Archbishop Cordileone Responds to Nancy Pelosi and Other Critics of the “March for Marriage”

The Internet has been abuzz this week with news that liberal Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi has called on San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to withdraw from participation in the March For Marriage, scheduled for Thursday, June 19 in the nation’s capital.

Archbishop Cordileone is a featured speaker at the March, which is intended to rally support for traditional marriage of one man and one woman, in the face of the relentless assault by gay marriage advocates, through legal rulings which disregard the religious liberty of Catholics and people of faith, and through media campaigns which have swayed public opinion in favor of same-sex marriage.

Pelosi’s is not the only voice urging the Archbishop to disregard Catholic teaching and embrace the homosexual agenda.  Others from California’s vice governor to San Francisco’s mayor, from California state senator to leaders of homosexual and LGBT organizations, have stepped up to demand that the archbishop stay home on Thursday.

Today, Archbishop Cordileone issued a letter in response to his critics, reaffirming his commitment to preserving traditional marriage.  The letter, which was sent to sixteen public officials, is included here in its entirety; or you may view the letter and its recipients on the San Francisco Archdiocese’s website.

Following is the text of Archbishop Cordileone’s letter: 

Dear Fellow Citizens,

Your letter sharing with me your thoughts on the upcoming “March for Marriage” in Washington, D.C., was forwarded to me while I was attending meetings out of town, and I have reflected on what you have to say. I appreciate your affirmation of my Church’s teaching—not unique to our religion, but a truth accessible to anyone of good will—on the intrinsic human dignity of all people, irrespective of their stage and condition in life. That principle requires us to respect and protect each and every member of the human family, from the precious child in the womb to the frail elderly person nearing death. It also requires me, as a bishop, to proclaim the truth—the whole truth—about the human person and God’s will for our flourishing. I must do that in season and out of season, even when truths that it is my duty to uphold and teach are unpopular, including especially the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife. That is what I will be doing on June 19th.

With regard to your request that I not attend the March, and the reasons you give for this request, allow me to explain the following points.

1. The March for Marriage is not “anti-LGBT” (as some have described it); it is not anti-anyone or anti-anything. Rather, it is a pro-marriage March. The latter does not imply the former. Rather, it affirms the great good of bringing the two halves of humanity together so that a man and a woman may bond with each other and with any children who come from their union. This is precisely the vision promoted by Pope Francis, who recently said, “We must reaffirm the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and mother.” Rest assured that if the point of this event were to single out a group of individuals and target them for hatred, I most certainly would not be there.

2. While I cannot go into all of the details here of your allegations against the sponsors of this event and scheduled speakers, I do know that at least some of what you say is based on misinterpretation or is simply factually incorrect. For example, it is not true that the National Organization for Marriage connects homosexuality with pedophilia and incest. What is true is that three years ago a conference was sponsored in Baltimore by the group B4U-ACT for the purpose of finding ways to encourage tolerance for pedophilia. A statement on NOM’s blogpost objecting to this conference affirmed that this is something that would outrage people in the gay community as well. Unfortunately, many conclusions are being drawn about those involved in the March for Marriage based on false impressions.

3. It gives me assurance that we share a common disdain for harsh and hateful rhetoric. It must be pointed out, though, that there is plenty of offensive rhetoric which flows in the opposite direction. In fact, for those who support the conjugal understanding of marriage, the attacks have not stopped at rhetoric. Simply for taking a stand for marriage as it has been understood in every human society for millennia, people have lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and have suffered other types of retribution, including physical violence. It is true that historically in our society violence has been perpetrated against persons who experience attraction to members of the same sex, and this is to be deplored and eradicated. Sadly, though, we are now beginning to see examples, although thankfully not widespread, of even physical violence against those who hold to the conjugal view of marriage (such as, most notably, the attempted gunning down of those who work in the offices of the Family Research Council). While it is true that free speech can be used to offend others, it is not so much people exercising their right to free speech that drives us further apart than people punished precisely for doing so that does.

