Was Cardinal George open to a change on gay marriage?

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American Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, attends a news conference at the North American College in Rome on March 4, 2013. 
Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

American Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, attends a news conference at the North American College in Rome on March 4, 2013. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

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"I know that there is development in interpretation of events and of doctrine,” the late archbishop of Chicago wrote to a former confrere who left the priesthood to marry another man.

  • Fred

    Clergy and courts have been focusing on ‘gay’ marriage. What is the position of clergy and court for those that are born ‘bi’. Will they be allowed to marry both their partners? Marriage equality is established when every single person in the LGBT community is recognized for marriage equality. It is not just a matter of doctrinal interpretation, it has always been about equality.

  • ben in oakland

    I doubt very much that George changed his views, ever.

    A couple of years ago, he was quoted as saying that gay people who wanted to be married to someone of the same sex had “lost touch with their humanity.”

    I wrote to him at the time, not that I ever expected a response.

    “So people that love each other, desire life partnerships, marriage, family, children. and normalcy have lost touch with the human race? I can think of NOTHING more human than that.”


  • Pete Gagnon

    Did you read the article?

    “The categories of explanation of human experience are many and, as I’m sure you know, I can’t fit all your actions into the sense of things that I believe we have been given through Divine Revelation – ”

    That clearly implies that human experience is above all doctrine. So, yes, bi-sexuality will fall within the human experience that is above and beyond divine revelation. In short, human experience trumps any doctrinal revelation.

  • JR

    I think Monette is reading what he wants into the Cardinal’s response. I saw nothing more than kind and cleverly worded sentences to a friend.

  • Jeff Mayhugh

    “The former archbishop of Chicago was long known as a staunch conservative….” —- No, not a “staunch conservative”. Cardinal George was a “believing Christian”.

    Those afflicted with Same-Sex-Attraction-Disorder bear a heavy cross. They need help of the Christian community to refrain from acting out on it, just like an someone who is an alcoholic needs help to stay way from alcohol.

  • AC

    I don’t think the author knows the difference between development/interpretation, and change that ruptures. The Church is always changing… but it does so with an intent to become more faithful, not less so.

  • Sam

    Mr. Gibson, I think you are reading way too much into Cardinal George’s closing comments in his letter. He says he is bound by Divine Revelation. He was simply closing his letter to a friend in a polite way.

  • c3

    Having been brought into the Church by Cardinal George, I have a strong affection for the man. That being said, no the Cardinal would never accept a change in the Church’s teachings on SSM as it is against the Gospel and Tradition. Alluding that he might with him being dead is beyond tasteless and does truly show poor form. I’ll pray for your conversion David, (perhaps to Lutheranism, to reveal the intended double entendre)

  • What shows most in this essay and in the letter is that, contrary to the caricature of Cardinal George that is popular, he, like most leaders in the church are compassionate and caring human beings, who appreciate the struggles we all have and try not to judge the individual, for only God knows where on the path to heaven any person is.

  • Be Brave


    There is no justice or justification for accusing authentic Christians with wrongdoing if they oppose same gender marriage and teach not to engage in anti-Christian sexual behavior. They are being honest and forthright in their faith.

    All that LGBT’s need to do is worship whatever deity they so choose in their own private organizations. That is, after all, what you demand of Bible-affirming Christians.

    Hating Christians that will not preach another Gospel and change the definition of Christian marriage, and threatening them with legal harm, is not an honest thing to do.