The Catholic League has asked Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco to intervene in a matter that is of great interest to the Catholic League. It involves a decision by the San Francisco Supervisors to allow an anti-Catholic group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the right to hold a public celebration on Easter Sunday; a public street will be closed to accommodate them.
The unanimous decision by the Supervisors, 11-0, overturned a ruling by the Department of Parking and Traffic. The league has asked Mayor Brown to act quickly, arguing that the First Amendment is conditioned on time, place and manner, and thus it is inappropriate that the Sisters be given a public opportunity to attack Catholicism on such a Holy Day as Easter.
Catholic League president William Donohue explained the league’s concerns and announced what will be done if Mayor Brown does nothing:
“Men dressed as nuns mock Catholicism, but this is not the central objection we have to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence: it is their vicious attacks on the Eucharist, the nucleus of Catholicism, that we object to more than anything else.
“The Supervisors have a twisted notion of separation of church and state: they hold that while government cannot sponsor religion, it can facilitate attacks on it. Moreover, it must be asked if the Supervisors would have voted to allow an anti-gay group the right to mock homosexuals on the anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death?
“The fact that the Sisters give a few dollars to charities is unimpressive. So do lots of fascists.
“If Mayor Brown proves uncooperative, we will let the City of Tolerance know what we think of them by taking out a half-page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle on March 29.”