Archdiocese of Chicago


Catholic Chicago Blog

Hosted by the Archdiocese of Chicago

About the Blogger

Cardinal George is Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago and is a native Chicagoan.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reflections on “Chicago values”

Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago. I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city? Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it? I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”

The value in question is espousal of “gender-free marriage.” Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry; and espousing the understanding of marriage that has prevailed among all peoples throughout human history is now, supposedly, outside the American consensus. Are Americans so exceptional that we are free to define “marriage” (or other institutions we did not invent) at will? What are we re-defining?

 It might be good to put aside any religious teaching and any state laws and start from scratch, from nature itself, when talking about marriage. Marriage existed before Christ called together his first disciples two thousand years ago and well before the United States of America was formed two hundred and thirty six years ago. Neither Church nor state invented marriage, and neither can change its nature.

Marriage exists because human nature comes in two complementary sexes: male and female. The sexual union of a man and woman is called the marital act because the two become physically one in a way that is impossible between two men or two women. Whatever a homosexual union might be or represent, it is not physically marital. Gender is inextricably bound up with physical sexual identity; and “gender-free marriage” is a contradiction in terms, like a square circle.

Both Church and state do, however, have an interest in regulating marriage. It is not that religious marriage is private and civil marriage public; rather, marriage is a public institution in both Church and state. The state regulates marriage to assure stability in society and for the proper protection and raising of the next generation of citizens. The state has a vested interest in knowing who is married and who is not and in fostering good marriages and strong families for the sake of society.

The Church, because Jesus raised the marital union to the level of symbolizing his own union with his Body the Church, has an interest in determining which marital unions are sacramental and which are not. The Church sees married life as a path to sanctity and as the means for raising children in the faith, as citizens of the universal kingdom of God. These are all legitimate interests of both Church and state, but they assume and do not create the nature of marriage.

People who are not Christian or religious at all take for granted that marriage is the union of a man and a woman for the sake of family and, of its nature, for life. The laws of civilizations much older than ours assume this understanding of marriage. This is also what religious leaders of almost all faiths have taught throughout the ages. Jesus affirmed this understanding of marriage when he spoke of “two becoming one flesh” (Mt. 19: 4-6). Was Jesus a bigot? Could Jesus be accepted as a Chicagoan? Would Jesus be more “enlightened” if he had the privilege of living in our society? One is welcome to believe that, of course; but it should not become the official state religion, at least not in a land that still fancies itself free. Surely there must be a way to properly respect people who are gay or lesbian without using civil law to undermine the nature of marriage.

Surely we can find a way not to play off newly invented individual rights to “marriage” against constitutionally protected freedom of religious belief and religious practice. The State’s attempting to redefine marriage has become a defining moment not for marriage, which is what it is, but for our increasingly fragile “civil union” as citizens.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Archbishop of Chicago

Print RSS


Friday, August 10, 2012 1:00 PM

Thank you Cardinal George. I am so glad that you are our shepherd.

Catherine H.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012 1:52 PM

I disagree with many statwmwnts Cardinal George has made (e.g. that the role of bishops is "governance") but totally agree with this statement. Incidentally I have many gay friends and do not believe that they elected the Mayor of Chicago as their spokesman.

Bill K.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012 8:22 AM

Thank you for that reminder:
"The Church sees married life as a path to sanctity "

Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Archbishop of Chicago

Thank you, Jesus, for my wife.

Michael D.

Monday, August 06, 2012 8:58 PM

Excellent article.

Margaret Z.

Monday, August 06, 2012 7:34 PM

Just one word sir......AWESOME!

Aubrey M.

Monday, August 06, 2012 2:50 PM

This NY'er commends you on a very well stated argument to counter the Progressive stance of too many of our politicians. My own city politicians would have no one who doesn't agree with "gender free marriage" doing business in our town. It's a scary thought that freedom of speech and religion are being attacked so vehemently. Keep up the good work Your Eminence. We need many more voices to shout out, "His will be done".

Madelyn O.

Monday, August 06, 2012 2:28 PM

Thank you Cardinal George! We love you!

Cindy B.

Monday, August 06, 2012 2:14 PM

Bravo, Cardinal. Please, keep-up the writing.

I am so sorry to read the number of comments by persons who are misinformed - especially by those who admit they were raised Catholic. It is proof that 'a little bit of knowledge can do a lot of damage.'

RE: Prof. Dennis H. - The Cardinal said, "The Church sees married life as a path to sanctity and as the means for raising children in the faith." In other words, marriage has a two-fold purpose; 1) it leads the couple on a path of holiness toward the everlasting Kingdom with God in heaven, 2) it allows the raising of children and the continuation of the life given to us by God. The two are not mutually exclusive.

You contend that persons in their 70's can no longer bring Children into the world. This does not mean they are not married. Couples who are unable to bear children are still living out their marriage covenant even if they are not producing children physically. They, as one in spirit and in flesh, are still on a path leading to holiness.

Now, same-sex couples obviously cannot bring children into the world physically. Could you argue that same-sex couples could fulfill the other purpose of marriage, by leading each other toward holiness? No - Not anymore than you and I are leading each-other on a path to holiness, because we are not and cannot become one in Christ in the intimate way that is the result of the Sacrament of Marriage. We can love each other and show one another the path, but we cannot do it as one, together - spiritually and physically.

We cannot change the natural law. Neither can we change that which Christ has confirmed upon his Bride, the church. God is God and we are not. The bottom line is this; we did not create marriage, and we can not change it. It is a matter of dogma, not doctrine.

John L.

Monday, August 06, 2012 10:01 AM

Your Eminence:

I firmly support you in your efforts to defend the institution of marriage.
You point out the interests government should take in defending that intitution, but I believe that until one Martin Luther was asked his opinion on government's role, it had none. So, I ask you; since that time, have things gotten better or worse, in the society of men?
Re.: "Chicagoan values", think about St. Louis de Montfort's suggested rosary intentions, sorrowful mysteries, crowning with thorns - mortification of my pride and self-love, and the grace to despise the world - to be in the world, but not of it.
So, if a Catholic does not have "worldly values", then I would suggest, he is on the right track!
Or, you could say, like Ward Cleaver, when loosly quoting St. Augustine: "Beaver, what's right is always right, even if no one is doing it, and what's wrong, is aways wrong, even if everyone is doing it!"

Philip B.

Monday, August 06, 2012 12:28 AM

Thank You for your statement Cardinal George! I am so happy that you stated what I feel in my heart. What happened here in our city is wrong. I somehow believe we are on the brink of more to come. I can only hope I am wrong. If not, I hope that church officials will be MORE active as shepards of the flock.

Sheryl K.

Sunday, August 05, 2012 8:45 PM

Awesome... Well thought out, and lovingly said.

Ashton G.

Sunday, August 05, 2012 4:12 PM

There are, no doubt, many businesses owned by people who believe same-sex marriage is okay, and would tell you so if asked. In my way of thinking, it is not very likely that the clientele of such a business would stop buying goods or services from that business as a result of what the owner states is his or her personal belief. It is equally not likely that a government official who believes in traditional marriage would publically state that such a business is not welcome in his or her city, town, state or country. So, help me understand then why such an uproar when the shoe is on the other foot.

