San Francisco, Calif., Oct 4, 2012 / 12:25 am (CNA).- The Episcopal bishop of California Marc Andrus has written a letter to his diocese in which he characterized Catholic Church teaching on marriage as “oppression.”
The letter dated Oct. 1 concerns the installation of Salvatore Cordileone as Archbishop of San Francisco, which will occur Thursday, Oct. 4.
The letter focuses on Archbishop Cordileone's support for the Catholic understanding of marriage and for California's Proposition 8, the voter-approved measure that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Bishop Andrus said that “despite this difference of opinion and support” he looks forward to working with Archbishop Cordileone in the “building of the Reign of God.”
He noted that though he differed on Proposition 8 with Archbishop Niederauer, Cordileone's predecessor in San Francisco, they cooperated on reducing poverty. The Episcopal bishop also recognized common ground with Archbishop Cordileone regarding immigration policy and poverty.
Bishop Andrus characterized Episcopalian teaching on lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgendered persons as the “proclamation of God's inclusion.” He claimed that Catholic teaching on sexuality is an attempt to “suppress the rights of others who, too, have been created in God’s image.”
“The recognition of the dignity and rights, within civil society and the Church of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered people, and of women are as core to our proclamation of the Gospel as our solidarity with the poor, with victims of violence and political oppression, and with the Earth,” he stated.
However, Bishop Andrus' position ignores the respect for their human dignity that Catholic teaching does afford to persons with same-sex attraction. “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition,” the catechism adds.
Claiming that the appointment of Archbishop Cordileone was met with mixed reactions by San Franciscans of “all or no faith tradition,” Bishop Andrus invited Catholics “less at home” with their new bishop to “come to The Episcopal Church.”
Bishop Andrus is head of the Episcopal Diocese of California, which covers the greater San Francisco Bay area.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone will be installed on Oct. 4 at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco.
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