4. Please do not make judgments based on stereotypes, media images and comments taken out of context. Rather, get to know us first as fellow human beings. I myself am willing to meet personally with any of you not only to dialogue, but simply so that we can get to know each other. It is the personal encounter that changes the vision of the other and softens the heart.  In the end, love is the answer, and this can happen even between people with such deep disagreements. That may sound fanciful and far-fetched, but it is true, it is possible. I know it is possible, I know this from personal experience. When we come together seeking to understand the other with good will, miracles can happen. 

When all is said and done, then, there is only one thing that I would ask of you more than anything else:  before you judge us, get to know us. 


Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone
Archbishop of San Francisco

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • End abortion,sodomy&divorce!

    EXCOMMUNICATE Nancy Pelosi immediately…PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Flunking_retirement

      IMO, Mrs Pelosi has has chosen to excommunicated herself. The Church has been magnanimous in not confirming it.

    • Celine of New York

      Hi, I am not in favor of excommunicating Nancy Pelosi. She just might, down the road, see the error of her ways and repent. I would leave that door open for her. I pray that she will come to her senses.

      • End abortion,sodomy&divorce!

        celine…40 years of being nice to pro-choice politicians has done nothing to change the minds of these scandalous catholics…Pelosi..sebelius..kennedy..biden and the list goes on ..and now these same heretics gives us same-sex depravity as a right! All because the Bishops haven’t a backbone to deal with these infidels. The Church is dying with the cancer of these demons and enough is enough! Excommunicate them all!

        • Motorcity Mouth

          I caught your stand up comedy special last night on HBO !!!!! You are a real SCREAM !!!! We howled with laughter….you are going to be a huge success.

          We have some suggestions: shriek like a banshee,
          flap your arms up and down and run around in a circle while you pronounce your judgements. Then, at the climax of the show, arrange to have the house engineers spray gasoline through the overhead sprinkling system over the entire audience. Then, you can light some fireplace matches and throw them into the audience. “Welcome to the Lake of
          FIRE, b1tches!”

          OMG – you will be legendary!!


    Most Reverend Cordileone wrote a beautiful and most charitable response. God bless him!

  • Bridgeport Guy

    With all due respect to Archbishop Cordileone, someone like Nancy Pelosi isn’t gonna get it when you play nice with her. At a certain point, someone like her who parades around on the Sunday morning political talk shows talking about herself as a devout Catholic, needs to be grabbed by the shoulders, looked into the eye, and told point blank: “You risk losing your soul by continuing to parade around telling everyone that you are a good Catholic while you promote abortion, sodomy, etc….Therefore, I give you 10 days to publicly repent of this or, for the good of your soul and in the hope of bringing you back to true Catholic reality, I have no choice but to ex-communicate you and to instruct all priests in my diocese to refrain from giving you Holy Communion.” The archbishop will make more than a few enemies by doing this, but I would have to guess that when he appears before Our Lord to give an account of his life, Our Lord won’t care too much about how many “fans” he made, but about how well he proclaimed the Faith in spite of becoming the target of hatred of people who can’t stand to hear the Truth.

    • Rick

      Yes! YEs! YES!

    • alanaforsyth

      I pray he does this. It has been far too long that she has kept up her anti-Catholic antics.

    • LOL

      “Think like we do or you are out of here” – The Cult Member

    • Celine of New York

      BRAVO! Bridgeport Guy. I could not have said this better if I tried. It is a shame that Nancy Pelosi, in New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo are telling the media they are good Catholics and are doing the complete opposite of what our church teaches. I can’t believe what is happening in the USA! Our religious freedom is being shaken, and not by people outside of the country but by our own. God bless you, and I am so very proud that there is a bishop who will stand tall in the face of adversity.

  • JFXP

    This guy is AWESOME!!! Right on…right on..right on! Let’s keep Catholic politicians like Pelosi and Newsome in our prayers, to convert their hearts by the grace of the Eternal Father. Their ignorance of truth is so far gone. They really need serious help.