Paul V.

Saturday, August 04, 2012 10:08 PM

Your Eminence,
Thanks for assisting, as also a " Sheep " in this grand, truly Catholic Archdiocese. It's prominent and prudent to protect " All " the innocents of this locale from the man-made doctrines from loose mental idleness, as Proverbs teaches, " In speaking much, one cannot avoid sin ".
By the by, I still have and treasure the crucifix which you had blessed at a Benedictine monastic community in September of 2001.
May God bless you,
and, All for the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
May the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope and all Sacred Ministers, publicly and on the same day at the " Titles " become performed.

Robert B.

Saturday, August 04, 2012 2:31 PM

Cardinal George:
Sir, you write that marriage is seen
"as a path to sanctity and as the means for raising children in the faith". This is horribly incomplete and you know it! Why should a committed man and woman of age 70 (well past any childbearing days) automatically be given legal rights by something called
"marriage" that are NOT given to a similar committed same sex couple?
Huh? You cannot possibly justify this beyond spouting some all-too-typical words about history and sanctity (as
seen by *your* faith). The truth, sir, is that this situation is the very personification of the word DISCRIMINATION. Not all marriages are "about" children. Please stop saying this. My God is a God of love....
not discrimination. I too was raised
in Chicago and as a Catholic. Peace.

Prof. Dennis H.

Saturday, August 04, 2012 11:08 AM

Thank you so much, Cardinal George, for a well-written and extremely clear teaching.

Keep it up, please!

God bless you.

E F.

Friday, August 03, 2012 11:59 PM

I am tempted to say that this is the most beautiful and articulate essay ever written in the name of Jesus Christ. But what would Oprah say? Has this been approved by Oprah?

Bill P.

Friday, August 03, 2012 7:44 PM

Thanks so much Your Eminence!
We are called to effectively and firmly voice our concern. Moral values, human dignity and our rights are non negotiable. May our Lord continue blessing you and keep you as a faithful disciple-shepherd! You are in our prayers.

Peter D.

Friday, August 03, 2012 6:41 PM

Recent comments by those who administer our CHURCH seem to assume that the CHURCH can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago. I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the CHURCH for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the CHURCH of the day move from the city? Is the CHURCH Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it? I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”


Friday, August 03, 2012 6:20 PM

I must commend Cardinal George for his eloquent statement. It cannot be an easy task balancing Old World beliefs & practices with Modern Day societies, Kudos for fighting the good fight. Perhaps a few minor clarifications are in order. The Gay people are not upset with Mr Cathy's personal views, but rather his public business views & practices. Giving over $5 million to known hate groups, would obviously upset any loyal customer. Surely Christian groups would be upset enough to boycott a public company that substantially funded say a Satanic cult. As for the "marriage" debate, as the good Cardinal stated, marriage is not a Judeo-Christian invention. For thousands of years homosexuals in China, Japan, South America, and even many Native American tribes had "gay weddings". As far as homosexuality being a lifestyle choice, who would choose that? A life of isolation and loneliness, hated by people for merely existing, I would not wish that on my worst enemy. As far as it being "unnatural", there are 250 documented species of animals & birds that are homosexual. Perhaps this is Divine intervention saying we have done well populating the earth, a form of population control.
So the tricky part is how do we as a society that is allegedly based on seperation of Church and State, permit equal rights to all? Civil Unions, which by law have to permit heterosexual couples only diminishes the strength and responsibility of true marriage. I don't have an answer other than sharing marriage with any loving committed consenting adult couple.

Cate B.

Friday, August 03, 2012 4:54 PM

God bless you Cardinal George.

Jared P.

Friday, August 03, 2012 4:30 PM

As an ex-Chicagoan I wanted to thank you Cardinal George and God Bless you for speaking up clearly and with love and respect.

Joan P.

Friday, August 03, 2012 4:10 PM

I have yet to hear this issue so well addressed from a biblical point of view and linked with the natural world we live in. Well done Cardinal George! I don't think the point could be made any clearer. I am protestant and I am not a chicagoan (Michigander) but it is clear to me we are brothers in Christ. United in Christ. The Bridegroom and the Bride....God's Idea, not mankind.

Fred M.

Friday, August 03, 2012 1:08 PM

Outstanding! Done with love and conviction. Thank you for standing up for Religious Liberty not only in Chicago, but also America. My only question is, is it too little too late?

Wendell K.

Friday, August 03, 2012 12:08 PM


anthonyj M.

Friday, August 03, 2012 10:53 AM

It's gratifying to see you defend the truth. One question.
How are all the gays, abortionists and politicians going to justify their actions when they stand before our Lord to be judged? Very foolish people that aren't aware of their mortality.

Ricardo M.

Friday, August 03, 2012 10:19 AM

Thank you, Cardinal George. i was so relieved to hear some backlash against the incredible bigotry of Alderman Moreno who seems to deny, in addition to Freedom of Religion, but also the right to free speech! I never heard anything from Chick-fil-A say they were denying service to someone who is openly homosexual. Cathy merely stated his own personal beliefs. I, too, believe in equal rights for everyone, and respect many people who are openly homosexual. However, I also have the right to openly state that while I can't impose my values on someone else, I can certainly state that MARRIAGE is between a man and woman who are forming a family together. Let the state go ahead and create some sort of civil union, if they must, to give legal status to such things as insurance and next-of-kin status - but, for heavens's sake, don't confuse it with the definition of marriage!

Eileen S.

Friday, August 03, 2012 9:18 AM

I am happy to see that Cardinal George has responded to the Mayors comments on the values of Chicago in regards to what marriage is. We need to hear more on this in chuch on Sundays as our freedoms in this country are being destroyed by our leaders who are becoming dictators. Thanks Cardinal George.

claude c.

Friday, August 03, 2012 8:06 AM

Should a practicing Babtist be allowed to answer questions about his religious beliefs while being interviewed by a faith based publication? This is the real issue raised by this unfortunate incident. As I understand it, Mr. Cathy made the statements in question while being interviewed by a reporter from a Babptist, church owned, newspaper and the comments were reprinted by the mainstream media.

Apparently the gay community believes that no person should be allowed to publicly disagree with their point of view, even if that view was expressed in a faith based conversation.

It's time for the gay community to acknowledge that this entire incident is actually an example of faith based bigotry.

William J.

Friday, August 03, 2012 7:53 AM

I would like to say thank you to Cardinal George for pointing out natural law and how government cannot dictate values. The person from LA was really hostile and I wonder if they ever studied natural law.

Constance J.

Friday, August 03, 2012 7:25 AM

Thank you, your eminence, for your clear and articulate comments. You were "ahead of the curve" to feel the anti-Catholic sentiment some years ago, and our prayer now is that Catholics and other Christians can unite in opposing this attack against our religious freedom.

Elizabeth F.

Friday, August 03, 2012 7:07 AM

thank you, Cardinal George.

