Cardinal Francis George Fears Gay Pride Parade ‘Could Morph Into Klu Klux Klan’

This man has lost his mind!

Cardinal Francis George, the head of the Catholic Conference of Illinois and the Archbishop of Chicago, has said he fears a new Gay Pride parade route in Chicago because it would pass in front of a Roman Catholic church.

George told Fox Chicago that he agreed with Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s concerns about the parade route. The church has asked the city to force organizers to alter their plans.

“I go with the pastor,” George said. “He’s telling us that he won’t be able to have services on Sunday if that’s the case. You don’t want the gay liberation movement morph into something like the Klu Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism.”

George defended his stance when the host called it “a little strong.”
“It is, but you take a look at the rhetoric. The rhetoric of the Klu Klux Klan, the rhetoric of some of the gay liberation people. Who is the enemy? Who is the enemy? The Catholic Church.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Last year, George opposed Illinois’ civil unions law, which is now in effect.
“Marriage is what it is and always has been, no matter what a legislature decides to do; however, the public understanding of marriage will be negatively affected by passage of a bill that ignores the natural fact that sexual complementarity is at the core of marriage,” he wrote.

Complete Article HERE!

Cardinal says he did not have all facts in dispute with governor

It’s just like Francis to shoot first and ask questions later. D’oh!

Cardinal Francis George said Sunday that he did not have all the facts when the Catholic Conference of Illinois issued a statement decrying Gov. Pat Quinn for his involvement with an abortion-rights organization that, it turned out, plans to give an award to an advocate for rape victims.

George, leader of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Chicago, and the five other bishops who oversee the church in Illinois released the statement Wednesday criticizing Quinn, a Catholic, for his plans to present an award Nov. 17 at the annual luncheon for the Personal PAC. The statement said Quinn had “gone beyond a political alignment with those supporting the legal right to kill children in their mothers’ wombs to rewarding those deemed most successful in this terrible work.”

It was the most recent volley in a dispute between the church and the governor over abortion. But the bishops were criticized when rape victim Jennie Goodman came forward as the recipient of the award presented by Quinn.

“I deeply regret that,” George said Sunday afternoon, en route to Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, where he was scheduled to present awards to parishioners for their dedication to ministries. “A rape victim demands all the respect and sympathy that anybody can give.”

He said that the Catholic Conference of Illinois, which advises the church on policy, did not inform the bishops about Goodman or her personal story of sexual assault.

“I first heard of Ms. Goodman only after we had crafted the statement (and) published it. Then, all of a sudden she comes forward. All of a sudden, she was there, and that wasn’t part of the story as we did it,” George said.

Bob Gilligan, executive director of the conference, could not be reached Sunday.

Quinn defended his decision to honor Goodman, whom he described as “a strong advocate of helping rape victims all over our state and the country.”

Goodman appeared in TV advertisements last fall that targeted Quinn’s Republican opponent and were paid for by Personal PAC.

But the message contained in the statement, also signed by Catholic bishops from Peoria, Springfield, Rockford, Belleville and Joliet, was meant only for the governor, George said.

“We do not regret reminding the governor that as long as he claims to be Catholic, there are inconsistencies in what he is doing and what the church says is the moral standard for all of us who claim to be Catholic,” George said. “It is the governor we are talking to, not her.”

George said the bishops felt compelled to protest what appears to be a new level of collaboration between Quinn and the political action committee, which describes itself as working to elect candidates who support abortion rights.

“It presented itself to us with news that he was not only pro-choice in his platform — we knew that — nor that he had been receiving help from pro-choice organizations like the PAC,” George said. “The story, from our point of view, was simply that … the governor had crossed a line here in identifying himself with the killing of unborn children.”

George said the bishops might have acted differently had they known Goodman would receive the award.

“I am not sure what we would have done,” he said. “If we had known this, that it was in fact an award to a rape victim, I think our own conversation would have been very different.”

Complete Article HERE!

The Power of Religion To Influence Corporate Responsibility

The recent experience of the near calamitous meltdown of the financial system was a clear indication of what can happen when unbridled greed and inadequate regulation are given free rein. The controversies swirling around News Corp are another ugly example of what happens when an ethical values system isn’t in place in the boardroom and powerful, intimidating personalities are given permission to create a culture that prizes “scooping” their competitors over serving the public good.

The question is: what can these debacles teach us about the role of ethics and morality in the marketplace and, perhaps more importantly, are we ready to learn?

As the director of the Faith Consistent Investment ministry of my congregation, I have been engaged in shareholder advocacy and corporate social responsibility since the early 70s. Recognizing the enormous influence global corporations have to impact the “common good”, my colleagues and I press CEOs and management to scrutinize their business practices on a myriad of issues from policies on lending and executive compensation, to water use in drought-prone areas and to human rights abuses in the supply chain wherever they source products or services. In the early 90’s I began to notice that corporate management referred quite often to the unique culture of their particular company and the values and practices that flowed from that culture. It became clear to me that there was a concerted effort on the part of responsible management to codify these values within the context of an identity statement that was part of the organizational DNA that would govern both its internal and external behavior.

An ethical values system has proven to be an important ingredient in the delivery of quality services and products, and the key to building customer loyalty, employee satisfaction and long term viability. But where do these values systems come from?