  • dee

    love this archbishop but sorry to say nancy pelosi says she is catholic and i would hate to be the same kind of catholic she is cause all babies would be aborted and all women would be marrried to women and men married to men , this is her and obamas thinking. i wonder what he would say if his 2 daughters aborted babies and if they both married women , and obama if u read this be truthful when u answer this question, oh i forget he doesnt know how to be.

    • Donalbain

      Really? Who exactly is in favour of gay marriage for EVERYONE? Who is in favour of abortions for EVERYONE?

      • kathyschiffer

        Donalbain, if something is wrong, it’s wrong for everyone. Take murder: I don’t want to do it, but if you DO want to murder someone, the society will protect me from your bad thinking.

        • Donalbain

          Society prevents me from murdering you because that would deny you some basic rights. When George Takei married his husband, no rights were taken away from anyone. Now, if you want to argue that the state should prevent me from doing something simply because it is a sin, then you are going to need to explain how you support a legal system in which the worship of false gods is legal…

          And I notice that you didn’t answer the question I asked, so I will repeat it:

          Really? Who exactly is in favour of gay marriage for EVERYONE? Who is in favour of abortions for EVERYONE?

  • Proteios

    Pelosi scored her points with her establishment protesters. She already is likely being lauded for it and ‘dialogue’ as the bishop strives towards is not in th interest of a manipulator like a politician. Im glad for the thoughtful response to an unreasonable and hysterical politician seeking only to divide and conquer the populace.

    • Flunking_retirement

      She is fooling no one but her own following.

  • nosocialism29

    I am sure the Catholic Church will still be giving her Communion on Sunday. Hypocrites.

    • Celine of New York

      That’s the terrible thing. There are priests who want to do the “politically correct thing” and make a mockery of the sacrament of Holy Communion. To receive, you have to go to confession, confess the sin, vow that you will not commit that sin again, and receive absolution. I am sure Nancy Pelosi has not done any of this and is really messing around with her immortal soul and eternity. What a sorry person! Boy, is she enmeshed in the world!

    • Matthew 6:5

      And I’m sure they give communion to all the repigs that support the death penalty too!

  • Tanker74

    You don’t seem “gay.” You seem really full of hate. Perhaps some day you’ll overcome your anti-Catholic bigotry and ignorance.

    • Celine of New York

      I would like to direct this answer to scottrose (there isn’t a REPLY button under his post). Any who, We, Catholics, are like Hebrew National Franks, we have to answer to a much Higher Being than the media and the GLBT, thank God.

  • kathyschiffer

    Scott, I’m watching you and your hate-mongering. Here’s the deal: You want to enter into debate and respectful discussion, you are welcome here. If you’re going to spew venom, you’re outta here. I’ve got my finger on the “Block” button. One more post, you’re toast.

    • scottrose

      The blood of gay-bashing victims is dripping off of your bigot fingers, Kathy Schiffer.

    • LOL

      Can’t handle the criticism huh? Catholics are so weak and fragile they have to cry victim and label everything that counters them as “hate mongering”, they have to live in an echo chamber and banish anyone who doesn’t sing the same tune as everyone else. Look up the criteria of a cult and you guys fit right in.

      • Zolt

        Some of these comments include:
        >Ad hominem personal attacks
        >PC buzzwords and name-calling
        >wishing physical harm or death to Catholics for their beliefs

        You call that merely “criticism”? And did the mod say she’s banning everyone with an opposing viewpoint or just hate-mongerers? Do you even know how to have a respectful and intellectual debate?