James S.

Friday, August 03, 2012 3:39 AM

Dear Cardinal,

Thank you for your frank and lucid response to this important issue, and for your courage in standing up against this zeitgeist that is gender-free marriage.

Thomas F.

Friday, August 03, 2012 12:40 AM

I don't live in Chicago, but I applaud the Cardinal for his words of wisdom.

To the person who commented:

"You identify the value as gender-free marriage, however, I believe the mayor was referring to 'values that respect our fellow neighbors and residents.' "

My question to you is - are you suggesting that respecting those who want to marry the same gender means accepting their "re-definition" of the institution of marriage, and institution created by God and not men? What self-serving and absurd logic.

You, the Mayor of Chicago, and others who have condemn Chick-Fil-A are hell bent on trying to convince the rest of us that being opposed to same sex marriage some how suggests hatred towards gay and lesbians. Because at the heart of that "belief" is the premise that being homosexual is as normal as being heterosexual. Therefore to deny homosexuals something that heterosexuals enjoy must be because they are hated.

But the vast majority of people, like myself, who are opposed to same sex marriage don't hate people that are gay and lesbian. We just don't believe that marriage is between a man and a woman - as God intended. And many of us don't believe that being gay or lesbian is "normal" - as in "born that way" or created by God that way. Because that would then suggest that God was a bit confused and was not clear as to his purpose when he created man and then presented him with the woman.

Kenneth J.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 6:36 PM

People have a right to live life based on their religious & spiritual convictions if they so choose.
As catholics, we have sacraments that are the essence of who we are as praying people. Marriage is a sacrament.
Just as cardinal george has a vocation in life as a catholic religious, we the body of the church choose, if we are so blessed, a vocation in life through a sacramental marriage. By doing so, we emphasize our devotion to god the father of all, and to our children whom we raise in the church through prayer, mass & religious education. This is the foundation of catholic family life. Anyone that has grandparents or parents that have been married for life can meditate on the abundance of blessings that flowed as a result of this marriage sealed in the church to all the other family members through the means of love that sprung out of love for each other.
So for everyone out there that can't understand how this started mr cathy the founder of chick fil a was asked a question by a baptist newspaper reporter on his views on marriage. He answered in defense of marriage in the christian sense, said he's still married to his first wife and gives thanks to god.
The mayors of chicago and boston and 1st ward alderman of chicago threatened to block anymore chick fil a's from opening in those cities. These secular elected officials proceeded to make statements about the values & morals of the people. No way can they speak for the people on these matters. We have priests & nuns, pastors, native american medicine men, rabbis, etc that can better elaborate on the spiritual and religious views of the people.
Just as jesus conformed himself to the father's will that he be obedient even unto death. He prayed in near agony in the garden at gethsemane with his sweat turning as drops of blood. But he conformed himself to the fathers will. For all my catholic brothers and sisters...jesus christ and the church are like our parents. It is our duty to conform ourself to them in hope, love, and charity. Don't worry about all the naysayers that question everything about our faith whether it be marriage, confession, or why the priesthood is for men only. We've carried the message of christ for 2000 years and will still be doing so when he comes again in glory.
Cradle catholic now an adult practicing catholic,
Timothy canezaro

timothy c.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 5:37 PM

Dear Cardinal George,

Thank you from an ex chicagoan for the best Homily I have heard in years.
Same sex relationships,let alone marriage has been taboo in almost every culture in the world for thousands of years.
For a politician to attempt to punish any individual for following his concience is most un-american.
God bless you your Eminence

Dennis S.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 4:57 PM

Reading the latest comments here on cardinals blog. Think it might be a good time to lay down an intention that we might pray for: for a decrease in divorce , abortions, and single parenthood. Asking for blessings to make marriages, the pillar of christian family life, stronger, blessed with many children and parents committed for through the sacred bonds of love.
Post-blessing: for all those catholics and christians ready to defend the chirch and our way of life...godbless!

timothy c.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 4:41 PM

As a catholic in the city of Chicago, thank you for this message.

John H.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 4:18 PM

Dear Cardinal George,

I was referred to your post via the LA Times article on Chik-Fil-A.

I was surprised, as I found Mayor Emmanuel's statement valiant. He said: “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values. They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty."

You identify the value as gender-free marriage, however, I believe the mayor was referring to "values that respect our fellow neighbors and residents."

Unfortunately gender-free marriage currently falls under the subset of that broad value in this case.

Just so I am absolutely clear-- by rebutting Mayor Emmanuel's statement, are you stating you value disrespecting your fellow neighbors and residents and you are dissatisfied with the government for upholding equal respect toward all?

If this is not what you're claiming, I think you're discrediting your government.

I find the attempts to enshrine discriminatory practices in law based on one's personal beliefs the most difficult to understand with religious practitioners. (I am an antitheist.) The state, or government, as commonly referred, is meant toward fair governance for all citizens of all races and all religions (although it doesn't work out like that [yet]). Therefore when I see sects in religion wholeheartedly arguing and fighting to discriminate by state law against people based particulars of their religion, I find that discrimination wrong.

Especially I see marriage has taken 2 or more distinct meanings in arguements: 1) Marriage in state law, conferring all legal rights and benefits as well as social acknowledgement (this is the one everyone should be talking about). 2) Marriage strictly according to whatever religion practiced (in most cases I've seen this refers to Judeo-Christian beliefs, which blankets a lot of the USA.)

These probably should be seperate, but are unfortunately lumped as one. Personally, if religious marriage could be seperated out into a different term of marriage, this may resolve most issues. However I understand that many LGBT people still struggle to uphold their religion despite being scorned and punished for being who they are and fight to be recognized equally under both aspects of marriage.

Ironically, I thought the Christians were the ones who advocated love towards all. Although exceptions were always in the Bible, isn't there.

As a consequence of not being religious, your definition of marriage is not mine and has no inherent "truth" in it, as it is based on marriage as defined by your Church.

Marriage is a union. Gender-free marriage is not a contradiction in terms. Homosexual pairings amongst animals happen. Transgender people debunk your claim gender is found with physical sexual identity. As a woman, I also find it offensive (mostly toward women but also to men) social conceptions of gender are supposed to dictate how men and women behave. I absolutely do not agree that stable and strong families or good marriages hinge on there being one man and one woman involved. The cases of divorces, and spousal and child abuse and neglect (as well as misogyny and
misandry), have convinced me that a good marriage and stable and strong families are dependent on love and respect-- not on gender configurations.

Those are my views. And while I can understand how yours prompt you to say, "[let's not play off] invented individual rights to “marriage” against constitutionally protected freedom of religious belief and religious practice," I can not accept why your views must be the ones to be enshrined in law and allowed to discriminate against those you think don't deserve marriage. Historically interracial marriages were forbidden before too.

These are not INVENTED individual rights if you're arguing religion should dictate which certain pairings of people may be married under the state, regardless of which religion, race, etc you are. (After all, even if anyone can marry, no one is forcing same-gender pairings of your religion to get married. I suppose you can deny religious membership if they insist on being in a same-gender marriage.)

