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AIDS and the Church

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To the editors:

Not having been interviewed by Vicki Quade or anyone else at the Reader, I was surprised to find myself quoted in her article regarding opposition to the opening of Bonaventure House--the proposed facility for people with AIDS at Saint Sebastian's parish [Neighborhood News, November 27].

While the quote attributed to me is correct, it was taken out of context (it originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune) and unfortunately gives the impression that my criticisms are directed toward the congregation of Alexian Brothers and Saint Sebastian's as well as the Archdiocese of Chicago. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Had Ms. Quade seen the statement of Catholic Advocates for Lesbian and Gay Rights on Bonaventure House or had she spoken with me personally she would know that our criticisms are directed solely at the Archdiocese of Chicago. We have nothing but the highest praise and admiration for the Alexian Brothers and Saint Sebastian's parish, who have consistently responded to this health crisis in exemplary ways.

The archdiocese, on the other hand, has contented itself to sit back and take credit for the hard work of others. The Archdiocese of Chicago has neither implemented nor initiated any programs of its own but has jumped at the chance to accept credit for the outreach of others. In terms of pastoral care it rates an F. In terms of public relations it rates an A +. This is what we have criticized, not the exemplary work of the Alexian Brothers or Saint Sebastian's parish.

Br. Rick Garcia, BFCC

Executive Director

Catholic Advocates for

Lesbian and Gay Rights

Vicki Quade replies:

We all lead busy lives, and sometimes we forget. After receiving this letter, I called Rick Garcia to remind him that I had, indeed, called him in November to check the quote that had appeared in the Chicago Tribune. Garcia told me the quote came from a press release and was accurate. I saw no problem in using it.

I regret it if my article left any impression that Garcia's group directed its criticism toward the congregation of Alexian Brothers or Saint Sebastian's. I know his group directed its concerns and its criticism at the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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