  • Bridgeport Guy

    I see things through a “Catholic lens”, but for the sake of
    argument, let’s set aside religion for a moment. If that’s the case, then those who practice sodomy need someone to point out a few statistics to them to save them from their acts. It’s going on worldwide and it’s undeniable. I don’t say this out of
    hate for anybody who practices sodomy, but I’m pointing this out because in addition to placing themselves in jeopardy of eternal consequences, they are also setting themselves up for likely health problems for themselves and other they may come into sexual contact with. Take a look:

    In the USA: “Syphilis Cases Rising Among
    US Gay And Bisexual Men After Near-Total Elimination A Decade Ago” – see

    In Ireland: “Study Reveals Alarmingly High Anal HPV
    Rates in Homosexuals” – see

    In Vietnam: “HIV up among men who have sex with men in
    Vietnam” – see

    In Tanzania: “Experts: Homosexuality harmful to
    your health” – see

    In China, where 90% of the 117 HIV infections
    at one university are from male-male sex: “Deadly Disease on Campus” – see

    Even the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which is definitely not against the homosexual lifestyle, tells us that about 95% of HIV cases among boys and young men are linked to sodomy – see

    Because of the complete disregard for the natural law, and
    because of the rampant promiscuity among those who practice sodomy, disease spreads like wildfire among them. Now if
    we bring religion back into the picture, if you have a straight-shooter for a priest who is not afraid to tell the truth to these people with firm love and concern for them, then they may be led to take the courageous first step to exit this deadly lifestyle.

    • scottrose

      Duly noted, that on the basis of a few studies, you have determined that ALL gay males are promiscuous. Get out of the house and meet some long-range same-sex monogamous couples. We exist.

  • Tanker74

    It’s edifying to compare the archbishop’s measured response to the calumny from the GLBLTQ commenters here.

  • Bridgeport Guy

    Scottrose, you’re like a mafioso, looking to break necks when you disagree with someone. And liberals are always accusing everyone else of being bullies!!!

    • Bridgeport Guy

      And by the way, may God bless Thomas Peters. I remembering hearing about this poor young man who was recently married being seriously hurt in a diving accident. I pray that he is recovering well. I’m sure Thomas Peters would forgive a guy like Scottrose for making a comment like that, but it’s pretty rare that you hear someone gloat over someone else – even an enemy – incur a serious injury that might leave a guy disabled for life. That’s a real scumbag move.

  • Dina

    I think Archbishop Cordikeine wrote an excellent letter. It was a kind letter because he is apparently a kind man with class. At the same time he makes the Church’s position very clear, sugar coats nothing, and invites Ms. Pelosi to examine the truth without being judgmental. Soneone posted that Nancy will not respond to ‘nice’. If she doesn’t respond to kindness, I seriously doubt she would respond to threats.

    • Celine of New York

      I totally agree.

  • kathyschiffer

    Thanks to those of you who have responded charitably, regardless of which perspective you had. In case you were wondering–that wasn’t the same for our friend scottrose, who has now been blocked. I think in doing that, I lost a few of your very helpful comments–I’m sorry for that!

  • Thomas R Avery

    I note that after reading the list of who he sent the letter to, Nancy Pelosi is not included, only the others that sent another letter. Interesting? I also love how he refers to the fact that it is “my church”, so to those that are Catholic on the list he sorta excluded them from the Church.

    • kathyschiffer

      Deacon Tom, do you know whether any on that list ARE Catholic? Gavin Newsom is, isn’t he?

    • alanaforsyth

      Yes, why isn’t Nancy Pelosi on that list of people who got the letter?

  • LOL

    “The March for Marriage is not “anti-LGBT” (as some have described it); it is not anti-anyone or anti-anything. Rather, it is a pro-marriage March. The latter does not imply the former. Rather, it affirms the great good of bringing the two halves of humanity together so that a man and a woman may bond with each other and with any children who come from their union”

    How does same sex marriage affect this again?

    “What is true is that three years ago a conference was sponsored in Baltimore by the group B4U-ACT for the purpose of finding ways to encourage tolerance for pedophilia.”

    I’d have thought the Catholic Church would be all for that, what with it being the biggest child rape ring in the world.