Anon M.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 4:03 PM

Excellent letter from the Cardinal!

The Christian is called to love the sinner, but not the sin. That is what is not being understood by the other side, the separation of the sin from the sinner, which calls for admonishing a sinner for wrongdoing, but in a loving, merciful way with hope and prayer for conversion. Nevertheless, those steeped in sin lack the grace and insight to acknowledge what is good for their eternal life and naturally rebel at opposition.

Barbara O.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 4:02 PM

Thank you Cardinal George for addressing this problem. We need more guidance like this from all our Church leaders. Keep talking, we are listening.

Peggy M.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 3:47 PM

I am a proud Catholic made even more proud by your lucid statement. It is unfortunate that what should be an obvious, reasonable position now needs restating. But in these times of great challenges to our religious freedoms, blatant anti-Catholic bigotry, and the sad pandering of our political "leaders," your words are a comfort and an inspiration to clear-thinking on the matter.

God bless you.

--Ron L.

Ron L.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 3:29 PM

Well said Cardinal George. This is one Jew from Pennsylvania who agrees whole heartedly with you! :)

Ken P.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 1:42 PM

I must support Cardinal George. When it comes to rational thinking he puts it very well in a nutshell. I condemn Mr. Emmanuel for the stand that he has taken and only think that it's easier for the 1% to move out of the city(yes, vacate the mayor's offive) than it is for the other 99% to move out. Mr. Emmanuel should have stayed out of the fray and instead decided to solve the gang problem before another 10 year gets killed.

Joseph W.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 1:37 PM

Cardinal George gets it! So do all the birds and beasts God created. Even dumb animals know who to mate with. For the rest of us, let's quit missing the point. We are entitiled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts. The Webster Dictionary defines marriage as the mutual relation between husband and wife, an institution whereby men and women are joined together in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family. Society has known for a long time that this is fundamental to a stable home and a stable society. Do we have a stable, peaceful country and world now? As history has proven, those civilizations that break God's law and natural law cease to exist after awhile. Check that out--an undisputed historical fact, not an opinion or feeling. Thank you, Cardinal George...and a quote (slightly paraphrased) came to mind when I read what you wrote. "If you can keep your head when all about are losing theirs and blaming it on
you," (or in this case the teaching morals of the Catholic Church). I think you have clearly said it, Cardinal George.

Joann M.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 12:45 PM

"Surely there must be a way to properly respect people who are gay or lesbian without using civil law to undermine the nature of marriage."

Please clarify what way you suppose that to be. The government currently treats a household with two adults and children committed to love and life together differently depending on the sex of the adults. Both families may be equally stable or unstable, but they are nevertheless families. Why should either of these families, who do not belong to or follow your faith, submit to its practices or laws?

What value does society derive from treating these families differently? How does society raise better citizens in treating these families differently?

Tracey S.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 12:23 PM

Dear Cardinal George, I commend your response to the mayor's comment. I don't hold those values and don't want anyone to speak for me on what my values are!
God bless you!

C I.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 12:22 PM

Thank you, Living in any type of sins is wrong either gay married or not. But have pray for them to be converted and merit everlasting life. I think the Holy Mother Chruches need to change the most important role in the mass as all Popes has had spoken as the most respectable way to receive Holy communion is kneeling and on the tongue as not in any other ways is better unless having a grave reasons. If we pay Jesus the most respectable way at Holy communion kneeling on the tongue. We showing Jesus more respects with love. This is what written in the Council of Trent, Vatican I and II. The Holy Spirit put it in there. Let us move all to the most respectable path. Jesus does deserves this respect and love. Confession should be daily as well as tradtional Latin Mass in each Roman Catholic churches, Read the books and the canon laws on Holy communion on which is more respectable.

Brad L.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 11:19 AM

God Bless You Cardinal George.

If people would only read the word and teachings of the Holy Bible there would be less sin in this world.

Sheryl C.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 9:23 AM

re: "Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city?"

Substitute the word "country" for "city".

Thank you, Cardinal, from Virginia.

Beth M.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 9:16 AM

The understanding of marriage has never been a stagnant definition, but changes through cultures and times. It has never been solely understood as a union based on sexual complimentality, and has always been far broader and deeper than the definition of the Catholic Church today. Basing a marriage upon what plug fits into what socket is like trying to stand a tripod on its head. Using gender to separate and categorize humanity necessarily debases their individuality, and focusing on physicality ignores realms of the human understanding that should be treated, at minimum, with equal weight.

The marriage of Mary and Joseph is traditionally believed to have been a sexless one. Following the guidance of the saints, we find very few married saints, and even fewer with children. A good percentage of these saints professed to live sexless marriages as a path toward holiness. A “marriage of minds” never recognized any genders, and the marriage of the Church and Jesus isn’t a sexual one. Rather, each and every one of these marriages points to a meeting point, a closeness, and a deep connection. This is not a new invention.

If the Church could step away from the sexual aspect of marriage and see how narrowly the Church’s definition has become, if the Church could see that 2 of the 7 sacraments are completely closed to a gay Catholic merely because they are gay, not because they ever have or ever will find themselves in sin because of their homosexuality, then perhaps they could see why the Churches stance on homosexuality has the taste of bigotry.

Ken N.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 9:04 AM

Thank you, your Eminence. Continue to stand strong for Holy Church and for souls. Your leadership is so very necessary. Many prayers are with you

Doug D.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 7:52 AM

Bravo, la pura verdad. Dios le bendiga Cardenal Gorge.

Dcn Juan R.

Thursday, August 02, 2012 6:36 AM

Your Eminence, thanks very much for your wise words and leadership!

Mark M.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 10:54 PM

Your Eminence, thank you for your thoughtful and clear blog post. We are praying for you and all the others in our Church who teach the Truth. God Bless you!

Charlie in Raleigh, NC

Charlie G.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 10:41 PM

I wish other Bishops would speak out clearly as Cardinal George has done. I live in Boston where our mayor started the whole fuss but no catholic prelate has spoken out.

Joan S.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 9:45 PM

As a fellow Muslim brother of the Abrahamic faiths, I commend your statements, Cardinal. You make some excellent points, In a time where political correctness comes in the way of people's personal beliefs, it is equally important for people to express their views and protect the sanctity of unions. May God bless you, Ameen (Amen).

Ameer R.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 9:08 PM

Thank you Cardinal George for speaking up and defending Marriage as between a man and a woman. I only wish more Bishops and Priests would speak up on this and other important subjects that confront all Christian beliefs.

William F.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 8:59 PM

Thank you for defending the sanctity of marriage and the right to free speech for those who stand up for their religious values.

Julie K.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 8:55 PM

Thank you, Cardinal George. Please keep speaking out loudly and clear about these types of issues.

Kathy W.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 7:32 PM

Thank you, Cardinal, for being such a wonderful leader. God Bless you; our prayers are with you.

G H.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 6:35 PM


Tom K.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 6:02 PM

I am not a Catholic, but I am a Christian, and I am very grateful to read the ArchBishop's words. It is faith-inspiring to see that many others share his perspective. I thank our Heavenly Father for the institution of marriage between man and woman. I pray that institution will remain intact.

