SPRINGFIELD - During Thursday's Senate floor debate on same sex marriage, Democrat senator from Martin Sandoval condemned the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict's recent announcement that he's leaving his position as Head of the Church.
Discussion on SB 10 heated up at one point when Democrat Senator Bill Haine (Alton) read passages from Catholic Church theologians in opposition to same sex marriage. Chicago's Cardinal Francis George wrote a letter to all Illinois senators, condemning the legalization of same sex marriage. Senator Sandoval, a graduate of Loyola University and a former seminarian, dismissed the Church's opposition teachings against same sex unions based on morality.
"The authors of morality...They must be alluding to the Roman Catholic faith perhaps, who ... has anyone read the papers? They have a stellar record of morality? Quite the contrary, senators.
"Men that were pedophiles - the Church provided them no support - were allowed to ruin the lives of many of our loved ones, and today have done little to bring justice to those lives. The moral fiber of our faith community? ... Our religious leaders have failed us by example. Our faith leaders have a lot to bear for some of the failures of society... What do they do? They bury their heads in the sand. Do nothing. They walk away. And one of our faith leaders gave his two-week notice a few days ago. He's moving on ..."
Before the criticism, Sandoval said St Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate and rejoice. "We're about to vote on a decisive decision to break down barriers to a group of people who've been disenfranchised by our own laws," Sandoval said. He concluded by urging a "yes" vote on the bill.
Hear Sandoval's comments beginning at 30:00: