Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Separating City and Cardinal

Let's be clear... I am (usually) proud to be known as a native San Franciscan. My family's roots, on both sides, go back four generations. But lately, I don't know. Who are these people and where did they come from?

Unfortunately, I don't actually live in The City. We can't afford to. So I can't vote these folks out of office. I can only shake my head in dismay and wonder if sanity will ever return to my world.

And, just for the record, not all residents of San Franciso disagree with Cardinal Levada's values.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

When San Francisco's Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution last week condemning the city's former archbishop, now Cardinal William Levada, for a church policy barring adoptions by same-sex couples, the action drew widespread media attention.

But the news didn't change plans for an official city delegation that traveled to the Vatican for Levada's installation as cardinal and presented him Friday with a glass paperweight etched with the official seal of the city.

Now Supervisor Tom Ammiano, a gay Catholic who sponsored the Levada resolution, and other supervisors are wondering how such an apparent contravention of city policy could have occurred and whether any rules governing San Francisco's seal were broken.

"I think it is a significant breach," Ammiano said Tuesday. "You can't be cavalier about things like that."


The question of whether to attend the ceremony marking Levada's elevation to cardinal was a thorny political issue for San Francisco officials after news broke this month that the Catholic Church would no longer permit its charitable organization to allow children to be adopted by gay and lesbian couples.

The controversy prompted Mayor Gavin Newsom to cancel a trip to the Vatican and Ammiano to introduce his resolution, which stated that Levada "is a decidedly unqualified representative of his former home city and of the people of San Francisco and the values they hold dear."


Newsom spokeswoman Darlene Chiu said the city's official response to Levada's appointment as cardinal was mapped out months before the controversy over same-sex adoptions erupted. Chiu said the gift presented by Veronese was produced by the city's Office of Protocol, is typically given to visiting heads of state and should not be considered an official seal of the city.