Jeff G.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 4:04 PM

Thank you, Your Eminence, for your courage and wisdom!

-Fr. Jason Worthley
Boston, MA

Father Jason W.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 2:43 PM

Your Eminence,
Blessed Feast of St Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Just read your reflections on "Chicago Values". Bene dixisti! Deus benedicat te.

Joe M.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 2:00 PM

Although I am not catholic, nonetheless, as a practicing Christians I am grateful for Cardinal George's articulate response on this issue of our day.

Minister Roy H.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 11:48 AM

I thank you for having the courage to stand up for the Constitution of America. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion is the basis of this counntry. As history shows time and time again, it is a very slippery slope when the government starts defining what the populace beliefs are. Stand tall, stand proud, there are many that are with you and behind you.

Claudia S.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 11:01 AM

Thank you Cardinal George for your brilliant, holy, TRUTHFUL response to those who persecute Christians and all people of Good Faith. We hunger for more words, millions of words, like these in the public square from you and your brother Shepherds. Please, please do not back down Cardinal George, servant of Our Lord.

There may be persecutions coming! We pray you do die in your bed and not in prison! St. Michael the Archangel pray for us in this battle. St. Thomas More, pray for us! St. Margaret Clitherow pray for us! St. Robert Southwell pray for us! St. Maximillian Kobe pray for us! All Martyrs for the Faith pray for us!

Susan C.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 10:16 AM

in response to Tim B. and Ald. James:

Read scripture in full context to hear what God has to say, not what you think He should say.

Thank you Cardinal George!

jane s.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 10:06 AM

As an Ex-Chicagoan living in Atlanta for the past 15 years, I have come to enjoy the food and service at Chick-fil-A. Several of our friends have had their teenagers begin their working career serving the tasty chicken sandwich and 2 of those teenagers are gay. They were all treated equally and with respect. They also learned to treat their customers with utmost respect. They learned great work habits. Being in the south for 15 years, I have now become a southern gentleman but part of me, namely the ex-Chicagoan, wants to tell Chick-Fil-A to tell the Mayor and the Alderman to put it where the sun doesn't shine. It not the values of the company that was the problem but the fact they didn't pay the right alderman enough under the table money. Hmmmm, all this talk is making me hungry, so I am off to my local Chick-Fil-A for a chicken sandwich, waffle fries and a tall Sweet Tea!!

Harry V.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 9:06 AM

well said. sounds like Chicago need new political leaders! GOD bless

frank t.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 8:58 AM

Well said! Thank you for your leadership and faithfullness to the truth!

Carla, Charlotte, NC

Carla S.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 8:56 AM

Cardinal George's "reflections" are more about inflammatory rhetoric and less about honest discourse. He presents more material than can be addressed in a comment, but some quick observations:
1. The alderman who threatened to block Chick-fil-A because of its president's personal beliefs was wrong. But even Cardinal George knows that government has and will continue to use zoning and other ordinances for improper purposes.
2. Mayor Emanuel did not advocate blocking Chick-fil-A. However he did refer to "Chicago values." These values are reflected in the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance. Does the Cardinal disagree with this ordinance as a Chicagoan?
3. I have not seen anyone demand that the Church elevate homosexual marriage to a sacramental level. The Cardinal is using straw man arguments.
4. Most importantly, no discussion from any bishop or cardinal on religious liberty can proceed with intellectual honesty until he first addresses Justice Scalia's and the conservatives' decision in Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990) wherein they held that NO Constitutional religious liberty defense exists to ANY law of the state. Justice O'Connor, joined by 3 "liberal" justices (2 Episcopals, 1 Baptist, 1 Catholic) said no, we ought to leave the door open to a constitutional religious liberty defense on a case-by-case basis. The conservatives (2 Protestants and 3 Catholics)said absolutely not. I saw zero writings by the bishops and cardinals about religious liberties when this decision was rendered. Where was the outrage? Now that their political agenda differs, we hear cries of victimization. Where is the intellectual honesty here?

Kenneth M.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 8:26 AM

Thank you, Cardinal. You are a breath of fresh air in a time of upside down values. My prayers are with you.

D. Gamble

Debbie G.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 7:22 AM

I pray that we will be able to stop this attack on marriage. Thank you for standing up for all Chicagoans to defend the sanctity of marriage.

Brian ..

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 7:17 AM

God bless Cardinal George and the U.S.A.!! At least you have the guts to stand up for marriage & life. Canada caved in long ago, and MUCH too easily. Hopefully we'll have a place to flee to once the persecution starts up here. Our bishops waited until it was too late.

A Catholic in Canada.

Hugh M.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 6:20 AM

Intolerance is not a moral Value. In Chicago or any where else.

Scott S.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 2:30 AM

I applaud the Cardinal for taking the time to write a great response to the events taking place in Chicago among some elected officials. It's truly appalling that we cannot express our religious beliefs without being attacked, although that is not new at all in our world history.

I see there is some dissent among a few of the people commenting here... The fact is that yes, God loves all, however, just because he loves us does not mean he loves everything we do! The definition of love in liberal circles seems to be focused more on acceptance of every behavior without judgement.

When you think of God as a Father, which, of course, he is, think about how any father would act when their son or daughter is doing something he knows to be wrong. Of course he still loves that child no matter what; but it is precisely because he loves them that he does not let them do something which he knows is wrong!

As a married man with a newborn on the way, never before have I appreciated just how much marriage gives to society as a whole and shows God's love to everyone. The two become one; a living, breathing proof of love.

I hope that the people of this nation continue to support traditional marriage as they have in every state in which voters were given the choice. We cannot let a few decide to reverse the course of thousands of years of tradition which is vital to the future of every society in the world.

Steve H.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 12:45 AM

Thank you for your words on this subject. Everything you say about this makes sense to me as well as many other
people. I don't have to be from Chicago. I know from your
writings and comments that you put it out there for everyone
to understand, right on the button. Thank you for making
sense of this for all.

Patricia R.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 12:05 AM

Your Eminence, your comment is what the Holy Spirit and Jesus' flock has been asking of St Peter's successors. May the Holy Spirit FILL you with the Strength and the words needed to stand for Christ and HIS church.
To the gentleman that said Jesus would be tolerant, really? Have you read about how tollerant Jesus was with the money changers? When one reads scripture it is important for all of us to not understand it the way we want to but to understand it in the context it was meant and written. Our Church through centuries of prayer and guidance teaches the meaning of Sacred Scripture.
PS I am a Chicagoan by birth.

Matthew R.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:02 PM

Hey cardinal father francis george. St williams here in the city is fully behind you always father.
Thanks for speaking on these current issues. Kinda seems like I'm already super on guard about attacks on our religious liberty and freedom of conscience. The fortnight for freedom really helped and I'm thankful for all the bishops that raised this alarm.
So when this chick fil a controversy came up...I was ready. Ready in the sense that I seen right through emmanuel and 1st ward alderman and also boston's
mayor and how they were viloating the powers of their office. God bless mr cathy for taking a christian stance in this ever secular world.
Thanks for leading us chicago catholics in your love and wisdom father george.
Love your son in christ,
Timothy j. Canezaro

timothy c.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 10:57 PM

Thank you for speaking out.

