Responding to the Illinois Catholic Conference letter to Governor Pat Quinn.
December 9, 2011
The Honorable Patrick Quinn
Governor of Illinois
Dear Governor Quinn:
I am writing this letter to you in response to the November 16 letter sent to you and co-signed by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, and the other 11 Bishops that compromise the Illinois Catholic Conference.
Thank you for not only your support, but also your leadership in passing the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act it was the right and fair thing to do.
Like you I am practicing Roman Catholic and understand that catholic tradition has always taught us to face the goal of the Gospels while at the same time being grounded in the reality of complex situations that we live in. The Primacy of Conscience applies to both of us and the Bishops. As the Governor of Illinois and a person of faith your internal forum must also be valued and respected. In my opinion, it is disrespectful of your personhood and your office for any to judge you in the media without first meeting with you. This is just good pastoral practice.
The issue of abortion and civil unions are matters of law in our state, and it’s my hope that the Bishops are not asking you to violate those based on their understanding of what Vatican II says. Vatican II also has great deal to say about the “Sense of the Faithful” and that is where you and I fit in. On the other hand it has absolutely nothing to say about Civil Unions contrary to what the Bishops are implying in their letter.
Concerning the cessation of adoptions and foster care services through Catholic Charities; sadly children were not a first priority on the part of Catholic Charities and the Illinois Catholic Conference other considerations took precedence.
For the Bishops to imply that the state is murdering children because of your pro-life and pro-choice positions’ is just as reckless as saying all the Bishops were responsible for the clergy sexual abuse scandal. Such generalizations might play well with certain radicalized elements among the bishops base, but they are not a fair and just assessment of your position.
Again, thank you for all the good you do for our state.
I wish both you and your family a wonderful and safe Christmas season.
Rainbow Sash Movement