Historically, it can be demonstrated that the impact of faith on the social responsibility of any given corporation can be traced directly to the religion and character of the owner or CEO and how he/she integrated their value system into the corporation’s identity and operations. It was generally assumed that the decisions and actions of the business leader directing the corporation were significantly influenced by the religious principles at the foundation of their personal lives.

Religion’s impact is also seen through debate in the legislative and rule making processes whereby societies regulate businesses. As corporations are granted a license to operate they are expected to comply with the principles and constraints that are included. Basic values such as honesty, transparency, responsibility, fairness and integrity that are common to most faith traditions are included in this social contract.

A number of things that have changed over the last 75 years have profoundly impacted the intersection of religion and corporations. Let me briefly identify four of these changes and the consequences that flow from them.

Evolving Business Models: The Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) is the predominant business model today. LLCs whether public or privately held are managed and owned by a diverse group of professionals and shareholders, each with their own religious beliefs. These new models are less likely to be strongly shaped by the values and beliefs that business leaders or employees bring to them.
Influence of Corporations on all aspects of life: The legislative and political landscape, our culture and priorities are all profoundly shaped by the influence of corporations. This is true within the business and economic sectors, but also in the development initiatives that are taking place in some of the remotest villages and communities across the world. These are spaces where religious institutions, as spiritual guides and teachers of their followers, compete directly for public influence.
Access to information: The democratization of information through the development of the Internet and other modes of communication and travel have uncovered accounts of corporate abuses from all corners of the world. This has awakened an acute awareness of the relatedness that exists between people and communities because of the products and services that they rely on.
Active ownership of shareholders: Church communities and values-driven individuals who hold shares in corporations or are stakeholders in corporations have become increasingly more organized and active in the responsible exercise of their ownership and their stakeholder positions. This has resulted in direct and productive engagement by religious institutions with the management of major global corporations on a host of issues.
But for too many of us, corporate behavior is an abstraction and disconnected from our daily lives and so, the Banking and News Corp headlines are just that: headlines that produce momentary outrage but no meaningful change in corporate behavior. We must demand that corporations behave ethically and in service of the common good and bring values back to the boardroom.

The fantastic wealth of Irish Catholic religious orders revealed

When the Irish Government negotiated a settlement of the compensation due to the tens of thousands of people abused and traumatised in institutions run by the Catholic Church, the total came to €1.36 billion.

The Government wanted the Church to pay half of this, but during negotiations in 2002, the Church managed to wangle its way into contributing only €120 million (£107m) – a pitifully small fraction of what was needed.

This deal was struck on the hypothesis that there would be 2,000 claimants, something the Church was uniquely qualified to know would not be the case.

In the event there were 14,000.

Only after a great deal of public pressure, the amount the Church will pay is now to be renegotiated, with the Government having carried out a review of the assets of the religious orders that abused, over many years, those in their care.

The review has revealed the staggering wealth of these religious orders. It showed between 1999 and 2009, the orders made €667 million in property deals.

Almost all of these sales were made while the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse was investigating the years of suffering endured by children in their care.

The properties included land banks, houses, farmyards, a swimming pool, a warehouse, sports grounds and convents.

A quarter of all these trades involved the 2,088-member Sisters of Mercy.

Its four provinces sold 195 properties, including a €32m deal for 16 acres in Killarney.

The order still retained over €1 billion in land assets after these deals.

The 250-member Christian Brothers made €79m in the decade under review and the smaller Oblates of Mary Immaculate featured prominently because of the €105m it made by selling its Belcamp campus in north Dublin.

The top 13 trades by the orders brought in a combined €409m, while the remaining 313 units were sold for €81m.

The €667m total contributed to the revenue of 17 of the 18 orders which, in 2009, agreed to renegotiate the controversial 2002 indemnity deal.

The subsequent sales returns consisted of over 395 properties in the Republic, the North, Britain and America.

The details were released to an Irish newspaper with the orders’ agreement.

Some properties were transferred to community, public and diocesan bodies for nominal fees. Others were bought at peak prices by speculators and developers.

The asset review took place after a public backlash following the Ryan Report two years ago.

The report’s contents forced the Government and the orders to revisit the deal which capped the liability of the orders at €128m.

On the basis of the review, the orders raised their offer to €476m.

This was to go towards compensating victims, building the new National Children’s Hospital and erecting a memorial.

However, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn says he is disappointed by the offer from the various orders – they are still several hundred million short of what is needed.

He is now seeking further property transfers and says he will use bailiffs to seize more property if necessary to make up the shortfall.

But, as Dearbhail McDonald, the legal editor of the Irish Independent, pointed out, much of the money is tied up in charitable trusts for a specific purpose.

He maintains it will be difficult — even impossible — for the Government to access it.

“The chances of the Government sending in the bailiffs to the religious orders is about as likely as the sisters and brothers footing their half of an estimated €1.36bn abuse bill: negligible.”

Ruairi Quinn wants the orders’ overall contribution to be raised to €680m.

He says that if the Church does not pay its fair share of the settlement it will mean further cuts in public spending in a country already suffering mightily in the recession.

The Government is to re-open discussions with the clergy shortly.

“I’m going to enter into these negotiations with an open mind,” said Minister Quinn, although he told reporters that he is “not confident” that the Church will stump up its share.

“This is about recouping for the distressed Irish taxpayer a vast amount of money, the alternative which is that we have to reduce further expenditure and introduce saving in areas that we would otherwise not want to do.”

Despite the sales, the various religious orders retained a bank of property assets worth €3.07bn and financial assets of €704m.