Pastor Gary G.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 10:52 PM

Thank you for telling people not all Chicagoans are not my way or the highway people. Why because you do not agree the goverment can keep you from running a business. Is this a snap shout of things to come?

Terry D.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 10:36 PM

One critical fact is getting lost in the back and forth surrounding Mayor Emanuel's extremely intolerant position. His views are not those of the State of Illinois which restricts marriage BY LAW to "opposite sex" couples. If Emanuel is going to bar Chick-Fil-A from Chicago, he should also try to force the State of Illinois to give up all of its offices and facilities in the State because the Law of Illinois agrees with the Chick-Fil-A CEO's position!

David R.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 10:09 PM

Well said Your Eminence! God Bless you!

Nan B.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:43 PM

Even the laws of the state acknowledge that marriage is oriented towards the support of children. The tax laws presume that children are an inevitable result of marriage, because the essence of the tax break is to encourage one spouse to be the primary breadwinner, and one spouse to stay at home (presumably to raise the children).

Jim C.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:32 PM

I am proud to be a Catholic living in the archdiocese of Chicago (and in fact in the parish of Holy Name Cathedral) under the astute spiritual leadership of Cardinal George who truly guides his flock in this increasingly disturbed society. I thank God and ask His many blessings for Cardinal George and the Holy Roman Catholic Church and for all who stand up for religious freedom!

Patricia C.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:03 PM

Thank you Archbishop for your eloquence and your leadership. We are in need of good shepherds in these times, and are grateful for your courage.

M L.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:43 PM

The Cardinal ignores the fact that Chick-fil-A's CEO went beyond expressing support for limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. He called those who disagree with that position arrogant. The CEO is the one expressing intolerance and I think it is unfortunate that the Cardinal is supporting him. I am a supporter of same sex marriage and I respect that many disagree with me, although more and more people are agreeing with my view. I think Chick-fil-A should be able to open as many restaurants in Chicago as it wishes as long as it meets applicable legal requirements, including following laws banning discrimination against gays in employment. But I will continue to boycott Chick-fil-A after the outrageous statement of its CEO.

John S.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:21 PM

Thank you for speaking up! All it takes for evil to triumph is for Good people to do nothing. God has chosen us to be with Him now for the hope of His calling. We must all join together & stand up for God's Word NOW.

Shawna M.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:21 PM

Thank you, Cardinal George! Please continue to speak boldly, in season and our of season - because everyone needs to hear the truth. I pray that all bishops will stand as strongly for Truth as you do. God bless you!

Mary S.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:12 PM

Dear Cardinal George,
I echo the thoughts of others on this comment string. Thank you to the tenth power for your statement on marriage and what some in Chicago government state as values.
I have no doubt that homosexuals and lesbians can form strong, supportive, constructive, and sustainable personable binary relationships. A home is always enhanced when there is someone who is not just glad you are there, but wants to support you. And the grace of God falls on us all.

But, marriage is between a man and a woman. A voluntary union between two men or two women, intended for their lives, is still not a marriage. The Church can call it a Sacred Union. I would encourage the Church to create such a rite. But it is not a marriage. And the State does not have the sacred power to make it so.
I am glad that the Roman Catholic Church is starting to push back on the inherently disruptive policies of the Progressives. I'll bet you, Cardinal, that your actions will bring more wanderers back to the Faith.

Albert D.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:05 PM

Thank you for speaking the truth so clear and eloquently, this should be read from the pulpit of every christian church

Tom D.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:37 PM

From one of your former flock in Yakima, Washington: Thank you Cardinal George! As usual, you continue to say what needs to be said to those who need to hear it with your customary clarity and concision.

Bryan E.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:45 PM

Thank for speaking up for us the church. Well said and understood very easily.

Nancy R.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:17 PM

Cardinal George: Your comments are the reason why I won't be attending Church anytime soon. I'm tired of churches making gays feel so uncomfortable that we feel like we can't even attend church anymore because of the continued hateful comments of religious leaders. Jesus loves EVERYONE, including gay people. I don't need to change my life. He made me and loves me just as I am. You are a disappointment.

Ronny W.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 4:43 PM

I welcome and agree with the Cardinal's much needed words of wisdom and truth.
One point of clarification, however:
Long before Jesus spoke of "two becoming one flesh",(Matthew 19:4-6), G-d told Adam and Eve: "This is why a man leaves his father and mother*, and joins himself to his wife and they become one body" (Genesis 2:24).
* Note: FATHER and MOTHER.i.e. male and female parents.
Please continue the good fight, Cardinal George, and may God bless you.

Martin L.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 4:16 PM

Thank you .. God bless you, Cardinal George, for speaking the unvarnished truth!

Are we now in in Russia or Cuba, with these outrageous overbearing dictates from heavy handed government officials being flung in our faces about what they deem our faith practices and beliefs should be? How dare they!

I pray resolve, courage, commitment
and guidance in the Churches of the Archdiocese and nationwide and its priests and laypeople, especially by our priests from the altar, which has sadly been missing in the local churches I attend Mass, including the Cathedral.

The flock needs to be lovingly armed with knowledge, courage, faith and inspiration in standing up for the Church and our God-given rights.

Christ said we would be persecuted for our worship of Him. If these blatant, despicable attacks on our religious liberty in Obamacare and the current Chick-fil-a kerfuffle are the signs of the time when we will be called to choose Christ, to go along to get along and not make waves, or be punished, then please .. let us be lead from the pulpit by righteous and brave priests guiding us with truth to fortify and help us.

God bless and save us all.

J. H.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:52 PM

Thank you Cardinal George for articulating with insight and balance the truth about what marriage is and is not and for addressing the current trend of narrowness of mind and dialogue that seems to have bound up our national conversation. I always thought I lived in a pluralistic society where everyone's right to hold one's own values was assured, at least by government. Are we now moving to a totalitarian State? The current change is disturbing and alarming!

Fr. Joe C.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:38 PM

Thank you, Your Eminence, for speaking out. We hear you all the way to the Archidiocese of Detroit. I've been waiting a long time for our Church leaders to respond to what is happening to our core values in the country and you and Cardinal Dolan are great spokesmen.

Kathy P.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:37 PM

Dear Cardinal George,
thank you for your clearly -worded position. I'm a protestant who has recently been in discussion with my gay friend about gay unions. He prefers the word marriage. I prefer the word union for many of the reasons you mention. The question that finally rose to the surface is the one you asked: Is Jesus a bigot. I think the majority of people desiring some sort of governmental, national, edict making uniiversal gay marriage a fact, want very much to make any voice including Christ's and His Bride's that say gay marriage is not the same thing as marriage as Jesus defined it, be silenced. I think it may be the winds of persecution.I think we can and should interact with genuine love and grace to people in the LGBT community, especially, but without compromising our understanding of what Our Lord has taught us. And even though I'm not Catholic, we both love the One Who gave Himself for us; the recent government attacks on the Catholic Church have troubled me deeply. I pray God's peace and presence are yours.
Leslie A.

