A question for Novato's Catholics: Does it bother you that the new archbishop of San Francisco, who oversees parishes in Marin County, supported the ban on same-sex marriage that was passed four years ago? Or are you glad he did?
Anyone from Novato's LGBT community have a viewpoint on that?
Salvatore Cordileone was installed in the role Thursday afternoon at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco after being appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in July to replace George Niederauer, who is retiring. But the move came amid protests from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups because of Cordileone's support of Proposition 8.
The New York Times published a story about how gay Catholics are worried about Cordileone's installment. About 25 protesters carried signs and marched outside St. Mary's while an equal number clapped and sang in his favor. The LGBT protesters waved rainbow flags and carried signs with messages such as, "We all deserve the freedom to marry." Other protesters' signs decried priest abuse of children.
"It's really a smorgasbord" of protests, said demonstrator Billy Bradford, 56, of Castro Valley. "... I'm here for gay people in general. Cordileone has said we're against the natural order of things. No, we're not. We're people. We're family. I should be able to get married so that my son can be protected by two parents."
"We do not support his anti-equality message or the work he does to deny legal rights to our families," Billy Bradford of Marriage Equality USA said in a statement. "The harm done to our community by Salvatore Cordileone cannot go unchallenged."
Those supporting the new archbishop carried a sign reading, "Neocatechumenal communities welcome the new shepherd." They clapped and sang, accompanied by several guitarists and drummers.
On the plaza in front of the church, which was closed to the public, a mariachi band played. The band was part of one of several ethnic festivities organized for the installation by the archdiocese to celebrate the diverse cultures it encompasses.
Meanwhile, a steady stream of nuns and priests entered St. Mary's Cathedral on the Gough Street side. Cordileone walked into the church at 2:06 p.m., wearing a gold-threaded robe and a white mitre.
On top of the same-sex issue, Cordileone was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in San Diego in August, and issued a statement apologizing for his "error in judgment" and "the disgrace I have brought upon the Church and myself." He is due back in court in that case next week.
His installation also brought skeptical comments from some members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors at their meeting earlier this week.
Supervisor Christina Olague, who identifies herself as bisexual, said she was disappointed that the church would appoint "a person who has shown a great deal of intolerance for our community." Supervisor David Campos, who is gay, also noted what he said were divisive statements by Cordileone, but said, "I hope we can find some common ground."
Cordileone has served as bishop of Oakland since 2009 after serving as an auxiliary bishop in San Diego and spending time in Rome, Costa Mesa and Calexico.
Besides the city, the Archdiocese of San Francisco also includes San Mateo and Marin counties. The archbishop oversees the dioceses of Oakland, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Reno, Salt Lake City and Honolulu.
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— Bay City News Service