San Francisco — Supporters of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone have moved their May 16 picnic to a different venue in the city.
They will gather at 11 a.m. at Sue Bierman Park at The Embarcadero and Washington Street. The event was originally planned for Little Marina Green, but another event with more than 3,000 participants was scheduled at Marina Green for the same time, said Eva Muntean, who started the website sfcatholics.org. She added that city officials were concerned the number of people from both events would be too large.
Muntean, organizer of the annual Walk for Life in San Francisco, started the trilingual (English, Spanish and Chinese) website after parents, students and teachers at four archdiocesan high schools began protesting Cordileone's decision to change aspects of the teachers' employment.
One of the changes is an addition to the teachers' handbook that states teachers are expected to adhere to church teaching in their personal lives. The "affirm and believe" clauses in the statement include condemnation of artificial birth control, gay marriage and extramarital sex.
Supporters of the archbishop say Cordileone is correct in ensuring that Catholic schools align with the teaching of the church.
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"We stand with and for our archbishop," said Lisa Hamrick, a San Francisco parishioner. "He is trying to preserve the fullness of the teachings of the Catholic church."
While the archbishop's opponents have organized rallies and even taken out an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle asking Pope Francis to remove him, his supporters have not been as vocal.
"The whole point of this picnic is to bring together the families and supporters who normally don't get their voices heard," Muntean said.
At the picnic, there will be a mariachi band and activities for children. Attendees are asked to wear blue in support of the archbishop.
[Mandy Erickson is a freelance writer in the Bay Area.]