Leslie A.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:27 PM

Well said, Eminence! Please continue to speak out in this way!

Mya N.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:26 PM

Dear Cardinal,

Well stated! I am so glad to see our church leaders stand up to this persecution. God bless you and your church! Gay activists tell us we should accept all lifestyles without criticism. When we disagree with Home Depot on their support of gay rights, we are considered intolerant. When gay activists disagree with Chick-Fil-A's CEO on tradition marriage, we are, again, the intolerant ones. They don't practice what they preach. If they believed what they say, they would just eat at a different fast food restaurant. Just like I choose a Home Depot alternative. What they really believe is 'if you don't agree with us, you'll pay for it'. Where is the tolerance there?

Thank you for not cowering in the corner. Thank you for making a stand. I will be lifting you and your congregation up in prayer.

Sherrill W.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 2:51 PM

Great read. Plainly stated unconfrontational representation of the Church's position on an issue of importance to all. Agree with other responders that it deserves universal dissemination. Thanks to Cardinal George.

Tim S.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 2:17 PM

Thank you for speaking out against this national and coordinated push to change our values.

Denise D.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 1:59 PM

While I do not believe that aldermanic perogative should be exercised aginst a certain business for political/moral predispositions of a politician, I am compelled to recall that the Catholic Church that I was raised in and imbued with the values of,through 12 years of Catholic education, is an institution that focuses on the gospel of love and tolerance. Just as Jesus embraced Mary Magdeline and defended her against the moral indictments of the Pharisees, our Church leaders should be defending the rights of members of the gay and lesbian community from the judgment of the intolerant. For His Eminence to define the "marital" relationship by focusing on a mere physical act is to equate that sacred relationship with the casual act of two consenting adults to which each participant is "equipped" to engage in, albeit a loveless union on which no permanence should be expected. Instead, we should be focusing on supporting loving and caring relationships between people of every orientation, so long as the love (whether we understand it or not)is genuine and capable of supporting a loving and stable home within which children (natural or adopted) can flourish. Hetero marriages certainly have not provided guarantees of such homes, given the incidence of domestic abuse and divorce that all Catholics are only too aware of, directly.
This is the dialogue to which all Catholics must remain open to. Cardinal George should champion this dialogue instead of seeking unquestioning adherence to a doctrine of intolerance. That would demonstrate leadership based on the strength of the moral position consistent with the moral principles applicable in other contexts.

Timothy B.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 1:54 PM

Great post, Your Emminence! I hope you'll call Chicago Catholics to task for their support of the party that is is attacking our faith!

Paul M.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 1:25 PM

Glad to see Realclearpolitics. com picked up this editorial. Thank you for boldly standing up for our values.

nick c.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 12:54 PM

Thank you Cardinal, for your clear and unassailable statement. From a Catholic in upstate New York.

William S.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 12:50 PM

A very succinct, well reasoned explanation. Thank you for your clarity and most of all for your pastoral leadership on this issue.

Guy C.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 12:38 PM

Reply to Ald. James C. :
There are many, many things in scripture that Jesus found no need to repeat or rehash. He simply asked, ..."haven't you read?"


Tuesday, July 31, 2012 12:37 PM

Thank you, Your Eminence! You said it right. God bless you. May we all continue to fight back with such logic and grace when confronted with the moral relativism of the day!

Joe B.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 12:26 PM

Outstanding. Concise and correct.

Nat B.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 12:24 PM

Thank you Cardinal,

Be not afraid we are with you in prayer. This is truly the dark night of the soul for our church. I know that God will use all the evil deeds of the current party in power to purify our church...

God Bless you Cardinal and keep you upright and strong,


marisa f.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:50 AM



Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:48 AM

Thank you for your continued well state and strong support of the Catholic, but also more broadly applicable natural law issues involved in this issue.

Susan M.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:32 AM

Thank you Cardinal George!

I guess the next step for Alderman Joe Moreno is to close the catholic churches in the 1st Ward.

Where is the liberal view of we need to be more tolerant of people who think differently?

Tim V.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:23 AM

Thank you, Your Eminence. I was afraid that Hizzoner would be knocking on your door next, telling you to move Holy Name Cathedral out of the city -- all in the name of "Chicago Values."

By the way, is there a Catholic Church in the First Ward? Has Alderman Proco demanded that you move it, too?

Christopher M.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:18 AM

My thanks, Archbishop. Although I am not Roman Catholic (I'm episcopalian... sigh) and I don't live in Chicago, I appreciate the position of the the Catholic Church. I also appreciate that you and yours are resisting the winds of moral relativism and the systematic effort to redefine God's will to match current societal norms.

Obediance to God isn't about whether we personally agree or disagree with something or whether it's "fair" or "hard"-- it's simply obedience. The Church is to do its best to relay God's will, not ours.

Bradford F.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:13 AM

Beautifully written. Forceful and clear. It is wonderful to be part of a Church that is unafraid.
Bless you, A Family in DC

Anastasia B.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:11 AM

Mayor Rahm should be focusing on the problems in his city, such as, an 87 year old WWII vet being assaulted and robbed while walking home from the store. This is much more important than any Orwellian dictate telling the rest of us how we should think or what we should value.

Greg B.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:05 AM

Thank you Cardinal George. May God Bless you and Chicago.

Luis M.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:00 AM

Bravo and amen!

J Griffin C.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 10:36 AM

Thank God the Church and it's leaders do not change and twist truth for sake of political expediency. As the Democratic platform incorporates this idiocy into its basic values, all people of faith need to fight for the defeat of this current anti-religious freedom administration.

Patrick O.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 10:28 AM

Thnak you for your excellent letter. Although I am not Catholic, I have been truly appalled with our various governmental intrusions on our first amendment rights. It seems that these enumerated rights are under constant assault. Traditional marriage beliefs are now considered to be bigotry! Just a couple of months ago our president agreed and then evolved into a propornant of SSM. That evolution has seemed to release cries of bigotry and homophobia against those whose steadfast belief in the values and institutional benefits is steadfast. On a second front, the current HHS mandate forcing people of religious convictions against abortion and other forms of disallowing God's will to go allow in direct violation of their beliefs is an abomination. And my family and friends stand with Catholics on both fronts. Thank you again and God Bless from Texas!

Pam B.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 10:22 AM


Brian T.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 10:03 AM

Wow, God bless you, Cardinal George. So clearly and forcefully written.

Faithful Catholic or not, Christian or not, atheist or not, should read this.

Thank you, Cardinal George.

Elizabeth F.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:41 AM

Well said from Round Lake, Illinois!

Timothy O.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:38 AM

As a citizen of Chicago and a Christian, I thank God for this response and encourage all like-minded citizens to meet us this Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 1pm at Chick-Fil-A, 30 E. Chicago Avenue for a SUPPORT RALLY for CEO Dan Cathy and for TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE in Chicago. Feel free to email me for more information. THE SAINTS WILL NOT BE SILENCED!

