on recent controversies surrounding the 2012 Pride Parade, and his comments may upset some.
The parade, scheduled to be held two hours earlier than its usual noon kickoff time, will pass by Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church ( 708 W. Belmont ) this year. The route was re-worked after the attendance of more than 750,000 attendees sparked chaos in 2011.
The church opposes such changes, arguing that they will make it difficult for parishioners to get to Sunday service at that time.
"The Sunday morning for us is sacred," Father Thomas Srenn of Mount Carmel previously told Windy City Times, adding that he hopes parade organizers will reconsider.
The Cardinal told Fox News Chicago that he too disapproves of the route.
"You don't want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism," he said.
In a press release, LGBT Catholic organization Rainbow Sash Movement sounded off against the cardinal's comments.
"Cardinal George wants to promote a doubled standard when it comes to the Gay Pride Parade," the statement read. "One only has the look at the Chicago Marathon, and negative impact that race has on parishes such as Assumption Parish, St. Joseph's Parish, Immaculate Conception Parish and St. Michael's Parish just to name a few."
Our Lady of Mount Carmel hosts the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach, and Srenn said that reservations about the event had nothing to do with the content of the parade.
For related coverage, please click on the links:
Pride Parade start returns to old time,
Local and national groups sound off on Cardinal George
Photos Cardinal George greets members of the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach at mass Sunday, Feb. 8, 2004 at Mt. Carmel on Belmont. George sought out AGLO for a meeting Dec. 14, 2003, and from that meeting came the appearance in early 2004. He performed mass and then greeted people from AGLO after at a reception. His request for outreach was a direct result of protests by Dignity/Chicago and others against harsh wording against gays and gay families the summer of 2003 from the Vatican. Photo by Tracy Baim
About 150 supporters of same-sex marriage marched and rallied on the sidewalk across the street from the residence of Cardinal Francis George for Valentine's Day in 2004. The Catholic leader had spoken against the Illinois same-sex bill and equal marriage rights for gays. The rally in Chicago was part of a nationwide series of protests for same-sex marriage. 33rd Ward Ald. Richard Mel and his daughter Deborah ( now a state representative ) attended the rally and he Mel spoke in favor of same-sex unions. Photo by Tracy Baim