    • Zolt

      Statistically, the Catholic Church has one of the lowest rates of abuse of any institution. The rates among Islam is much greater, and arguably the worst in the US is the CPS/foster care system.

      • Bobby Lawndale

        Don’t waste your breath, Nick. People like LOL never let the facts get in the way of their anger, which is grounded simply in the fact that the Church tells them what they want to do is wrong.

  • End abortion,sodomy&divorce!

    40 years of being nice to the likes of a Pelosi..sebelius..kennedy etc has done nothing to change the minds of these heretics…EXCOMMUNICATE these demons NOW!!!!!

  • Mark Cee

    Kathy, I had some questions:

    –What is specifically “pro-marriage” about the March, or for that matter about NOM in general? To me, a march that was about strengthening the institution of marriage would address the issues of divorce and adultery. From a religious standpoint, both are Biblical sins. From a social standpoint, both are obviously prevalent in the destruction of marriages. Yet I don’t see one word about either of those issues, either from you, the Archbishop, or NOM itself. Care to comment on why that is?

    Further, the Archbishop suggests that march is not anti-gay, and suggests that if the point was to single out a group for hatred, he would not be there. Yet the Family Research Council, one of the sponsors of the march, is one of the most anti-gay organizations in existence, so much so that it’s been classified a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Do you imagine the Archbishop is unaware of this?

    –The Archbishop is mistaken when he claims that NOM does not connect homosexuality with pedophilia. In fact, they do. It’s one of their talking points, that legalizing same-sex marriage will pave the way for the legalization of pedophilia. This is a matter of record–there are several examples. Further, many of the other speakers/sponsors in the march have done the same thing. Speaker William Owens has on multiple occasions equated homosexuality with bestiality and pedophilia. Again, it is possible that he’s unaware?

    –The Archbishop says that harsh and hateful rhetoric flows from both sides, suggesting an equivalency can be drawn. Yet I’m aware of no efforts by the LGBT community to deny heterosexuals the right to get married, or to deny them other civil rights. I also know of no LGBT march against those things or against Christianity or Catholicism. So how do you suppose he can claim equivalency when only one side has declared a “culture war” on the other?

    –Finally, I’m wondering about a few Biblical issues all of the above raises for me: the prohibition against bearing false witness, for one, and also Jesus’ instruction that we love our neighbor.

    • Donalbain

      Marriage is like oxygen or helium. It is an element found in nature. Now, as with all things, it is a limited resource. So, if a gay couple gets married, that uses up some of the marriage and so less is available for straight couples. As a result, straight couples are weaker, having less of the element marriage to bind them together. So, a march that is pro marriage will naturally want to keep the limited supply of marriage to those who know best how to use it.

  • Mark O’Brien

    My Gaydar needle spun off the dial. This archbishop is a major closet case and a hypocrite.

  • hazemyth

    Cordileone is being disingenuous in claiming that the march is “not … anti-anything” when its goal — and indeed NOM’s entire raison d’etre– is to oppose the expanding legal recognition of SSM. ‘Protecting traditional marriage’, in this context, clearly does imply opposing SSM, the recognition of which, according to the view of its opponents (and in the language of this very post), constitutes an ‘assault’. Though his statements may not explicitly ‘single out’ gay people, their purpose is to validate straight couples/parents/etc. specifically in contrast to gay ones, which is unavoidably demeaning to the latter.

  • Lisa

    Why is Cordileone trying to apply Catholic dogmatic rules to those who believe otherwise? How is this different from, say, divorce and remarriage, pre-marital sex, bankers preying on the (now non-existent) middle class? He’s not marching in defense of those doctrines. It’s fine for him to teach his doctrine to those who believe in his version of Christianity, but not to try to force his beliefs on those who believe in a more loving and inclusive God.

    • Donalbain

      Because if something is a sin, then it is the role of government to make sure that sin is illegal. That is why it is illegal to worship false gods, or to take the name of the Lord in vain, and to make graven images.