David R.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:34 AM

Cardinal George - its a shame no one has the patience for thoughtful, deliberate commentary any more. Your response is clear, logical, effective - and based on the TRUTH. More of this please, and prayers to strenghten your brother bishops!!

Eric B.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:26 AM

Outstanding explanation of the issues facing a the American religious community. As a practicing Lutheran, I am appalled that the leaders of my religious community have not stood up in the public square for religous freedom.

Stephen H.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:14 AM

Thank you, Cardinal George!

Mary M.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:54 AM

Your Eminence,

You knocked that one so far over the bricks and ivy Sarah Palin can see it land in her back yard!

Well done, again, Great Shepherd!

Pat H.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:46 AM

I am a non-Catholic who agrees completely with the views on marriage expressed by the Cardinal in this post. I am saddened that our society today is being led by a vocal minority to believe that it knows better than all of recorded human history what God intended marriage to be, and that anyone who does not adhere to that viewpoint is merely a bigot. The level of vitriol and INtolerance expressed by those who purport to promote "tolerance" for all views except, it would seem, dearly held Christian views based on the word and promise of God, is a sad commentary on the state of the world today. The Bible is full of examples of cultures, societies and nations who shook their fists at God in like manner, and the consequences for doing so are well documented.

James D.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:17 AM

No where in the Scriptures has Jesus ever said anything that remotely suggested that homosexuality was any type of a disorde that needed to change. It's time now for us to be bold as Jesus and stand on the side of love and compassion as we acknowledge the need to cast a larger net on the meaning of love and commitment.

Ald. James C.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:39 AM

We Catholics in West Tennessee stand strong and proudly with you. May the Lord guide us out of the dark place to which our country has fallen. You know what they say: " it's always darkest before the dawn." May this be the prelude to a biblical "Sonrise" in America.

David T.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 4:15 AM

Thank you very much, Your Eminence, for this very clear and well-balanced response to the mayor's comments. As a Chicagoan and a U.S. citizen living overseas, I am increasingly concerned by the news I am receiving from home, and by the erosion of our First Amendment rights by our elected leaders. Your response is exactly the kind of of clear teaching and leadership the Church in the U.S. (and around the world) requires at this time. Tomorrow I begin a pilgrimage to Lourdes; you may be assured that I will remember you and your intentions in my prayers there, Your Eminence.

Curt W.

Monday, July 30, 2012 11:31 PM

I think we need education about values.Not only Chicago values.We need to know the value of morals in general.
In old times young people had a chance to learn Ethics during their education in high-schools.
And now? I do not know any Catholic school with such education.
There is such education in Europe,why not here?

The lack of ethics education and ethical relativism is the main reason of crisis of values.

Marta K.

Monday, July 30, 2012 11:12 PM

Thank you and God bless you, Your Eminence! As a wonderful philosophy professor repeated over and over to both a class and a circle of friends, our civil leaders need to see this culture and society whole. You remind them beautifully of the larger picture and a timeline stretching through many millennia which they seem to want to ignore.

John R.

Monday, July 30, 2012 9:38 PM

This should appear in its entirety in every Church
bulletin in the Chicago Archdiocese. It is worthy of
a printing at the national level. Many Catholics do not
truly understand the reasoning behind the stance against gay marriage and, therefore, feel the Church is
discriminatory. This explains the position of the Catholic Church very clearly.

Celine K.

Monday, July 30, 2012 8:20 PM

Thank you and God bless you Cardinal George.

Tim E.

Monday, July 30, 2012 6:42 PM

You are always so clear, concise and reasonable. Thank you.

Karen J.

Monday, July 30, 2012 6:04 PM

I was appalled when I heard the alderman and mayor of chicago make such statements about Chick Filet - my thought was "if some people don't wish to frequent the establishment, that is their choice. But please do not speak for others. It seems as if this is similar to red-lining from years ago, and discriminatory practices in real estate that are against the law. Let each person make their own determination of where to spend their money, please. Do not speak for others."

Judith Ann D.

Monday, July 30, 2012 4:14 PM

Thank you! Your words make me proud to be a Chicagoan and a Catholic!

Jennifer B.

Monday, July 30, 2012 3:52 PM



Monday, July 30, 2012 2:58 PM

Thanks you for speaking out on the issue of marriage between one man and one woman as God intended.

Ever since the Mayor and Councilman have spoken out against Chick Filet's owner and CEO, we and hundreds of citizens of Dallas, Tx. have flocked to Chick Filet to enjoy their delicious food! May God bless them with monetary profits that sky-rocket!! After all, they are very generous with their profits. They provide scholarships to many young people and assist organizations in need.

Beth L.-Dallas Tx.

Beth L.

Monday, July 30, 2012 2:15 PM

Thank you Cardinal George for your wonderful response. This gives us ordinary folks additional information needed in speaking out about these most important issues being discussed mostly in a biased media.
God bless Cardinal George. May the Cardinal continue defending the Faith courageously and faithfully.

Joan S.

Monday, July 30, 2012 1:56 PM

What in the world does the fact that the president of a corporation believes that marriage is a union between one man and one woman have to do with someone wanting to purchase a chicken sandwich from him? Too much government intervention into our first amendment rights.

Carolyn B.

Monday, July 30, 2012 1:23 PM

As both the President and Mayor seem to represent Chicago politics today, I think there was a better day with "Bath House John" and "Hinky Dink Kenna". Just a thought.

Rich B.

Monday, July 30, 2012 1:15 PM

Thank you to the Cardinal for his quick and correct response.

Rich B.

Monday, July 30, 2012 12:31 PM

I add my thanks to you, Cardinal George. I am appalled at the attitudes of our civil leaders. Soon we will not be able to utter a word about our own beliefs and values. This is a much needed perspective.

Sr. Madge K.

Monday, July 30, 2012 12:19 PM

Thank you for responding quickly to this current issue and speaking out the TRUTH. This is just the kind of leadership we, the faithful, need and SEEK from our leaders in the battle!

Michele A.

Monday, July 30, 2012 11:23 AM

Great response to our city leaders! Maybe the city thinks Hooters or the tilted kilt are great examples of Chicago values?

Walter M.

Monday, July 30, 2012 11:10 AM

Thanks so much, Cardinal, for saying so eloquently what many of long-time Chicagoans were thinking!

Barbara C.

Monday, July 30, 2012 11:10 AM

Thanks so much, Cardinal, for saying so eloquently what many of long-time Chicagoans were thinking!

Barbara C.

Monday, July 30, 2012 10:51 AM

I am very happy that you spoke out on this. It is time that we who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman spoke out.

Larry M.

Recent Posts

Monday, July 11, 2016 
World Youth Day in Chicago
By Juan Pablo Padilla

Tuesday, July 05, 2016 
Seeking and Living Justice as Neighbors
By Christopher Cox

Monday, June 20, 2016 
Theology of the Body Retreat
By Dawn Fitzpatrick